Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, May 18, 2006.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page


    All bets appear to be off as to when the FCC might make a final decision on
    deleting the Morse code requirement. Last July, an FCC Notice of Proposed
    Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O) in WT Docket 05-235 proposed to eliminate the
    Element 1 (5 WPM) Morse code requirement for all license classes. Most
    observers expected the Commission to release a Report and Order (R&O) to
    that effect by the end of this year, but even that timetable could prove
    optimistic, based on what the Commission will say publicly. Before tackling
    the Morse proceeding, the FCC wants to wrap up another important Amateur
    Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, the so-called "omnibus" or "phone band
    expansion" proceeding. Responding to an ARRL inquiry, FCC personnel would
    not go on the record and declined even to hazard a ballpark guess on when
    the FCC might act on either Amateur Radio proceeding.

    "They're at different points in the process," an FCC staffer said,
    refraining from saying anything that might suggest a commitment. "One is
    farther along in the review chain than the other." The staff member
    indicated that the "omnibus" proceeding is "way ahead" of the Morse
    proceeding in the WTB pipeline.

    The FCC staffers attempted to assure ARRL that the WTB has not been sitting
    on its hands. "It takes a while to plow through 4000 comments," one said,
    referring to the huge volume of opinions filed in the Morse docket. "It's
    not being neglected." The staff member did allow that WTB staff had
    completed its comment review in the Morse proceeding but wouldn't say when
    it might see the light of day. "I'd hesitate to say," one staff member
    demurred. Neither would even say whether the WTB expected to conclude either
    proceeding by the end of 2006.

    "They should probably start learning code," one staffer advised those
    waiting for the FCC to drop the Morse requirement before upgrading, noting
    that a Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCE) for a written
    exam element is only good for a year. Even after the FCC goes public with
    its decision on Morse code, still more time is likely to pass before any new
    rules go into effect, the staff member pointed out.

    Earlier this year an WTB staffer, speaking without attribution, told ARRL,
    "We certainly hope to release WT Docket 05-235 sometime this year, but we're
    not making any predictions at this time. We certainly are not saving up any
    big announcements for Dayton Hamvention."

    Bill Cross, W3TN, the FCC Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure Division
    staff member who typically addresses Amateur Radio-related proceedings
    during Dayton Hamvention's FCC forum, won't be attending this year's show.

    When the FCC does act , no one's expecting any major surprises: The
    Commission appears poised to simply drop the Morse requirement for all
    Amateur Radio license classes as it proposed last summer. Beyond that, the
    FCC turned away several other petitions, including proposals to create a new
    entry-level license class.

    Any FCC decision to eliminate the 5 WPM Morse code requirement for HF access
    would have no impact on either the current HF CW-only subbands or on the CW
    privileges of Amateur Radio licensees. Current Technician licensees who have
    not passed Element 1 will not gain HF access if the FCC drops the Morse

    The "omnibus" Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 04-140,
    released in April 2004, consolidated a dozen petitions for rulemaking, some
    dating back to 2001. The Commission has proposed to go along with the ARRL's
    Novice refarming plan aimed at reallocating the current Novice/Tech Plus
    subbands to expand portions of the 80, 40 and 15 meter phone bands. The FCC
    also agreed with an ARRL proposal to extend privileges in the current
    General CW-only HF subbands to present Novice and Tech Plus licensees (or
    Technicians with Element 1 credit).

    Among other things, the FCC also proposed to essentially do away with its
    rules prohibiting the manufacture and marketing to Amateur Radio operators
    of amplifiers capable of operation on 12 and 10 meters. And it further
    proposed to adopt a rule to limit the number of applications a licensee may
    file on a given day for the same vanity call sign.

    Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
    in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to
    The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.
  2. N3JBH

    N3JBH Ham Member QRZ Page

    [​IMG] It will never happen. Learn code or don’t learn code. Upgrade or stay where you are. Choices or simple. Yes I am a tech. so what I am happy here. And yeppers many you have talked to me on 6 meters cw. So hey I learned the code just have littlie interest in upgrading at this time.
  3. KE5FRF

    KE5FRF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a feeling, perhaps naive, that the FCC may just keep the code requirement after all.

