Saturday, June 20, 2009

CW Speed Limit Proposed

It as just a couple of years ago that No-Code International helped to persuade the FCC to eliminate the Morse code testing requirements for American ham radio operators. The no-code fad spread to other countries faster than a chlamydia outbreak in Fort Lauderdale during spring break. Despite the success of No-Code International and its sympathizers, the airways have continued to be perversely full of cw signals. However, if another group has its way, those cw signals may be slowed to a crawl.

A new organization by the name of Slow-Code International plans to petition the FCC to place a speed limit on all cw signals. They suggest that no one be allowed to send cw faster than 15 words per minute. Although the Slow-Code International members have learned cw, they complain that too many operators send faster than they can copy. Many of these high speed, or QRQ, operators have spent decades polishing their cw skills through participation in traffic nets, contests, DXing, and everyday rag chewing. The Slow-Code group maintains that it is unreasonable to expect them to spend years practicing to perfect an outdated skill. A spokesman for Slow-Code International claims that 15 wpm is as fast as anybody need to operate cw. "Those hot shots running 20, 25, 30 words per minute are just show offs. Most of our members can't think faster than about 18 words per minute."

Slow-Code International has found an allie in their crusade. The Anti-CW Lovers Union (ACLU) claims that a cw speed limit is justifiable under the American With Disabilities Act (ADA). Prior to the elimination of the code testing requirement, the FCC would issue medical exemptions to license candidates who could provide a doctor's certification that they had a condition which prevented them from copying Morse code. By extension, the ACLU argues that the FCC must accept that not being to copy cw is a medical disability, hence not being able to copy fast code should also be considered a disability. Therefore, under the ADA, it is reasonable to place some limitation on cw operators to accommodate those with the disability.

Slow-Code International and the ACLU plan to file their petition with the FCC later this summer.


  1. you are right, you are handicapped people HIx3

  2. I can't believe it... It sounds like what we call "poisson d'avril" but we have been so hilarous with the no code action !
    I always slow down for the people that need it to have a dialogue but i guss this :

    Life's 2 short 4 QRS !
    73's de Maurice F6IIE

  3. I am sorry, but I didn't copy that. Could you write slower please?