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Author Topic: Where are the young hams on CW?  (Read 3649 times)

Posts: 2871

« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2007, 02:46:38 PM »

>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.

Amen, brother!

I've been hamming off and on since 1986 and am in my 50s now.  If CW activity has fallen off, it sure hasn't registered at station WO0Z.

And yet, even in '86, people were complaining that it was an old man's hobby, etc. etc.  I'm glad I didn't listen.

Lately, during the sunspot minimums, I've worked over 200 DXCC countries (and wasn't even making that a focus -- it was band countries I've been working or 5BWAZ zones).  All with a popgun station.

Most of this has been on CW and some on RTTY.  

This is the death throes?  If CW is dying it is taking an awfully long time to do it.  In fact, I think CW is bungling the job.  Contesters sure haven't got the memo nor have major DXpeditions.  As far as I can make out, county hunters now make CW a major focus.  I don't remember that existing at all 20 years back.  Some death.

Code will outlast the worriers and the naysayers.  

Future hams will discover it for the same reason it is popular today.  It works.  It's useful.  It gets things done.  And, it's even FUN!

Posts: 151


« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2007, 04:25:36 PM »

Define "young."

I just turned 42 and I LOVE CW.

73 de Donald

Posts: 17

« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2007, 10:22:48 AM »


   I could go for that definition too. I'm 39 and just getting into ham radio, I always wanted to learn code. I have had a hard time learning it but am starting to get it. I just need to make more of a point to get on the air more instead of listening or the puter programs. As far as the age I feel old but everyone keeps saying I'm just a kid. Maybe it has something to do with living in Florida,hihi. Anyway I am determined to beat this code thing my big goal is to be able to do it mobile.

73, DonDon

Posts: 158

« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2007, 10:44:24 AM »

Having recently turned 62, I find myself approaching the upper limit of adolescence, nearing adulthood, and enjoying CW exclusively.
73 & CU on CW,
Jim NS5M

Posts: 67

« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2007, 05:40:58 PM »

I've been doing CW since age 12 when that's all Novices had for operating modes. Now, at 35, I'm still doing CW although a whole lot faster.

Be secure now! CW in peace.



Posts: 1146

« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2007, 06:32:06 PM »

Back in the 1960s when I was  novice doing CW at the age of 17/18, almost everybody I remember QSO'ing with was around the same age -- basically, we were all teenagers with a few outside those bounds here and there.

This hobby has grown up.  Here I am almost 60 and doing CW and most of the guys that I QSO with seem to be around the same age.  OK, maybe 50s and 60s for the center-spread of the normal curve but still, almost no teenagers.  Actually, I don't think I have QSO'd with a teen yet since I got back into CW this year.

I had only four crystals for the 40 meter band back then when I was a kid and I loved every minute of it.  A few of us must have all had the same frequency cut on our crystals because we ran across each other almost every night.  I was in Oregon, another was in Washington, and the third and fourth were in California.  I remember the QTH states but not the cities (except for Washington which was Chehalis and my own QTH of course).  And, I can't remember any call signs nor any names.  And, somewhere in the deep dark past I either lost my log book or just threw it away.

Posts: 32

« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2007, 11:54:34 PM »

Hi All,

I'm feeling young at 38.

I'm making a comeback to CW after a 10 year break.
My CW was ok at 15wpm back then.  Hoping to get up into the high 20s soon. Been practicing like mad.

I've been having a great time on 40m in the evenings.

I liked CW for these reasons and more:
 - I find it fascinating.
 - I can nearly always get a response when calling CQ. Not so, on SSB.
 - I’m too shy to use my voice anyway Hi Hi.
 - Much better success DXing on CW than SSB with 100watts.

Hope to hear you on 40m!


Posts: 136

« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2007, 07:48:58 AM »

That is were I am at too.  I was up to 15WPM about 10 years ago, but I just did it for the upgrade.  Now I am doing it for fun.  I'm running at about 17WPM head copy now.  I can go faster with pen and paper, but I am trying to break that habbit.

Chris KQ6UP

Posts: 18


« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2007, 08:01:09 PM »

I sort of 'worry' about this too. I love cw, but fear that someday, there will be nobody to talk to. I got licensed in 1985, when I was 13. took to cw right away. I found most voice operators to be rude, not wanting to bother talking to you unless you are blasting in at 20 db over s9 - (it's STILL that way) And to make matters worse, my voice hadn't changed yet. I stuck with cw and hamming til I was about 20. at that time, sitting at the radio took a backseat to school, girls, driving and being a young adult.

Fast forward 8 years, when I bought a house. It hit me, 'try radio again' - I took to cw right away and have been having an absolute great time with it. I'd be on there right now, but my antennas are down because I added some tower and am redoing a lot of things up there.

I tell people that I do morse code and use it to talk to people ALL over the world. they can't believe it, they can't grasp the idea of actually carrying on a conversation with code.

we live in the 'now'- so we need to have fun with this wonderful mode NOW.

I don't think that there are less cw ops these days. maybe a few less, but the bands are still crowded and busy for the most part. 80, 40, 30 and 20 are at least. I am 35, since I got back into radio, I've only talked to one person younger than me, he was 13.

73 de KA8YLY Jason in Ohio

Posts: 136

« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2007, 08:14:58 PM »

That sounds almost identical to my situation.  Although, since I have been back into CW, the youngest person I have worked was in his 40s.  I have not worked any YLs yet either.  CW is contagious.  I worked CW only this year at FD, and have all of the young hams in my local club envious and wanting to work on CW for themselves.  This is an encouraging sign.  I love CW, and now prefer it over SSB.  I have also noticed that there are some RUDE hams on SSB.  I just had an arrogant ham accuse me of being a CBer because I used the QRZ to check to see if the frequency is in use instead of QRL.  This makes me not want to do voice on HF at all (although I have had some great QSO's with some very fine OM on SSB).

73's de KQ6UP

Posts: 18


« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2007, 05:00:34 AM »

I think ONCE in the late 80's I talked to a XYL using cw. on ssb, quite a few actually, mostly in Europe. (the wife 'allows' me to chat on the radio most of the time. probably because she KNOWS that I'm not on there talking to women, haha! she still hasn't grasped the notion of dropping everything (yard work in particular) to work grid squares during an unexpected 6 meter opening... )

the truth is that this is an 'older persons hobby' and that cw is the most 'antique' way/means of doing this 'older persons hobby'...

Never was in the scouts and we don't have kids yet...
I guess I'll have to get involved with a club and try to get younger people into it that way. I'm really not into the club thing at all though. I was all into 'that' the first time through, too much politics and back stabbing type stuff. anytime a young person shows interest in the radios in the basement, I give them a tour, but they are usually more interested in the drumset down there as well. there is a friend of mine who's son (11) has really shown a keen interest. taught him his name in code, in 15 minutes. maybe I should focus on him. I just don't see him very often.

as a kid, I wanted to do it all. cw, ssb, rtty, fstv, public service, traffic nets, dxing. funny how you find your priorities!

I forget the point I was trying to make, oh yeah, cw is the best!

Posts: 34

« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2007, 07:58:44 PM »

I am 34 and just started learning cw.  I have a long way to go but wow it was cool the first time I turned on my radio and recognized a W in the string of dits and dashes.

I will see you all on CW SOON!


Posts: 3

« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2007, 06:54:59 PM »

 I'm 32 and only do CW. As a Novice in 1990, I buckled down to get My code speed up so I could get my General so I could get on 20M SSB. Well I did get My speed up. I also fell in love with the code, and since then I've been a die hard CW op. I am afraid I am usually the young guy in the QSO, but am happy theres still lots of CW action on the bands.
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