NO MORE MORSE CODE EXAMS!

FCC ELIMINATES CW REQUIREMENT FOR ALL HF OPS!

By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

On December 15th, while chatting with other hams on QRZ, I learned that the FCC had officially eliminated the CW exams for all classes of amateur radio operator licenses.  I soon was able to read a copy of the FCCs News Release; Titled: FCC Modifies Amateur Radio Service Rules, Eliminating Morse Code Exam Requirements and Addressing ARRL Petition for Reconsideration..  This  proved that this was true.  The ARRL alsao sent out a bulletin confirmng the same FCC report.  The GARC’s VEC is W5YI-VEC and so I sent the following message to W5YI-VEC via E-Mail:-

  

I believe that in a release of December 15, 2006, the FCC has eliminated the CW requirement officially.  I am not sure when this will effect our testing sessions or when we will no longer give CW exams.  I await your instructions.

There were no applicants for December 12th, 2006 VE Session in Bethpage, NY. We plan to continue offering VE sessions on the second Tuesday of each month, as we have for many years.

Happy holidays to all at the W5YI group.

73,

Robert I. Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

I received the following reply:-

 

We will keep our Contact VEs up to date as we learn more about it.

Technician Class radio amateurs will now be able to upgrade to General (and gain access to eight HF phone bands) by passing the General Clasas (35 question multiple choice) Element 3 written exam.  General and Advanced Class hams will still need to pass the 50 question Element 4 to gain Extra Class privilages.

The not yet released Report and Order will become effective 30 days after being published in the Federal Register. (Our guess is the new rules will be effective as of early February.)  At that time all Technician Class amateurs will be able to work sideband (phone) on ten meters between 28.3 and 26.5 MHz without passing (Element 1) 5 words-per-minute code test.  They will also gain CW privileges on 80,40,15 and 10 meters.  In other words, they will have the same frequency and mode privaleges as Technicians who have passed a code test.

In anticipation of the end of the telegraphy exams, many amateurs have already passed the Element 3 and/or 4 Examinations and have received a CSCE which is valid for one year.  If they passed these elements within 365 days of the effective date, yet to be established by the FCC, these amateurs have to bring their CSCE to a VE examination session to be upgraded to the General and/or Extra Class without further testing.

73…..Merry Christmas

Sherry Shelton, W5YUP, W5YI-VEC

 

On December 19, 2006 the full FCC Report and Order (WT Docket 05-235) was issued eliminating the CW test requirement for all classes of ham licenses.  This news was transmitted in an ARRL newsletter of December 22, 2006.

The FCC has denied the ARRL’s request for retaining the 5 wpm CW requirement for the Extra Class.  Also denied was a request by the ARRL to consider retaining 3.620 – 3.635 MHz for digital signals, rather than moving the Extra Class phone band to the edge at 3.635 MHz.  Instead the FCC decided to autorrize 3.585 – 3.600 MHZ for the digital modes, leaving the newly expanded phone band as is.

The long awaited elimination of CW tests will officially take place some time in February 2007.  The official FCC regulations will definitely change, but the long lasting opinions of hams with regard to the CW’s ham tradition verses the technical obsolences of CW for emergency, commercial and military use, due to the improvements of communication technologies will be slow to fade away.  Hams are sure to be asked for the date when they were licensed and/or upgraded by the hams that they work and there may remain old timers who will always believe that the newbees are not “real hams” because they did not go through the same CW initiation the way it was in the old days.  As for me, I was always a mugwump on this subject.  I can only feel some relief in knowing that I will no longer have to shlep all the stuff for CW testing to future VE sessions.

On another first:  I find that the ARRL is now suing the FCC because the ARRL’s opposition to BPL testing has been ignored.  I believe this is the first time that the ARRL has sued the FCC, and I don’t like it myself.  I am a mugwump on the BPL issue, just as I was on CW test elimination.   For every conflict, there are two sides of the story.  It is unfair to think only of the needs of ham hobbiests in my personal opinion.  Of course I would like to see that Ham Radio and SWL receivers are troubled as little as possible by any possible source of man-made interference…but we always have been and always will have to live with many QRM sources. .  Drive by Newark Airport on the Jersey Turnpike and see if your 2 Meter mobile receiver can receive (for one example). Amateur  HF SSB is always going to be interfered with by pulse type transmissions because it is difficult to apply efficient noise clipping or blanking when receiving sihgnals that do not have a constant carrier.   It is also a fact of life that other services suffer interference from hams, especially when hams transmit using their high power limits and are near to other radio spectrum users.  High enough RF levels can cause interference by shock excitation, even when the ham station is not radiating excessive harmonicss or spurious signals.  

