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Old 11-01-2007, 16:00   #16
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Would car salesmen support a requirement that everyone using one be required to know the inner workings of one before being allowed to use it.
If you change the words "car salesman" to "yacht broker" I think you can find many such debates in the archives of this forum. It's not an unusual reaction to a problem. We have our own fair share of this problem too.
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Old 11-01-2007, 16:13   #17
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Ham

HAM is more than a bunch of 6 year olds playing the snad box. It is one of the few activites that would otherwise be regulated by the Uncle Sam that is managed & policed by the user community.

Most other countries have dropped the code requirement. The US was a hold out to tradition of creating a large pool of trained radio operators, incase of need.

Just think we could have goverment regulation in marine radios that would require anyone who used a marine radio to go to classes and take tests like Canada and Great Britian. While cruising many of our cruiser friends have told of of the testing requirements and the study needed, unlike marine license in the US, just pay your money. But then that would proabably improve the quality of the some of the users on the Marine VHF bands.

I used the knowledge gained to assemble and install my marine HF( I installed it while out of the country where you just couldn't go get competent help). The installation allowed me to contact a crusing freind in SC while we were sitting in Venezuela. All legal.

I also used the knowledge gain to design and build a high gain yagi directional wifi antenna for our computer that we used while cruising and back in the US.

I am a Corporate Finance guy.

I am working to upgrade to General class licsence.
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Old 11-01-2007, 16:25   #18
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"Most other countries have dropped the code requirement. The US was a hold out to tradition of creating a large pool of trained radio operators, incase of need."
"Holdout" might be too polite a term. The ITU dropped the requirement in 2003, so in theory the FCC could have dropped it four years ago as well. But, the FCC has become a funding source for the government and is so busy auctioning off airwaves that it simply did not bother to address this zero-profit ham radio area.
Since the US military essentially dropped the use of Morse as a communications skill (there's no more "signalmen" rating, and morse is mainly taught as a cryptography skill, and a hazing for Annapolis plebes), the real reason for requiring Morse in the US, that of providing radio operators for the draft, was dead long ago. The FCC just never had reason to spend money on changing the rules. Underfunded, unattentive, unresponsive. That's gummint agencies for you.
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Old 11-01-2007, 17:00   #19
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I'll work on being

I'll work on being less polite!

I agree with you. I have worked in the Wireless telecom field for 10 years (excluding the time out cruising) and learned everything I ever wanted to know about the FCC and the airwaves during the Wireless Number Portabilty effort from the telco act of 96.

I think the changes are good and will help the hobby. I am upgrading as I didn't realize how usefull a HAM could be cruising. I thought when we left the the marine ssb would suffice. But I found having access would have really improved our cruising life.
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Old 11-01-2007, 23:22   #20
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Originally Posted by Louis Riel
Did Canada also drop the morse requirement altogether?
Yes, though there is still an "optional" morse code test. If you pass it, then you don't have to score as well on the written test. I forget the exact numbers, but it's something like a passing score is 90%, but you can pass with 80% if you know morse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sv_makai
Just think we could have goverment regulation in marine radios that would require anyone who used a marine radio to go to classes and take tests like Canada and Great Britian. While cruising many of our cruiser friends have told of of the testing requirements and the study needed, unlike marine license in the US, just pay your money. But then that would proabably improve the quality of the some of the users on the Marine VHF bands.
I have not observed any problem with the quality of users on marine VHF, or at least not anything that I think would be fixed by tests and classes.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:14   #21
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SV Makai. "Just think we could have goverment (government) regulation in marine radios that would require anyone who used a marine radio to go to classes and take tests like Canada and Great Britian (Britain)."

Or NOT.

SV Makai. "I used the knowledge gained to assemble and install my marine HF( I installed it while out of the country where you just couldn't go get competent help.) The installation allowed me to contact a crusing (cruising) freind (friend) in SC while we were sitting in Venezuela. All legal."

Did you contact them in morse code? Remember, with morse code, spelling is an important part. Improperly spelled, Mayday becomes Hayday and the USCG will drop you a case of Bud instead of a raft or pump. Just think of what you could have done if you spent more time and really learned radio repair and installation instead of wasting so much time learning morse code. I did and I too installed my SSB and it works perfect without knowing any code besides SOS. An aside, when I lost a commercial fishing vessels in a nor'easter, the last thing I was thinking about when communicating to the USCG was typing, ... --- ... , Mayday, Mayday, Mayday gets everyones attention and shuts everyone up, to listen and help. A vessel in distress, a disaster area, or any other emergency is best communicated in voice for all to hear and understand.

