My Original QSL Card from 1973
My Original QSL Card from 1973

Michael L. Shepp
2528 E 149th Avenue
Lutz, Florida 33559, USA
Hillsborough County
Ten Ten No. 60872
Latitude: 28.086679 (28° 5' 12" N)
Longitude: -82.426981 (82° 25' 37" W)
Grid: EL88sc

My Ham Auto Tag

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

I have held my Amateur Radio License, WB4DPC since 03-20-73.
Link to My callsign WB4DPC
Look up WB4DPC on the FCC website

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Amateur Radio Newsline

Solar X-rays:

Geomagnetic Field:

FCC Drops Morse Code
as of February 23, 2007.

New Licensing Structure
as of April 15, 2000.
Only three license classes: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra
Only one code exam at 5 wpm for HF privileges (General and Extra)

More than a year after it first proposed reducing the number of amateur license classes and asked hams for input on code speed requirements, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed down its restructuring decision on the final business day of 1999. Here is a summary of changes, which are effective as of April 15, 2000:

  • There will be only three license classes, Technician, General, and Amateur Extra, with a single written exam element for each grade of license.

  • There will be only one code exam -- at 5 words per minute (wpm) -- for licenses with HF privileges (General and Extra).

  • No new Novice, Tech-Plus, or Advanced Class licenses will be issued after April 14. However, hams who now hold these licenses will retain all of their current operating privileges, and will be able to modify &/or renew their licenses indefinitely. Tech-Plus hams will be renewed as Technicians, but will retain their HF operating privileges.

  • There will be no "refarming" of the ham bands as proposed by the ARRL. This means that current Novice and Advanced Class subbands will remain as they are, so there will be no expansion of frequency privileges for any ham without passing an upgrade exam or showing credit for all necessary exam elements (more on this later). There will also be no changes in the callsign groups.

  • There will be no automatic upgrades, even for hams who qualify based on past credit. Even if no additional exams are required, a ham will have to apply for an upgrade at a VE (Volunteer Examination) session.

  • There will be only three written exam elements, one for each new class of license. Decisions on structuring the new exam elements will be made by the Volunteer Examiner Coordinators' Question Pool Committee (QPC), which will be given even greater authority in designing and administering amateur exams.

  • The much-abused disability waiver for 13- and 20-wpm code tests is eliminated (since there will no longer be any 13- or 20-wpm code tests, and their never was one for the 5-wpm code test).
New Morse Testing Standards
NCVEC advances revised Morse testing standards

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators has voted to set up revised standards for the administration of Morse code examinations in the US.

Under the revised standards, examinees would have to show 25 character-count solid copy on test sheets or successfully answer seven out of ten questions of a fill-in-the-blank quiz on the sent text. The plan would bar multiple choice tests for Morse code testing.

Morse examinations would specify use of a Farnsworth  "character speed" in the range of 13 to 15 WPM.  Morse code audio pitch would have to be between 700 and 1000 Hz. Standard 5 WPM tests with 5 WPM character speed could be administered only as a special accommodation.

The new Morse testing standards are to be in effect by next July 1, but VECs may implement them sooner.

The NCVEC vote came July 21, 2000 during a meeting of VECs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

ARRL Restructuring Information

New Amateur Exam Question Pools
ARRL Amateur Exam Question Pools

New Licensing Practice Ham Exams

The following sites will allow you to take a practice exam for the Technician, General or Extra Class License. These are using the questions from the new April 15, 2000 question pools.
Clicktron / QRZ Practice Ham Exams Practice Ham Exams


Sometimes there is confusion between GMT, UTC and ZTIME. As utilized, these time designators all mean the same thing. It is based on the time at Greenwich, England (hence GMT - Greenwich Mean Time). You may see references such as 1200 GMT, 1200 UTC or 12Z. These are all the same time.

The Official U.S. Time

Time Zone Converter

Java World Clock v. 3.2 - shows the date and time in all 24 time zones.

My Other HAM Pages

My Ham Links, My PSK31 Page, My SSTV Page, My Icom Page, My Kenwood Page and My Yaesu Page can be accessed using the Menu on the left top.

What Is Ham Radio?

Amateur radio is a technical as well as social and public service hobby that spans the entire world. Amateur radio (also known as HAM Radio) attracts people from all walks of life (from Kings, Senators, famous musicians, to the person next door) who are interested in all facets of radio communications. Amateur radio allows people the advancement of one's knowledge of radio theory, electronics, and emergency management.

The hobby can be as simple as talking on local-area repeaters with those in the same town, to building your own radio or experimenting with new forms of telecommunications. The HAM hobbyist can talk to those on the other side of the earth with nothing more than a simple High Frequency transceiver and an equally simple wire antenna.

Amateur radio is used in search-and-rescue, contests, disaster aid (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, accidents, fires), and much more. Amateur radio operators talk with other HAM radio hobbyists using all sorts of communication modes. From Morse Code and voice to Slow Scan Television and computer networking through the radio waves, These hobbyists reach out with goodwill from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. Dedicated hobbyists have pioneered in new technology, contributing to advances in technology that has impacted the world of communications in all areas of our lives. Even ham-astronauts take radios with them on space shuttle missions, and make calls to earth-bound Amateurs.

Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. If you are in the United States, one way to start is to locate a radio club in your area. Some radio clubs offer ham radio licensing classes, or they can find a club volunteer to answer your questions. You may even be invited to attend a local radio club meeting. You will also want to check out the ARRL website.

The Electronic QSL Card Center

New Menu System

This is my new updated website. It is a little different from the old one, more up to date. The links are in the MENU, which is on the blue bar above to the left. Click on MENU or the 3 bars and scroll down to the site you are looking for and click on it. If you are at the bottom of the page click the up arrow in the circle on the bottom blue bar and this will take you to the top of the page so you can select the Menu button.

Hits since May 1, 2000

3d Printing Marketplace

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