There are some guys who risk their lives climbing  mountains. This is a sport for them.  The first man to get to the top of Mount Everest was asked why he climbed it.  His answer was, “Because it was there”.   In my opinion, Hams will risk listening to all types of natural and man-made radio interference because it will always be there and because ham radio is a sport.  We can’t have it the Utopian way some folks who don’t understand what we are all about might expect  That would make us more like professional hum drum communicators.

As technology advances it will be easier to get a ham license but harder to operate without getting increased interference.  In my humble opinion, that is because technology trumps tradition. When H.P. Maxim was making early autos there was not yet grid locked traffic on the roads or on 20 Meters.  Let me hear it from you guys.  If you have any comments on this subject send them to me by e-mail and I’ll try to put them in this newsletter.  You might also send them to the FCC and the ARRL…but I doubt that they can change any decisions at this time.  As always, I will not print any profanity or threats to any individuals or government agencies, so stay cool.                                                                                          Page 2

HAM RADIO UNIVERSITY 2007

Fellowship-Service-Knowledge

By Neil Heft, KC2KY, HRU 2007Chairman

 

I would like to take a moment to talk to you about an exciting event called Ham Radio University, or HRU. Some of you have already heard of HRU.  The idea was hatched by Phil Lewis, N2MUN, back in 1999 as an oportunity for hams to get together and gain some insights into the various facets of amateur radio.  Through the years over 20 New York and Long Island clubs jumped on the bandwagon.to help make Phil’s dream a reality.   The first few HRU events took place at the Phelps Lane Annex building in the town of Babylon.  We quickly outgrew that facility and moved to ther East Wood Elementry School in Oyster Bay, thanks to the school master there who happened to be a ham.  We have since outgrown the East Woods school, and in 2005, moved to Briarcliffe College. In 2006 we had an unpresidented 300+ attendees.  In an age where we hear people talk about ham radio shrinking because of the Internet, cell phones, and computer games, HRU has been steadily growing.

Originally conceived as a way to get inactive hams re-aquainted with the hobby, HRU has evolved into an annual event where hams can come together and learn something new about one or more myriads of aspects of Amateur Radio.  This year’s HRU has over twenty forums and seminars in a variety of Amateur Radfio topics.  Frank Fallon, N2FF, the ARRL Hudson Director willl be our keynote speaker.   Frank will be discussing a variety of current events that are changing the face of Amateur Radio.  Our “Welcome to Amateur Radio” track features a beginner’s forum on setting up your station as well as a young ham forum aimed at “Elmers”, who are looking for more effective ways to get kids interested in ham radio.  A second track is dedicated to public service, emergency communication, and public relations.  For the technically inclined ham we have a technical track, with topics like the evolution of frequency synthesis.   Finally, we have an “Operating” track featuring HF Propagation, operating techniques and current events for serious DXers, and contest operating at home and abroad.  There will be a VE Session for those who want to obtain their first “ticket” or to upgrade an existing license.

In short there is something for everyone at Ham Radio University.  If you have not been to an HRU, I encourage you to attend this year.

 

The Grumman Amateur Radio Club was represented at HRU 2007

By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

Pat Masterson, KE2LJ and myself were among the forum moderators at HRU 2007. . HRU 2007 was held at Briarcliffe College 1055 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, NY on Sunday, January 7, 2007, from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM…..so if you didn’t attend it, it is too late  now. This newsletter gets mailed out on the day of our executive  board meeting, which for this month is January 10th.

