Thursday, February 23, 2012

End of the World As We Know It

Don’t worry about waiting for the end of the world in December. It’s already happened. It happened five years ago today. February 23, 2007. The effective date the FCC eliminated the code requirement. The day that ham radio ended. Yup. We’ve been walking dead for five years now, whether we knew it or not.

Of course that was the most recent end of ham radio. Previously, ham radio ended on April 15, 2000. That was the date when the FCC dropped the 13 wpm and 20 wpm code tests, leaving only the 5 wpm code test required for obtaining a license. Brain damaged monkeys can be taught to copy code at 5 wpm.

Prior to that, ham radio died in February 1991 when the FCC dropped the code requirement for the Technician class license. For the first time, it was possible to get on the air without any code test whatsoever. Of course, we kept them corralled to the repeaters on the VHF bands, so no real harm done. Except that’s where they started and stayed, for the most part.

Of course, the end of REAL ham radio began September 2, 1984. That’s when the FCC got out of the license testing business. No more facing the grim faced FCC examiners. No sweating the code tests as they rattled off on a decrepit code player. They even started publishing the questions.

We’re just zombies. Walking dead playing our paddles and working DX. Sooner or later we’ll wake up and realize it. In the meantime there’s a 3C on 30m that I need.


  1. This is a good start but you forgot to include incentive licensing.

  2. And before that this SSB stuff. Oh, and before that, phone in general.

  3. I think the end came when every idiot with a PC and a transceiver became "empowered" to transmit and receive radio teletype on the CW ham bands. Not sure when that was, mid-80s, maybe, but the plague spreads daily.

  4. nah, end of spark=end of REAL radio