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One more nail in the coffin for Morse Code.

Discussion in 'Communication (CB | GPS | HAM)' started by rebelk5frk, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    RADIO POLITICS: WRC-2003 REPORT

    The 2003 World Radiocommunications Conference is winding down in Geneva
    Switzerland. We have the latest in this report.

    --

    It now looks clear that the mandatory international Morse requirement
    for access to the HF bands is to cease. Colin Thomas, G3PSM, an advisor
    to the UK delegation to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference,
    reported on Monday the 30th of June that, unless there was a major shift
    during the week, the mandatory Morse code requirement for HF access
    would disappear at the end of the conference. However, if any
    administration feels that it needs to keep the requirement, it has the
    right to do so. Colin reiterated that nothing is certain until the final
    acts are signed at the end of the week.
     
  2. got_mud

    got_mud 1/2 ton status

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    is that good or bad, really? not that i haven't enjoyed trying to learn morse /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    from both sides of the coin- hams that don't want to use or don't want to learn morse will no longer have to in order to attain or make use of the general class. i assume most extra's already have their preferred bands and are comfortable with or without CW. its like saying that in order to get your drivers license, you have to learn to drive a stickshift. is it practical, yes. might you make use of it someday, yes. should it be mandatory, no. not everyone owns a manual tranny car, not everyone wishes to own a manual tranny car, and not everyone has the coordination to perform the maneuvers required to make a manual tranny car a reliable method of transport.

    i would love to have legitimate access to the 10 meter fm voice range, but i am not going to go after morse to get it. it saddens me that my own opinion concerning morse is that its a dying art form. i have seen masters at work and stood in awe of them. to make mandatory a minimum wpm strength makes educational sense, but is no longer practical. its a very young point of view, but therein lies the ultimate truth- the age of licensed amateur radio operators is giving way to the generation of hackers in the van down by the river cloning your cell phone signature and racking up your airtime.

    burn me at the stake if you will, but its how i feel.
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I think by doing away with the mandatory Morse Code that alot more people will be tryin' for thier ham ticket. I personally never wanted too learn Morse Code and thats part of the reson I never got one.
     
  4. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    It took me a few weeks to get my CW speed up enough to get my Novice license back in 78. The CW requirement was mandatory even to get on the air period! Back then all ocean going vessles were required to have emergency radio systems that could send SOS via CW, therefore the requirement. I have been operating CW for over 25 years and to date, 99% of my contacts are still CW. I have nothing against not learning CW but I think its one of those things you will see will never go away. Today the CW bands are as active and sometimes more active than SSB.
    When it comes to operating or listening to weak stations you cant beat CW. Yes, its a very old mode of communications, yes, it is still very popular (theres a reason for that) yes, the requirement will eventually completly go away but the operators will not. I just hope by removing the requirement thats not the last nail in the coffin for turning Amateur Radio into CB. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  5. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Back then all ocean going vessles were required to have emergency radio systems that could send SOS via CW

    [/ QUOTE ]

    CW has since been eliminated as a requirement for sea vessels... That I think was one of the "first nails in the coffin" Ever since the "pros" have dropped the requirements several ham radio enthusiasts feel it's not a justifiable requirement for "amateurs".
    [ QUOTE ]
    When it comes to operating or listening to weak stations you cant beat CW. Yes, its a very old mode of communications, yes, it is still very popular (theres a reason for that) yes, the requirement will eventually completly go away but the operators will not.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is very true. Personally I don't care for it that much... I think it's just a little too slow to enjoy. CW does interest me though since my main interests are digital modes/technology. (yes cw is digital too) I learned code back in 1999 while deployed overseas with the army mostly out of boredom. I was up to around 18wpm back then. One of these days I need to brush up on CW and get off my butt and take the test. (I'm lazy /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif )

    [ QUOTE ]
    I just hope by removing the requirement thats not the last nail in the coffin for turning Amateur Radio into CB.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Your hope/fear is the same as many other operators and my hope is the same but doubt it will be a problem. There was a pretty big rush of upgrades a few years ago when they dropped the code test to the single 5wpm test and the same fears popped up then, but from what I've heard on the bands from before and after the changes I can't see any decrease in "quality" since the changes. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  6. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    CW has since been eliminated as a requirement for sea vessels... That I think was one of the "first nails in the coffin" Ever since the "pros" have dropped the requirements several ham radio enthusiasts feel it's not a justifiable requirement for "amateurs".

