ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NN4RH, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unless passing that test shows on the Amateur license issued by the FCC it does not meet the requirements as written in most nations. This comes up once in a while, even here on QRZ. People want the FCC to note Morse code proficiency on their Amateur radio license and I'd think it'd take minimal effort for the FCC to do so. I proposed using the commercial testing, at least as an option, since this does not require developing a new test process. The Amateur and Commercial licenses already exist in the same FCC database, there should be a way to show Morse code credit on the license they issue, even if that means getting a Commercial Radiotelegraph license to do it.
  2. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Associate telegraphy elements 1 & 2 with your FRN . If there is any question than just take commercial elements 1, 3, and 6 and associate it all with your FRN. Get a wet stamp copy of it all from The Federal Clown Commission . If that isn't enough ...
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    It might be easier to just take the telegraphy exam from the country who still requires telegraphy proficiency. Rather than asking one's home country to administer credit, then seek reciprocity, why not just get the credit where you need it... after all there can't be that many left that require it.
    K7JEM likes this.
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, that's effectively what I'm suggesting. The FCC doesn't do that. I know someone is going to suggest I write it up and send it to the FCC but I propose it here first to see what kind of a response it might get.

    That works for me. I proposed something like this earlier in the thread and it didn't go over well. Still does not create the bright line people want. The rules will say that the amateur must have their Morse code knowledge show on the Amateur Radio license as issued by the appropriate government agency or office. Many times the rules will require a piece of paper from the government, not a PDF downloaded from a website and printed on common office paper.

    I didn't write the rules, I just read them. This comes up once in a while on forums like this as people want to bring a radio with them on vacation. One piece of paper with a person's name, FRN, and Amateur Radio Service call sign, does not meet the Morse code proficiency unless that license required Morse code testing. Stapling that piece of paper to another with the same person's name, FRN, and printed at the top is "Radiotelegraph Operator License", may meet the spirit of the law but not the letter of the law.

    If that isn't enough then it could mean going to jail. Admittedly that's not likely in most "civilized" nations but it could mean a lot of legal trouble that people would rather avoid for lack of the right piece of paper from the government. I'm just proposing the FCC offer the right piece of paper, an Amateur Radio license that indicates Morse code proficiency.

    I do recall a rather lighthearted tale from a couple of gentlemen making an unscheduled visit to a small Pacific island nation, I don't recall which one. They land on the island as the ship they were on stopped for food, fuel, and repairs. They have a couple days to spare at their leisure as the ship is getting fixed up. They find the office for getting their license but its closed for the day. They come back the next day and the only person in the office was the head of their equivalent of our FCC. They tell him they want permission to operate Amateur radios on the island and present their FCC issued licenses. The official issued them their licenses on the spot. They chatted for a bit and the official decided he needed to take these two on a short tour of the island. He locked up the office, showed the two to his car, and drove them around for a bit.

    Now, that little anecdote is how the licensing should work, perhaps without the guided tour by a government official. This is a thread about the ARRL proposing a new license for the Amateur Radio Service so let's think about what people want from their license. One of the things people want is a license that satisfies existing reciprocal agreements, that means having some way to prove the license holder has passed a Morse code test as determined by the FCC. Lets do that. Let's have the FCC change the license issued ever so slightly so that Morse code proficiency shows on the license. We can debate the form this testing must make but there is a demand. I propose using the Commercial Radiotelegraph testing for a number of reasons. If it takes the form of re-instating the old 5WPM Element 1 exam then that works too.

    If this is going to happen then the proposal needs to be made in a way the the FCC would find appealing, as in as little work for them as possible to implement and enforce. I think this can be done with a single license for both Amateur and Commercial services. Those that want their FCC issued Morse code certificate can then get it, in the form of a Radiotelegraph license, both for bragging rights and meeting the letter of the law when seeking reciprocal privileges while traveling.
  5. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    ^^^ one or both of us make sense.
    That probably means "they're" looking for us right now
  6. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    *rolleseyes* Morse testing is not coming back so give it up already! Those who want to learn it can but there are digital modes that far out perform it! Is it nice to know for emergency use? Sure but how many stations can actually copy it anymore?
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC is not going to reinstate code testing. The only reason it might be needed is for someone to get a reciprocal permit in some country that doesn't accept a non-morse license. I don't think that is enough of a reason to go through all of the changes needed. Perhaps a simple rule change to allow a bona-fide national club to issue certifications is all that is needed.

