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ARRL Bulletin on Morse Code Elimination

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 30 ARLB030
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT December 16, 2006
    To all radio amateurs

    SB QST ARL ARLB030
    ARLB030 FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes

    In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code
    requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission
    today adopted a Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235. In a
    break from typical practice, the FCC only issued a public notice at
    or about the close of business and not the actual Report and Order,
    so some details -- including the effective date of the R&O -- remain
    uncertain. The public notice is located at,
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-269012A1.pdf.

    Also today, the FCC also adopted an Order on Reconsideration, in WT
    Docket 04-140 -- the "omnibus" proceeding -- agreeing to modify the
    Amateur Radio rules in response to an ARRL request to accommodate
    automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in
    the wake of rule changes that became effective today at 12:01 AM
    Eastern Time. The Commission said it will carve out the 3585 to 3600
    kHz frequency segment for such operations. Prior to the long-awaited
    action on the Morse code issue, Amateur Radio applicants for General
    and higher class licenses had to pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to
    operate on HF. The Commission said today's R&O eliminates that
    requirement for General and Amateur Extra applicants.

    "This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may
    discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their
    skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur
    Radio," the FCC said. The ARRL had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM
    for Amateur Extra class applicants only. The FCC proposed earlier to
    drop the requirement across the board, however, and it held to that
    decision in today's R&O.

    Perhaps more important, the FCC's action in WT Docket 05-235 appears
    to put all Technician licensees on an equal footing: Once the R&O
    goes into effect, holders of Technician class licenses will have
    equivalent HF privileges, whether or not they've passed the 5 WPM
    Element 1 Morse examination. The FCC said the R&O in the Morse code
    docket would eliminate a disparity in the operating privileges for
    the Technician and Technician Plus class licensees. Technician
    licensees without Element 1 credit (ie, Tech Plus licensees)
    currently have operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above
    30 MHz.

    "With today's elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the
    FCC concluded that the disparity between the operating privileges of
    Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus Class licensees
    should not be retained," the FCC said in its public notice.
    "Therefore, the FCC, in today's action, afforded Technician and
    Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges."

    The wholesale elimination of a Morse code requirement for all
    license classes ends a longstanding national and international
    regulatory tradition in the requirements to gain access to Amateur
    Radio frequencies below 30 MHz. The first no-code license in the US
    was the Technician ticket, instituted in 1991. The question of
    whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the
    subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the
    handwriting has been on the wall. A number of countries, including
    Canada, no longer require applicants for an Amateur Radio license to
    pass a Morse code test to gain HF operating privileges. The list has
    been increasing regularly.

    The FCC said today's R&O in WT Docket 05-235 comports with revisions
    to the international Radio Regulations resulting from the
    International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication
    Conference 2003 (WRC-03). At that gathering, delegates agreed to
    authorize each country to determine whether or not to require that
    applicants demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify
    for an Amateur Radio license with privileges on frequencies below 30
    MHz.

    Typically, the effective date of an FCC Order is 30 days after it
    appears in the Federal Register. That would mean the Morse
    requirement and the revised 80-meter segment for automatically
    controlled digital stations would likely not go into effect until
    late January 2007.

    The ARRL will provide any additional information on these important
    Part 97 rule revisions as it becomes available.
    NNNN
    /EX
     
  2. WC5B

    WC5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, no comments?? Well, its about time for it. I'm tired of the debate, arguments, name calling, and feelings getting hurt. Its time to get it over with and move on. Hope to see you on HF really soon. And for all the Techs, I will keep an ear open on 28.400 more often. Lets roll!
     
  3. K3EKO

    K3EKO QRZ Member QRZ Page

    It was going to happen sooner or later...Just a matter of when.

    73

    Frank K3EKO
     
  4. KW0U

    KW0U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Imagine the next step will be to change the subbands. Personally I'd like to see 20 phone go down a few kHz. Sure that will get some comments too!
     
  5. K4LD

    K4LD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I guess this will put alot on manufactures who only make code learning products out of business. Sure you will have a few people who learn code and use it, but for the most part, there are going to be tons more people to add to the pile ups on HF bands. Too bad they could not keep the code for extra.
     
  6. K8WVU

    K8WVU Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. WE3Y

    WE3Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    For all those who love Morse code please forgive me, while I dance a jig to its demise.

    Hooah
     
  8. N3OX

    N3OX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's worth noting that under the new rules, all Technican operators, Element 1 or no, get the Novice/Tech HF privileges, which have, as of Friday, been expanded to General-level on 80m, 40m, 15m, and 10m.

    That means there are four very exciting and useful allocations to Technican operators, incoming and existing, and almost all of the spectrum available, and that which is most useful right now in the sunspot cycle, is ****CW ONLY****

    The FCC has made a good decision, given that Morse testing was going to go away. The entry level license has substantial incentive to learn and use Morse Code, but Morse won't keep people off of HF anymore.

    73, welcome to HF everyone!
    Dan
     
  9. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    What a disingenuous (deceptive also fits) write up. The group in Newington did not request that the FCC "carve out" any portion of the band to accomodate digital, automated systems that use ham radio for email from the internet.

    The ARRL in reality filed a formal challenge against the FCC's decision NOT to provide such a segment within the newly enacted phone band. There was no public spirit of cooperation displayed in the League's document filed at the last minute before the new phone band was enacted on Friday.

    The FCC later that day rejected the League's challenge, and Ordered that the remaining reserved space for morse code also be the location for automatic and other digital activity being promoted by the group in Newington. This forces the operators to relocate, in a clear failure for the ARRL whose attorney struggled to argue that they should stay put.

    Also,regarding the two Technician Class licenses, it is not at all clear whether the FCC intends to merge them into one class with the HIGHER of the two privileges, or reduce the superior of the two down to the operating areas allowed for no-code, post- 1991 Techs.

    It could certainly go either way, if the FCC wishes to provide some incentive to get the remaining Technician licensees into upperclass tickets.

    Paul/VJB
     
  10. N3OX

    N3OX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Paul, I read arrl.org directly as of this morning... they revised it on their site.

    No-Code Techs will have HF privileges on 80,40,15, and 10 when the R&O goes into effect, general-level CW only on 80,40,15, general-level CW&DATA and .300-.500 Voice on 10m

    Dan
     
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