Thursday, December 22, 2011

February: Five Years of Code-Free Licensing

February, 2012, will mark the fifth anniversary of the end of Morse code testing for all levels of FCC amateur radio licenses. The final code tests were administered on February 22, 2007 after being a part of U.S. license exams since the inception of amateur radio licensing nearly a century ago. Over the decades, code test speeds rose and fell with changing times. Code testing for the entry-level Technician Class was eliminated in 1991.

Since the end of code testing, the ranks of radio amateurs in the U.S. have increased by nearly 50,000 and many newer hams are learning CW even though it is no longer required. Detailed looks and commentary on the fate of Morse code in the five years since the end of code testing will be published in the February issues of CQ and WorldRadio Online magazines.

(Editor's note: If you don't know what the Morse code message above says, this is your opportunity to start learning!)