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In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted a Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235. In a break from typical practice, the FCC only issued a public notice at or about the close of business and not the actual Report and Order,  so some details -- including the effective date of the R&O – remain uncertain.  The public notice is located at:


Also today, the FCC also adopted an Order on Reconsideration, in WT Docket 04-140 -- the "omnibus" proceeding -- agreeing to modify the Amateur Radio rules in response to an ARRL request to accommodate automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in the wake of rule changes that became effective today at 12:01 AM Eastern Time. The Commission said it will carve out the 3585 to 3600 kHz frequency segment for such operations. Prior to the long-awaited action on the Morse code issue, Amateur Radio applicants for General and higher class licenses had to pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. The Commission said today's R&O eliminates that requirement for General and Amateur Extra applicants.


"This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio," the FCC said. The ARRL had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants only. The FCC proposed earlier to drop the requirement across the board, however, and it held to that decision in today's R&O.


Perhaps more important, the FCC's action in WT Docket 05-235 appears to put all Technician licensees on an equal footing: Once the R&O goes into effect, holders of Technician class licenses will have equivalent HF privileges, whether or not they've passed the 5 WPM Element 1 Morse examination. The FCC said the R&O in the Morse code docket would eliminate a disparity in the operating privileges for the Technician and Technician Plus class licensees. Technician licensees without Element 1 credit (i.e., Tech Plus licensees) currently have operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz.


"With today's elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between the operating privileges of Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus Class licensees should not be retained," the FCC said in its public notice. "Therefore, the FCC, in today's action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges."


The wholesale elimination of a Morse code requirement for all license classes ends a longstanding national and international regulatory tradition in the requirements to gain access to Amateur Radio frequencies below 30 MHz. The first no-code license in the US was the Technician ticket, instituted in 1991. The question of whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the handwriting has been on the wall. A number of countries, including Canada, no longer require applicants for an Amateur Radio license to pass a Morse code test to gain HF operating privileges. The list has been increasing regularly.


The FCC said today's R&O in WT Docket 05-235 comports with revisions to the international Radio Regulations resulting from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). At that gathering, delegates agreed to authorize each country to determine whether or not to require that applicants demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify for an Amateur Radio license with privileges on frequencies below 30 MHz.


Typically, the effective date of an FCC Order is 30 days after it appears in the Federal Register. That would mean the Morse requirement and the revised 80-meter segment for automatically controlled digital stations would likely not go into effect until late January 2007.






December 9, 2006


Call To Order: The meeting was called to order at 1:30 P.M. by the President KD7OED. Other officers were present as were most every member of CARA, SWL’s and/or other invited guests.


Secretary Report: The Secretary KD7HAB did not read the minutes under pressure from those present to get over this “Monkey Business” and get on with the regular planned festivities. This action was approved by loud voice votes from all over the room as a grand and glorious Christmas party got underway.




With some confusion but little commotion, the amateur community took

occupancy of more commodious HF phone subbands as the so-called "omnibus" Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140:


kicked in December 15 at one minute past midnight Eastern Time. Among other things, the wide-ranging R&O inflated the overall phone allocations on 75 and 40meters and provided Generals with a little additional phone spectrum on 15 meters. On 75 meters, where the phone band expansion came at the expense of spectrum that had been allocated to CW, RTTY and data modes, some operators camped out above the new 3.600 MHz Extra class phone band edge to count down the switch.


"Anyone on that wants last CW es [and] first SSB?" pleaded one operator as the minutes ticked away. He'd been working a string of stations on CW,and when the appointed time arrived, he simply switched to SSB and carried on in that mode.



Bob Hollister, N7INK


MCU Update - Last week I installed an APRS tracker to use while we are traveling to or from mission assignments. It is physically located behind the passenger seat on the back wall.  It consists of a Yaesu FT-1500 transceiver, Garmin GPS-12 (Magnetic mount Hockey Puck), Tiger Track TNC and a magnetic mount antenna.  Power is currently provided by plugging into a cigarette lighter.  At some point a more permanent power connection will be provided tied to the ignition switch to ensure it is not left on accidentally. I want to thank Mike (N7ZGO) for his assistance on this project and the donation of the Tiger Track TNC and the Garmin APRS receiver.  Just a reminder to all drivers, be sure to disconnect the battery float charger before heading out on a mission. Check out this website and put it in your favorites to track us when we are deployed.


CERT On-Line Course - I recently finished the on-line portion of the "Introduction to Citizen's Emergency Response Team". I found it provided some practical information in preparing for emergency situations. I would encourage you to have a look at this course, IS-317, at the Emergency Management Institute website.  It is the same location as the IS 100/200/700/800 courses.  Completion of the on-line course may provide incentive for you to sign up for the hands-on class that is taught locally by the Fry Fire Department. As a minimum, it will help you understand how CERT and RACES can work together. If you have not completed the IS-100 and IS-700 courses, try to get them done over the Christmas break. They don't take that much time.


Storm Ready Communities - I attended a briefing a few weeks ago provided by the National Weather Service (NWS).  I have asked that Mr. Tom Evans of the Tucson NWS office provide the same briefing to the Local Emergency Planning Committee.  He has agreed to do that at the January meeting. You may wish to attend.  That will be on Friday, 19 January 2007 in room 200 of the Science Building at Cochise College. I think you might enjoy it.



Thomas J. Fagan, WB7NXH, Section Mgr. (




Is your mailing address correct on your FCC license?  The FCC has been canceling amateur radio licenses that have incorrect addresses.  My staff and I have found many incorrect addresses this last week, better get those addresses updated.  FCC part 97.23 Mailing address:  Each license grant must show the grantee's correct name and mailing address.

