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Serious Question about deaf hams prior to droping Morse Code

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N4EGA, Jun 15, 2015.

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  1. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    The FCC engineer, who administered your Advanced Class examination at the Dallas FCC office, was almost certainly Frank Wanja. Frank was an amateur radio operator, a real nice guy, and a "stickler" for procedures when administering examinations.

    When I took my Advanced Class examination in late 1968, after finishing, Frank came up to me and said that I passed "handily". However, there was a problem with the "paperwork". I had my original K9STH call on the form and, since I was living in Texas, I couldn't do that. I took out my original license and the 2-additional station licenses that I held at the time. The K9STH had a station location in Indiana and a mailing address in Richardson, Texas. My WA5STI additional station license had the mailing address and station location in Texas and my WA4MLI additional station license had a mailing address in Texas and a station location in Atlanta, Georgia. Frank looked at the licenses and said, "I'll be damned! If they did it once they will do it again!" He forwarded the paperwork to Gettysburg and my upgraded license came in a couple of weeks.

    Glen, K9STH
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page


    However I think it was a bit of a leap to ASSUME that a flashing light would trigger seizures. Just an opinion.

    I agree 100%.

    More importantly, the doctor's note DID NOT get him out of taking the test. All it did was get him an accomodation, which is a very different thing.

    I've heard of all sorts of accomodations:

    - use of typewriter or Braillewriter for those with trouble writing
    - use of unusually high or low tones, mixed tones, etc. for those with hearing issues. (Some folks find a complex tone easier to copy than a sine wave, etc,)
    - use of flashing lights, vibrating pads, etc.
    - use of Farnsworth spacing

    and much more.

    That's about the worst case I've heard at an FCC session.

    When I went to the Philly FCC office, the procedure was very different. We were allowed to take nothing into the exam room except maybe a slide rule. No books, no pencils (they gave you pencils and scratch paper). Code was through headphones. Written tests were top secret and we were spaced out in the exam room.

    No big deal, really.

    I'm sure there were at least some folks who abused the code-waiver system, but, how would that be proven?

    You might consider how the code-waiver system came to be....

    Let us not forget the Bash books, and how they came to be. And how FCC made the whole point moot.

    Yep. Heck, there are folks who will put enormous effort into cheating, when they could pass the test with less effort honestly!
  3. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe it was the doctor's opinion... and actually a number of epileptics are bothered by things like strobe lights. I've seen warnings posted and given before movies and other stage performance acts that involve strobing lights. Granted that the morse is not a monotonoue repetition like a strobe light, but if the morse rhythm of the sound on the tapes was enough, it's reasonable to assume that might carry over to a blinking light. And my personal experience of working EMS and having friends with epilepsy, I wouldn't have risked it unless the doctor could give assurances that it would be okay.

    Just to reiterate... it was NOT an exam session at a Field Office... it was one of the quarterly 'you live too far from a field office' exam sessions that were held in regions (usually another state) that did not have a field office. One had to send in forms and get back a letter to even be able to attend... no walk-ins allowed. I think the fact that they booked so many examinations to be held in a less than optimal examination location yet only sent the two agents was an oversight.

    You'll have to refresh my memory... I'm sure I will remember, it's just not coming to me off the top of my head.

    HA! I actually wrote another paragraph on the Dick Bash books, but I deleted it to keep from having my post be excessively long. I will admit... I got 'bashed' before I took my Advanced exam. :)

    I know... I've never seen the value in cheating. You are only cheating yourself. And by the time you figure in all the deception, worry and guilt, it actually takes MORE effort to cheat, in my opinion.

    It was somewhere in the very early 80s is all I can tell you... '79 at the earliest. But it sure sounds like the guy. ;)

    73, Kevin N4UFO
  4. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many people who are deaf can hear, but the sound may be distorted, making speech unintelligible.

    I remember a ham who lived in Hanford, or maybe Lemoore, CA who could hear CW clear enough for it to be meaningful, but couldn't understand most of what was said to him.
  5. WW2E

    WW2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've known a few deaf hams, and three blind hams, during my 25+ years in the hobby. Every one of these guys seemed to have the same attitude: "Give me only the adjustment on the test that I absolutely need, and bring it on." I know a blind ham who took the higher-speed code tests copying on a Braille typewriter.

    If everyone in the country approached life like that, we'd be living in a land close to paradise.


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