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Author Topic: Where are the young hams on CW?  (Read 1380 times)
KQ6UP
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Posts: 136




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« on: May 15, 2007, 09:26:28 AM »

I have been working on my CW and have workrd many stations.  I have yet to run into someone that is my age (34) running CW.  I am feeling a little insecure that I am going to learn a craft that will fade away when all of the older CW ops go SK.

Any coments?

Chris KQ6UP
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 09:58:10 AM »

Just keep at it.  When others hear how useful it is to dig out the weak DX, get extra points in contest, be able to continue to operate when solar flares, etc wipe out voice and digital, they will eventually come around.

Spread the word.  Brag a bit about the unique things that can be achieved with it.  It's a great backpacking mode because you can take a QRP rig, small battery, and key.  No computer required.
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KQ6UP
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 11:15:35 AM »

Yes, I have found that it definately still has its place and advantages.  I especially like the idea of a backpack mode.

Chris KQ6UP
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 12:54:29 PM »

> I have yet to run into someone that is my age (34)
> running CW. I am feeling a little insecure that I
> am going to learn a craft that will fade away when
> all of the older CW ops go SK.

Some months ago, I had a CW QSO with a new ham who
was 12.

Even back when I was a new ham (30 years ago), most
hams (using any mode) were middle aged or older.

I think alot of people take up amateur radio as
they approach or after entering retirement. That's
been true a very long time, as far as I can tell.

So I wouldn't be alarmed at the typical age of the
CW ops that you work.

Scott
W5ESE
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VE3ENG
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 08:01:03 PM »

...Yeah, funny how the good things in life never lasts! That we all like to hang on to things for security and comfort.

   The bottom line "for me" is to enjoy CW while it's here "today"...while "yesterday" has gone and "tomorrow" has yet to come. If CW is longer fun for me then i'll pick another mode...right?

73,James, Ve3eng

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VE3ENG
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 08:04:01 PM »

Oops...  If CW is "NO" longer fun for me then i'll pick another mode...right?

73,James, Ve3eng
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KA5ROW
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Posts: 500


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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 01:15:00 AM »

Sad to say CW is a dying art. As are many things and ways of the past. I earned my Novice licenses in 1983. I quickly up graded to Technician "Bad band plan" and dropped the key for the mic. For the next 7 years I stayed a Tech. I got my self back in gear, passed the 13 WPM for the General, and it took all of 28 days to reach my goal.  To be honest I did not learn the code just for the code sake.  I learned the code for the privilege to use the phone. But I feel I earned that right. I did what was required to have  the right to use phone. ( and it was earned ). As far a CW dying off that is true, in 20 years or so I see a portion of that allocation being reassigned to  phone.
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NG9D
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2007, 06:29:12 AM »

kq6up de ng9d

I am -- age 51 -- on the threshold of being an O.T.

i worked a 21 yr old cw op last nite.  he had nearly perfect cw fist using speed x key.  he was using johnson valiant tranmitter and national nc300 rx.

... plus was commenting on grid current and plate V.

hope is not lost!

cw lives on

73 Lynn NG9D
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2007, 06:57:42 AM »

I'm 28 and though I'm not as good at conversational CW as I'd like, I use it more than I use phone.

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
AC2C
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2007, 07:39:08 AM »

Maybe a bit off-topic, but I'll try anyway...

I have been astonished at the number of contacts I've had where our Ham experiences have been very parallel.

For me, first licensed as a Novice in 1965, I was fairly active for the first couple years, then had an on and off period of time, and a fairly long totally QRT period -- 20+ years in my case.  Luckily, for me, I kept my license active.

Now, at age 58, and getting close to retirement, I'm radio active again.  For whatever reason, I'm migrating right back to CW and still enjoying it very much.  I am totally amazed with the number of contacts I've had where the operator is 55-70 years old, been a Ham (on and off) for 35-45 years, had a long period of down time, and has recently returned to the hobby.

Maybe this cycle has been going on for years and years, maybe it's a part of the baby boom generation, maybe that's why so many of the CW operators are 55+ years old, maybe ...

Ron, AC2C
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K8GU
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Posts: 719


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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2007, 07:40:57 AM »

I'm 26, and like N3OX, I'm not nearly as good at conversational CW as I should be.  I operate almost exclusively in CW contests, often from other stations using their calls.  I spend a lot of time just listening when I'm not contesting...I'm freer to come and go from the radio that way.  Perhaps this thread should be an incentive for me to get on and chat!
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 08:04:48 AM »

Ron's (AC2C) story mirrors mine almost exactly.  I was licensed as a novice in 1965/1966 but left the hobby as my college years in the 1960s kept me very busy.  I got interested again and licensed again in 2004 but just recently (this January) got back into CW.

Since January, CW has been my dominant mode.  But, I am not 28 like Dan.  I am 59 going on 60 this year.  I have retired but actually I still keep working quite a bit doing consulting work so maybe I am not retired after all (but, I did get a retirement severance and a gold watch which I never wear).

But, I almost never know the age of the other side of the QSO unless they tell me and then I am often surprised as they are older then me most of the time.   Why am I surprised?  Well, because, like I said, I am just getting back into CW and so I guess I operate with others who are usually between 16 and 20 wpm and I assume that they are on the younger, just getting started side of CW.  But, that assumption is probably wrong on several counts.  The most likely reason it is wrong is that I bet a lot of these CW operators are just like me, just getting back into this side of the hobby and enjoying every minute of it.
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2007, 08:43:48 AM »

By the way Ron, nice call sign:  A-C-Deuce-C.
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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2007, 08:46:58 AM »

This is very encouraging because I am enjoying CW.  In fact I worked JE1TRV this morning from the mobile on 40m.  It seems that it will be around for a while.  I plan on being a scout master, and I plan on teaching the little guys CW.

Chris KQ6UP
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AC2C
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2007, 08:53:38 AM »

Phil --

Thanks -- The AC2C call goes very well with a 20-year Navy career.  It was a luck of the draw when the revised call plan came out in the late 70's.

Ron, AC2C
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