Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N8RMA, Mar 1, 2019.
FT8 requires no proficiency. Turning on a computer on clicking with a mouse is not a skill.
Has not recent history proved this to be untrue. If ham radio is going to slowly die as is, why not bring the code back and let it die with dignity and with the requirement of a skill.
As opposed to what? Let me guess.
Which is it? Is Morse code a true test of intelligence and skill, or something so easy that any child could learn? I distinctly recall examples of very young licensed Amateurs in the days prior to the elimination of the Morse code knowledge requirement. I'm sure someone will be able to dig up an example, or a dozen, of children passing their Morse code tests to get licensed.
About the time I left ham radio in '96 I suspected that digital radio was being retarded by the CW proficiency requirement. The folks who would develop digital communications didn't really care too much about advancing their C W skills. I think history reflects this idea because the digital modes have been expanding rapidly since the code requirement was dropped.
Since going over to the dark side this Christmas I must say that operating reminds me much more of my original ham experience. Not only is activity higher in digital but QSL confirmations are running at a higher percentage. Reminds me of the good old days.
I don't believe a skillful Morse operator must necessarily be of high intelligence. Who has said such? I think you are using the wrong word. For instance, a football player may be highly skilled at blocking and have a below average IQ. A skill is usually thought of as a slowly developed talent, ability or technique usually requiring the use of, in particular, the hands and other parts of the body.
By definition the only skill required in amateur radio is the operation of Morse Code.
There are plenty of skills that could be used to further your amateur radio hobby, but none of them are required, including Morse code.
Of course this is not true. If you are going to operate Morse Code without the aid of a computer it does require a skill.
I'm not talking about Morse code, I'm talking about skills in general. Climbing a tower requires skill, building a radio requires skill, operating SSB requires skill, setting up an antenna requires skill, etc. But none of these is required for a ham license, and neither is Morse.
Code isn't particularly difficult though it's easier for some than others, but that's not really the point. It requires EFFORT and PRACTICE. It isn't something someone will do lightly or in an afternoon.
I'm not saying it should be brought back, much as I enjoy it myself. But that requiring some effort over a bit of time probably did help at least a little to limit access to those with a somewhat serious interest. Whether that itself is good or bad is also a different question.
I understand your thought. The other activities you mentioned that are today a part of ham radio however are only skills if speaking in the vernacular - that is when any activity or deed is considered a skill. Under that proposition the turning on of an HF rig requires skill.
The only essential skill left in ham radio that is peculiar to ham radio is Morse code. Operating SSB or the digital modes require a very small amount of training rather than the requirement of a skill - coordination between the mind and body particularly the hands to perform a particular task. The building of a transmitter requires skill. That is so seldom, I don't consider it apart of contemporary ham radio.