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Ham Morse Code Test Dropped

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:55 pm
by jollyrgr
For those of you that might be interested, the Morse Code requirement for ALL class licenses has been dropped for USA hams. This means with one written test you can have voice privledges on a small slice of 10M. You also have CW on several segments as well. The rule is expected to become valid sometime in February 2007.

UPDATE: The official date of No Code for ham licenses in the USA is February 23, 2007.

With two written tests you have voice and CW segments on every band available to US Amateurs. Three tests gets you everything available. The tests questions are PUBLISHED and can be freely downloaded from the 'net or bought in book form. These are not "similar" test questions but the EXACT word for word questions. (The only difference is the order of the answers may be different when on the actual test.)

For those who have an interest in talking on HF frequencies that will take your voice world wide on less power than needed to light the bulb in your refrigerator but did not have any interest in learning Morse Code, your dream is now a reality.[/b]

Re: Ham Morse Code Test Dropped

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:35 pm
by Newz2000
jollyrgr wrote:For those who have an interest in taking on HF frequencies that will take your voice world wide on less power than needed to light the bulb in your refrigerator...
Less power than a refrigerater bulb? Really?

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:14 pm
by Chris Smith
C band satellite does it with even less wattage, all 50,000 miles up and down.

Direct TV cheats with more than 50 watts down.

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:32 pm
by hp
Sweet. I may have to finally get a HAM license. I have been wanting to get one for 6 years but never had the time. I just about gave up on the idea after they added morse code to almost all the license tests a few years ago.

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:47 am
by jollyrgr
Morse code has been a requirement for a ham license since the early days. They introduced a NO CODE license in 1991 which gave you VHF frequencies. I was one of the proponents of eliminating the code requirement and was quoted in actual petitions to the FCC on the matter. This is what eventually let to the "No Code Tech" license and the reduction of the 13 and 20 WPM to 5 WPM requirement.

Up until 2003 the requirement was an international one. But the internationa requirement was dropped in 2003 thus leaving the rule making up to each individual country. Many countries dropped the code requirement at that time. The US just did so but the rule will not be fully effective until 30 days after published in the Federal Register. This is expected to be published sometime in January.

As far as talking around the world on little power. With a radio nothing more than a fancy CB (an HR2510 for those familiar with radios) I've talked from my home area in northern Illinois to Alaska, the west coast, the east coast, well up into the northern parts of Canada, to South America. In one instance I talked with a guy watching ships go through the Panama canal. My antenna talking to this guy was a folded dipole made out of 300 Ohm twin lead. Yes the same twin lead that used to be used for TV antennas. Many of my contacts have been done with a 102" whip on the bumper of my vehicle. Even thought the radio is "rated" at 25 watts I doubt it puts more than 15 watts real power.

With a "fancy" HF radio covering all of the HF ham bands (Kenwood TS 440) I've gone a bit farther. With the radio running about 20 watts I talked to a guy in Slovenia, just north east of Italy. My antenna was a "long wire" made from normal 14 gage house wire. (It was what I had on hand.) The antenna was inside my house and went up from the antenna tuner and hung on a light above my kitchen table. The wire then strung across the kitchen and down the basement stairs. This was my experience the first night after getting the radio at a ham fest.

I hope this will encourage more people to get licensed. There are some people that want to keep ham radio as an exclusive club to themselves. They see Morse code as a way to "keep the CB crowd out". I for one did not care to learn code and didn't get past 5 WPM. The only use I have for it now is to identify VOR beacons. (And this ID is sent much slower than 5 WPM.) There are some people that can get music and Morse code and enjoy both. I couldn't carry a tune to save me let alone play music. But I know how to open a radio and actually fix it. I can build equipment (power supplies, antennas, interfaces etc.) and have fun at the hobby. It pains me that technical people are kept away from the hobby all because of a requirment that has long outlived its usefulness was held on to for so long.

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:43 am
by Externet
Interesting news...
And I was told many years ago that Morse code would never be eliminated. Ha !
Good that the archaic mode is no longer alive. The Navy dropped it years ago too.
Anyway, I have been full power on all the HF bands with my 440TS with my restricted license anyway, as somewhere in the law its written 'everyone operating a transmitter must have a license'

Yes, sure :eek: . The day that cell phone users be forced get a license, then I will upgrade mine... that means never. So, hit the airwaves fellows ! No need to wait for February.


Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:02 am
by Dean Huster
C band satellite does it with even less wattage, all 50,000 miles up and down.
And the antenna has a fantastic gain over that of a dipole, especially on the uplink and even at the receiving end on the downlink.

Direct TV cheats with more than 50 watts down

You have to "cheat" if you want a massive footprint and an 18-inch receiving dish. Still, it doesn't take much weather to wipe out the signal.


Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:34 pm
by Chris Smith
You have to admit that the LNA or LNB does a great gain job considering the speed of the transmission in the GHZ.