Morse code is history. So is the Pony Express and homing pigeon. If someone wants to learn morse code and impress their friends around the kitchen table or their Ham Radio Man Cave, great. But, I don't think a bunch of snobby old men who had nothing better to do than learn an ancient form of communication should be given an exclusive right to long range communication public airwaves. Perhaps they should have to prove a reason to be on those airwaves besides idle chattering. Or be required to learn a skill such as sailing whereby long range communication has a purpose besides collecting post cards.

Ham is a hobby. It is not a crucial form of public communication. It would be fine save a channel for morse code enthusiasts and their hobby but don't deny long range communication and safety for the sake of morse code. Please don't go back to history whereby a couple of Hams communicated after a disaster. That's ancient history similar to cave paintings and the telegraph.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:28   #22
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The ARRL has been posting all relevant information on these Part 97 rule revisions on its Web page.
ARRLWeb: FCC's Morse Code Report and Order - WT Docket 05-235
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:37   #23
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Please re read what I wrote...Makai

Thanks for the slam but please re read what I wrote. I agreed that 'change is good' and eliminating the morse was an excellent thing for the hobby. I don't find any personal value in it (some do), but it was a skill.

I still belive that HAM is more than a just hobby. It is used in areas and times of emergency for communication. HAMs helping in diasater is not ancient history.

56 seperate stories for huricane katrina

ARRLWeb: Public Service Stories

While cruising in the Southern Caribe and South Amercia our weather came via volunteer HAMs. Eric on 3855 LSB and George. They were providing a great service to the cruiser community. No it wasn't morse, but the service just the same.

Coot: As far problems on the VHF just spend a summer weekend on the Chesapeake Bay. The USCG spends most of the time on the radio telling people to move from 16 to a working channel. We have met people in our marina that truely didn't know what radio procedures were or common radio courtesy. A little training may help, but maybe not......
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:35   #24
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Having spent many years fishing and cruising throughout SA, the caribbean and east coast, I use the SSB as a regular tool. Just think how much better our weather information would be with a lot more weather observers on the air. How many outposts or sailors don't bother having the capability of SSB due to licensing requirements. Hams are a hobby. They salivate at the chance to be involved in a relay or weather report. It gives them a purpose in life. Wonderful and thanks to them for helping. I would like more helpers on SSB by way of Ham frequencies.

As for VHF in the Chesapeake, you're talking apples and oranges in a high density area with a radio costing as little as $69 compared to an expensive SSB. It's a step above CB at times. Your analogy doesn't pass the litmus test. Do you really think these people are going to bother getting a very expensive, hard to mount and hook up properly SSB? I don't think so. If they were, they could have them right now without a test or morse code requirement and use marine bands.

The FCC finally realized, as did Westen Union, morse code is as dead as Samuel Morse who died in 1872. It's 2007, the need to understand smoke signals, tom-tom drums and morse code is over. I'm just amazed that someone during the Bush administration finally got something right.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:36   #25
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Originally Posted by CAVU
... As for VHF in the Chesapeake, you're talking apples and oranges in a high density area with a radio costing as little as $69 compared to an expensive SSB. It's a step above CB at times ..
Transiting the Chesapeake in 1992, we overheard the U.S. Army Barge “XXX” repeatedly calling US Navy (Annapolis) on VHF Chanel 16.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact the Navy, the Army asked:
“Does anyone know where the Navy is?”

The stunned silence that followed was the only 30 seconds of quietude we experienced in several days in the area.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:25   #26
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Originally Posted by GordMay
Transiting the Chesapeake in 1992, we overheard the U.S. Army Barge “XXX” repeatedly calling US Navy (Annapolis) on VHF Chanel 16.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact the Navy, the Army asked:
“Does anyone know where the Navy is?”

Well Gord, perhaps the Navy, after losing to Army 25-24 in 1992, just didn't want to talk to some Army dude pushing some Army barge on their river.

Thank goodness for cell phones nowadays. I use mine a lot more often while close to the beach due to the unnecessary VHF traffic. But even with all the chatter on the VHF, it is still a useful tool when push comes to shove. Without the VHF radio, a lot more boaters would be in a lot more trouble. As for constant traffic over the VHF airwaves during an emergency situation, if you say the magic word, you win a hundred dollars and the frequency is yours.
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Old 12-01-2007, 18:40   #27
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Ham tests

All the info is potentialy usefull in rare cicumstances . So is knowing how to rebuild an engine for drivers , but that does not justify making it mandatory for anyone before getting a drivers license.
About 20%of what's on the written test is needed , the rest is childish hazing ritual, a bunch of overgrown six year olds trying to put themselves and their fragile egos on a pedestal. Carry a good manual for the rest.
Friends who have passed all kinds of government tests say that for most of them 80% is forgotten and never used after the test is passed. so why discourage people for someones ego embellishment
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