The mailing address must be in an area where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC and where the grantee can receive mail delivery by the United States Postal Service. Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to

provide the correct mailing address.



John Lanza KC7IM spoke to his contact at the special license plate div. the other day and everything is on track for production and distribution for the January 2007.  When they are ready to be issued, you will see the new plate on the ADOT website.  I'll let you all know

as soon as it happens.



Rick Aldom W7STS and T D Kennard N7ISR have agreed to be the co-chairs for the 2008 Southwestern Division Convention to be held in Arizona.  Brian Romine KC5CAY, president of the Superstition Amateur Radio Club has also stepped up to be the lead organization.  Rick and TD are working on the website and making the right phone calls.  If you or your club wants to be involved, please contact Rick or TD at  I will be letting you know more shortly.



Our PIC, Mike Swaider KA9E has moved out of the state.  I want to thank Mike for doing a great job.  However, that leaves the Arizona PIC position open.  If you would like to be the PIC section's expert on public information and public relations matters, please contact me. The PIC is responsible for organizing, training, guiding and coordinating the activities of the Public Information Officers (PIOs) within the section.  For more information about the PIC position go to



Thunderbird ARC takes on NASCAR.  The Thunderbird ARC participated in NASCAR's premiere event that stopped in the valley November 8-12.  The club distributed and maintained 500 handheld radios and accessories used by the fire & safety teams, security, etc. The track provided a trailer in the infield and one outside the track, both with banners

provided to promote the club. Led by KC-KG9JP and Marty-W6YJL, the following members volunteered their time to assist Phoenix Intl Raceway in this first time endeavor: Johnne-W1YB, Jack-WD7RCJ, Paul, W8AEF, Jim-KE7APB, Karin-KD7VGR, with special thanks going to Steve-W1ADW and Nicholas-KE7IBK.  The club also was assisted by Marty's non-ham clan,

Ron, Sandy and Edie and their efforts were greatly appreciated.  The Thunderbird ARC will be assisting PIR again in April when NASCAR returns to Phoenix.  Other amateurs who may be interested in participating in this event can email KC at



It's December already, hard to believe how the months have flown by.  From the cheap seats, it's been a pretty good year.  The big project is cooking along with significantly less time being devoted to the care and feeding of the database.  We have crossed another milestone; we now have more than 300 members signed up on the Arizona ARES Database.  I was given a copy of the preliminary AAR for the full scale exercise in September held in the northern part of the state.  Even with the use of the TOAD and all the commercially available communications the state had, they still had issues communicating with the incident scene.  As EMCOMM hams, we bring a unique ability to incident management, we are frequency agile and we are communicators.  This is a message I will be working hard over the next year to share with as many of the emergency managers as possible.  If hams were sent to the scene, and couldn't communicate, we could "bridge" communications even by simplex relays if by no other means.  We need to remember our strength is the knowledge of radio propagation, antenna basics and how to clearly and concisely communicate.  Sometimes it's just being able to "brute" force the communications which will make the incident manageable. I would like to wish you and your family a Joyous Christmas Season!  Rick Aldom W7STS

Section Emergency Coordinator



The following Arizona hams just received their FCC license,  Congratulations! Michael Fugitt KE7JDO, Amber Versteeg KE7JHG, Russell Versteeg KE7JDN, Lawrence Mccraw KE7JDK, Joseph Richins KE7JDL, Patti Wooldridge KE7JFZ,Tony Iadevaia KE7JGQ, Bruce Frederick KE7JDS, Glenn Bevin KE7JHH, Christine Pleasent KE7JGP, Jeffrey Townsend KE7JDM, Steven Garber KE7JDR, Terri Hart KE7JDQ, Jared Larsen Jr KE7JDP, Timothy Winkler

KE7JHI, April Allen KE7JDI, Lon Thomas KE7JHF, M Angelica Buchanan KE7JHX, June Sherlock KE7JJU, Stephen French KE7JDH, Alfred Garbagnati Jr KE7JET, Michael Taylor KE7JGJ, Elizabeth Jesse KE7JGO, Jonathan Pickrel KE7JGH, Johnathan Clouse KE7JGK, Kapualani Ampong KE7JEU, Douglas Dickey KE7JEP, Chelsea Dutenhoffer KE7JER, Kathryn Weik KE7JGN, Robert Nichols KE7JEV, Ellen Nichols KE7JEX, James Badger KE7JGL, Elmer

Oliverson KE7JGI, James Ellzey KE7JEQ, Brent Ellzey KE7JGM



 January 13, 2007 Westfest sponsored by the Thunderbird ARC,, Talk-In: 146.70 - (PL 162.2). Contact: Steve Grouse, W1ADW, Glendale Community College 5900 West Olive Avenue Glendale, AZ


February 5, 2007 Annual Ham Radio Equipment Auction sponsored by the West Valley Amateur Radio Club Talk-In: 147.300 MHz, +600 offset (PL 162.2) Contact: Ken Solheim, WN7DRX St. Clements of Rome Social Hall 15800 North Del Webb Blvd. Sun City, AZ


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about ARRL. If your club or group has an activity or event that would be of interest to other hams throughout our section please email me with the specifics.


THE COCHISE SMOKE is published each month by e-mail and snail mail.  Editor is Ted Weaver, K9TED   Snail mail stuff you’d like to have me publish in Smoke to P.O. Box 6017, Huachuca City, AZ 85616 or use the above e-mail address.


The Cochise Amateur Radio Association, Inc. (CARA)

P.O. Box 1855

Sierra Vista, AZ 85636



                                             “This Is A First Class Publication”