Anybody obtain their Radiotelegraph Operator License Lately?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK5JY, May 17, 2019.

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  1. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, it's like a history exam now.
    N2EY likes this.
  2. AF2Z

    AF2Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    OMG! Soft cover editions on ABE going for 60 bux and more. Still have my old dogeared copy; wish I'd bought a case of them (along with the barrel full of J38's at the surplus store)...
  3. N1ZZZ

    N1ZZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    To get a "T" license you need commercial elements 1 and 6 written and the code tests or extra credit. If you want to study the written elements, you can download the pools or go here. Most COLEM's will offer element 1 all the time as it's also part of GROL and GMDSS. Element 6 is probably available if you make prior arrangements, but you may need to talk to someone higher up the food chain when you make your appointment. You can also add "marine radar" to the T-license by passing element 8.

    For telegraph tests, I know the W5YI commercial side has a CD. MRHS has it on permanent loan which is the most regular tester. Another test group can get the CD on loan from the home office given enough notice and motivation. The tests are 16 wpm straight code (no Farsworth) for random characters. Plain text is 20 wpm straight code and is rumored to be a marine weather report. I have heard that they offer code tests at MIT and in Tampa aboard the museum ship AMERICAN VICTORY.

    Not all that useful by itself, but you can parlay a T-license into a Merchant Marine Radio Officer license with some more FCC licenses and training. If you bother to get GMDSS-b (which also gets you GROL), the USCG-certified GMDSS class, and some basic safety training classes; you can get a decent paying job as a radio electronics officer (REO) on a small number of deep sea ships. The ARA union can answer questions for those so motivated.

    73 Jeremy N1ZZZ
    W5BIB, W9LWA and K0UO like this.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My father proudly displayed his 1st Class telegraph license on the wall of our shared shack. When I studied for my Extra, I also worked on the 2nd Telegraph and the 1st Phone licenses, but I never took the tests. I got one of the fancy certificates FCC used to issue for the Extra, and it went on the wall - that was sufficient.
  5. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Guest

    My college offers FCC testing through ETA international, and I went to see if they offered the radiotelegraphy tests. All I found was this.

    Radiotelegraph Change

    The 1st, 2nd and 3rd class Radiotelegraph Operator Certificates will no longer be issued. The 1st and 2nd will be renewed as the Radiotelegraph Operator License. The 3rd class will be renewed as the Marine Radio Operator Permit. These new licenses will be lifetime. This took effect May 20, 2013.

    What do you guys make of that?
  6. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would do this if I knew how. My passing the general exam in 76 was one of the greatest moments in my life. Sitting for the telegraph exam could for a moment take me back in time.
    W9BRD likes this.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh puh-leeze.

    Some of us (aHEM) took and passed code tests in front of FCC examiners, sending and receiving, yada yada yada.

    More important, some of us could do it all today, right now, without any preparation. BRING IT ON!

    K0UO, K8PG, W9BRD and 1 other person like this.
  8. K4AGO

    K4AGO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nope, I know of no one within a 400-mile radius that gives the exam
  9. K4AGO

    K4AGO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ABSOLUTELY correct.
    AH7I likes this.
  10. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    In short, the new Radiotelegraph Operator License is effectively the same thing as the old Second Class Radio Telegraph Operator Certificate. Now you can get any radiotelegraph license you like, just so long as you liked the old 2nd class certificate.

    Here's a bit longer explanation. People that want a commercial radiotelegraph license used to have three choices but now only have one. The difference between the old 3rd class and old 2nd class license was, as I recall, that 3rd class certificates were restricted to coast stations. This old 3rd class certificate was not popular as most simply took the additional written test to get the 2nd class certificate so they could gain the extra privileges and make themselves more employable. The difference in privileges between the old 2nd and 1st class certificates was little to none, and the only difference in the testing was the higher code speed. The 1st class certificate was not popular since radio traffic by Morse code is light and so any real desire for the higher demonstrated code speed is nil. If someone wanted a radiotelegraph operator then they needed someone able to operate at sea (which ruled out 3rd class) and didn't much care how fast they could operate (which made the 1st class no more valuable). With new issuance of all radiotelegraph licenses numbering in the single digits every year, and nearly all of them 2nd class, the FCC didn't want to maintain the redundant classes. I surmise that they would have liked to simply stop issuing them but international treaties require they continue to issue them.

    Oh, and the old 3rd class certificate included the same testing for the current Marine Radio Operator Permit, so the "downgrade" is logical as they met all requirements for that. So long as those holding the license keep it current they retain their Morse code credit for upgrade to the new radiotelegraph license should they choose to do so.
    K0UO likes this.

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