Morse Code Eliminated by FCC

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

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  1. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If a "Radio Operator" can't copy Morse code he has not the skill to use radio in one of its most basic forms. Modern digital modes using computers is the future.  Considering history a person unskilled in Morse code has no more right to be considered a "radio operator"  than a person has a right to be called a pilot who can only fly his plane by computer on auto pilot. Do away with the code test - fine. But given the arguments for doing so it is also time to change the name of the amateur radio service. Radio is an antiquated word coined in the 1920's.

    The FCC should change the name of the service to the Amateur Modern Communications Service and we should be referred to as amateur digital attendants or amateur computer operators. You can think of a better term but amateur "radio" is a term that is now obsolete.
  2. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Radio" is not the same as "telegraphy". You can be a radio op and not know a whit about code or telegraphy.

    You can be an excellent telegrapher and never have an interest in radio, or even be around anything electronic. Many telegraphers lived and died before radio was even invented.

  3. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    "You can be an excellent telegrapher and never have an interest in radio, or even be around anything electronic. Many telegraphers lived and died before radio was even invented."

    This is true Joe but history continued when wireless came along. In 1880 you could not be a telegrapher without code skill. In 1900 you could not be a radio operator without code skill. Code and "radio" were synonymous. Even if you cant follow that line of reasoning think about this. The Morse code test was out of date so the arguement goes. Much more modern technology around. The test was irrelevent in todays modern world.  It kept folks from entering our ranks. There was in part a perception problem with it. I think those are some of the arguments in favor of the no code test ruling. The term radio is old - almost as old as Morse code. It goes way way back. It's antiquated. We changed our name from wireless operators to radio operators. Now with code testing gone and with the visionaries of the ranks believing we needed to do so for the good of the hobby these same visionaries should see it is time for another name change. Amateur radio or ham radio is an old term.  You've heard it - "Ham radio, do people still do that." No the visionaries in being consistant with their thinking should support the idea of a name change to something like Amateur digital Attendant. You folks are the marketing experts for ham radio. You have the ideas on attracting new people. Come up with a good name that will attract people more interested in modern digital communications that use computers. The no code test folks should think this is a great idea. Hire a marketing expert getting advise to attract more folks and see if they agree.

  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Radio" is not an antiquated term. People know what radio is, and they certainly don't equate it with morse code. Code IS antiquated, most people have no idea of what it is, or that it is still in use. For the most part, they're right, because other than hams there is virtually no code usage.

    You're mad because the FCC dropped an antiquated test. Thats OK, you can be mad about it, or go on with your ham hobby. If you feel there is a need to change the name, make a petition for it, I guarantee it won't go far.

    What does the fact that "code" and "radio" were synonymous in 1900 prove? We don't live in 1900 anymore. Washing clothes and a washboard were synonymous then too, yet today if people use a washing machine to do laundry instead of a washboard, we don't think any less about them.

  5. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You need to go get your dictionary and look up the word antiquated. It means very old. If you are trying to modernize the hoppy in hopes of attracting more people by getting rid of the code test then take the next step and modernize the name. The term radio is very old. Dont you agree with that? The term conjures up times past and old antiquated technology especially to the high tech crowd you want to attract by eliminating the code requirement in the first place. Your reasoning I am sorry to say is convoluted when considering the arguments to eliminate the test in the first place. You are more interested in winning a debate on the matter than recruiting new people to the hobby.

    Dont take my word for it. If the goal is in part to attract new people by eliminatng the test ask a marketing person about the benefits of a name change.  I chuckled when you said I was mad. Just set your ego aside and think about this and you will realize the merit to what I am saying.

  6. W0UZR

    W0UZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are beating your head against the wall. You aren't going to get these guys to listen.  They want things the easy way. And will go through 5x the effort it takes to learn the code to get things changed at the top to get the code dropped so they don't have to put in the effort of learning code, and so they don't have to take the test.
         You  and I know that code is ham radio. If you learn code, you are an Amateur Radio Operator. If you don't learn the code, then you are only a  half an Amateur Radio Operator. You can only operate half the radio.  Won't be able to operate the CW parts of the band.  So THUS these people are going to be a half of an Amateur Radio Operator. Well, you can't be a half an Amateur Radio Operator. There isn't any such thing.  In order to say you are a Amateur Radio Operator, the operator has to be able to operate the  WHOLE THING !!  So since you can't  be a half of a radio operator, then how can you say that a guy that can't operate the whole thing is one?
  7. N1JBS

    N1JBS Ham Member QRZ Page

    i dont know... i am currently a half a ham, but when the code gets dropped, i will be a ham with hf privileges- but still considered a half a ham.

    i'll catch you guys on 10 meters when the rules finally go thru, along with other half a hams that i have known for many years.

  8. K4JF

    K4JF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The interesting (and strange, to me) thing is that the modern term for "radio" is "wireless", which was the old term before "radio" came along.

    And it is absolutely amazing how many people think "radio" and "wireless" are two different things!!!
  9. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have not thought about the discussion in those terms before. I personally am not going to call the no code operators "half hams" or honey baked hams HI HI. It just makes since if they did away with the code test to attrack more geek squad types they should have a marketing person come up with a  name more suited to attract these people than amateur radio. Apparently if its old it needs to go anyhow. If you dont have to have code skill and digital rules the day change the name to reflect this and attrack the modern day tech button pushers that would get turned on by something to do with computers and digital. Given their arguments this idea would be consistant with the rest of their thinking. Oh well who can figure these guys out anyway.
  10. N0NCO

    N0NCO Ham Member QRZ Page


    I fail to find the logic in comparing the lack of Morse code proficiency to pilots who could only fly by auto-pilot. I feel that this would be a more logical comparison: Private pilots are no longer required to practice spin recovery. They are no longer required to know how to hand-prop their piston engines. They are still considered pilots.

    Computer Technicians used to be taught punch-card technology, and reel-to-reel tape storage technology, but not anymore. They are still considered Computer Technicians.

    RF Technicians are no longer required to know how to trim crystals for resonance. They are no longer required to know how to sweep-align a front-end. They are no longer required to know tube theory. They are no longer required to know how to use a slotted-line for making VSWR measurements. However - they are still considered RF Technicians.

    Auto Mechanics are no longer required to know anything about "wick" carburetors, open-crankcase engines, or hit & miss ignition systems. They are still considered Auto Mechanics.

    We no longer expect people to know how to hand-crank their cars, either - but we still call them drivers.

    We no longer expect Administrative Assistants to know how to type on an old Underwood typewriter, or how to use a mimeograph machine. But they are still Administrative Assistants, nonetheless.

    My point is this: The definition of a particular skill, and the skill-set required to be considered proficient changes over time, with the advancement of technology. 'Radio Operator' is no different. In fact, one could argue that for a modern Radio Operator, a working knowledge of digital communications techniques & computer interfaces is much more relevant than the knowledge of Morse code is today.

    As technology advances, we must make room to teach the new skills that will be required to maintain proficiency. We can't possibly keep teaching every old skill, so some must fall by the wayside, to be learned by those with a particular interest.

    Just my $0.02-worth....


    Joel - N0NCO
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