Morse Codes trumps SMS in head to head combat

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KF6KDA, May 7, 2005.

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  1. PE1RDW

    PE1RDW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Everyone that uses it, quit with the personal attacks, it doesn´t help the debate.
    It just makes it harder to see the valid points on both sides between all the BS.
    lets see if I can get some facts sorted that we most likely all agree on.
    CW is a usefull mode, be it manual or by computer.
    CW testing has been made optional by the ITU and it is up to the goverments to decide.
    most repeaters and beacons id in CW but can easely be decoded by a computer.
    You don´t need to know manual CW to be able to use it unless the other station is a sloppy keyer.
    In the end we can debate all we want but we are not likely to influance the goverments with it, that can only be done by writing the clubs or the goverment departments.
    CW is filtering somewhat but it is unknown if it works better then other methodes of filtering (sugestions have been made a few pages back)
    Any more facts to add to the list? (facts are not opinions or conclusions)
  2. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

  3. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Physician heal thyself.
  4. PE1RDW

    PE1RDW Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KC0NBW

    KC0NBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    in reality, ''most'' countries have not dropped the code requirement, and the majority of the hams in the united states do not want the code dropped in this country.  [​IMG]
  6. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

  7. KC0NBW

    KC0NBW Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is key.  What does the FCC see for the future of Amateur radio?  Looking at the past of Amateur radio you will see the IMC requirement vary through the years.  It started at 5WPM, went to 10WPM, hopped around for a bit and just prior to WWII it was 10 or 13 WPM (I have conflicting reports on the history).  In 1951 the IMC tests were at 5, 13, and 20 WPM.  Passing each telegraphy element and its corresponding written element granted the Amateur increased operating privileges.  Some say the change was because the Amateur community was concerned about crowding of the radio bands.  Others say it was because the FCC wanted a pool of already trained radio operators for the draft.  The truth is probably mix of the two.

    It was a different time.  Long distance telephone service was not like what it is now.  I don't know when the interstate highway program got started but it was about that time as well.  People just couldn't connect to others as easily as they can now.  The post war economy was booming and the "do it yourself" attitude that came about during the war was still strong.  Add in the surplus radio equipment from the downsizing military and you have a prime time for Amateur radio to be popular.  The FCC and the Amateurs already licensed were concerned about too many people using what little bandwidth that was available given the technology at the time.  AM was the primary voice mode, which takes twice the bandwidth of the now common SSB.  No Amateur satellites, no cell phones, no moonbounce.  There was CB but it was limited in range.

    The Cold War was also going on in that time.  There was always a concern of an atom bomb explosion.  If that happened there would be the immediate need of coordinating a rescue and recovery.  There would also be the need to draft more soldiers.  Given the technology at the time the radio operators in rescue and military communications had to be trained in IMC.  Amateurs would be easily identifiable from FCC records and be drafted into service and operating a radio in minimal time.

    In the 1990s the threat of a nuclear attack is pretty much a memory.  Technology and infrastructure has improved.  The military has enough volunteers that no one has been drafted in decades.  The need for a ready reserve of telegraphy operators is non-existent, at least as far as the government is concerned.  That is when the IMC requirement started to slip away.  It started with the Codeless Tech.  Then came the medical waivers.  Then came the 5WPM only testing.  Then comes next year and...?

    AG4YO mentioned compromise.  The compromise began 15 years ago.  At some point the compromise has to stop or it just becomes compromise for the sake of compromise.  So next year we compromise to have IMC testing for General and Extra.  In a few more years we compromise to have IMC testing just for Extra.  A few years after that the compromise becomes, what?  IMC testing is going to end, its just a question of when.

    Right now the IMC testing is just about as compromised as it can get before being so arbitrary and artificial that it's ridiculous.  There is the concept of "incentive licensing" that the FCC has held to in the past.  The incentive was to promote the learning of IMC on your own so that if the worst happened the government would not have to teach as many to meet the needs of a potential war.  That time has passed.  The Amateur radio service is no longer treated as a ready reserve of CW ops.  The FCC has either found a new purpose for the service, or is looking for one.  I suspect the FCC wants to see Amateur radio as a means to promote skills and interest in electronics, as a teaching aid for the youth, as a communication system for civil defense... I mean homeland security.  Now that we have more choices to communicate over a radio besides AM or CW there is no need to require one to learn IMC.  With the current technology there is little need to throttle back the popularity or use of Amateur radio frequencies.  Many more people can fit in the bandwidth available.  If the bands do fill up then people will likely find a way to squeeze in one more, or power down the radio and do something else for a while.

    What does the FCC want?  I don't think it wants to continue IMC testing.  The FCC does not live in a vacuum though.  It has to consider public opinion, international treaties and trends, along with its own vision for the future of Amateur radio.  If the FCC does decide to compromise once more on IMC testing it is going to need a very clear and definite reason for keeping the IMC test requirement.

    Some mention tradition, the tradition ended 15 years ago.  Some mention IMC testing as a filter against poor character or to promote proper radio operation, the FCC has stated that IMC testing does neither.  Others mention the superiority of IMC/CW over other modes, the FCC was either unconvinced or unconcerned about such claims.  If you don't believe my claims all you have to do is go back in this thread and read the portions of the FCC documents I quoted showing such.

    So, what does the FCC want?
  9. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

  10. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Before you go flittering off in a no code aire of false knowledge, you made an accusation above. Please prove it.

    Thanks for sharing your daydream with us about history and the FCC in your last message. You build on a illogical house of cards that compromise is a bad thing. Perhaps we'll stop compromising when we get it right. Likewise your argument about "compromise not working" could be reason to raise the IMC testing requirement back to 13 WPM. You suppose that the failure to remove the code requirement is the issue with Amateur Radio when it is more probable that the NCT ticket and letting unmotivated underachievers in is the mistake that resulted in our downslide to mediocrity. We're buying watermellons for $1 and selling for 50 cents and we're going broke, so our NCT solution is to buy a bigger truck to haul more mellons.

    Perhaps you're right about ont thing, the FCC needs to figure out what we are. Right now we're 95% hobby and 5% everything else. If they agree that we're mostly a hobby service with nice ECOMM side effects, then how the present Amateur occupants of HF feel about things should be the major deciding factor. Then arguments like tradition, mode preference, etc become very relevent.

    If the FCC decides we're supposed to ba ECOMM and Homeland security then what is the relevence of NCTs? With the NCT license, the prominence of ECOMM services in the US has declined. Coincidence? Yesterday as part of research for another chain, I called 5 Amateur Radio Club members of different clubs. I asked them "do you have problems with people getting bored and leaving a disaster effort early or mad because they didn't get their chosen assignment?" All 5 said yes. I asked them for the license class of the people who did this in their last emergency (Hurricane Ivan). The answer was 100% "Technician". Is this scientific? Nope! But it brings up an interesting point. Could the same noncommital attitude that precludes many NCTs from passing IMC testing and upgrading be the indicator of a poor ECOMM worker, not willing to commit to do what it takes? Perhaps if the FCC decides we're an ECOMM service they may want to take into consideration that some NCTs make up the bulk of poor ECOMM workers.

    Back to italics:

    Be sure to share more NCT pipe dreams with us in your next message too! What will the FCC do? Lets see, turning over Amateur Radio to under motivated whiners sounds like a responsible and logical move. I wouldn't be suprised.
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