Previously, I wrote about how some people consider it illegal to use American Morse on the amateur radio bands. Now, however, there seems to be a different interpretation of the rules. Jim, WB8SIW, the president of the Morse Telegraph Club, sent this e-mail to the slowspeedwire mailing list:
During the recent Dayton Hamvention, I had the opportunity to speak with an FCC Official who was hosting the FCC forum. In a private discussion, I brought up the issue of American Morse on the Ham Radio bands. I outlined my previous discussions with Gary Johnston as well as the argument, which I used to counter Mr. Johnston’s interpretation of the rules. He agreed entirely with my interpretation of the regulations.
The official with whom I spoke stated unequivocally that American Morse is legal on Amateur Radio frequencies. The only requirement is that one’s identification must be transmitted using Continental Code (International Morse). This is also the traditional interpretation applied for decades.
So there you have it. American Morse is legal on Amateur Radio frequencies. While this is not an “official” ruling, it proves the point that Mr. Johnston took an extremely restrictive view of the regulations, which was unwarranted. MTC members wishing to practice the art of American Morse Code on the ham radio frequencies should feel free to do so. Obviously, the general rules of courtesy apply and one should respect the usual “gentleman’s agreements” regarding band plan.
Thank you for your interest in this matter.
Morse Telegraph Club, Inc.
Now, I just have to learn American Morse. :)