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Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 3) 135

Well, there actually was a reason for the law. To quote Mr. Perens:

" There was a logical reason to pass this law in the 1920's. Military stations needed a way to order the hams off of the air if the country went to war, or if the hams were interfering with the military stations during peacetime. Since the military didn't have any voice radios, they required the hams to learn Morse Code so that they'd understand when they were given government orders. Another reason for having the hams know Morse was that the government wanted telegraphers for communication during wartime. It took a long time to train a telegrapher, so it was easier to just draft a ham who had already learned the code. "

Since the law is etched in international treaty, the requirement for Morse apparently can't be repealed by Congress, only slackened (as it just has been). Some see this as a way to let more people into the field of amateur radio, most hams I've spoke to though just think it's neat (kind of like programming, I guess), plus it turns their hobby into an exclusive club. One guy I know says he usually likes to just sit there and do morse code instead of talk because it's easier.

I recommend reading Mr. Perens' article at http://perens.com/Morse.html , it gives a good background on the topic.

(Sorry, Bruce, I got here first...)

Ryan Kirk

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