I've got to remember that long comma bit - though a bit difficult with a
keyer -- that old commercial system with the first-second-third phone and
first-second-third CW and AT(aircraft telegrapher with 25 wpm) wasn't bad.
I too found the phone and second CW licenses no worse than the amateur tests
of the time.
These days it's all new: the MROP (marine radio operators permit) - short,
and all regs requiring memorization, but quick and easy, the GROL (general
radio operators license) which takes the place of the old 2nd and first
phone and is a lifetime license; the ship radar endorsement, not too rough,
and the new GDMSS maintainer and operator (two tickets) with very long tests
which invariably require study, needed for the current low-hf-vhf distress
The AT test is no more. When I got the 2nd CW it was 16 wpm code group,
which of course was credit for General. First CW needed a ship master's
endorsement of 6 month(?) on-the-job expericence before you could take the
I often considered trying commercial ship radio officer work for a bit - but
never did anything about it - maybe my time as RT in USNavy was enough of
that which pertains to boats. K3TX
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Gerald N. Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: [TenTec] List Abbreviations
> On Tue, 2007-12-04 at 21:49 -0600, Kim Elmore wrote:
>> Great! My Dad, W5JHJ (SK) had told me about this shortly after I got
>> my Novice ticket in 1970. I'd never heard or read of it anywhere.
>> Now, the long comma -- that's a great one!
>> I have my 2nd Class Radiotelegraph, mainly because I saw that it was
>> still available. For some odd reason, the FCC hasn't done away with
>> it. I took my 20 wpm Extra test before the FCC, so I qualified by
>> taking only the written portion. The written is pretty arcane (and
>> hasn't been updated for many years), asking lots of questions about
>> super-regen receivers and message handling protocols. I learned those
>> on CW traffic nets, so it wasn't too bad.
> Those should have been straight regen receivers used on ship for LF for
> a very long time. Might still be some Liberty ships from WW2 in freight
> service still using the 30's vintage designs slightly modified with a
> couple RF stages so keep them from being heard by submarines. One of the
> local hams (moved away and probably SK W0NJ) was in the US merchant
> marine during all of WW2, and transmitted once and then the ship was in
> I took the 2nd Telegraphy test in the summer of 1958, the FCC wouldn't
> let me take the extra test yet because I hadn't had the general two
> years. And when I went for the extra in the fall noting having the 2nd
> telegraphy, the examiner said, "You'd better pass the code test!" which
> I did. I took the first phone that summer too and it was far behind the
> extra written in modern technology. The extra covered TV, RTTY, FM, and
> stuff that the first phone didn't. Haven't renewed the commercials in
> about 40 years, and it hasn't made any difference to my income either.
> 73, Jerry, K0CQ
>> Kim Elmore N5OP
>> At 08:57 PM 12/4/2007, you wrote:
>> >On Tue, 2007-12-04 at 20:26 -0600, Kim Elmore wrote:
>> > > Is this one that anyone else has heard of?
>> >Yep. I use that frequently. Sometimes I get a dit, sometimes not. If
>> >not then I follow up with a full "QRL?". I figure it gives the guys who
>> >know a chance to stop me without having to endure a full Q signal query.
>> >Been doing that for years and I don't remember who taught me the
>> >I was a ship Radio Officer for some years and used CW extensively. And,
>> >I never heard the "didit dit" sequence while out there.
>> >OTOH, whilst sailing the high seas, a long drawn out comma character,
>> >"daaaah daaaaah didit daaaaah daaaaaaaah" was a serious insult, roughly
>> >equivalent to "F*** YOU". I didn't see that on the list. Heh.. Those
>> >were some fun times!
>> >73 & BCNU,
>> >-Doug, W7KF
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