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eHam.net Survey

Survey Question
What's your experience with Morse code?
  Posted: Feb 06, 2016   (2114 votes, 108 comments) by N2MG

  Never learned it, never will.
  Never learned, but want to.
  Just learning it now...somewhat.
  Seriously studying it.
  Learned it for license years ago. Barely used it since.
  Learned it, use it, love it.
    (2114 votes, 108 comments)

Survey Results
Never learned it, never will. 6% (117)
Never learned, but want to. 8% (177)
Just learning it now...somewhat. 5% (111)
Seriously studying it. 3% (71)
Learned it for license years ago. Barely used it since. 35% (733)
Learned it, use it, love it. 43% (905)

Survey Comments
CW - Love It, Hate It, Use It or Not
For my part, I have no interest in coding but that doesn't stop
me from liking the folks who do love it. I'm a phone and data
guy myself. CW was THE communication method in the 1860s
- 1910. Along the way, we invented better methodologies:
telephone, voice radio, satellites, cell, text, and instant
message. Don't know why I want to be limited to 20, 30, or
even 40 wpm when I can communicate in much faster ways
less susceptible to error, BUT I understand those of you who
love it. I'm also a toy train guy (another "dying" breed). The
average age in the 3 clubs I belong to is well over 70. In 20
years that hobby will be largely gone. Fortunately, ham radio
will not be though I wonder whether there will be the same
number of people involved. Anyway, if you LOVE it -- go for it.
If you don't -- go for your favorite mode. That's what great
about amateur radio. There's room for all!

Posted by KK6YLW on November 22, 2016

KNOW CODE
I guess that I'm old enough to remember when the code was easy and the theory was difficult. Now it seems reversed. What a thrill to relearn and work toward proficiency with the code. Its fun to learn and drudgery to memorize. For me, mastery comes with purposeful practice, not raw skills and native ability.

Posted by W9GMT on September 9, 2016

Morse code
I do copy the ARRL code sessions and love them. it's
good mental stimulation for a 75 yr. old.

Posted by K6VGQ on June 8, 2016

Better Late than Never
Learned it to pass my General exam. Never used it. Now, at 74 years of age, I'm going to re-learn it & get on the air.

Posted by KD8AMR on April 29, 2016

CW
Learned it decades ago and was once up to 20 WPM receive. Still use it occasionally just to keep up my skills. Sure do envy those guys who can comfortably receive at 25+ WPM while carrying on a local conversation with the guy next to them.

Posted by W3VVV on March 30, 2016

N9SC
Re. the duration of these surveys...

"MEET THE NEW BOSS,
SAME AS THE OLD BOSS..."

Posted by VE3CUI on March 30, 2016

Surveys
This survey started 4 days prior to my wife and I leaving for a month long vacation to South America and now almost a month following our return still remains. Why can't there be a 2-3 week limit on the time a survey remains current. Keep things interesting! By the way, licensed in 66 and cw was required, also required at 20 wpm when I upgraded to extra in 76. Still enjoy cw to this day.

Posted by N9SC on March 29, 2016

CW
I learned a short time, about two
years, and I'm still learning, independent
crazy spaces or
speed, I can copy all, never
You know who is behind the radio and what
need for contact.

Posted by PY2IMC on March 29, 2016

CW
Back in the early 1990,s I built a plate tuned oscillator with a 6L6 beam power amplifier tube and an ft-243 style crystal on 40 meters. The circuit as simple as it was worked and I made several contacts with it on 40 meters.

Posted by KD4LYH on March 29, 2016

Sloppy Code
I think everyone using CW should record their
own sending and try and copy it. There are so
many "sloppy fists", "crazy-spacers" (either
no spaces, mixed spaces, or whatever spaces),
and the "big swingers" (dot dash ratio's way
out of wack). That it's making my enjoyment of
cw diminished. If you can't copy your own
code, don't send it :)

Posted by W0ANM on March 28, 2016

Sloppy Code
I think everyone using CW should record their
own sending and try and copy it. There are so
many "sloppy fists", "crazy-spacers" (either
no spaces, mixed spaces, or whatever spaces),
and the "big swingers" (dot dash ratio's way
out of wack). That it's making my enjoyment of
cw diminished. If you can't copy your own
code, don't send it :)

Posted by W0ANM on March 28, 2016

Sloppy Code
I think everyone using CW should record their
own sending and try and copy it. There are so
many "sloppy fists", "crazy-spacers" (either
no spaces, mixed spaces, or whatever spaces),
and the "big swingers" (dot dash ratio's way
out of wack). That it's making my enjoyment of
cw diminished. If you can't copy your own
code, don't send it :)

Posted by W0ANM on March 28, 2016

CW
Far more interesting than other modes.

Posted by WJ2L on March 24, 2016

CW
I'm solidly in the 35% who learned code to get
Extra, but rarely have used it since (thanks
to Gordon West tapes!). I have tremendous
respect for die-hard CW'ers, but I prefer
phone. I loved moving up the ranks on my
Heathkit qrp rig; CW defiantly punches through
like no other mode, hands down. Viva CW!

Posted by N8XT on March 21, 2016

CW
I was licensed as a "No Code" ham in 2013. In 2014, I decided that I needed to change that. I studied, practiced, and practiced and practiced... until I got up the nerve in August 2014 to make my first cw contact on the air. It was ugly. But I kept at it and now cw is my preferred mode. I encourage all "No Code" hams to take the plunge. Join a group like SKCC or FISTS. Great bunch of hams that are willing to help you learn and master cw.

