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RAC recommends Morse dropped, new exams.

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WV2J, Oct 29, 2003.

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  1. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    CW on CB? This is all very interesting. Most likely, those doing it are the ones who are using the export radios and general coverage ham rigs with enabled transmit. I’ve heard about some wild things that have been going on in the 11-meter region, such as PSK-31 and SSTV. But CW? That’s a new one on me. What would be ironic is if the 11-meter ops embrace CW, while the hams move away from it! As for hams doing this, it is possible but not likely. There are loads of us who have general coverage radios with enabled transmit. Many of us opened up our rigs when the 60m channels were authorized. I opened up my radio for general coverage transmit last June, just before the 60m channels were authorized.

    As for CB radios doing CW, it is possible. I have 2 CBs modified for use on 10m and 12m. I’ve been experimenting with the 12m rig, enabling it to transmit and receive CW. It’s a matter of jumping out the balanced modulator, and either attaching a key to the mic connector or installing a jack to plug the key into, which will turn and off the transmitter, hence the continuous wave. My particular CBs use relay switching, not electronic switching, so the latter would be easy. CW would either be done in USB or LSB mode. Isn’t this the same as CW and Reverse CW in a conventional ham rig anyway? Receiving CW is possible on SSB anyway. Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with this by keying the CB on CW and listening on my IC-718, and vice-versa. For a permanent CW conversion, all I’d have to do is add a switch to enable or disable CW operation. The switch would in effect bypass the balanced modulator when on and permit normal SSB operation when off. The next thing I have to work on is a sidetone when I transmit. An internal 555 chip turned on and off with the transmitter (only in CW mode), hooked up to the internal speaker would probably do for a sidetone. It would really be something if those Cbers that are doing CW on 27.385 were electronics-savvy enough to actually do what I did with their CBs. If so, they should really think about becoming hams.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. N8OKR

    N8OKR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can someone please tell me what makes a 20wpm EXTRA class smarter than a 5wpm or 13wpm extra.That seems to be the stereotype these days..
     
  3. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (N8OKR @ Nov. 15 2003,09:00)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Can someone please tell me what makes a 20wpm EXTRA class smarter than a 5wpm or 13wpm extra.That seems to be the stereotype these days..[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Maybe just the determination to master the art of CW, for whatever reason - either to use it or just to get through the test. It has nothing to do with being smarter, just more determined. It is really more important where you end up, rather than where you start. Many Extras that tested at 20 wpm couldn't even do code anymore, because they don't use it. There are Extras that tested at 5 wpm that can do CW faster than 20 wpm because they do use it. Learning code is not a reflection on your intelligence. Anyone can learn code. It is more a reflection on your determination. FYI, I tested at 5 wpm. I am working on increasing my speed. I can do between 9-11 wpm at present. My goal is between 20-25 wpm and maybe higher.
     
  4. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (ag4rq @ Nov. 14 2003,13:59)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">==============================

     
    You took me the wrong way. What I meant was that if Morse code is important enough for the elite of our military to know, then why should we as amateurs not retain use of it,  train and test in the use of it? Of course the amateur radio service could hardly be considered on an even plane with our special forces. My point is how could we consider Morse code obsolete when our special forces train in its use? How could we as amateurs say that Morse code is no longer important if our special forces still train in its use? If Gateraide is good enough for professional athletes, is it not good enough for those who get together for a casual game of softball? The use of Gatoraide by some guys playing softball at a local park on a Sunday afternoon isn't a back-handed insult to pro baseball players. Same analogy.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    AG4RQ:

    I understand your point, and in a way, I agree with you. I see the "Special Forces" as the "Elite" (defined as best trained) of the Armed Forces. But the regular military personnel (be they Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) do not receive the same level of training. Perhaps we should have a similar program in Amateur Radio, where the Extra Class operator is the "specially trained" operator with the Morse capability?

    I'm just throwing that out as a suggestion; I don't want to see Morse go away, (and it's USE won't go away, whether or not the testing is retained or eliminated) but I'm trying to be realistic about the decision the FCC will make. Since many countries are dropping (or have already dropped) the Morse requirement, I think the FCC will follow suit, NOT to just "follow the leaders" but to make Amateur Radio requirements and licensing more uniform world-wide. After all, Amateur Radio is a world-wide fraternity, not just a U.S. "Service."
     
