- Sept 2005 VOL. 78, NO. 8 -9
Most of the petitions ask that the FCC entirely or partly eliminate the international Morse code requirement. Some others ask that the current 5 wpm requirement be maintained or that the speed be increased.
In addition, the ARRL and the National Conference of Volunteer Coordinators (NCVEC) asked that a new entry level class of Amateur operator license be established. Still other petitioners asked that the current license structure and associated operating privileges be modified. There were over 6,000 comments filed.
Based upon the petitions and comments, the FCC is proposing to eliminate the requirement that individuals pass a telegraphy examination for any class of Amateur operator license. The Commission also declined to propose any other changes to the current Licensing or operating rules.
Prior to WRC-03, the international Radio Regulations required Amateur Operators to prove that he/she is able to correctly send and receive Morse code when operating below 30 MHz. At WRC-03 (held June 9 to July 4, 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland) Article 25 of the Radio Regulations was amended to allow a country to determine whether it would require a person seeking an Amateur Radio operator license to demonstrate the ability to send and receive Morse code signals.
The FCC said that the majority of Petitions ask that all telegraphy proficiency testing be eliminated. Arguments for abolishing Morse testing included that;
(a.) the requirement is out-of date;
(b.) use of Morse code has become obsolete due to satellite and digital communications;
(c.) Morse code testing is an unnecessary burden on applicants because most applicants never use code on the airwaves.
(d.) And to the VEs and VECs because these examinations require extensive preparation and special equipment.
(e.) …and the examination process does not require a practical demonstration in the ability to use any other mode of communication.
Some petitioners (including the ARRL) asked that Morse code testing be required only for the AmateurExtraClasss license.
Article 25.6 of the International Radio Regulations now requires only that countries verify the operational and technical qualifications of any person wishing to operate an amateur station. The FCC believes that requirement is satisfied by requiring applicants to pass written examinations covering relevant subject matter. Furthermore, the FCC agrees that Morse proficiency is not necessarily indicative of ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
Prior to 2000, there was a six-class operator license structure. In 1999 restructuring proceeding, most commenters asked that the license structure be streamlined and simplified. The Commission agreed and concluded a three-class license structure would provide an incentive for licensees to upgrade. A three-class operator license structure consisting of the Technician, General, and Amateur Extra Class operator licenses was adopted. The FCC is reluctant to change that line up.
Recently, several petitioners asked that the FCC authorize additional operating privileges to certain existing license classes, particularly the Technician Class license. The FCC noted that the current structure of operator license classes and operating privileges was developed so that additional frequency privileges are a significant incentive for amateur radio operators to advance their communications and technical skills. In denying requests for additional privileges, the FCC noted that it has already proposed in the Phone Band Expansion (or “Omnibus”) NPRM (WT Docket 04-140) to eliminate the Novice and Technician Class telegraphy sub-bands and in their place, authorize Novice and Technician Plus Class Licensees to transmit CW in the 80, 40 and 15 meter bands. If adopted, this would authorize Technician Class licensees significantly more spectrum in the HF bands than the petitioners request, FCC said.
In the transition to the three-class license structure, the Commission “grandfathered” Novice, Technician Plus, and Advanced Class licensees. That meant that no new Novice or Advanced Class licenses would be issued. These licensees would, however continue to receive Morse code examination credit and could renew their licenses indefinitely. The Commission also decided to renew Technician Plus Class licenses as Technician Class licenses with retained code credit. At that time, the Commission declined to upgrade Novice and Technician Plus licenses to General Class licensees or to automatically upgrade Advanced Class licensees to the Amateur Extra Class operator license. In doing so, the FCC accepted the argument that licensees should not receive additional privileges without passing the required examinations. Both the ARRL and the NCVEC petitions asked that a new entry level with some phone privileges be adopted. And both proposed a one time automatic upgrade of Technician Class amateurs to the General Class…and the Advanced Class to Extra. The FCC said that it does not believe that a new type of introductory license is necessary because in the Phone Band Expansion NPRM (if adopted), Novice and Technician Plus licensees can easily upgrade to the General Class, by passing two written examinations, and that a person who is a Technician Class licensee will be able to qualify for a General Class operator license by passing only one written examination. The FCC said that it is not persuaded to automatically upgrade licensees to higher classes of operator licenses.