Posted by KD0DK on March 18, 2016

cw
I got my novice back in the 60's. Learned
morse code with my friend while riding the
school bus. Got my general once my code
proficiency was to 13 wpm. I like CW and have
had a lot of rag chews and DX contacts. I'm no
pro, I have to write it down and i'm not a 20+
wpm guy. One of the things I've notice that
some hams don't space the letters and the
words properly which for me gets to be a
problem but I still enjoy it.

Posted by WB9USY on March 17, 2016

CW
I am no CW master, also I don't think CW should be required for entry into HAM Radio. I was trained in CW reception during my time in the Navy and went on to get my General license with a code test in 1989. I use code on about 5% of my HF contacts. I intend to increase the frequency I use CW in the future.

Posted by KB9AZZ on March 16, 2016

Code
Became licensed in 1967 and it was a requirement to learn code at that time. Never owned a microphone until incentive licensing came along, so I began working faster and faster code to get all the frequencies that became available. Still kept upgrading to get the CW faster and faster. Today I only operate code except on VHF and UHF specialized modes available.

CW is all I operate on the HF bands and every night I sit down and enjoy it more and more as the days pass by. For me, it's the real way to operate amateur radio. I simply like it and enjoy all the times I hear an old friend once again. I really wouldn't miss phone at all..W6XR now past the 70 year challenge.

Natan

Posted by W6XR on March 16, 2016

CW
Learned it to earn my Novice ticket back in 1978. I got my speed up to 13 WPM and earned my General in the Summer of '79 - and promptly bought a microphone. I had planned to leave CW behind and become one of the "big boys". Then, I found out when I keyed the mic, I destroyed the family TV picture and sound. (didn't know too much about RFI back then - I was way young!) That never happened with CW! Under the threat of a family mutiny, I quickly decided it was either CW or self imposed quiet hours. I picked up the key again and have never looked back. Now the only time I pick up a mic is when I run into a Special Event station that refuses to pick up a key.

Posted by W2LJ on March 16, 2016

CW
I used to have a lot of fun with CW.
Then in 09 I had a stroke & a couple more since that killed my fist and my copying.
I have a shaky hand that just doesn't work well when trying to send code.
I always used a straight key, set very close.
I never could see how people could send with 1/4" + of travel in the key.
It's been a couple years since I've even tried to copy or send.
So if you are a CW enthusiast, take advantage of it, because you never know if or when one day it is taken away.

Posted by KB0CIR on March 16, 2016

CW
Learned in 1959 to become Novice and then Conditional. Went to Navy Flight training in 1967 where pilots are required to know morse. Walked in, showed the instructor my ham ticket, K4ZDK and told me I had passed and dont come back....when incentive licensing came into being I buckled down, spent more time on CW and passed the 20wpm test in New Orleans FCC office in 1969. Fast forward until 1980 and got into mini-contest dxpeditions to KH9/VP2V etc. Speed blossomed but still copying mostly with pencil. Friends joked about not asking me questions during contests as I could do call signs and numbers but that was about it.. so cw still a work in progress at age 70...enjoy the level of skill required rather than brute force, SSB contacts in head to head pileups.
Maybe one day I can copy in my head 40wpm...for now...with RufZ, I peak about 38-39wpm...Hi speed S,H,5,6,Bs mess me up; that's when having many years of pileups help with just knowing call signs of brother hams. Love listening to a well run pileup.

Posted by K6CT on March 13, 2016

learned it twice
I learned it in the Boy Scouts and then again
for my novice license.

I haven't used it in a while, but will try
again in the near future.

Posted by WD4CHP on March 13, 2016

CW
First learned a few characters of CW when I was a Boy Scout in the 1930s. Went to radio school at Texas A&M in 1942 when I was in the Marine Corps. Graduated as an airborne radio op, and became a radio-gunner in SBDs and TBMs. Been using CW for 71 years. Think I will try for another 71.
73
Frank King
AA7XA

Posted by AA7XA on March 13, 2016

CW
I learned CW for my Novice and that was all I could use for a while, went to Tech, I kept freezing at other VE sessions though on the air I could do 20 WPM+ I was in Heaven when they dropped it in 2000, quickly went to Extra.
About all I use now is SSB but I am trying to get the rust off and maybe use it DXing.

Posted by KA4PXK on March 10, 2016

Simple & works
Morse/CW is all I use.

Posted by KU5Q on March 10, 2016

Just More Fun
I have been licensed since 1960 when code was
required. Have always found code to be more "fun" than
just talking into a mic. Still mainly a CW operator with
an occasional SSB QSO. I also find it much easier to
work DX with low power CW.

Posted by K3LKA on March 8, 2016

CW, love it
In 1965 I started to learn Morse code. Months before I was licensed I bought the Ameco Code record album, 33 1/3 speed. I started to learn the code using the code album but I set the record player at 78RPM speed (a printing error of the manual that came with the code record course, and not knowing any better. I learned the code at a much faster speed then most people. I was one of the fastest novices on the band. I had a lot of fun in my novice days and I still do today. All of this, thanks to a misprint. It can be done.

Posted by K8DK on March 7, 2016

cw
Initially I was no fan of cw but then I
realised how I could get long distance
contacts using little power. So now I'm a QRP
CW fan.