    I looked at the Canada reciprocal agreement, and it appears that you have to have Morse certification to get a full reciprocal license (if you are from the USA). But they accept the CEPT which doesn't require a Morse endorsement, like a Full licensee from the UK is granted full privs in Canada. But an Extra from the USA doesn't get that, unless they can show a Morse code proficiency. Since our extra is equivalent to the CEPT, it should be accepted in Canada, with or without Morse proficiency.

    It looks like whoever in the USA administers these agreements should get this modified so that if you have an extra in the USA, you would get advanced privileges in Canada. We offer Extra privileges to Canadian advanced operators who visit here. That is kind of what "reciprocal" means. Right now, it appears to be a one way street with no US ham that has been licensed in the last ten years permitted to use HF at all in Canada, regardless of license class. This needs to be changed, if indeed I am reading it right.
  8. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jeebuzz Mary and Joseph, no one has advocated that the federal clown commission bring back a OOK proficiency requirement!
    Neither Kurt or myself have said anything of a kind. What we are alluding to is ...

    If you will look over on the right you will see telegraphy elements 1 & 2 .
    I can already associate my General Radiotelephone Operators license with my FRN#.
    Why can't I associate the code elements with my amateur license ?
    Sure, element one is 16wpm and element two is 20wpm which is nothing like previous amateur requirements save for the 20wpm extra requirement.
    These tests are given by a Commercial Operator License Examination Manager (COLEM), not the FCC or the A.R.R.L.
    There are fees.
    Theses tests have been in place for decades so no one is bringing anything back.
    All I'm advocating is that the amateur that desires or needs code proficiency for a reciprocal license be able to associate the COLEM certification of code proficiency not just with their GROL , Not just with their FRN#, but with their Amateur Radio Operator's License as well.

    AC0GT likes this.
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not asking the FCC to reinstate code testing. I'm asking the FCC to note on the Amateur Radio Service license whether or not the licensee has passed an FCC recognized Morse code test at some point in their life. The notation would have no effect on one's operating privileges in the USA.

    What would "all those changes" be? It would be a note in the database is all. Here's a question for you, why do you believe the FCC still issues commercial radiotelegraph licenses? It's not for operation in domestic waters. As far as I know the US Coast Guard stopped listening for CW traffic years ago, officially at least. The only reason it exists is because of reciprocity. Because of international law the ARRL or any other private entity cannot issue these licenses, it has to come from the FCC.

    Kind of like how the ARRL issued Element 1 CSCEs for Technicians to operate on HF domestically? That's really all I'm asking for. The difference between the CSCE and any other certificate the ARRL issues is that the form it's printed on comes from the FCC and therefore carries legal weight. For this to happen the FCC needs to make "all those changes" in the rules.

    I believe we agree on this point more than we disagree. Keep it real simple and easy for them and they might do it. Combine it with a simplification of the license classes and operating privileges, such as with a new Canada-like Basic license, and I think it could happen.
  10. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see you made your post while I was in the middle of authoring my last post. You made the point clearer than I did.

    This change may not even need a change in the rules, just how the licenses are printed. There would be no new tests. I am even opposed really to a new test because by keeping the same Morse code elements for Amateur Radio this means that the amateurs and the professionals have to talk to each other once in a while. I'm not terribly opposed to reinstating the Element One 5WPM Morse code testing but at this point that is something I'd rather not revisit. Put it at the 16 and 20 WPM like the commercial licenses and maybe we'll create a new incentive for those 13WPM General and Advanced licensees to upgrade.

    What's the downside here? Add this to a new Basic license like Canada has, to replace all but Extra, and it starts to look a lot like how many other nations issue licenses. This eases reciprocity. It also would lower FCC administration and enforcement in the long run. Short term would be a burden to alter the database to account for these changes but that's a one time cost. There would be another license to administer but it creates a new incentive for people to upgrade. The current Elements Two and Three would have to change to reflect the new license, and perhaps combined into one 70 question test element at some point.

    Those that do upgrade would have to upgrade into the new Basic or the existing Extra. This makes enforcement and administration get easier over time as those currently licensed upgrade. Anyone but Extra could take the Basic exam and get that license. It'd be more of a "side grade" since some privileges would be lost but others gained. Those with a General or Advanced could take the Extra exam and upgrade, just like now. What they won't lose though is the piece of paper from the FCC that says they passed the Morse code test.

    Morse code proficiency would be from a COLEM. Maybe the ARRL would become a COLEM to offer this testing service to license Amateurs that desire having Morse code proficiency showing on their license in places where getting their commercial RTOL from established COLEMs might be difficult.

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