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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB024 (2001)

ARLB024 Amateur Morse Testing Changes Effective July 1

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 24  ARLB024
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 19, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB024 Amateur Morse Testing Changes Effective July 1

New Morse code exam standards go into effect July 1 for all
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. The new standards call for
Farnsworth character speed in the 13-to-15 WPM range and the end of
multiple-choice questions for routine Morse code exams.

In the wake of restructuring and the establishment of 5 WPM as the
sole amateur Morse requirement, the National Conference of Volunteer
Examiner Coordinators voted last July to set up the revised
standards for the administration of Morse code examinations in the

ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, points out the required change
to the Farnsworth protocol replaces the 18-WPM character speed ARRL
VEC has used since 1989. ''Standard 5 WPM messages with 5 WPM
characters are available as an accommodation,'' he said. ''Standard
(non-Farnsworth) speed messages are available upon special request
from the ARRL VEC for ARRL VE teams.''

In addition, the Morse exam audio frequency range should be between
700 and 1000 Hz for routine exams. Consistent with the revised
standards, Jahnke said, ARRL VEC has set 15-WPM characters as its
Farnsworth setting and 750 Hz as its audio-frequency standard.

Code practice transmissions from Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will
reflect the new Farnsworth standard. W1AW Station Manager Joe
Carcia, NJ1Q, says transmissions using the new protocol will begin
Monday, July 2. Code transmissions at speeds below 18 WPM will drop
from 18 WPM to 15 WPM character speed. W1AW Web code practice files,
at, will mirror the new
standards too.

The new Morse examination standards also affect test administration.
After July 1, Morse examinees will have to supply fill-in-the-blank
answers for the 10-question Element 1 quiz. Multiple-choice type
examinations no longer will be acceptable. Under the new testing
regime, Morse code examinees must either correctly answer seven of
the ten fill-in-the-blanks questions or correctly copy 25
consecutive characters.

Changes are on the horizon for the written examinations as well.
Revised Amateur Extra question pool will go into effect July 1,
2002. Reworked Technician and General question pools will become
effective on July 1 2003 and 2004 respectively.


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