Posted by VK3BFR on March 7, 2016

cw
41 years ago i hated it still hate it ....it does no good to know it if you hate it..digtal modes PSK31 JT65 and Sstv is the way to go...

Posted by W1LWT on March 6, 2016

cw
why work cw? because it's just a lot of fun -
and like others have said you can work the world with a modest station -

dit dit

Posted by KA2DDX on March 5, 2016

CW
No longer a requirement, but a GREAT way to
get your DXCC! It is effective for the
"little gun" stations, so is a great
equalizer.
Add to that all the extra frequencies that
one may use with this mode, and it seems a
no-brainer.
You could also consider it the "first digital
mode".

Posted by NZ5L on March 4, 2016

cw
i feel that akind of snobbery exist just have
a go if the cw is not perfect DO not slag
them off better you tried to help not
everyone wants to or needsto go fast i will
not answer anything over 12wpm at first may
go a bit quicker later GOOD cw at 5wpm is
better than some of the awful 20wpm you hear
in so called contest or from the keyboard
set dave c G0NVF

Posted by G0NVF on March 4, 2016

CW
Thanks to my friend's EE father, and
friends in the BSA for Morse code
training. I am slower than I should be,
but I do fairly well. I really like CW,
and bought a non-working 1948 Vibroplex
std. The parts & the bug arrived the same
day. Within 30 minutes had a new weight
installed, the contacts cleaned, & it was
working superbly well. I got it adjusted
to equally make dits & dahs, with the same
key pressure & travel, rattling off 20+
dits before the spring stops bouncing.
What a wonderful little device! Working on
them is intuitive & very easy. Why I
bought that swing weight that goes down to
12WPM, I am not really sure. I am faster
than that, but I do get QRS requests, to
the point I revert back to my J-38
straight key. Someday I might make a
magnetic Iambic, just for fun. I just
picked up a nice new Gauss meter
yesterday. The Koch method is probably the
best way to learn Morse. Go to the website
"Just Learn Morse", and download that
program. It works really well for anyone
who wants to start from scratch or improve
their sending speed, and or copy skills.

Posted by KI7AQJ on March 2, 2016

Morse Code
The only thing I remember in code is my call-sign

Posted by VK5AGC on March 1, 2016

CW
I enjoy code got my WAS all on code as a novice back in the day there was no voice it was all code for the novice operators have my extra class but had to have 20 wpm to pass the extra still run a straight key lots of fun for me 73

Posted by KA1KPA on March 1, 2016

Profanity
Agree with VE3CUI for the most part. I have heard profanity on CW, however - mostly during a DXpedition pileup. They seem to bring out the worst in people.

Posted by W2LJ on February 29, 2016

13 WPM
I'm a "13WPM Extra," in that I passed the 13WPM to get to General and Advanced, but the requirement dropped to 5WPM before I did the final upgrade. At the time, I was just upgrading for the fun of it, and to get a cool callsign in the days before vanity calls. One reason I kept my group B callsign is because it is a reminder that I did finally manage to get past the 13WPM hurdle. It's not a big deal, but I was happy to pass that code element.

Actually *using* CW came much later, but I really do enjoy it. It's the purest form of radio transmission, and it is a natural way to get effective communication via the ear (rather than via the soundcard). It is the most autocorrelated mode, which makes it perfect for wet-ware decoding, even when buried in noise.

I like to tinker with contests, and it's funny how more people turn out for CW than for any other mode. When a major CW contest weekend arrives, my panadapter is thick with wall-to-wall signals. It is a beautiful thing.

73!

Posted by KK5JY on February 28, 2016

Lake Erie Swing
Poorly sent CW is nothing to be proud of.

Just saying. Difficult to copy...sounds like
the user has Parkinson's.

And yes...I have a bug...I know CW, and have
used it for 28 yrs.

Posted by KB2HSH on February 28, 2016

W4ARZ
My goodness, but if you think that some of the belching,
farting, 4-letter words, and racial (add your own adjective
here) slurs that one oft-times hears on SSB are somehow
worthy of "listening to," then by all means, go ahead &
have at it...

Funny thing, but in all of my 45 year Ham radio career, I
do not recall one, single incident where I told a fellow
Amateur, "You shoulda heard how this one guy was
carrying-on on CW last night...!" Yet I can remember
INNUMERABLE occasions where I either turned the rig off,
or went elsewhere, whilst on 75 phone.

Why is that, I wonder...? And why is it that, when
demonstrating Ham radio to a potential newcomer to the
hobby, one instinctively AVOIDS specific parts of the
bands where these loogans lurk...?

I think I have the answer: while I have only genuine pity for
those ops who, through no fault of their own, simply will
NEVER be good at code, the vast majority of "no coders"
are simply intimidated by the mode itself. Whether driven
by laziness, stupidity, or lack of inspiration, it matters not:
the point is, they stay where THEY are the most
comfortable, & I stay where I am.

"Ne'er the twain shall meet"---and it's just as well, too.

Posted by VE3CUI on February 28, 2016

Going Overboard
Actually I think V3CUI goes a bit overboard
in his comment. I'm sensing hostility in his
statement. CW is good... Phone is good....
so is digital. But there are a few who abuse
the modes and thus this is why we have the
VFO. We can change freqs when we are offended
by what we hear in any mode. It's never gonna
be perfect as long as we're human but IMHO
calling other doofus or any other foul
adjective only puts the one posting the
comment in the same boat as the transgressor.
Live well, prosper and don't amplify the
negatives in life. If we do, no one will be
casting a vote this year.