In the last major Amateur Service restructuring, the 1999 Restructure Report and Order, the Commission agreed that the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the NCVEC should specify topics and organize questions by topic. Two petitioners wanted improved technical and operating skills and asked that the content of the examinations again be regulated by the FCC. Another petitioner suggested that licensees demonstrate proficiency in just the types of communications they wish to utilize. The FCC believes these requests are vague and that the record does not demonstrate that the current question pools or examinations are inadequate. The Commission suggested that any concerns and new questions be directed to the QPC of the NCVEC. Accordingly, the FCC declined to more closely regulate the content of written examinations or to require new examinations for “mode privileges.”
The current rules do not prohibit the VEs from immediately retesting an examinee who has failed an examination. Two petitioners want to end retesting of examinees at the same examination. The FCC said that this issue has previously been considered. In that decision, the Commission stated that matters concerning the mechanics of examination administration generally reside with the administrating VEs, and that whether to allow an applicant a “second chance” during the same examination session is a decision of those VEs.
The summers are really rough on club activities. Not just GARC, but all kinds of clubs. In fact, the LIDXA (NN2C is the Pres, and I am the VP) does not even meet during the summer. A lot of clubs close up shop. Too many people are on vacation, and attendance is very sparse. Also, the weather is so nice on LI during the summer that a lot of folks are engaged in other activities, and don’t make club meetings. I for one, go walking with my XYL, every evening after dinner, for up to an hour. WE enjoy our walks, and sometimes I have missed a WAG net because we were still out pounding the pavement. No, I am not going to carry an HT with me. That would spoil the mood I was talking about. It would also interfere with those long cell phone calls she makes to her sister and Mom when we are out walking. That’s the mood I was talking about. But, this has been the hottest summer for many years, and I’m doing very little actual radio operating. Part of that is from the extremely poor solar flux numbers we are having due to being at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. The other factor is the nice weather, and I don’t want to be indoors if I can be outside. Soon enough we’ll have cold weather, and then I can start planning some antenna work. I need something better for 40 and 80, and don’t want to make any major investments since I intend to move out of here in another 2 years. We took a “vacation” in early August and I spoke about this on the 2 meter WAG net. I also showed pictures at the August meeting. We rented a “canal boat” in Waterford, and spent 3 days traveling the Erie Canal westbound, and back. The actual Erie Canal (Clinton’s Ditch) was a huge success in the 1800s, and was subject to numerous upgrades. In 1905 they decided to tame the Mohawk River. With a series of dams, flood gates, and locks, they created the NY State Barge Canal, and this was opened in 1918. They then abandoned the original Erie Canal, but you can see pieces of it in various places along the Mohawk Valley. Our trip west took us through 12 locks, and then we came back the same way. It was a lot of fun. I had my 2 meter radio on board, but didn’t make any contacts. Turns out I was pretty busy all day piloting the boat. It’s a 41’ steel boat, so the mag-mount worked pretty well. If you missed the pictures and want to see them, let me know. Next year, we intend to take the same boat northward through the Champlain Canal.
On another note, you may have noticed that there was no newsletter last month. There’s lots of reasons, and one of them is that I was away, and we couldn’t have a board meeting. We also didn’t have repro service here, so we skipped the newsletter. Hope you weren’t too disappointed. Also we had a kickoff meeting for HRU 2006. It appears Gordon West will be the keynote speaker, and the room will be much larger than last time. I hope that you can attend because it’s a real good learning experience.
On August 20th we did our operation from the Nantucket Lightship in Oyster Bay. We ran one radio on 20 and 40, and did quite well. Probably 50 QSOs for the day, but the bands are generally dead during the day. We didn’t want yto stay till dark, so we left around 3 PM. We had fun, as always. If you worked us (or even if you didn’t) you can get a card via the callbook address for WA2LQO.
I am on the board for the LI Friends of Wireless. They have asked me to do a demo of the Tesla Coil at an upcoming meeting of the Sayville Historical Society, so look for that announcement. At the Sept. Friends meeting there will be a nice presentation about the Telefunken site. A lot of never-before-seen photos will be shown. I’ll be there and I think you might enjoy this one also.
Our next GARC meeting is 9/21. We’ll be at the Bethpage Public Library. – Pat KE2LJ
CQ DE WA2LQO JULY-AUGUST 2005
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 7/20/2005
Pete N2PYV (not present)
The meeting was called to order by Pat at 5:35 PM.
TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV REPEATERS - Gordon, KB2UB
Finances continue to be in good shape. Gordon and Bill, N2NFI, visited the Hauppauge site
and removed the UPS and replaced it with a new
one. They also changed one connector.
VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE
There were four VEs and five applicants The Sunday morning 40-Meter net was good.
present. Two applicant passed the Technician last week.
Exam. The other passed exam parts but did not
Upgrade. VEs present were KB2QFT, KA2GVD, WAG REPORT-Bob,W2FPF
N2SFT and W2ILP No activity. .
Discussed Field Day. Pat spoke about the score that we claimed. Working Class 2A, we made
462 CW Contacts for 1848 Points, 406 Phone Contacts for 812 Points and 870 Bonus Points for
a total of 3530 Points. Planning for Lightship Day were discussed. See details in President’s Page.
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
GENERAL MEETING 8/15/2005
Pete N2PYV (not present)
The meeting was called to order by Pat at 5:40 PM
VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP REPEATERS - Gordon, KB2UB
There were six VEs and eight applicants The new UPS at the Hauppauge site is
present. Three applicants passed the Technician working well. It may be time to get a new
Exam. One upgraded to Extra Class. Two passed controller.
Elements but did not upgrade. One failed.
VEs Present were: KC2HNN, KB2QFT, AB2NT, NET REPORT – Zack, WB2PUE
KA2GVD, N2SFT and W2ILP HF propagation was poor on 40-meters.
Preparation and activity for Lighthouse Day (8/20/2005) on the Nantucket lightship was discussed.
Pat showed an extensive group of pictures taken on his vacation, as he piloted a ship through the upstate
NY State Barge Canal locks. Ham related? Yep…He had a 2-meter rig on the boat. Read the detail in the Presidents Page.
40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.
20 Meters: 14.275 MHz at 12 Noon EST Wednesdays.
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
General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM. The meetings are usually held at the Underwriters Lab, 1285 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY. Driving directions and maps can be obtained from http://www.mapquest.com It is suggested that the GARC Web Site be checked to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting and GARC members are invited. to attend, but please call Pat Masterson, KE2LJ, at 516-346-7125 to confirm place and time of 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.
I believe that any change to the Amateur Radio licensing structure should be of interest to all hams and that is why I put the information about proposed rule changes on the front page of this newsletter. Internerds can get the same text from http://www.w5yi.org or the ARRL web site but some of our members are not internerds, and some do not pay much attention to FCC rule making or changes which may not apply to them.
The internet link of this month thus has to be:
You can read the entire 30 page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking there.
The FCC said it believed “…the public interest will be served by revising the Amateur Service rules to eliminate the telegraphy testing requirement” for all classes and asked for comment on this premise. It also said that some rule changes proposed by petitioners are unnecessary, or are already being considered by the ongoing Phone Band Expansion NPRM (Omnibus) proceeding.
The FCC proposal to end Morse testing will not become final until the public has had a chance to comment. The comment date extends to 60 days after publication of the Federal Register which we believe to be about the end of September. Reply comments must be made within 15 days afterward. Commenters may file through the ECFS (Electronic Comment Filing System) via the Internet.
I, W2ILP, would suspect that members of FIST and others who are pro-CW will be commenting. I don’t think that will stop the FCC from eliminating the CW exam requirement. I have always been “on the fence” (a mugwump) on the CW exam issue myself. That is because I understand that Ham Radio means different things, and even different modes, to different hams. If you do send any comments to the FCC, please send them to me for printing in this newsletter as well. If not, I guess that we can only sit and wait for the CW exam requirements to be eliminated. The FCC has said that it recommends doing so. The earliest possible times for it to officially happen would be January or July of 2006. I guess there won’t be too many people applying for the 5 wpm CW exam before an official no code decision becomes law.
