Was Eliminating Morse Code Requirement Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KN4ICU, May 2, 2018.

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  1. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    The increase for over all numbers is due to the increased number of TECH licenses, now at about 50% of all licenses.
    The CW requirement for them was dropped in 1991.

    The later complete removal of the CW requirement for higher class licenses, only allowed TECHs to upgrade easier, but did little to change the over all raw number of Amateurs.
  2. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only my opinion, which really means nothing in the grand scheme of things......
    I would not have gotten into the hobby if CW was a requirement. Fast forward 12 months and CW is pretty much the only mode I use.

    So, as a newbie, I certainly think there should be hurdles to get your ticket. But, to keep the hobby from shrinking the hurdles should be in line with how the newcomers are going to use their ticket. I found the ticket was really just a way to start experimenting with the hobby and find out what was interesting to me.

    If the OPs that only use CW where told "you have to pass a skills on RTTY/FT8/SatComm" to keep your ticket current if would seem stupid. It shouldn't be surprising to see why a newcomer only wanting to run digi modes say "why do I need to pass a 10WPM code test" and move onto the next hobby.
    WA7WJR and N8AFT like this.
  3. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    RTTY and Satcomms have been covered on the license exams for many years. I had to master that material to get my Advanced ticket, IIRC.

    FT 8, though, is of course a new thing. If I had to learn about it to pass an exam, I am sure I could master the material. However, I don't want to sit in front of a computer when I am doing radio - I sit in front of a computer to do everything else these days, let me have one thing in my life that doesn't involve setting up an account and keeping track of another damn password!

    (Old people hate passwords.)
  4. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is a big difference in learning to answer a few questions about satellites or FT 8 vs learning CW well enough to pass a code test.

    I am learning CW now so I know how much work it's been to get where I am and I couldn't pass a 15 or 20 wpm code test yet.
    WN1MB and W5WTH like this.
  5. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I notice lots of new Ops learning Morse on their own, which makes it not only easier but much more fun. I run across lots and lots of new CW Ops on the air every week. Great job guys and always great to work you! 73 RAC
    WA7WJR likes this.
  6. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's nerve wracking. At this point, I still get lost and miss a lot. I know I need more practice and I should get on the air more, but I hate screwing up contacts. A catch 22 sort of . . . I know a lot of new CW ops feel this way. But we gotta keep trying.
    WA7WJR and W9RAC like this.
  7. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Find someone (like me) that doesn't care if you screw up. DM me on the SKCC sked page if you ever see me there. We can text chat about the QSO as it happens.
    Hope to see you on the air!
    WN1MB and W9RAC like this.
  8. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Listen in on or around 7117 +/- and jump in. No one makes fun if you mess up, they only make fun if you give up. Drop me a line I'll jump on with you anytime, anywhere. 73 Rich
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    WN1MB likes this.
  9. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Was it a bad idea? Not really. I honestly haven't noticed a decrease in the number of CW signals on the air. If anything, it's increased. Was CW a way of 'weeding out' those that weren't really serious about getting a license? Yes, it was. Not sure if that was a good or bad idea. At this point, I don't really care either. It was just a requirement according to past experience, history. Will it 'kill' the hobby? Evidently not, so why worry excessively about it? I don't think getting an amateur radio license ought to be 'dead' easy, a give-away thingy. This is a limited hobby! There's only so much 'room' for people, so you got to limit the numbers someway (like it or not). CW was one way, but there are certainly others. Why not use them?
    WN1MB and N8AFT like this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^Great answer, I feel the same way.

    I like code and always did, and it's still my main mode of operation. But I don't care if others don't use it, as long as there are enough who do that I can make contacts that way.:p

    If we wanted to weed out those who want to become licensed for no particular reason -- those who really don't even like "radio for the sake of radio" -- I've always thought since I was a kid a great way would be to hand applicants a box of parts sufficient to build a transmitter and give them an hour or two to see if they could build it and demonstrate that it worked.:) I actually thought that would have been a good idea when I was 13 years old and got my Novice ticket; then, I did build my first transmitter, and my next one, and the one after that, until I could afford to buy something commercially made. So did most of my local Novice friends.

    I recall back in those days, to become licensed in the USSR they actually did have to do something like this. And it didn't stop thousands of people from becoming hams. They were good ops, and most of them seemingly still are although their "country" names may have changed over time.
    WN1MB likes this.

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