Posted by W4ARZ on February 28, 2016

Some Warm Bud, Anyone...?
CW is like the champagne that separates the warm beer
crowd in gentile society...

ANY doofus with half a brain can grab an open
microphone & yell profanities & racial slurs into it---but it
takes time, forethought, & an ability to actually SPELL, in
order to try the same trick on CW!

That little bit of work is enough of a "red line" to separate
the "men" from the potty-moutherd "kiddies"...

And THANK HEAVEN for that little miracle, too...

Posted by VE3CUI on February 28, 2016

A dying mode?
The demise of CW has been announced several
times during my 30+ years as a ham. Still, to
this day, the early days of any DXpeditions
see 20, 25 and even 30 KHz of split operation
packed with hundreds - if not thousands - of
CW ops from all over the world. Personally, if
CW wasn't around that would be the end of me
as a DXer.

Posted by MM0TWX on February 28, 2016

CW at last
Had to learn it for the ticket. The comment from the examiner to my sending was:
"Well, one can hear what its supposed to be ...".
Obviously there was some more training necessary :-)
Today its my main mode of operating on HF.
Especially on Fieldday and Straight Key Night.

73 de Gerald

Posted by HB9IRF on February 27, 2016

Try it, you'll like it! :)
I disagree with WY4J, but only on one small point. CW isn't exactly efficient - unless you're talking bandwidth, of course, but it isn't supposed to be! It's fun and it's about the only mode left where you can be 99% sure the OM or YL on the other end is a gentleman or a lady in the kindest sense of the word. That's worth all the efficiency in the world in this correspondent's opinion!!

Posted by K9CTB on February 27, 2016

CW
I passed a 5 wpm code test some years ago, when I upgraded to General. I didn't use cw at the time, and then spent a few years off the air. Been back on for a couple years, and have been actively working on CW for the last 6 months.....and will continue to work on it, until I have mastered it. I figure it should only take me another 4, or 5 decades.... hi hi.

Posted by W2DU on February 27, 2016

CW is my favorite
Began with SSB, started then with digital modes. Learned that this is mostly communication with function keys. So i started learning CW by myself.
Now (after 5 years with some interruptions) my speed is about 30 wpm. I use only cw. The microphone jack is closed (because of dust) ;-)

73 es agbp, Uwe

Posted by DG1UN on February 27, 2016

Only Mode I Use
You are part of an exclusive club. CW is
efficient, fun and best all you get to rag
chew with the nicest people.

Think of this; even a dog can bark into a
microphone but only a telegrapher can
communicate using dits and dahs.

Posted by WY4J on February 26, 2016

Only Mode I Use
You are part of an exclusive club. CW is
efficient, fun and best all you get to rag
chew with the nicest people.

Think of this; even a dog can bark into a
microphone but only a telegrapher can
communicate using dits and dahs.

Posted by WY4J on February 26, 2016

CW-.-.--.-
I'll keep tryin...maybe I'll get it before I become a SK.Without the help of a laptop & black boxes,73's ALL KB3WGE Jimi.

Posted by KB3WGE on February 26, 2016

Can't hear it
I would love to go code. But my ears can not
distinguish a dot from a dash. My only hope
is to use machine code. I tried to learn it
as a kid and adult and it was a no go. And no
it is not a matter of studying.....

Posted by W5YZR on February 26, 2016

Cw
Best mode to get through the noise when
needed.

Posted by KB2RSK on February 25, 2016

TRIED & TRIED & TRIED
I don't know how many attempts I made to learn the Code bur I never could get to the point where I could transition from single characters to groups of two. I offered to pay an Extra or Advanced class to personally help me learn the code.

That didn't go too far. Some officious Old Fart treathened to have my "Tech" class license revoked for PAYING another ham for something.

Posted by N9LCD on February 25, 2016

Enjoy the challenge
Fifty years ago it was my two dollar straight key and a
struggle at 5 wpm. Today it is either a bug or keyer or
straight key and a struggle at 25 wpm. Being in a hoa
community limited to a vertical cw gives me a chance to
be competitive in dx contests.
That said, I work SSB when I hear an interesting station
or QSO, and digital, especially any new mode. Digital
voice is in the thinking how to do it stage.

Posted by N5LB on February 24, 2016

CW
I am the CW operator only.
The CW is the best choice...
73 - Petr, OK1RP
http://ok1rp.blogspot.com

Posted by OK1RP on February 24, 2016

cw
It was leaning another language but well worth the effort. Still enjoy the code

Posted by K8WY on February 24, 2016

Not my cup of tea
Beat myself over the head for years trying to learn code. Passed ALL the technical parts of the exams, so don't be telling me I'm stupid...

Flat can't do it to save my life. Happily doing voice, digital modes, or any other thing. Don't see the need, don't worry about tradition. I'm too darn old to bother with it now.

Posted by KE4GNK on February 23, 2016

To N3MXF...
Find yourself one of those old vintage ARRL 50-cent
"Learning The Radio Telegraph Code" booklets, & stick JUST
to that...

You'll acquire the code faster than you probably imagined, IF
you stick to its teachings & methods.

Posted by VE3CUI on February 23, 2016

CW
Used oft and on over many years but now trying to pick
up speed (currently stuck at 15 -20 wpm) because now
having to operate low power and stealth due to HOA. At
77 this is a challenge, but well worth the effort. Love ham
radio!