    [/ QUOTE ]

    As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree. There is relly no more justification to keep it as a requirement. CW will just become like any other mode of operation, Operators chioce.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Personally I don't care for it that much... I think it's just a little too slow to enjoy. CW does interest me though since my main interests are digital modes/technology. (yes cw is digital too) I learned code back in 1999 while deployed overseas with the army mostly out of boredom. I was up to around 18wpm back then. One of these days I need to brush up on CW and get off my butt and take the test.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I love CW. Im also a die hard DX hunter. I have worked over 300+ country's on CW alone. When a rare one is on and theres thousands of WW ops calling spread over 40kC and the Op is working 10 stations per minute up and down the band makes it a HUGH fast pace challange. Thats just me /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    I do operate RTTY and PSK but thats about it for me and digital hi.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Your hope/fear is the same as many other operators and my hope is the same but doubt it will be a problem. There was a pretty big rush of upgrades a few years ago when they dropped the code test to the single 5wpm test and the same fears popped up then, but from what I've heard on the bands from before and after the changes I can't see any decrease in "quality" since the changes

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have seen the bands degrade over the past 25 years. However, it has seemed to degrade similar to the way general respect in society has degraded. I cant say the relaxation of requirements has caused it but I can say I believe the relaxation in FCC enforcement did. I also think Riley has done a tremendous job in the past couple of years restore some order in some of the VHF/UHF sector.

    Good thread.
     
  7. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    Well it's official now. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif There is no international requirement for morse code testing. It is now up to each governing agency to decide if code testing will be required in it's territory.

    News release of changes to international radio rules.
     
  8. bee32

    bee32 1/2 ton status

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    I too have mixed feelings about this. I have to say that when they made it 5wpm across the board, I seen this coming. Being a No-Code Tech I would love to operate on HF again since I got alittle taste of it operating MARS(another long gone era) and at feild days. But at the same time I feel as though besides taking the written exams what really says I deserve to be up there operating with people that EARNED it? Yes I would love to be there and I know I would operate there and buy another rig to do it with but at the same time would I have the same response from people that had to take the morse test to get there. I would rather have to buckle down and finally learn it to get up there. But at the same time(yes again) I think that if I was able to get up there than it might be more fun learning morse by actually doing it than by listening to tapes and stuf to try to learn it. Of course you would have to know at least alittle to even TX and RX. And doing this might draw more like minded operators to actually learn it. JMO
     
  9. got_mud

    got_mud 1/2 ton status

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    i don't know if its likely to return as an active form. look at all the software created for running morse over pc controlled radios. what is the advantage to learning the code if its easier to let your pc do the work?
     
  10. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i don't know if its likely to return as an active form. look at all the software created for running morse over pc controlled radios. what is the advantage to learning the code if its easier to let your pc do the work?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Return as an active form /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Didnt know it ever left (except in requirement to learn it). In the Contesting and DXing world (which is probably 85+% of the CW operators in the world) I personally dont know anybody who uses a computer to decode morse. We use computers to send and log but the information is still copied by ear. Different variations in sending technique, fading, other operators calling on top of the station, etc..etc would make it difficult for a computer program to cope with. Not one CW contest record for most contacts over a period of time has ever been won with a computer receiving.

    Dont get me wrong, I think several people can and do use computers to receive and send CW which would not require them learning Code, but this sooooo limiting to the fun and capabilities of CW.

    I will gaurantee you no computer program or system available for most amateur use could decode half the 160M contacts I have made to Africa, Asia or Europe, when the signal is barely above the receiver noise floor and fighting static crashes and propagation fade.

    Please dont think im saying you are wrong in your thoughts, that is a very valid comment, I just think what is missed by doing that is just sad. CW (actually Code) is the earliest form of communications, one of the simplest forms of communications and up until now by using sattellites (which has their limitations also) been the most reliable form of communications (thats why ships were required to carry emergency CW transmitters for SOS calls) and still to this day, it is the second most used Mode in Amateur Radio. There are Hundereds of Thousands of active CW operators still in the world. The use of that mode will probably never go away. The computer did wonders for logging and sending CW, but the human copy by ear still reins superior. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The computer did wonders for logging and sending CW, but the human copy by ear still reins superior

    [/ QUOTE ]

    But don't count on that being true for very long. Based on "Moore's Law" (Which states computer processing power will double every 12-18 months[and so far has]) The computer will be "smarter" than humans by around 2020. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Not to mention the computer has already gained enough power (cheaply) that several other digital modes have surfaced and have become quite popular. Many of these newer modes can still keep decent throughput (decoding etc) with even the worst of conditions thanks to DSP technology etc.

    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  12. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    This is true, However, CW to a true CW op is basically speaking a language. You can hear the words being spoken to you, just sound a little different. The sound of CW to a CW op is like voice is to a voice op. Just pronounced differently. Even with the advance in computers do you think a DSP Speech Synthsizer or Sound Card powered from your computer will replace voice contacts?? Im not sure people will necessarly embrace not having to speak anymore, the computer will send voice and decode it for us and display it on a screen. All we have to do is learn how to type /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif

    I dont think a big conversion to CW reception by computer is going to happen any time soon. There really hasnt been the kind of push from the amateur community to find an alternative to decoding CW compared to improve the existing or creating new digital modes. I really think there is a certain human element that connects with CW. Thats why most people will tell you they dont associate CW with a digital mode (even tho it is). I guess in 25-50 years when this generation of hams who had to learn code dies off we will know the answer /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  13. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    Human CW operation might lose some popularity in the next few years as the "old timers" die off but I'm sure there will always be people that learn and operate CW just because they enjoy it. A lot of kids when caught at the right age are eager to learn CW just for the "secret code" factor.
     