The debates over whether to continue to test for Morse code ability have been running on ham chat threads since the Internet began.. Many hams, including even hams who do not operate CW themselves, see the code tests as necessary hurdles that eliminate those who are not willing to do some hard preparation for ham exams. The written parts of the exams may be easy since there are fixed question and answer pools to study from. Obviously they are easy for professional engineers and technicians…BUT do we want ham radio licenses to only be easy for technologists and not for potential high speed CW people? The choice of this can be boiled down to a choice between the two ”T”s: - Technology and Tradition. Reducing either is seen as a step toward making ham radio similar to Citizen’s Band. Are the hams of the future to simply become Citizen’s Multi-Banders (CMBers)? The ex Vice President of the ARRL, Steve Mendelsohn, when confronted by hams who wanted to retain CW exams said, “Is Morse Code a Religion?” Some hams blamed the ARRL for just wanting to increase their membership by making entry exams easier. Many old timers resist changes that they see as being responsible for a reduction of the quality of the future operators just because the ARRL might want more quantity of members. It is interesting that the ARRL’s recent petition to the FCC asked that a 5 wpm CW exam be maintained as part of the Extra Class exam. Perhaps this was to placate the old timers and leave the impression that the ARRL wanted to carry on some respect for the CW tradition. It seems that the FCC wants to do the simplest thing, by entirely eliminating CW exam requirements. Your editor has long realized that, like it or not, elimination of CW testing is going to happen sooner or later. The elimination of CW exams will in no way reduce the operation of present day CW operators….BUT eventually the use of the CW sub-bands for manual CW operation will fade away, because new hams will no longer be introduced to this traditional part of the hobby. I wrote my prediction that there would eventually be no CW exams back in the May 1998 “CQ de WA2LQO”. At that time I wrote an original poem, which was inspired by “Old Ironsides”. Oliver Wendel Holms wrote “Old Ironsides”, which was the nick name of the U.S. Constitution, an old war ship, that Holms hoped would be preserved. I felt that Morse code would be like “Old Ironsides”, by the year 2020, and now I see that my prediction is even more likely to be true. Here is the Poem:
AN ODE TO THE CODE
Ay rip that creaky mode switch out, There are two few CW ops,
No CW shall there be, On land or on the seas,
We only can use phone to shout, Not even many old grandpops,
On U or LSB. For most are silent keys.
But remember when your call was new, Save just a few kay-cees,
Some things you’d not ignore, For hams who won’t send fast,
CW beeped out clear and true, To play with old and rusty keys,
It rang from ship to shore! An echo of the past.
Here is another cryptogram:
YUATDZ TZ KAU GUCWUAT TAZGTCQVTKA QAB ATAUVO ATAU GUCWUAT
T JQVU VK VJTAX KH QAOKAU VJQV ZFUQVO JQABETAY UEUWWVTWTVO.
Solution to July’s cryptogram: IF AN ELDERLY BUT DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST SAYS THAT SOMETHING IS POSSIBLE HE IS CERTAINLY RIGHT, BUT IF HE SAYS THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE HE IS VERY PROBABLY WRONG. –ARTHUR C. CLARKE-- Page 6
CQ de WA2LQO Aug-Sept 2005 VOL. 78,
NO. 8-9 EDITOR Bob Wexelbaum
W2ILP (631) 499-2214 CONTRIBUTING
WRITERS PAT MASTERSON,
KE2LJ PETE RAPELJE,
N2PYV 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 The front page of this newsletter was used to post the
latest news about a proposed FCC Amateur Radio regulation changes that will
eliminate CW exams. While there is still some small possibility of
stopping it, it seems that the FCC believes that CW exams should be
eliminated soon. We do not know for certain if or when, but my hunch is that
it is going to happen Ham Radio has evolved greatly since I first was
interested in becoming a Ham. Ham Radio is a hobby with many facets which, as I always
say, mean different thing to different people. There was no “CQ de WA2LQO” in August due to many who
were on vacation and the fact that we had no board meeting. Thus note that
this is a combined August-September Issue. I enjoyed visiting the Narragansett lightship on August
20th. I had missed it last year. They didn’t lower the gang plank, but I
was able to creep up a shaky step ladder which ran from the edge of the
pier to the edge of the ship. I’m not as young as I was when I worked for
TWA in 1956 and had to repair HF wire antennas on the tops of Lockheed
Connies via even shakier ladders, but I made it. 73, w2ilp (I License People) GRUMMAN
AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2005 President Pat Masterson
KE2LJ V01-01 516-346-7125 Vice President Gordon Sammis KB2UB
Retiree 631-666-7463 Secretary Peter Rapelje
516-676-0694 2Yr Board Member Zack Zilavy WB2PUE
Retiree 631-667-4628 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
AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 1997 President Pat Masterson KE2LJ B38-111 346-6316 Vice President Gordon Sammis KB2UB C63-005 575-1846 Secretary Peter Rapelje N2PYV Retiree 676-0694 Treasurer Phil Simonetti N2ZED K10-14 346-8124 2Yr Board Member Paul Chalson WA2FOF A16-043 224-8153 2Yr Board Member Howard Liebman W2QUV Retiree 433-7487 2Yr Board Member Martin Miller NN2C Retiree 423-8153 1Yr Board Member Zak Zilavy WB2PUE Retiree 667-4628 1Yr Board Member Hank Niemczyk W2ZZE Retiree 796-3212 Trustee WA2LQO Ray Schubnel W2DKM C31-005 575-5036 STANDING
COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN Meeting Programs Contact a Board Member FCC Exam Coord. Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP 499-2214
Treasurer Ed Gellender WB2EAV X02-14 516-575-0013
2YrBoard Member Dave Ledo AB2EF
CQ de WA2LQO
VOL. 78, NO. 8-9
Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP
PAT MASTERSON, KE2LJ
PETE RAPELJE, N2PYV
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
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:
The front page of this newsletter was used to post the latest news about a proposed FCC Amateur Radio regulation changes that will eliminate CW exams. While there is still some small possibility of stopping it, it seems that the FCC believes that CW exams should be eliminated soon. We do not know for certain if or when, but my hunch is that it is going to happen
Ham Radio has evolved greatly since I first was interested in becoming a Ham.
