Your Ad Here

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Morse Code Signs Off From Ham Radio

Morse code will no longer be a requirement for earning an amateur radio (often called "ham" radio) license. In a ruling published in the January 24 Federal Register, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the elimination of testing for Morse code proficiency for all amateur radio licenses. The change will take effect February 23.

The FCC will also allow new amateurs to use more frequencies-- including those which can talk all over the world.

While many amateur or ham radio operators continue to learn and use Morse code, now it is only for their own enjoyment of the skill. Amateur or ham operators have been using newer digital, image, satellite, voice and other modern wireless technologies for years.

Originally created for the telegraph system in the 1800s, Morse code consists of dots and dashes that make up an "alphabet" that qualified operators can understand and translate into spoken languages.

The elimination of code testing signals the end of an era. Within hours following announcement that the code requirement was being dropped, ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, reported that requests for study materials for new or upgrading licensees more than doubled.

Eliminating Morse code testing ends a long tradition for amateur radio licensees. The FCC action follows revisions to the international radio regulations resulting from the 2003 International Telecommunication Union(ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference allowing each nation to determine whether or not to require Morse code skills for an amateur radio license.

Many local amateur radio clubs are planning to hold license testing on the night of February 22 for people who wish to take the last Morse code tests before the midnight Eastern Standard Time deadline. Others wish to be among the first to become an amateur operator or upgrade their license under the new rules.

The FCC also announced that the holders of the entry level, Technician Class, license will gain new privileges previously reserved for amateurs who had passed a Morse code exam. The new privileges will allow worldwide communication under certain conditions, but the major change is that the other two classes of amateur licenses -- General and Amateur-Extra -- no longer require Morse code proficiency. The General license provides full operating privileges except in some frequency bands that are reserved forthe Extra class operators. The change means that more amateur radio operators will be available to assist during communications emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when hundreds of amateurs helped plug a communications gap.

Bookmark and drop back in sometime.

Enter your Email

Preview Powered by FeedBlitz


Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Unknown said...

I see you use AdSense. I am looking for hams who are interested in blogging about ham radio and make money with AdSense at the same time. is to invite hams to participate. is my regular blog.

Let me know if you are interested.


8:20 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home