Posted by KN7AT on February 23, 2016

CODE
What would You suggest as the BEST Code programs out there....Wan to learn code ASAP.

Posted by N3MXF on February 22, 2016

CW
I learned the code when I was 13 years, nw 65.
Enjoyed CW my whole life.
-DO NEVER FORGET,CW IS THE LANGUAGE OF AMATEUR RADIO-

Posted by DL5CL on February 21, 2016

Amaze your friends!
I love to amaze my friends with CW LOL! Then they
really think I'm a geek...

Posted by W2CYK on February 20, 2016

Code back in the day
I was first licensed in 1962 and I have more
than fifty years on the bands. I upgraded to
Extra class in 1971 and in the process took
the 20 WPM CW test at the FCC office in New
York City. Not just code, FCC code, it had
to be written in pencil and was graded by an
FCC examiner who must have been a hundred
years old. Then I had to send 20 wpm using a
hand key, really a tough way to upgrade!. I
guess you can call me a real old timer

My favorite mode is CW and always will be.

Aloha de Bob KH6KG/G4VGO/9V1GO

Posted by G4VGO on February 19, 2016

CW Zealot Here!
Didn't get on the air as a Novice, because I didn't have an interest in CW. Waited until I had my Conditional (same privileges as General) and made my grand appearance on 6 and 20 meter AM with 35 watts and simple antennas. Had no trouble working North and Central America. Someone suggested I try CW and loaned me a J-38 key. Looked up the proper protocol for CW QSO's and went to it. My code speed shot up quickly and hams in the other continents began answering my CQ's with regularity. I never looked back and phone operation lost most of its luster. CW has 11-17 db more communications effectiveness than SSB and a 24 or 25 db advantage over AM. The earliest mode still has terrific bang for the buck!

Posted by WA4DOU on February 19, 2016

CW Zealot Here!
Didn't get on the air as a Novice, because I didn't have an interest in CW. Waited until I had my Conditional (same privileges as General) and made my grand appearance on 6 and 20 meter AM with 35 watts and simple antennas. Had no trouble working North and Central America. Someone suggested I try CW and loaned me a J-38 key. Looked up the proper protocol for CW QSO's and went to it. My code speed shot up quickly and hams in the other continents began answering my CQ's with regularity. I never looked back and phone operation lost most of its luster. CW has 11-17 db more communications effectiveness than SSB and a 24 or 25 db advantage over AM. The earliest mode still has terrific bang for the buck!

Posted by WA4DOU on February 19, 2016

cw
I copied code for the USAF ,I can copy code
way better then send it.

Posted by N3IDG on February 17, 2016

CW for Extra
I would like to see a code requirement for Extra Class, maybe not 20 wpm, but something basic, say 10 wpm. When I went from Novice to Advanced in 1973, I felt a greater accomplishment in passing the 13 wpm code test than in passing the General and Advanced written exams.

Posted by KZ5AJ on February 17, 2016

Grew to love it
Had to learn it to pass my Novice test. Then I started using it almost every day. I grew to love it, and still do. I don't get to just sit down and operate as much as I'd like due to other commitments.

I remember one year checking into the hotel at Dayton Hamvention. the pretty girl behind the counter had a t-shirt on with dots and dashes all over the front. After completing the check in, I told her "yes I can." She looked at me kind of funny. I told her that her shirt said "Can you read this?". And my answer was "yes I can". She smiled and said she wondered what it meant, and she had no idea because her supervisor made her wear it that day because it was hamvention weekend.


If amateur radio is a fraternity, then the ability to use morse code is it's "secret handshake". And once you learn it well enough, it's relaxing and lots of fun.

73 de N8AUC
Eric

Posted by N8AUC on February 17, 2016

I learned the code to use phone. 13 wpm was
hard took 30 days to learn it. I was a Tech
and one day decided to just do it.

Posted by KA5ROW on February 17, 2016

cw
I love it,it's my favorite mode. When I was
first licensed I too thought I'd never like
/use it. But after getting my novice, and
working my first VK on 15m cw,I was hooked. I
like ssb too, but cw always gets through.

Posted by NO2A on February 16, 2016

years ago
Learned it in 1981 and got my novice in 1982.
Made maybe 25 CW contacts and then upgraded and
never looked at it again..

Posted by N0FPE on February 15, 2016

CW
I learned morse code in 1956, got my novice in 1957, and have
been primarily a CW operator ever since. I can't tell you the
last time I made a phone contact. There are fewer CW
operators today, although for DX and contests it is the better
mode.

NG2O

Posted by NG2O on February 15, 2016

Love CW
Learned it in 1962 to get my Novice license then kept on to upgrade. Today I worked 5V7 and 7P8 on CW. As someone said earlier the VP8 DXpeditions were easier to hear/ work on CW. Much easier than phone pile ups.

CW Forever!!
Sid K3SX
former KN3SME 3/7/62

Posted by K3SX on February 14, 2016

I love code too
I passed mine in 1982 and always listened to it long before that, my older brother and younger were both novices in 1972 and I think I had the bug back then but took me a while to catch up on it,in 1980 I got a radio from Japan and started listening to it every day...some from marine stations and some from w1aw.

Later in late 1982 I went to the FCC office in Hawaii and took the 5 wpm test and then the written, I trying for the Technician class. Passed with out missing a letter. Later I went to San Francisco and took the 13 wpm test. Same thing.

