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Author Topic: Techs: Using your CW privileges?  (Read 6709 times)

Posts: 8911


« on: February 23, 2012, 07:09:32 AM »

Technician class licensees have CW privileges on 10m, 15m, 40m, and 80m equivalent to those of a General class
licensee.  I would guess that these privileges are not exercised very often since the Morse tests have gone away, with new people becoming interested in CW operation and learning Morse after they've been on the bands for a while.

I know that *I* did not get interested in actually operating CW routinely until long after I held my Advanced class license, and I did have to at least have a "pass the 13WPM test" familiarity with Morse.  But I used phone and digital pretty much exclusively for the first four or so years that I was on HF.

I held a Technician Plus as my first license. I have a good memory and simply memorizing Morse turned out to be enough to squeak out a pass on the 5WPM when I went to take my Tech test.  I had the smaller Novice bands on 15m, 40m, and 80m allocations to go along with my 10m phone, but I almost never used them.  15m was dead much of the time (it was 1995 and the sunspot doldrums), 40m was crowded with broadcasters, and 80m didn't interest me too much because I liked DX... and I was scared and nervous about using CW on the air.

I think back to my year as a Tech+ and wonder what it would have been like if I had General-class style privileges AND 15m was open.  I would think I would have been pretty interested in the 21.025-21.050 range!  As it was I had a nice location on a hill overlooking Lake Erie so it was good for VHF/UHF contacts into Canada, and on HF I just waited for sporadic E openings on 10m.

But I wonder: any Techs reading this who have learned Morse and are using their Morse-only HF privileges?  To be clear, this question is not a trap, no ulterior motives, no weird code/no-code agendas.  I'm asking out of pure curiosity.


Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.

Posts: 167

« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 09:05:43 AM »

I guess I don't fit into the premise.  I started out as a Tech and upgraded about six months later to Tech+.  My goal and interest from the beginning was to operate cw.  CW was/is ham radio in my mind so my progression was natural for me.  I upgraded and purchased a broken Heath Kit SB101.  I was able to replace some bad wires and solder joints so it worked on cw only.  I was lucky I was forced to do cw only.

I worked mostly 80 mtrs and a little 40 mtr as it was very crowded with broadcast stations at that time.  I upgraded to General in a couple of months, 13 wpm was far easier than the 5 wpm test.  

It was only a couple years ago I upgraded to Extra, the old 20 wpm test would have been easy now.  

So I think my answer to the thread is if you are interested in cw or drawn to it then it will happen no matter what.  73, Mike.

Posts: 1484

« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 09:19:10 AM »

I know that *I* did not get interested in actually operating CW routinely until long after ...  wonder what it would have been like if I had General-class style privileges AND 15m was open.

I was a Tech+ in 1991, and 15 meters was open a lot.  I worked my first 60-70 countries on CW, mostly on 15 with some on 10.  (No 20m for Techs back then.)   Had a WORLD of fun!   Then I got my Extra and pretty much stopped using CW--until a couple of months ago.  :-)  I'm rusty, but I'm having a world o' fun again, working some CW DX.  :-)

Posts: 68

« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

It was sad when the FCC dropped the Novice class ticket.
My 7 months on the air as Novice on the air got my Code speed from 5 t0 15 WPM in casual QSOs/
In later years I heard about Novices operating on 2 Meters (the only phone privelage then) but only worked one.

SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer

Posts: 2100

« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 04:46:33 PM »

     Plenty of of c.w. techs between 7.106 and 7.116
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 08:18:17 AM by W1JKA » Logged

Posts: 132

« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 09:26:13 PM »

When I got my tech all I did was work 40M CW, later I upgraded to general mainly so I could use the CW portion of the 20M band.  I have talked with serveral CW ops who were techs.  I think there are more CW techs than most guys realize.
 Yes many times you have to QSY to the old novice portions of the band and yes you may have to QRS, but they are there! 
I had a chat the other night with an op on 40M and we were chatting at about 18wpm, his fist was clean and easy to copy.  I was surprised after the QSO when I looked him up on QRZ and realized he was a Technicain class license holder. 
Hope we keep hearing more and more techs on the CW bands.

Posts: 11

« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 07:09:00 AM »

  I have a Technician class license and pretty much use CW exclusively.  I learned morse code after the testing requirement was dropped. 

Posts: 788


« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 03:05:43 PM »

I am a tech and I don't have an HF rig so I can't at this point. Maybe someday. Just have a dual-band HT at the moment.


Posts: 2007

« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 12:52:45 PM »

I don't assume what the original poster has. The assumption does not apply to my case, certainly.

I got a General Class license back in the late 1950s and hadn't played with radios for about 45 years. Of course in those days you took your exam, with the 13 WPM code portion, at an FCC office.

A couple of years ago I picked up my old interest in radio and CW appealed to me far more than anything else. I realized that I still knew the code well enough to jump back in once I got a license. The current Tech test is essentially a no-brainer and I saw that I could have significant HF CW privileges with little effort (aside from assembling an Elecraft K2 from a kit, buying a shiny new key and figuring out how to string up some wire).

So that's what I did. I can't imagine that there are not lots of others just like me, with a wish to investigate or reenter a rather quaint and still very enjoyable communication mode and culture.

With a Tech license being so easy to get and so many HF privileges available, I think that the revised licensing system has been a remarkable success in keeping ham radio alive--the culture and the industry.

I've since done the General test, almost equally a no-brainer and now I have radio privileges that I won't be able to fully explore for a very long time.

Posts: 6

« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 07:42:08 AM »

I got my tech in 2010 intending to play with the local VHF repeaters.  While studying for the license I learned about the tech CW privileges and 10m phone.  That quickly turned me over to the dark side.
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