Latest report? on FCC "code" licenses/restructuring...

Steve Harrison ko0u at OS.COM
Thu Dec 30 19:49:22 EST 1999

At 06:15 PM 1999-12-30 -0500, Brian Carling wrote:
>They didn't say what will become of Advanced ops. I wonder if they can get
>themselves UPgraded to Extry or down-graded to General?! He he! What a

Yes, they did: Advanced gets downgraded to General class because they have
not passed the additional elements required for Amateur Extra Class.
Tech-Plus gets downgraded to Technician although it sounds as if they still
retain the Novice band HF privileges, because the Novice class isn't being
outright eliminated, merely allowed to die out. But the present Technician
class stays where it is, just as does the Amateur Extra Class; i.e.,
neither Technician nor Extra class gains or loses "status". NO class
actually loses any present operating privileges as far as I could tell from
the FCC ruling. I have to hand it to the FCC: they walked a really fine
line, giving Kenwood and the ARRL everything they wanted that was possible
without actually changing anything other than the pride in obtaining a US
amateur license.

Personally, I don't think I'm going to be looking at any Kenwood radios
anytime in the forseeable future. I won't mention what I think of the ARRL

>The message is clear:  WE NO LONGER VALUE CW, but we will
>TOLERATE it and pay LIP SERVICE with a 5 wpm test!

We can consider ourselves fortunate that the FCC refused to "sunset" the 5
wpm requirement upon the possible future elimination of the present 5 wpm
ITU requirement for an HF amateur license. That means that the 5 wpm basic
requirement for HF privileges will last at least until after the 2001 ITU
conference. After that, who knows. You will probably have to demonstrate
keyboard dexterity after then. Hunt-n-Peckers will probably become the new
Techs while 100 wpm typists will become the new Extra class holders =8-0

I got a real kick of the two places in the ruling where the commissioners
said they would withhold certain operating privilege and rules changes
"...while the amateur community comes to a consensus...". That's an
eye-opener: it means that the ARRL and other groups, such as TAPR and
possibly some digital-geek AMSAT management folks, are apparently telling
the FCC one thing while the Silent Majority of amateurs has no inkling of
what's going on in front of our faces between those groups and the FCC. The
FCC somehow has come to think that because those groups have thousands of
dues-paying members, they somehow also represent those members. Apparently,
the concept that elected management just might not be following the wishes
of its members, is as foreign to the FCC commissioners as to the rest of
the government. It's the old story of "We know what's best for you,".

>On 30 Dec 99, at 16:58, Sandy W5TVW wrote:
>> This just came across for what it's worth!  Personally, I think
>> it seals the fate of Amateur Radio as we have known it in the
>> past!  Get ready for a real bunch of jerks on SSB now!

Rephrase that, please: "Get ready for all the jerks now on FM to move down
into the HF bands!"

>> (Digital too for that matter, especially the geeks that look down
>> their digital noses at manual CW!)

Let them. I know plenty of "digital geeks" that can't even hook up their
computer's sound board properly to their radio. Personally, I'm getting
rather tired of telling each of them the same thing: "You have to strip the
insulation off the end of the wire BEFORE trying to solder it to the

>> You younger guys that like the code better carry the
>> torch for all us "older farts" that are quickly dying off.

Rephrase that, please: "...SLOWLY dying off...". Give us another 10-15
years before we'll actually be QUICKLY dying off. And by then, there'll be
more medical miracles to prolong our agony another 10-15 years ;0)

Incredibly, and believe it or not, during the recent CQ World-Wide SSB and
CW contests, more CW QSOs were made by almost all the top scorers on ANY
band except 10 meters (however, almost all of them did work more countries
during the phone test; it seemed tough to work more than 100 countries on
any band on CW this year). And propagation had little to do with that.
There's life left in the ole keys yet, fellow Old Farts.

But, let's not let our prejudice contaminate this Heathkit reflector, OK?

Happy New Year, everyone <sigh... yeah, sure...>

73, Steve K0XP
Proud to be an Original Amateur Extra Class Old Fart from the Good Ole Days

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