1980s: Antenna restrictions began with the advent of cable TV and satellite dishes.
Novices and Technicians were permitted by Canada to operate in their country without a reciprocal permit. Previously they were not allowed to operate in Canada since Canada had no equivalent licenses. 69% of all ham license applicants, new and upgrade, failed. The examination questions were not published, yet Dick Bash, KL7IHP obtained the questions and published them via the Freedom of Information Act. He sold his “Final Exam” question manuals at the rate of about 1,000 a month. ARRL refuse to run ads for the Final Exam in QST. FCC rewrote its questions.
1983: Cellular telephone networks start in the U.S. Power limit for higher class license holders changed from 1000 input to 1500 peak input. A proposal for a code-free license emerges. Hams overwhelming oppose and defeat the proposal.
1984: There are about 410,000 hams in the U.S.
FCC publishes examination questions and answers.
Volunteer Examiner program starts.
1985: FCC issues PRB-1 requiring reasonable accommodation of amateur radio antennas.
1987: Novice Enhancement grants Novices phone privileges on 220mhz and 1.2mhz. The Novice written examination, Element 2, was increased from 20 questions to 30 questions.
Novices and Technicians granted 10 meter SSB privileges, 28.3 to 28.5mhz.
Novice and Technician Frequency Privileges:
3.7 to 3.75mhz CW.
7.1 to 7.150mhz, CW.
21.1 to 21.2mhz, CW.
28.1 to 28.5mhz, CW.
28.3 to 28.5 Phone
Note Technicians had additional privileges over what Novices were allocated. Novices and Technicians gained an additional 65mhz on 15 meters, and 300mhz on 10 meters CW. Novices gained voice privileges on 220mhz and 1.2ghz.
1988: The International Marine Organization, an agency of the United Nations which regulates international shipping phased out CW and adopted the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) which uses digital and voice modes via satellites. The military did likewise. Not only were telegraphers, many of our most skilled and experienced ham, laid-off, their entire occupation was eliminated.
1989: The population of hams in the U.S. is over 500,000.
American Radio Relay League (ARRL) proposes a code-free license that does not have voice privileges on 2 meters.