I hope that those who attended HRU2007 enjoyed it and that we can all be able to attend HRU 2008, which will be held next January.   I am submitting this newsletter before HRU 2006 takes place.  I will report on it in the next newsletter.   I will then be able to comparte it with previous HRUs and see if it attracts more or fewer visitors. In the above message from KC2KY, we learn that the HRU attendence has increased during each year that it was presented. Will the new regulations that eliminate CW tests cause more people to become hams and more hams to upgrade?  Will this new incentive result in a higher attendence at HRU?  We might judge what new interest this can inspire (or not inspire) by the HRU attendence.   We shall see.

                                                                                                   Page 3

 

 

                                                                                                              

PRESIDENT’S PAGE

BY

KE2LJ

 

            As Bob notes above, he and I were both forum moderators at HRU on 1/7. The event was held at Briarcliff College, known to most of you as Plant 35. The building has lots of classrooms on  the first floor now. It’s much more enclosed then when some of us worked there decades ago. But, you’ll be happy to know that the men’s room is about the same. They recently upgraded the plumbing appliances to be automatic. But, there’s lots of graffiti there now, due to the “quality” of the people who pretend to be “students” in that facility. Bob, spoke on frequency  control, and I was leading a 5-speaker, 2 hour DX  session for the LIDXA. We had the same time slots, so I wasn’t able to see Bob in action. I also spent some time with my LI Wireless friends, who also had a lecture on LI radio history. There were some Hams there whom I haven’t seen in a real long time. The weather was great, about 60 degrees, so the turnout was really good. I’ll be interested in seeing the attendance numbers.

LI Wireless, also is co-sponsoring a “Long Island Radio Day” along with WCWP at CW Post University on March 3rd. I have been invited to operate my Tesla Coil at the event, and there should be lots of good stuff to see, like the spark demo we had at our Club meeting last year. I am inviting you to attend, so you shall be hearing from me again on this. We also had our year-end Holiday party at the Country Buffet, and it was a good evening. Nice turnout there, as well. We got to meet some of the XYLs that we only see once a year. All nice people. Speaking of which, I spent another 10 days in Florida in late December. Mostly at my condo in West Palm. On one day, I, Jody (my XYL, N2OEB) hooked up with Bernie KK5EW and we visited the Flagler museum. That was  a really nice place. Quite the gold-coast mansion. We then did some hiking in a park near Boca. On another day, I went to visit Dick, W2INJ. He’s also looking quite good, and we spent a few hours reminiscing about Calverton, and old Grumman. Since I have about 3 ongoing projects at my house in Sun City, I drove there for an overnight stay to meet with one of the contractors, and we went over the plans. Right now, he has gutted the kitchen, and all 3 bathrooms. The terrazzo floors are due to be refinished real soon. Then I can start shipping furniture to the house and get ready to move in. While I as there, I attended a railroad meeting at the Museum nearby. They are having a steam engine operate 4 excursion rides a day on each weekend in February. It should be really cool. I was accepted as a Fireman on the steam loco, but they would not allow me to be the Engineer at all. This is because I am not yet a qualified Engineer on that railroad.  So, I expect to be commuting to Sun City a few times next month. I won’t miss this opportunity for anything. In a lifetime, you don’t see too many chances to be on the crew of a real steam locomotive. I also want to remind you that our January GARC meeting on 1/17 will be in Farmingdale, and not U.L. in Melville. Please see our web page for details. Jack has checked the place out a few times, and it is looking good. I hope to see more of you at meetings now. 73.  –KE2LJ

 

 

 

 

 

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 12/20/2006

Since the general meeting was the Holiday Party, No formal minutes were taken.

Below are the minutes of the Executive Board Meeting of 12/13/2006

Karen KC2OPX

 

The meeting was called to order at 12:20 PM by Pat.

 

TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV          REPEATERS – Gordon, KB2UB

Finances continue to be in good shape.                    Talk about moving repeater to Plant 25.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP                                  NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE

No applicants applied.  No December                       Thursday night had a good turnout.

VE Session was held.                                                 Sunday morning propagation was poor.

                                                                                                            

OLD BUSINESS:

Marty Miller’s will provided for a donation to the GARC.

We discussed the possibility of seeing that all newsletters are available on the GARC Internet site.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

The January 2007 meeting will be the first at Allen Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.  [Directions for driving there are in last month’s newsletter and are on the GARC web site.]