I spend alot of my time overseas and am a member of PARA, my call letters there is du1/n6hpx. I met a japanese kid age 8 and found out he was taking the morse exam still required in the Philippines. He passed it with out missing a letter. I love code and try to get on the air as much as possible, but working as a civilian for uncle sam overseas gives me rare but fun opportunaty.

I tell people its like learning a 2nd language and its alot of fun.My son wants to learn now.

Posted by N6HPX on February 14, 2016

cw
USAFAACS radio operator in 1958. Many years
passed before getting my 13 wpm General
ticket. USE cw exclusively and all QRP.

Posted by N2UGB on February 13, 2016

CW Morse
Learned it with a J38 filched off a weathered old abandoned RPO RR desk for a license long ago. Misplaced the J38, but just restored a Vibroplex Standard Semi-auto bug, and am back at it again. I love the way it carries through lots of interference & am trying to get the rhythm & motion of operating the bug down. I do better with my left hand, but I play guitar and hammer ons and pull offs are a lot like keying a bug, more so than my picking hand's motions. My copying is really rusty. I miss spaces a lot. I am keying at 20WPM+, but my rhythm is not very good. I also moved the random character gen on the 857 and Just Learn Morse up to 20-25 WPM.

Posted by KI7AQJ on February 13, 2016

CW
Listened to it during WWII. Got my license in 1949 and
use CW exclusively. For me it is a kind of music. Have
had some wonderful ragchews on CW over the years.

Posted by W2BFE on February 13, 2016

CW
Learned the code (5, 13 and 20 wpm) so I could get licensed. However I still keep a set of paddles connected to my transceiver just in case I decide to pick it back up again.

Posted by N7UQA on February 13, 2016

Old CW op
I learned the code in the Boy Scouts. Was
very determined to be good. 1953 was a good
year for me and code. The US NAVY sent me to
radio school and my life changed forever. I
have been CW op since 1953 and proud of it.
Got my first ticket while in radio school,
and it's all history now. I do CW almost
every day of the year now. Years ago I was a
HOT SHOT CW OP, and speed was the big deal. I
have mellowed down to 35-40 wpm nowadays.

Posted by NY7Q on February 13, 2016

Agree!!
Yes....we should all thank Mike for taking over the survey as VK5LA couldn't/wouldn't or was unable to do the job.

Posted by K0CBA on February 12, 2016

New Column Co-Ordinator
Has nobody noticed that there is a brand spanking new
survey editor at the helm, in the person of Mike (N2MG)...?

Here's hoping that he injects a whole new life force into the
proceedings here, & that the topics will be changed with
some reasonable regularity.

Good luck to you, Mike---welcome aboard!

Posted by VE3CUI on February 12, 2016

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
1961 I had to go to the San Francisco FCC Field Office
to take tests for General. Had to pass two part cw test
to get to the written test. CW test part one: examiner and
I alone in tesring room. I had to send 13 wpm to him on
straight key. WOW - I WAS ONE NERVOUS 16 year
old kid. I passed the sending test so he took the key
and sent to me! Key was a WWII straight key. I passed.
So on to the written test. Six weeks later my license
arrived in the mail. Been pounding brass ever since. I
do not look down my nose at anyone. To each their
own. But I do object to those who flame me because I
am 70 years old and came up in the hobby during days
different from today. Get over it and enjoy the hobby.

Posted by K7NSW on February 11, 2016

CW
Been a ham since 1956. Have the ARRL CP Award for 30 wpm. Use CW 99.8% of the time. Absolutely love it. Have had serious conversations on CW. Keep on clicking as they say. Will take the time to help / work anyone on cw - even if 1 wpm. 73's to all - W2FKN

Posted by W2FKN on February 11, 2016

I really wish this Poll was a true reflection
Unfortunately this Poll will draw in CW people by the droves and people who do not know or use CW will not bother to respond. I know enough CW to be dangerous Hi Hi and listening to some of these replies I get the feeling most people believe Hams that do not know CW are not serious operators. While I know CW is great and it works pretty well under bad band conditions, so do a lot of the new digital modes. For most newly licensed operators, it's hard to convince them of the benefits of CW when they see PSK and JT65 in action. The second problem is learning it! There is a reason why so many people have responded that they once knew CW but don't know it now. If someone who once knew code is having a hard time learning it again it's most likely due to age. So now imagine how hard it is for a newly licensed 50 year old Ham Op to learn code for the first time! We also don't have the luxury anymore of 9-5 jobs, most people today have to work 10-12 hours per day and some 6 days a week. The last thing you want to do when you get home at 8:30pm is to start learning code. So please don't bash the no coders, it's not 1960 anymore and people are no longer treated fairly in the work place, most people are given very little spare time for family and that means learning CW just cannot be a high priority.

Posted by KD8MJR on February 10, 2016

CW
I started to learn Morse when I was a student at a Maritime College to become a radio officer.I was 19 years old and now 75 !!! Still using CW every day. Reason minimum power and very good readability and less spectrum use. Mainly use 5 watts and worked the whole world without shouting with kilowatts !!

Posted by PA3ALX on February 9, 2016

CW
Big part of the hobby, and required it seems to work many of
the DXpeditions.
I tried it, didn't like it. Didn't enjoy digital modes either. But,
that is the great part of the hobby, you can do what you like to
do.

