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Morse code standards change as of July 1

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Jul 9, 2001.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    KD6MSI writes "New USA Morse Test Standards Begin July 1

    from ARRL Letter
    Website: on June 26, 2001


    New Morse code exam standards go into effect Sunday, July 1, for all Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. The new standards call for Farnsworth character speed in the 13-to-15 WPM range and the end of multiple-choice questions for routine Morse code exams.

    The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators voted last July to set up the revised standards for the administration of Morse code examinations in the US after amateur restructuring established 5 WPM as the sole Amateur Radio Morse code requirement.

    ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, points out the required change to the Farnsworth protocol replaces the 18-WPM character speed ARRL VEC has used since 1989. "Standard 5 WPM messages with 5 WPM characters are available as an accommodation," he said. "Standard (non-Farnsworth) speed messages are available upon special request from the ARRL VEC for ARRL VE teams." In addition, the Morse exam audio frequency range should be between 700 and 1000 Hz for routine exams.

    Consistent with the revised standards, Jahnke said, ARRL VEC has set 15-WPM characters as its Farnsworth setting and 750 Hz as its audio-frequency standard.

    Code practice transmissions from Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will reflect the new Farnsworth standard. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, says transmissions using the new protocol will begin Monday, July 2. "Any of our code transmissions at speeds below 18 WPM will drop from 18 WPM to 15 WPM character speed," he said. "We will maintain the standard method at speeds above 18 WPM--20 WPM at 20, 25 WPM at 25, etc."

    Carcia said the W1AW Web code practice files also will be changed to mirror the W1AW transmission protocol. ARRL's Your Introduction to Morse Code cassette tapes and audio CDs also have adopted the new standards.

    The new Morse examination standards also affect test administration. After July 1, Morse examinees will have to supply fill-in-the-blank answers for the 10-question Element 1 quiz. Multiple-choice type examinations no longer will be acceptable. Under the new testing regime, Morse code examinees must either correctly answer seven of the ten fill-in-the-blank questions or correctly copy 25 consecutive characters.

    (End ARRL news bulletin)


    (FYI) For those of you who don't know what Farnsworth is: Farnsworth simply means that the rate that the individual character is sent is faster than the actual word per minute rate. This allows the student to learn to recognise morse characters at a speed that discourages dot and dash counting, and encourages the recognition of the sound and cadence of a character. Learning to hear the sound of a character makes it much easier to copy code naturally and quickly, and eliminates the frequent problem of the "ten word per minute wall".

    Learning code at the same tone as it will be administered in the test is helpful because by the time you are ready to test, you are already used to hearing it that way. Since we know that the VE's will now be using 750 Hz as a standard for sending test code, we can set our computer programs and/or morse tutors to send it at the same tone while in the learning stages.


    Mathew, KD6MSI"
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