 

The meeting was adjoined at 12:45 PM.

 

GARC NETS:

40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.

2 Meters (via repeaters): 146.745 MHz  (-.600)at 8:30 PM EST Thursdays.

                                           145.330 MHz (- .600) at 9:00 PM EST Thursdays.

[Tone for both repeaters is 136.5 Hz]         (ARES/RACES) Mondays

                                                                                                    

MEETINGS

 

General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM.   The meetings will be held at the Allen Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.  Check the GARC web site to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.

                                                                                                                                                                                              

GARC WEB SITE

 

 The web site of the GARC can be found at http://www.qsl.net/wa2lqo/     Webmaster is Pat Masterson KE2LJ.  Pictures of GARC activities, archives of newsletters, roster of members, and other information about the GARC may be found there.                                              

                                                                                                                                 Page 5

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

INTERNET LINK OF THE MONTH FOR INTERNERDS

 

I don’t have any specific URL to present this month.  Last month Dave Ledo provided us with three useful sites, so I guess that they can keep us busy for now.   I am always interested in new sites, so if you web explorers find any that would be of interest to us hams…let me know.

I do want to comment here that I again visited Joe Speroni’s web site at Http://www.ah0a.org.  There are statistics that give the numbers of hams in Japan, U.K. and Australia.  The number of hams in Australia may give us a hint as to what eliminating CW exams in the U.S. may be expected to accomplish..  On January of 2004 the Australian Amateurs without any Morse endorsements gained full HF allocations.  From 2004 to 2005 there was a ham population gain of -0.0 %.  But in September 2005 a new entry level license was created in Australia.  It is called the Foundation license and it requires a very simple exam.  It is intended to get young beginners interested in ham radio, much like our old Novice license but with no CW.  As a result of the new Foundation Class there was an increase of +3.0 % of the ham population.  This is a modest increase, but at least it shows that the new license class probably helped increase the ham population more than eliminating CW testing had done.  It might be wise for the ARRL to ponder over these figures. I have always believed that increasing the number of license classes could lead to more ham applicants.   Reducing to only 3 Classes might have been the wrong way to go.  The statistics on the Japanese hams show that there are 4 classes of operator licenses in Japan and there are also station licenses that are separate from the 4 operator licenses.

 

PUZZLE

Here is another cryptogram:        

 

S   AYZ   OQVXAD   XGO   XT   JXHHFLF   TXV    JQFYOSDL   XD   OQF   WFOBQIZSJZ   FEYW. 

 

S   HXXNFU   SDOX   OQF   ZXGH   XT   OQF   ZXGH   XT   OQF   RXI   DFEO   OX   WF.

 

--AXUI   YHHFD--

 

Solution to December 2006 Cryptogram: 

 

MACHINES ARE IN THE SADDLE AND RIdE MANKIND.

   --RALPH WALDO EMERSON--

 

Because it was short, the December cryptogram was difficult to solve.  Having a missing D in RIDE didn’t help.

 If you didn’t recognize EMERSON it might be impossible.   I am thus printing a longer cryptogram for this month.   Sorry if you couldn’t solve the last one.  It deserved a D.

 

                                                                                                                                  Page 6 


GARC VE SESSIONS

 

We are continuing to proctor exams for all classes of ham licenses on the second Tuesday of each month starting at 5:00 PM.

The present exams are:

Element 1: 5 WPM CW, [Note that the 5 WPM exam may no longer be required according to the FCC Report and Order.]

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General   

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class.

 

The fee for 2007 is $14 for all exams taken at one sitting. 

 

Applicants for upgrades should bring a photocopy of their license and any CSCE and their FRN number.

 

New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form.  All applicants should bring driver’s license or other picture ID.

 

Until further notice, VE exams will be at Briarcliffe College

1055 Stewart Avenue

Room: Long Beach #5

Bethpage, NY

Briarcliffe in Bethpage is located in a building that was formerly part of the Grumman complex.

 

All applicants should contact W2ILP to preregister so as to confirm location.  If no applicants apply, exam sessions may be cancelled.

 

For any information e-mail: -

w2ilp@optonline.net or phone: -

(631) 499-2214

 

Study material information is available at the http://www.arrl.org or the http://www.w5yi.org web site.