Posted by K6CRC on February 9, 2016

A Mode for the Generations
After learning Morse code using my dad's USN cardboard Aldis lamp "simulator" in the early 1950's and then transitioning to SWL reading code groups, it didn't take much of a push to become a ham. A teacher ham, Bill Pedigo (K8NXD/SK) at my high school pushed a bunch of us over the top in 1959-1960 A neighbor ham, Bill Shurance (W8BEW/SK), who had worked on the Great Lakes as a radio op and as an early ham in the 1915-1940 era, helped me buy a "bug" and then tutored me up to 65 wpm through nightly QSO's. I can't even think that fast today .... but I still have that bug and can slip into that Lake Erie swing style whenever I want.

I only hope that it does not become a lost art, and I think I hear the spirits of those SK's asking the same.

Posted by K4IQT on February 9, 2016

CW got me hooked
Listening to "modulated" CW on an old shortwave
receiver in the seventies got me hooked on ham
radio!

Posted by ZS4U on February 9, 2016

Use it regularly -or- lose it !
Learned it and enjoyed writing down the mystery signals... Definitely a skill to keep current! And, it's fun-- because you never know who will answer !

Posted by AA7LX on February 8, 2016

CW
did cw, back when first licensed in 1967...haven't used it in last 30-yrs, BUT must used keyboard & PC-today

Posted by KC8Y on February 8, 2016

CW
I learned CW when I joined a new Boy Scout troop and the first meeting they had a ham radio demo. The scoutmasters son was a ham and in the same grade as me. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Been working CW almost 100% the last 15+ years. There may still be some of our teachers who wondered why we got the same questions wrong on multiple choice tests when we were on opposite sides of the room.

73
K4BKD

Posted by K4BKD on February 8, 2016

Have always enjoyed it
I do not consider myself a Morse Code zealot,
but I do enjoy using it along with various
other modes. One of my favorite niches within
our hobby is DX chasing and CW is still
extremely important for successfully pursuing
that. The recent VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition is
a good example. I rarely heard them when they
operated SSB, but I was able to hear them and
work them on several bands with CW. Using CW
is similar to using another language. The
more proficient you are the more fun it is.

Posted by KK9H on February 8, 2016

Morse Code
Had to learn Morse Code to get my Novice License in 1968, a whopping 5 wpm. Had to copy 13 wpm, very difficult speed for me, for my General License in 1972. In 1978 I wanted an Extra Class License and had to copy code at 20 wpm, actually a piece of cake. Now I want to upgrade my Philippine Amateur Radio License to Class A, have to copy code at a whopping 5 wpm again, hope I do not fall asleep between the characters - hi hi.

CW is not my preferred mode of operation but I still operate that mode, I prefer to have CW QSOs between 16 - 18 wpm but can still copy better than 20 wpm if I have to. Unfortunately with the demise of CW in most of the world, IMHO it is getting harder to to have an enjoyable QSO in CW. I remember in the older days, many operators could be identified easily by their fist as by their callsign - just saying!

I remember, in the Army, we could always get a message through using CW when Voice was useless.

Posted by WA0TML on February 8, 2016

Tradition Period
I said KNOW code not NO code. CW has roots back to the beginning of amateur radio. I believe that the elimination of the code was due to multiple factors. The political correct movement of inclusion. There were too many people that complained that they had this issue or that issue that caused them not to be able to learn the code. The second is due to technology and society changes. Many of the new generation (some Gen-Xers and almost all millennials) expect instant gratification and will not put in the type of effort to learn CW, especially at 13 or 20 WPM.

The next is also the changing of society with the HOA's and CC&Rs. It is difficult to find a location where you can put up a tower and large yagi. It is easier for the new generation to get onto social media and chat in that manner.

Our wonderful amateur radio organization in conjunction with the equipment manufacturers saw the writing on the wall, that if they did not lower the license standard by the elimination of the code and the theory tests that the population of hams would drop significantly. Just look at the average age of hams in 2016. There are less public demonstrations of amateur radio these days. The last time that I mentioned that I was a ham radio operator, the response was "They still do that".

So if you obtained a license under the code less system, consider learning code. It is a tradition that goes back to the roots of amateur radio.

Posted by KB6QXM on February 7, 2016

CW
I learned it for my license and then used it off an on for about 5 years. Started out with a straight key and ended with a bencher paddle.

After being off the air for over 20 years, I want to get back into it. But...have recently began to have trouble with tremors - part of the joys of getting older.

To be clear, if I can be competent with 10 + words per minute CW, I will be happy. That will be my goal if health allows.

Some of my favorite memories of operating were QSOs with older CW operators.

Posted by N7WAS on February 7, 2016

Just Doesn't Work for Me
The very first time I attempted to learn
Morse Code was in the Boy Scouts, almost 60
years ago. I could use semaphores, blinker
light and flags but hearing and interpreting
Morse eluded me. I tried again in High
School. The members of our local radio club
worked with me for over six months but, no
success. I then let it ride till I was an
adult and finally attempted it again in 2003.
I tried a formal class but, when the rest of
the class was doing well on the third
session, I was still trying to make headway
with the material from the first session.
Since then I have tried the sleep learning
tapes, hypnosis, Koch, any number of
computerized and on-line learning
environments, you name it - again with no
luck. I guess my brain is not wired for this
type of activity.

Posted by KG4RUL on February 7, 2016

Tradition Period
I said KNOW code not NO code. CW has roots back to the beginning of amateur radio. I believe that the elimination of the code was due to multiple factors. The political correct movement of inclusion. There were too many people that complained that they had this issue or that issue that caused them not to be able to learn the code. The second is due to technology and society changes. Many of the new generation (some Gen-Xers and almost all millennials) expect instant gratification and will not put in the type of effort to learn CW, especially at 13 or 20 WPM.