  5. VE6DE

    VE6DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I ran across this item in the current RAC bulletins/news.  This is a good summary of the current RAC thinking on the CW proposal, and I copy it to here for your reference/comments:

    VE6DE
    =====================================

    The Morse Code Decision – some factors worth considering

    By Ken Pulfer VE3PU – VP International Affairs Radio Amateurs of Canada

    Introduction

    Following the revisions to the international radio regulations at the recent World Radio Conference, it now seems almost inevitable that most countries will decide to drop Morse code testing for access to the HF bands. Some of the reasons why attitudes are changing are explained in the background section below.

    What should we do in Canada? The decision to change our examination requirements in Canada is for the government regulator Industry Canada to make. To help Industry Canada decide, we are each being asked to express our views on the retention or discontinuation of Morse code as a proficiency requirement for HF operation in Canada.

    We are a sovereign country, and can decide whatever we want in terms of qualifications of our Radio Amateurs, but we do have to live in the world amateur radio community, and we ignore the actions of other countries at our peril. Opinions on the subject can be quite emotional, so before we jump to a quick decision, let’s look at some of the possible consequences of changing the testing requirements here in Canada.

    And, let’s not forget that we are talking about regulations, not an operating mode. Amateurs around the world will continue to use cw on HF for many years to come, regardless of what the testing requirements are.

    Background

    The purpose of the International Telecommunications Union Radio Regulations is to deal with the potential problem of spectrum users in one country interfering with users in another country. Such international interference can take place in three important situations.

    The first is when a low orbit satellite that covers the globe, or a geo-stationary satellite whose antenna pattern covers many countries, interferes with, or is subject to unintentional interference from, one or more ground stations in countries other than the country of origin. Clearly there is a need for coordination of frequencies and power levels to prevent this from happening. Each country therefore becomes responsible for implementing the international regulations for satellites or ground stations originating in its territory.

    The second situation occurs at HF frequencies, where long-range propagation is possible, and transmitters in one country can interfere with receivers in another. Once again, the ITU regulations impose on the local regulatory authority the responsibility of putting domestic regulations into effect to prevent interference in either of these two situations.

    (A third situation, where line of sight interference takes place in proximity to the border between adjacent countries is normally covered by bilateral agreements, and is not subject to ITU regulations.)

    The original purpose of the international regulation requiring Morse code for amateur operators, was to ensure that a radio amateur would understand instructions given in Morse code by government shore stations, and therefore avoid interference with marine shipping. (In the beginning transmissions were by spark, which was inherently broadband, so effectively all stations were on the same wavelength. Later, and for some time, there were no clearly defined worldwide frequency allocations at HF for amateurs).

    Nowadays, the ability to read and send Morse code has little or no relevance to the likelihood of causing international interference, nor does it make a significant contribution to the training of commercial or military radio operators, as most other services have already discontinued the use of Morse code. Therefore the member countries in the ITU have just voted to drop Morse code proficiency as an international treaty requirement for amateurs operating in the HF bands.

    Over the past 80 years or so, the amateur community has come to regard Morse as a means of filtering candidates, so that only those who were willing to make the effort to learn Morse code were rewarded with the “privilege” of using the HF bands. However, that was not the intent of the regulation, and a much more effective means of ensuring a minimum of international HF interference is to ensure adequate knowledge of radio theory, good operating practices, and long range HF propagation. For this reason, national regulators such as Industry Canada, have little regard for arguments about the need for Morse code testing as a filter for candidates wishing to operate on HF.

    So, as an alternative to Morse, why don’t we just make the exams harder, or require a more advanced level of knowledge to access the HF bands?  We could set a standard such that our HF operators would be the select few who really knew what they were doing on the air!! Sounds pretty good, but before we rush off and make such a policy decision, we should look at the consequences.

    Reciprocal Operating Agreements and International Permits

    These days, a lot of amateurs travel outside their own countries, and many enjoy operating abroad. To avoid having to qualify for a foreign call sign by passing national examinations, or having to write to foreign governments months in advance to get permission to operate, many countries have signed international agreements giving their radio amateurs reciprocal operating privileges in other countries. By far the most successful of these has been the CEPT agreement, which allows operation in any one of dozens of countries, primarily in Europe, by simply carrying one’s certificate and an inexpensive permit. The International Amateur Radio Permit developed by countries in ITU Region 2 (the Americas) has been less successful, and recently a decision has been taken to merge the two agreements.

    The basis of reciprocal agreements is that each country accepts a commonly agreed set of standard qualifications for access to operating privileges. If one country sets up different domestic qualification standards, it may exclude itself from such agreements.