Most transistor gain is from a Darlington effect which ups the sensitivity while lowering the speed of the transmission.

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:40 pm
by Externet
That is something else I have to learn :shock:

Can you explain how the Darlington effect lowers the speed of the transmission ?


Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:01 pm
by Chris Smith
That’s the oldest one in the book.

For any gain there is a loss.

+ 1 gain [two distances] ....must = ...-1 time loss [two transition times]

When you have a transition time from any input [B + C] to the gate output [E] ....., you have time involved.

Turn on, then go through the transistor to the out put.... [nano seconds of time wasted]

In order to get a gain, you use the tiny signal of one out put transistor, to trigger the gain of another input, at a loss called time.

[Nothing happens in zero time or a vacuum]

The Reaction time of one unit transistor, added to the input gain reaction time of another, means both get a gain, at the time loss it takes to travel through both in the form of the signal, a.k.a. speed transmission through both units is less to get one single signal unit of out put.

To get the Gain of HFE = loss of time to get there.

The long hand...
Base1 = Collector 1 signal out >>>Emmiter1 signal = a time transition loss in the NS range = ONE signal turn on....[E1]


E1>>> goes into B2 = E2 .........and more time loss = for the higher gain [HFE1 X HFE2]

Every transistor gain has a loss of the time it takes to go through that transistor to make any gain in current.

A low gain in stage one equals high sensitivity, with a given time loss.
A high gain in the stage equals a bigger loss in time.

Multiply this [one unit times two] over and over, out into the new base and each unit has a time loss, at a higher gain factor.

If on Tr on time is 100 ns, and the on time is 300ns, while the off time is also 100 ns,..... the total for the first stage is 500 + ns lost time or transition for a single gain [hfe] of ....100

Multiply this for the second at the same rate and you have 1000 ns lost time for a gain of 100 X 100 or 1000 gain.

More gain, slower response times.

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:26 pm
by Externet
:shock: Oh boy!
Thanks, Chris, I will need time to study that and will come back. I need my Nervo-Calm pills now.

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:54 am
by speedbump
That went a bit over my head too. That's ok though, maybe Chris can't fix jet pumps on water wells.

I made it to Advanced which required a minimum of 13 WPM of code. I passed, but it took a lot of listening to dot's and dashes to get there. I never really enjoyed code that much, even though I did play with it a bit on purpose on the air. Jollyrgr and I have almost exact equipment. I have a 2510 in the truck and a TS430S at the shack. I'm not real active here in the last 6-7 years, but do make a contact now and then.

I had mixed feelings about the no code license back in the 90's and am not too sure how it will affect Ham Radio now with no code at all. Time will tell. If it helps the hobby, I'm all for it.

With Cell Phones, E-mail and whatever other means of communications we have these days, I was afraid Ham Radio might just dwindle down to what the CB bands are like now. With that lack of interest, it might just die all together.

Like a fellow Ham friend said when he heard about the No Code. He said that now there is no "WOW" factor in talking around the world like it was when we were kids. The technology is there so young people and old alike are just not that dazzled by Radio.


Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:24 pm
by Chris Smith
The best way to learn the transistor is to learn the definitions of each meaning.

Its purely mathametical, physical, and simple, but its essential.

Much like a plumber learning what a 3/4 inch nipple with both male and female end pieces means.

It purely mechanical and measured in numbers or sizes.

Where as transistors include the time as well, not just the size or dimention.

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:39 pm
by speedbump
I remember some of what I had to learn to pass the tests along the way. I never knew a thing about Transistors or Beulean theory before I started studying. I grew up drilling wells.

Now if the folks would have sprung for that old used Short Wave Radio I wanted so bad when I was around 12, I might have learned a lot more. As it was, I got a kit to build an AM receiver. It worked, so I must have learned something.

All that stuff is so amazing, but still so hard to understand. I'm the kind of guy that has to see what happens, not just believe that it did.

Until today I always wondered how someone knew that a sine wave alternated the way it does. Then I got this e-mail today. This guy shows how it works with a piece of PVC pipe, propane and sound. It's pretty cool if you want to have a look.


Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:21 pm
by Externet
Hey, Bob... Wells... a piece of cake for you, a mistery for me... ¿Can you explain how the soil in the walls of a hole in the ground does not fall into the bottom and clogs the suction pipe?

If a pipe is lining the hole, the only entrance for water supply is the open bottom; which would have to be exactly at the underwater stream depth to be productive, wouldn't it ?
If the walls are strainer lining OK. Is there a web site you can point to learn details on how wells lining work?

I bought a place in coastal NC with an existing backyard well which I suppose it's shallow, as the 2" hose coming out of it connects to the suction end of a pump.
My plan is to use it for light geothermic cooling in summer, and want to do it cheap and right. So far, the plan is make it somewhat deeper and insert a copper U for recirculation and a car radiator inserted in the house ventilation duct, with a closed circuit recirculation pump. Suggestions?