KA3DNR: "I love CW. I wish the young operators would come to CW. It is my favorite mode, and the ops are top-notch."
There are lots of things you can do to promote the mode.
Here's a list:
1) Use Morse Code on the air. For ragchewing, DXing, contesting, traffic handling, QRP, QRO, QRS, QRQ, whatever floats your boat. If your favorite band is crowded, try another and/or get a sharper filter. If you contest, even a little, send in your logs, photos, soapbox comments, etc. Our presence on the air is essential.
2) Work on your Morse Code skills. Got a Code Proficency certificate?
But Morse Code skill is not just speed. Can you send and receive a message in standard form? Can you do it faster than someone on 'phone? Can you do both "head copy" and write it down? How about copying on a mill? Ragchewing? Contesting? Being able to have a QSO at slow as well as fast speeds?
3) Find a local club that does Field Day and go out with them. Particularly if they have little or no Morse Code activity on FD now. Help with their Morse Code efforts however you can - operating, logging, setting up, tearing down, etc. FD is one way to actively demonstrate 21st Century Morse Code *use*. Talking to people about Morse isn't nearly so effective as showing them.
4) Set up a Morse Code demo at a local hamfest/club meeting/air show/town fair/middle school etc. Not as some sort of nostalgia thing but as a demonstration that Morse Code is alive and in use today.
5) Conduct training classes - on the air, in person, over the 'net, whatever. Help anybody who wants to learn. Could be as simple as giving them some code tapes or CDs, or as involved as a formal course at a local community center.
6) Elmer anybody who wants help - even if they're not interested in Morse Code at all. Your help and example may inspire them.
7) Write articles for QST/CQ/Worldradio/K9YA Telegraph/Electric Radio/your local hamclub newsletter etc. Not about the code *test* nor about Morse Code history, the past, etc., but about how to use Morse
Code *today*. For example, how about an article on what rigs are best for Morse Code use, and why? Or about the differences between a bug, single-lever keyer, iambic A and iambic B? Your FD experiences with
Morse Code? (QST, June, 1994) Yes, you may be turned down by the first mag you submit it to - but keep submitting.
Get involved in NTS, QMN, ARES, whatever, and use Morse Code there. The main reason so much emergency/public service stuff is done on voice is because they don't have the people - skilled operators - to use any other mode.
9) Join FISTS & SKCC and any other group that supports Morse. Give out numbers to those who ask for them even if you're not a contester/award collector.
10) Forget about "the test". It is long gone and FCC won't bring it back. You may say they made a bad decision, but that's nothing new, just look at BPL or their rulings on the sale of broadcast radio stations. FCC won't preserve our standards and values - we have to do it.
And our attitude is a key part of that (pun intended). If we're seen as a bunch of old grumpy gus types, not many will want to join us. But if we present ourselves as a fun-loving, welcoming, young-at-heart-and-mind,
helpful group with useful skills, people will want to join us.
But ya shoulda seen the crowd around the CW table on Field Day...
73 de Jim, N2EY