Ham Radio is a hobby with many facets which, as I always say, mean different thing to different people.
There was no “CQ de WA2LQO” in August due to many who were on vacation and the fact that we had no board meeting. Thus note that this is a combined August-September Issue.
I enjoyed visiting the Narragansett lightship on August 20th. I had missed it last year. They didn’t lower the gang plank, but I was able to creep up a shaky step ladder which ran from the edge of the pier to the edge of the ship. I’m not as young as I was when I worked for TWA in 1956 and had to repair HF wire antennas on the tops of Lockheed Connies via even shakier ladders, but I made it.
w2ilp (I License People)
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2005
President Pat Masterson KE2LJ V01-01 516-346-7125
Vice President Gordon Sammis KB2UB Retiree 631-666-7463
Secretary Peter Rapelje
2Yr Board Member Zack Zilavy WB2PUE
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
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 1997
President Pat Masterson KE2LJ B38-111 346-6316
Vice President Gordon Sammis KB2UB C63-005 575-1846
Secretary Peter Rapelje N2PYV Retiree 676-0694
Treasurer Phil Simonetti N2ZED K10-14 346-8124
2Yr Board Member Paul Chalson WA2FOF A16-043 224-8153
2Yr Board Member Howard Liebman W2QUV Retiree 433-7487
2Yr Board Member Martin Miller NN2C Retiree 423-8153
1Yr Board Member Zak Zilavy WB2PUE Retiree 667-4628
1Yr Board Member Hank Niemczyk W2ZZE Retiree 796-3212
Trustee WA2LQO Ray Schubnel W2DKM C31-005 575-5036
STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN
Meeting Programs Contact a Board Member
FCC Exam Coord. Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP 499-2214
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Sixty Years 1944 -2004
P.O. Box 0644
Bethpage, NY 11714-0644
DO NOT DELAY
Last month I wrote about Fermat’s Last Theorem in the puzzle section. I had promised to print my own solution to that theorem in this newsletter. Because this is a combined edition, there is no room to print it now, but I intend to get to it into a future newsletter.
Last month I described a tuned radio frequency receiver (TRF) which could be built with two or three vacuum tubes.
It can also be built with two or three transistors.
The TRF has limitations that are overcome by the super-
heterodyne receiver. There is an important criterion to maintain the same selectivity as we tune across radio bands. This requirement is impossible to meet using a TRF. The selectivity of a receiver is its ability to separate stations that are close in frequency. This requires maintaining a window around the selected signal that is most appropriate for the mode of the signal. In the TRF receiver the tuned circuits change their inductance to capacitance ratios as we tune. This L:C ratio determines what is called the “Q” of the circuit.
The Q is known as the “figure of merit” and it is the deciding factor in determining the shape and width of the receiver bandpass. The superhetrodyne receiver depends on mixing a local oscillator (L.O.) with the R.F. signal to produce an intermediate frequency (I.F.) The L.O. is tuned so that it generates a signal that is either above or below the desired R.F. signal by a fixed frequency, which is the I.F. frequency. No matter what the R.F. input is tuned to, the I.F. thus remains the same. I.F. tuned circuits thus do not change as we tune across bands and can maintain the same bandwidth and selectivity specifications. More about superhets next month.