All VECs use the same Q & A pools.

Since the beginning of the VE program the GARC has provided opportunities to take ham exams monthly, during all twelve months of every year.

 

Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

and the Grumman VE team.                                   

 

CQ de WA2LQO

VOL.  80, NO.  1

 

EDITOR

Bob Wexelbaum  W2ILP

(631) 499-2214

w2ilp@optonline.net

 

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

PAT MASTERSON, KE2LJ

And all the members of GARC (we hope!)

 

CQ de WA2LQO is published monthly by the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for its members and friends. Send articles and amateur equipment advertisements to:

KE2LJ or W2ILP

 

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS

If you want to submit articles or amateur equipment ads via e-mail do the following:

1. For submission direct to editor call him at above number to set up a transfer.

2. For e-mail transfer:

Internet Address

bat@grumman.com

 

 
EDITORIAL

 

I’m now preparing for my presentation at HRU 2007, which will be history by the time you read this. In addition to my forum titled Frequency Control – From crystal oscillators to direct digital synthesis”.  I’ll be helping others run a VE session at HRU2007.  Sometimes our VE sessions get some applicants who fail to pass at the HRU.

 

 At the time I am writing this I have not been contacted by any prospective applicants and thus I can’t say if there will be a GARC VE session in January.   I have contacted the ARRL-VEC and have been assured that our scheduled VE sessions will be listed on the ARRL web site.  They advertise for us even though we use W5YI-VEC.  W5YI also advertises for us.  We also rely on you GARC members to tell others about our VE sessions.

 

On behalf of the GARC and myself I want to wish all a belated

     *HAPPY* NEW *YEAR*2007*.

 

Peace.

 

Vy 73,

w2ilp (Increase Loquacious Population) of phone band hams, even though the number of new CW OPs is certainly going to decline now.

 

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2007

 

President               Pat Masterson              KE2LJ              V01-01    516-346-7125

Vice President       Gordon Sammis             KB2UB            Retiree     631-666-7463

Secretary               Karen Cefalo                  KC2OPX                        631-754-0974
Treasurer               Ed Gellender                   WB2EAV         X02-14   516-575-0013

2Yr Board Member    Zack Zilavy               WB2PUE        Retiree    631-667-4628
2YrBoard Member     Dave Ledo                AB2EF

2Yr Board Member    Bob Christen         W2FPF              

1Yr Board Member    Bob Wexelbaum    W2ILP          Retiree     631-499-2214

1Yr Board Member    Jack Cottrell          WA2PYK          Retiree     516-249-0979

Trustee WA2LQO       Ray Schubnel       W2DKM       Retiree

 

STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN

 

Meeting Programs       Contact a Board Member

FCC Exam Coord.         Bob Wexelbaum       W2ILP                           631-499-2214

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


                          TECHNICAL BITS 

 

An amateur radio station is required by FCC regulations to transmit only within certain frequency band limits.  Modern transceivers usually contain digital frequency synthesizers and enable the operator to read out a numeric display of the frequency that can be depended on to be very accurate.  This was not true in the earlier days of ham radio.  Hams are the only category of radio operators who are permitted to build and calibrate their own equipment.  Before the popularity of SSB transceivers, most hams built their own transmitters, and some built their own receivers as well.  The FCC made it perfectly clear that hams would need some method, independent of their transmitters that would accurately confirm that they were on legal frequencies. The commercial radio receivers that used vacuum tubes and analog tuning dials were not always dependable and their resolution of frequency measurement was limited.  A good receiver might verify that the transmitter was on a legal frequency , although its dial could not be read to more than four digits.  An absorption wavemeter could verify that RF was being emitted in a ham band but could not provide accurate frequency readout. Cavity resonator wave meters are still used to measure microwaves. The most reliable way measure frequency, before the digital age was the heterodyne frequency meter.  Units of this type were used during WW2 and the Korean War. These contained an oscillator that could be beat with the station transmitter. When the beat was zero the transmitter was on the same frequency as the oscillator. The dial which tuned the oscillator was hand calibrated and a look up booklet was used to determine the frequency.