Hams see dropping Morse Code as boon and threat

Once popular communication a stumbling block for many.


Morse Code will soon be dropped as a requirement for amateur radio operators, a change that has stirred up passions among many hams, as radio amateurs are called.

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission issued a public notice about the impending change.

The news delights operators who couldn't or wouldn't learn code and so were prevented from using the "high frequency" bands, where long-distance communication is possible.

But many who love Morse Code hate to see the bar lowered for admission to the family of HF operators. And they worry about the future for code.

Gene Wright of Chico, a member of a small group of hams that advises the FCC, said he's of two minds about the matter.

"I hate to see it go away," he said in a telephone interview. "But, also, I'm sort of glad. I think we'll get more people in our ranks."

Hams and Morse Code


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