    They know that amateur radio is steeped in traditions, and that changing things will disgruntle a whole bunch of folks...well, changing things THAT drastically will, anyway.

    My bet is they reverse the proposal at some point.
  4. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not going to recomment as I just commented in another thread, but I'll keep it brief:

    5 years before this decision happens, and I'd say dropping vs dropping....if you're a horse betting kind of person, hedge your bets and drop an even amount on both, because its neck and neck at the moment......

    I hope they do keep it, if not to end the whining, but just to keep it there. Yes, I'm a NCT and I just made that statement. Pick yourself off the floor.
  5. M3KCK

    M3KCK Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems that Even Fred Enjoys adding to the Code/No Code Debate [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (I say in Jest, just encase you don’t get my sense of humour!!)
    Andrew M3KCK
  6. KE5FRF

    KE5FRF Ham Member QRZ Page


    Trust me on this, man...I value your 13 years of experience far more than your operating license. I know several Techs here at my QTH that I would just as soon ask advice from than an Extra...except obviously for CW operating advice, but that is a given.

    While I feel upgrading my license has given me some added respect as a new amateur (I get treated less like "the new kid" now)...it certainly doesn't equal more than a decade of operating.

    So, I wasn't surprised at your statement that you would like the requirement to stay. I have read enough of your posts to understand that you aren't a slacker, and you have made THE MOST of the privelages you have, which can in a way make a Technician shine over a one-demensional person of a higher class.

    I hope you find time to study. My honest injun advice is that learning it is more of a mental block than anything. It really IS easy, if you spend a solid week of training on the alphabet and numbers, you'll have 90% of it down, the rest is just practice, and that takes repetition. This is not much different than learning a new video game (if you want to draw a parallel) I remember as a kid how difficult it was to transition from the basic ATARI joystick to the Nintendo Paddle with all the function buttons. After a while, the Nintendo buttons became second nature and a joystick felt foreign. CW is much the same.
  7. W6GQ

    W6GQ Swap Meet Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    do u mean The Da Vinci Code? [​IMG]
  8. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Advice from the FCC to NCTs thinking about upgrading. Its what I have been saying for 3 years.

    And whomever said there are a few Techs out there who could teach new Extras a thing or two, you're spot on. It has nothing to do with license class, but with motivation. Stay where you are if you want, but if you want to upgrade, pass the test.
  9. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You read it. There it is right from the horse's mouth. That advice from within the FCC is living proof that you should not hold your breath when it comes to our government taking action on an issue. The only time that the fast track is taken is when the White House demands it, like with BPL. Without intervention from the Prez, it takes years.

    You can expect the FCC to issue an R&O in late 2008 (if they issue one at all), with any rule changes going into effect sometime in 2009. This should coincide with the re-farming of the Novice sub bands and the elimination of SW broadcast interference on 40m.

    Learn how our government works. It is ssssssssssssssssssllllllllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

    Take the advice from the FCC staffer. That person knows what he (or she) is talking about.
  10. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, I know I could do it in a week.

    Heck, I could do it in 2 weeks if I could get back to a normal 40 hour work week.....

    I just have this funny feeling that the only way its gonna happen....is to find another job, as the light at the tunnel has been promised for a while but that freight train isn't coming my way yet.

    I even have the software. Correction, TWO different copies of software. Just need that ol time thing.

    But like I said, I'm not a betting man, but NCI best not break out the bubbly yet. I could see the FCC throwing them a nice curveball, and hey, if Bonds can't hit one out of the park as of late, I'm not betting on NCI swinging away at it and nessicarily winning at this point either.

    Speaking of which, 6 was open for a bit last night. Just afraid to go above 25W due to TVI. 2m SSB was going good too.
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