    If we go our own way with the Morse code issue in Canada, we may be excluded from the CEPT and IARP agreements, and of even more widespread concern, from the Canada / US bilateral agreement.

    Canada / USA reciprocal operating agreement

    The bilateral reciprocal operating agreement between Canada and the USA which has been in force since 1952. This agreement allows Canadians to operate in the USA, with full HF privileges if they currently have the 5wpm Certificate. NO advance notice is required, and it is not necessary to check in with the regulatory authorities.

    We had a difficult situation with the Canada / US reciprocal operating agreement some time ago, when the USA allowed access to the HF bands with 5 wpm Morse, and Canada still required 12 wpm. The reciprocal agreement was in trouble because many US amateurs with HF privileges in the USA, were, by our rules, not allowed to operate HF in Canada. That could have excluded thousands of US visitors, including many who owned, and paid Canadian taxes on land and vacation properties here, and we, in turn, were in danger of losing our privilege of operating south of the border.

    Whatever we decide, it is very important that we take into account what happens in the USA. Unfortunately, it may be some time before the FCC arrives at a decision as to what to do there.  

    Possible Policy Decisions

    1. Retain the Morse code Qualification

    Canada could decide to retain Morse code testing for access to the HF bands, and forget about reciprocal operating agreements. This has the advantage of simplicity, but it would certainly  make operating outside Canada, or foreign operation in Canada, much more problematic.

    2.  Replace the Morse Qualification with the Advanced Qualification for those who wish to operate in the HF bands

    Since 2001, our Basic Qualification examination covers all the regulatory, operation and propagation topics necessary to avoid international interference, according to the ITU recommendations. Many Canadian amateurs do not realize the major changes that took place in 2001 to enlarge the examinations with many more questions added on regulations and operating. (See RIC-3, RIC-7 and RIC-8)

    Our Advanced Qualification examination currently has no questions on regulations or operation. It is a technical examination to enable radio amateurs to safely build and operate home built transmitting equipment that will not cause interference, and to operate transmitters and amplifiers at high power levels. The same applies to the construction, installation and maintenance of repeater stations and those stations using remote control.

    The current Canada / US and CEPT agreements provide for two classes of operators, those who can operate on all bands, and those limited to operation above 30 MHz. The distinction is based on the old international requirement for Morse testing. Whether an applicant has passed a Basic or an Advanced exam is not important, since this has nothing to do with international interference. The idea that Canada would now use the Advanced exam as a new barrier to HF operation would not be accepted internationally, and would encounter resistance in Industry Canada as well.

    3.  Make our Basic Exam More Difficult

    Seen from the point of view of government, the Amateur Service, far from being simply a hobby or privilege, is considered to be a benefit to society in a number of ways. It helps in times of natural disaster, it provides a free means of introducing and training young people in science and technology, and it contributes in various ways to advancement in technology. For these reasons, radio amateurs are allowed access to about 10% of the very valuable spectrum used for radiocommunication.

    Most governments therefore do not want to limit the number of amateurs. On the contrary, they want to have the maximum number of amateurs as long as they don’t cause interference to others. For this reason, Industry Canada would oppose a proposal to increase the difficulty of the Basic examination.

    Here are some possibilities that will not have international implications, and that could, to some extent, act as a replacement for Morse testing.

    1. Increase the pass level on the Basic exam for access to HF. Someone has suggested that an 80% score be required before HF operation would be allowed.  Those achieving only the current pass level of 60% would be allowed to operate only on the bands above 30 MHz.

    This seems to satisfy all of the above concerns, although there may be a need for some renegotiation of reciprocal agreements depending upon the decisions taken by other countries. This change would not represent a large increase in administrative overhead for our Accredited Examiners, or for the Industry Canada Radio Inspectors or administrators. Alone, it may not be the best solution for the Amateur Service in the long run.

    2. We could expand the Basic question bank to improve those aspects which impact on a candidate’s ability to understand and avoid causing interference, (particularly the interference which might be caused by the variety and complexity of new digital and spread spectrum modes coming into use).

    While this would not make the examination more “difficult”, it would result in an examination covering a broader scope. A graduate of this expanded examination should be more prepared to deal with the realities of amateur radio operation, including HF, in the 21st century. By way of explanation, since 1990, the Canadian amateur radio examination curriculum has remained constant. However, the relevance and variety of questions covered in the question banks was increased in 2001, as a result of converting the questions to a structured examination syllabus enabling the automatic computer generation of examinations. (See Industry Canada RIC-3 for details)

    Either or both of these options could be implemented with positive results for the Amateur Service.

