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FCC Notice To Cease All Amateur Radio Activity

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AD0EC, Aug 18, 2013.

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  1. AD0EC

    AD0EC Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's a picture of the FCC notice that basically cancelled all amateur radio licenses and thus transmissions for the duration of WWII. I know the President can invoke his "war powers" today and do something similar.

    Anyone remember this event in 1942? I think it's outrageous the FCC did that. I mean..really now. If there were spies that notice wasn't going to stop them from transmitting. But, it did take away a comforting or relaxing activity of lots of people.

    I wonder how hams of today would react if the government revokes all radio licenses during WWIII.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The notice says it is by order of the FCC, not the president. Considering the fact that it was a declared war, I'm surprised it took them a month!

    I wasn't there - wouldn't be born for another dozen years. But I know a bit about the history, and it wasn't outrageous at all.

    You have to consider what amateur radio, and all of radio, was like in 1942. HF was prime radio territory for all radio services, particularly military. The HF ham bands were 160, 80/75, 40, 20 and 10 meters, and almost all amateurs were on the first four. It would have been easy for spies to hide their transmissions in the ham bands, posing as amateurs. FCC couldn't guarantee the ability to track them all down.

    Plus there were wartime requirements for bandwidth. For example, 160 meters was used for LORAN. A lot of military radios operated in what used to be the 80/75 and 40 meter bands - did they really need to dodge amateur QRM?

    Considering that most of them would be dead less than an hour after such a war started....
  3. K1OIK

    K1OIK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes it was outrageous, didn't the FCC consider the contest schedule? And the Special event planned for December 7, 1942?
    All those who signed up for military service, their prime objective was safeguarding comforting or relaxing activity of lots of people.
    They were the greatest generation, your post is not in that spirit.
  4. AB1QP

    AB1QP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The licences were not cancelled. OPERATION'S were suspended.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur radio operators were still allowed to operate on the 2.5-meter and 1.25-meter bands as members of WERS (War Emergency Radio Service).

    Glen, K9STH
  6. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought that the original "Special Event" was actually planned for December 7th 1941?

    ...And another series of "Special events" were planned for August 1945, but got canceled after the first two due to the intended audience declining to attend any future events?

  7. W5WAY

    W5WAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Depends. Define WWIII, please.

    Just out of curiosity, do modern transceivers have any sort of RF "taggant" like all computer devices have a MAC address which uniquely identifies them? I would doubt it, but these days in the surveillance age I wouldn't be all that surprised.
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, but such operation wasn't really ham radio as we or they knew it. WERS required that you become a member of a WERS group, and operation was only allowed for WERS purposes.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I understand it, operations were suspended by the suspension of all amateur radio station licenses. FCC continued to issue amateur operator licenses, but since there were no amateur stations, there was nothing to operate. Note that in those days there was a big distinction made between the operator and station license, and the callsign was part of the station license, not the operator license.
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    Having an amateur radio operator's license was generally, but not absolutely, required for WERS operation. Although, technically, operation was to be confined to "official" purposes, equipment tests, etc., were allowed and a lot of the operation basically resembled amateur radio operation before the war.

    The first practical amateur radio repeaters were established for WERS use primarily on the 2.5-meter band. Those were "split sites" with the receiver and transmitter being separated, usually, by 100-feet to 200-feet. Audio was carried by a hard copper line between the 2-sites.

    Until the early 1970s, the FCC did issue "additional station" licenses which allowed operation, without indicating "portable", for locations, away from the primary station location, for those operators who spent time away from the primary location.

    Glen, K9STH
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