  14. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    the "secret code" factor

    [/ QUOTE ] /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. TK5

    TK5 1/2 ton status

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    I read an article a couple of days ago where the W5YI group is psuhing to have the code endorsemnt eliminated period.. I think it was on QRZ. You might want to check it out.
     
  16. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    pretty much all the big players are trying to get rid of it... The FCC doesn't seem to think it's needed either. It's just a matter of the groups thinking of how to submit the request for rule changes.

    The ARRL, W5YI group, and No-Code International are all working on the petitions but it isn't as simple as saying "hey remove all instances of code requirements from part 97" They have to be very specific and also give ideas of what the rules should say after the change. Then there is a nice long wait while the request is being filed, then the fcc has a few steps of paperwork, then they have to wait for comments, then they have to announce the potential changes, wait for comments again, etc, etc, etc..... the process could take well over a year or two. So far no groups have submitted anything to the FCC (they are still preparing) so it's still going to be quite a while.

    That's why I'm just going to go take the stupid test and get it over with. The next session is less than 2 weeks away. I'll be glad to see the code requirements dropped but I don't feel like waiting for it to happen.
     
  17. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    the W5YI group is psuhing to have the code endorsemnt eliminated period

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Im sure he is. That guy has made more money off of hams than anyone. I dont care too much for his business style /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif.

    This debate has been going on for many many years.
    There were legitimate requirements for making Code a necessary test item up until recently.

    Then during the 80's, in a frenzy to save the Amateur VHF spectrum from the big congressional sell-off of frequency bands to big businesses, test were made easier and the no-code license came to be. They could get more new hams on the air using the spectrum and have a fighting chance of keeping it. We did loose part of the 220 band to business communications which are not even used anymore today.

    W5YI was a big promoter of this and made a fortune by commercializing his license material, licensing classes etc. He was fighting to abolish the code and supported waterdown the test materials so vrtually anyone could get a license just by "memorizing" the answers (which were now allowed to actually be published) so he isnt too popular by the old school operators but is loved by the newer operators.

    After things setteled down because there was still a small Code requirement that kept old timers quiet, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently remove the requirement for ships to carry an emergency transmitter for sending SOS (... _ _ _ ... dit dit dit dah dah dah dit dit dit) and that was the reason Hams HAD to learn Code to operate on the HF bands. Now theres no requirement therefore the theory is lets git rid of it.

    Now since there has never been any test requirements for other modes of transmission (AM, FM, SSB, RTTY, PSK, Packet, etc) because there wasnt a mandatory law stating so, there really isnt any reason to keep CW as a test requirement.

    Oh..guess what, W5YI is really pushing hard for that too, thats just more $$$ for him.

    Sorry for the ranting and raving, just old school.
     
  18. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Then during the 80's, in a frenzy to save the Amateur VHF spectrum from the big congressional sell-off of frequency bands to big businesses, test were made easier and the no-code license came to be. They could get more new hams on the air using the spectrum and have a fighting chance of keeping it. We did loose part of the 220 band to business communications which are not even used anymore today.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A couple of small corrections /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif
    The no-code came to be in 90 or 91 (I know that because I tried for novice at the National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1989 and failed the code /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif) The reasons for it was in the 80's though.

    We now have limited access to the 1.25m freq's that were once completely lost. I guess limited is better than nothing though /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
    </correction mode>

    The W5YI group might have some politics that some don't like but they do have pretty decent materials. Personally I like Gordon West's training guides/tapes/etc.
     
  19. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The no-code came to be in 90 or 91

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Damn..were in the 90's now /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif


    Yes, it was in the 90's.
    And I really shouldnt bash Gordon, he has done alot for bringing a decreasing hobby into the lime-lite again.
    But it kinda annoys me when I get a letter from him stating my license is going to expire and send him $6.95 for the "renewal fee" and he will file it for you.

    I know several new hams who thought the $6.95 was the FCC Renewal fee, similar to the testing license fee's, not the fee to have Gordons company file the "Free" renewal for you.

    If im not mistaken, the requirement to continue or abolish now lies with the administering body. The ARRL is currently polling ARRL affiliated clubs nation wide to get their clubs vote on wether to continue a code requirement or delete it. Our DX club is taking a vote at next months meeting. Pretty much know how our club is going to vote to keep it.

    Anyway... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  20. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    And I really shouldnt bash Gordon, he has done alot for bringing a decreasing hobby into the lime-lite again.
    But it kinda annoys me when I get a letter from him stating my license is going to expire and send him $6.95 for the "renewal fee" and he will file it for you.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I hadn't heard of that one... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif I have seen other groups/companies charging for stuff like that though. I ran accross one when I was looking for the link to the FCC ULS system to update my address on my ticket. I think they wanted like 8 bucks. Thanks but no thanks. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    see my other post... didn't realize a petition had already been filed... but it has. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     

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