    Unfortunately neither solution can be applied to improve on-the-air operating practices of those who currently hold certificates. One can only hope that the convenience of computerized testing and the easy availability of study material might encourage many amateurs to voluntarily study and take new tests to re-qualify, with improved on-air operation.
     
  6. KG4VLQ

    KG4VLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (WD8OQX @ Oct. 30 2003,19:29)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (NJ1K @ Oct. 30 2003,19:13)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Guess that old horse ain't dead yet... Looks like he just got back on his own 4 feet again....

    Hope ya'll ain't counting on the USA following suit...

    Keep the code!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Oh, it's dead - they just like to beat those bones to a fine powder.... [​IMG]  [​IMG][/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    WD8OQX,

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    If we had to learn it, then you gotta learn it, regardless of what's good or bad for Ham radio.

    74
    frank
    KG4VLQ
     
  7. KG4VLQ

    KG4VLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (wa9svd @ Nov. 15 2003,21:33)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (ag4rq @ Nov. 14 2003,13:59)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">==============================

     
    You took me the wrong way. What I meant was that if Morse code is important enough for the elite of our military to know, then why should we as amateurs not retain use of it,  train and test in the use of it? Of course the amateur radio service could hardly be considered on an even plane with our special forces. My point is how could we consider Morse code obsolete when our special forces train in its use? How could we as amateurs say that Morse code is no longer important if our special forces still train in its use? If Gateraide is good enough for professional athletes, is it not good enough for those who get together for a casual game of softball? The use of Gatoraide by some guys playing softball at a local park on a Sunday afternoon isn't a back-handed insult to pro baseball players. Same analogy.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    AG4RQ:

       I understand your point, and in a way, I agree with you.  I see the "Special Forces" as the "Elite" (defined as best trained) of the Armed Forces.  But the regular military personnel (be they Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) do not receive the same level of training.  Perhaps we should have a similar program in Amateur Radio, where the Extra Class operator is the "specially trained" operator with the Morse capability?

       I'm just throwing that out as a suggestion; I don't want to see Morse go away, (and it's USE won't go away, whether or not the testing is retained or eliminated) but I'm trying to be realistic about the decision the FCC will make.  Since many countries are dropping (or have already dropped) the Morse requirement, I think the FCC will follow suit, NOT to just "follow the leaders" but to make Amateur Radio requirements and licensing more uniform world-wide.  After all, Amateur Radio is a world-wide fraternity, not just a U.S. "Service."[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    WA9SVD,

    I agree with you! It should be reserved for the extra class! That sounds like a good compromise for the whole sordid situation. But what speed would be required at the extra level?

    73
    frank
    KG4VQ
     
  8. K0ZZE

    K0ZZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    5 wpm. they lowered the level for a reason. they were tired of people bringing in a doctors realse for not being able to performe such tasks.i dont think they will male that same mistake twice. so it will stay at 5wpm. and i dont know why some people claim that if and when the code requirement is dropped that its going to be just like cb. again i dont think the fcc is going to make that same mistake twice. [​IMG]
     
  9. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    To WA9SVD andKG4VQ,

    I agree with the FISTS proposal. Morse proficiency should remain for General and Extra, while granting some limited HF privileges to the codeless Technicians. Fact is, I'd go a little further than the FISTS proposal and grant the codeless Techs some limited phone privileges on HF in addition to digital and CW privileges. This would not only serve as a good compromise, but would give the Techs enough of a taste of HF to give them the incentive to learn code and upgrade. Removing the code requirement from the General class would remove most incentive to learn Morse code, and most incentive to upgrade. It would leave NCI with unfinished business. Other hams accurately described such a compromise as you suggest as the "glass ceiling". NCI would keep pushing until all code requirements are removed from all classes of license.

    The line must be drawn. We must not give in to NCI, and we (the United States) must not follow the socialist-leaning countries of Western Europe by dropping our code requirements. I personally am against what these countries have done, but they are sovereign nations. What they did is their business. The United states, too is a sovereign nation. What the United States does is the United States' business, and we must not be led by the nose like sheep to fall in line with Western Europe.

    Five words per minute Morse code is not too much to ask a person to learn for General class HF privileges. It’s not as if 13 wpm was still necessary for the General.
     
