At the start of 2007, I came across the Long Delayed Echoes blog, where Jeff KE9V made his 2007 New Years predictions, which included this:
Having thrown the gates wide open by eliminating the Morse code requirement for all amateur testing we learn that there’s nobody out there waiting to join the party. I predict no significant increase of new licensees in 2007.
Of course, Jeff’s prediction turned out to be correct (again!). The Morse Code requirement is irrelevant…which caused me to write this blog entry: Morse Code Testing: Irrelevant.
But yesterday, I see that Bruce Perens K6BP, founder of No Code International, says that “No Code Came Too Late to Help Ham Radio“. The Jeff KE9V response is here. Bruce is well-known in the Open Source, AMSAT and other techie communities, so I don’t dismiss his opinion lightly. Maybe he has a point…could it have happened differently? So that started me thinking again, which may or may not be a good thing and it often turns into another page on this blog.
So why did the Morse Code requirement emerge as the way to “keep the riff raff” out of ham radio? Well, that’s easy….it was because of those CBers (Citizens Band operators). The CB band was filled with a bunch of unlicensed, undisciplined fools that destroyed that radio service. It was obvious ham radio needed a barrier to keep them out. (Might have thought about an IQ test but that might be un-American.) Morse Code seemed to be the obvious tool.
So if those dang OPEC guys had not raised the price of oil, we wouldn’t have had the 55 MPH speed limit in the 1970s. The CB boom would not have happened and there would have been no irrational fear of this “riff raff” getting into ham radio. This means that the issue of the Morse Code requirement might have been addressed with Logic and Thinking (instead of Fear and Religious Zeal). The Morse Code requirement might have been dropped a decade earlier.
Wait a minute! Maybe it was those guys in Newington trying to keep their favorite mode alive? Yeah, they probably used King Hussein of Jordan (JY1) as a means to influence OPEC and make the whole thing happen, all funded by my ARRL dues.