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (KG4VLQ @ Nov. 15 2003,23:44)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (WD8OQX @ Oct. 30 2003,19:29)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (NJ1K @ Oct. 30 2003,19:13)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Guess that old horse ain't dead yet... Looks like he just got back on his own 4 feet again....

    Hope ya'll ain't counting on the USA following suit...

    Keep the code!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Oh, it's dead - they just like to beat those bones to a fine powder.... ???  :([/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    WD8OQX,

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!  

    If we had to learn it, then you gotta learn it, regardless of what's good or bad for Ham radio.

    74
    frank
    KG4VLQ[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    The old gray Morse horse never dies. It just periodically gets hitched to a new post. <GRIN>
     
  11. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (wa9svd @ Nov. 16 2003,09:52)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">The old gray Morse horse never dies. It just periodically gets hitched to a new post. <GRIN>[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Cats have nine lives. This horse has an infinite number. Like Morse code, this horse will never die. [​IMG]
     
  12. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    AG4RQ:

    Mark, I'm just looking at the issue from a practical point of view. It was the entire ITU, not just the "socialist-leaning Western European" countries that voted to eliminate the International Morse requirement. And it's the IARU that recommended the elimination of Morse testing.
    The IARU makes recommendations as to license requirements. But that's to serve as guidelines for ALL nations, so that there's some semblance of compatible licensing classes world-wide. If the FCC eliminates the Morse requirement, at least for General, I don't see it as "caving in" to anyone. I see it as a step in maintaining uniformity of licensing between nations. It's not just a U.S. issue. (And IMHO, politics shouldn't be a part of Amateur Radio. It's supposed to be an "International Fraternity.")
    From a practical standpoint, I'd say give the Technicians Tech Plus privileges. They get a taste of HF phone on 10 M (good luck, with the sunspot cycle heading down!) and the "Novice" CW privileges on the other HF bands. Even the ARRL proposed that the best way for operators to become more proficient in Morse is to actually use it! And if they aren't interested in CW, then they won't be there in the first place.
    General stays the same, (with the elimination of Element 1) as does Extra Class. Nobody LOSES, and a few gain, and our licensing is more compatible with other countries.
    While there are some good points to the FISTS proposal, going back to a higher code speed is just not practical. The FCC set the speed at 5 WPM to satisfy an International Treaty requirement that no longer exists. I'd like to see the written exams made a bit more difficult, perhaps longer, to deal with more on the subjects of proper operating procedures; but I see FISTS as having their own hiddeen agenda, just as much as NCI. (Perhaps the best way to settle the issue is to let the heads of FISTS and NCI put on the boxing gloves, and settle it the "old fashioned" way! (GRIN)
    Only time will tell how this gets settled. As the saying goes, "We live in interesting times."
     
  13. AG4RQ

    AG4RQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (wa9svd @ Nov. 16 2003,13[​IMG])</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">AG4RQ:

    Mark, I'm just looking at the issue from a practical point of view. It was the entire ITU, not just the "socialist-leaning Western European" countries that voted to eliminate the International Morse requirement. And it's the IARU that recommended the elimination of Morse testing.
    The IARU makes recommendations as to license requirements. But that's to serve as guidelines for ALL nations, so that there's some semblance of compatible licensing classes world-wide. If the FCC eliminates the Morse requirement, at least for General, I don't see it as "caving in" to anyone. I see it as a step in maintaining uniformity of licensing between nations. It's not just a U.S. issue. (And IMHO, politics shouldn't be a part of Amateur Radio. It's supposed to be an "International Fraternity.")
    From a practical standpoint, I'd say give the Technicians Tech Plus privileges. They get a taste of HF phone on 10 M (good luck, with the sunspot cycle heading down!<!--emo&[​IMG] and the "Novice" CW privileges on the other HF bands. Even the ARRL proposed that the best way for operators to become more proficient in Morse is to actually use it! And if they aren't interested in CW, then they won't be there in the first place.
    General stays the same, (with the elimination of Element 1) as does Extra Class. Nobody LOSES, and a few gain, and our licensing is more compatible with other countries.
    While there are some good points to the FISTS proposal, going back to a higher code speed is just not practical. The FCC set the speed at 5 WPM to satisfy an International Treaty requirement that no longer exists. I'd like to see the written exams made a bit more difficult, perhaps longer, to deal with more on the subjects of proper operating procedures; but I see FISTS as having their own hiddeen agenda, just as much as NCI. (Perhaps the best way to settle the issue is to let the heads of FISTS and NCI put on the boxing gloves, and settle it the "old fashioned" way! (GRIN)
    Only time will tell how this gets settled. As the saying goes, "We live in interesting times."[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    WA9SVD:
    Larry, please re-read my last post that you responded to. I am all for granting codeless Technician licensees limited HF privileges, even to the point of even authorizing some limited HF phone privileges for them, on other bands in addition to 10m. That goes beyond what ARRL proposed, and also what FISTS proposed. Also, read my comments to the FCC on RM-10811 at http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod....289493. If you don’t wish to go to the trouble, here is a copy and paste of what I submitted:

    “Of all the CW-related proposals (thirteen) that I have commented on, RM-10811 makes the most sense to me. If I had to choose one proposal to go with, it would be RM-10811. I am in total agreement with everything this proposal calls for. One area that I could go either way on is to either keep the Morse Proficiency testing rate at 5 wpm for both General and Extra or to allow for the Morse Proficiency testing rate to be increased to 12 wpm for Extra, while the Morse Proficiency testing rate for General remains at 5 wpm.

    Great proposal. I ask the FCC to adopt this one.”

    What I have a problem with is dropping the Morse Proficiency requirements for General and Extra. I feel they should be retained. I totally agree with you that the written exams should be more comprehensive. That is another reason why I embrace the FISTS proposal.

    As for what was internationally voted on was to drop the Morse proficiency mandate from international treaty, and leave it to the option of each individual administration. A small handful of countries moved very quickly to drop their Morse proficiency requirements. Of course, only time will tell how many more will follow suit. It is my belief that the rate at which countries will drop their code requirements will tail off and eventually stop. I believe that most countries will opt to keep their code requirements when the smoke clears. That’s my personal opinion. Like I stated, only time will really tell.

    If you think the United States will be the very last country to drop the code (I’ve seen some hams suggest this in these threads), you’re sadly mistaken. The communist countries (of which the former soviet Union championed the cause) know the value and importance of Morse proficiency. The countries that are still communist will never drop their code requirements. Neither will Russia, any of the former Soviet republics, or any of the former Warsaw Pact nations. A good guess is that the Muslim world will never drop theirs either. If you notice, the countries that dropped their code requirements were the progressive socialist-leaning countries of Western Europe. I don’t know of any Eastern European countries which were under the influence of the former Soviet Union that dropped their code requirements.

    But, you are right. Only time will tell how this gets settled, and we DO live in very interesting times.

    73 de Mark
    AG4RQ
    [​IMG]
     
  14. G8RLD

    G8RLD Guest

    I have a respect for much of what Mark suggests and have no problem in granting additional frequency and/or power privilges to those that want to "go the extra mile" for an Extra. Seems very fair to me. What I have a problem with is to prevent very competent operators from experiencing HF operation. The knowledge of morse code should not be a pre-requisite for operation on HF, it should be technical knowledge and a sound knowledge of operating technique. This argument is getting far too emotional and although I fully appreciate (and possibly I would think in the same way) why people that studied and obtained their morse qualification should think "I had to, why shouldn't they have to" but time moves on. If you want to "filter" people onto HF then make it a sensible reason - education and technical knowledge. As far as the socialist-leaning Western European counties, one hopes that you are not referring to Great Britain, their decisions are based on a less bureaucratic system and I have to say that they have generally  high operating standards generally. A listen on 75m here and 80m in the UK will reveal the difference. 80m does not normally sound like 27MHz. I live on both sides of the Atlantic so I do know what I am talking about.
    When I obtained my licence back in 1978, it wasn't an option to choose from multiple answers, you actually had to know how to answer the questions. I built my own equipment back in the '80's and I don't have morse code, but operate satellite, 6m and various digital modes.
    Let's just get this argument out of the way and move forward to more serious issues!
     
  15. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    AG4RQ:
    Mark, I mostly agree. But I can't ever imagine the FCC going to a HIGHER Morse speed, even for EXTRA. They as much as said they only kept the 5 WPM exam to satisfy the Int'l treaty, which is now gone. I sort of liked a suggestion by W1RFI: General and Extra listen to the same 5 minutes of Morse. The Extra pass the Morse portion as it currently exists; seperate from the rest of the exam; the Generals answer questions on their written exan with the same weight as the other questions on the exam.
    Again, I'm looking at the practical side, what the FCC will do for their own benefit and ease of operation, and compatibility with the Amateur Regulations of other countries.
     
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