The next is also the changing of society with the HOA's and CC&Rs. It is difficult to find a location where you can put up a tower and large yagi. It is easier for the new generation to get onto social media and chat in that manner.

Our wonderful amateur radio organization in conjunction with the equipment manufacturers saw the writing on the wall, that if they did not lower the license standard by the elimination of the code and the theory tests that the population of hams would drop significantly. Just look at the average age of hams in 2016. There are less public demonstrations of amateur radio these days. The last time that I mentioned that I was a ham radio operator, the response was "They still do that".

So if you obtained a license under the code less system, consider learning code. It is a tradition that goes back to the roots of amateur radio.

Posted by KB6QXM on February 7, 2016

41 years and still going strong with cw since my novice days.

If you like to operate 6 meters looking for those weak signal rare ones then you need to know cw otherwise your going to be missing a lot of those rare dx contacts.

Posted by WB8VLC on February 7, 2016

Got my merit badge
Back in my scouting days (1960-1962) several of us scouts earned our "signaling" merit badge by displaying a proficiency in both sending and receiving morse code. We learned with sound, lights, and with either 1 or 2 flags, aka semafores. I guess it stuck with me over the years between scouting and getting my Novice exam because I had no trouble with it, even when taking the 20wpm test for Extra. I still enjoy using a straight key and am a member of SKCC. If not for CW and the digital modes, I'd switch to basket weaving.

Posted by WB4M on February 7, 2016

RE: CW
CW isn't the same today. When I was into it there were few pileups except for rare entities. None of that up 5 or split junk. Ops used to wait their turn and there were seldom more than two or three in line. Today high speed guys are mostly creeps or a new breed as sociologists would say. I still listen to high speed operators. When I post my current views in the forums I am treated with distain because of my KW prefix but I was working high speed cw since the 1970s. CW stinks now because of the stinkers who have moved in.

Posted by KW4JA on February 7, 2016

Fondest memories
My fondest memories of working CW was in summer of 2010 working Russian and Ukrainian stations over the north pole in the middle of the night. My radio was an Omni C running 20-50 watts into an end fed half wave on 20 meters. To me those were the good old days down on 14.010. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

KW4JA
ex AB7JK

Posted by KW4JA on February 6, 2016

use less now
CW was great five years ago when I still owned a BY1 keyer. A couple years ago I obtained a USB interface keyer to use with CW Type and although it is interesting and reduces some effort it is just not the same experience as using an iambic paddle. To do CW you have to be into it - meaning to operate regularly at high speeds using a paddle. To get into CW before I sk I need to get a paddle again. Computer keying is no substitute.

Posted by KW4JA on February 6, 2016

CW & I ?
Learned it ONLY so I could upgrade to
General Class.RARE that I ever use it
because just like when I learned it back
then it still gives me a massive headache
today when I listen to it.I learned it &
earned the upgrade as required by the
rules at that time & passed the CW test
with Straight Copy.If I never heard CW
again it would be a OK with me.Phone
contacts are for me.Aced the written
General Test & told them I was NOT
interested in trying the Extra Class test
& left.Got in my mobile tuned to 17 meters
on the ICOM 706 MKII & already had the 17
meter Ham Stick on the roof tuned & ready
to go.Made my 1st HF contact within 5
minutes with a ham in Minnesota & still
making lots of contacts today in the
General Class Band where I always wanted
to be & will be until I'm a SK. {:>)

Posted by W4KVW on February 6, 2016

Morse...you bet!
Separates the men from the boys!

Posted by K0CBA on February 6, 2016

From Hate To Genuine Love-In
Back in '69---when I was more than serious about
becoming a Ham here in Canada, but discovered that our
licensing authority required code proficiency at a
minimum of 10 WPM---I was very despondent at such a
discouraging prospect. All I wanted to do was grab a
microphone & yak it up, like everyone was doing on 10-
meters AM phone!

But I invested 50-cents in a copy of the ARRL's "Learning
the Radio Telegraphic Code," & religiously followed its
instructions, day by day. In short order I learned, much to
my amazement & delight, that I actually LOVED CW, & took
to it like a duck to water!

In fact, to-day I continue to probably spend 99% of my air
time on code, while the microphone collects dust. CW is
like a second language...and as George Bernard Shaw once
observed, "A man who knows but one language is only
half a man."

Posted by VE3CUI on February 6, 2016

Code to use Phone
I learned the code to for the privilege to
use phone, once I got serious it took me 30
days to get to 13 wpm for the test.

Posted by KA5ROW on February 6, 2016

CW
Took the 20 wpm code test in the 70s, passed it, got my
extra call, a 2X1. Let license lapse and took test again in
1998, got my 2nd extra call. I have never regretted learning
Morse code: some of the finest ops out there are cw ops.

Posted by AF4LV on February 6, 2016

There will always be a place.
There will always be a place for Morse Code in ham radio for those who have an interest in it.

As for me, my interests are not in it. I learned it. I passed the test. I used it briefly and I still use it for testing equipment and such, but my interests are elsewhere in antennas, new modes, experimentation, light conversation, and mobile radio.

Posted by AI2IA on February 6, 2016

CW
I took my Extra test sommer of l999. Passed the written, failed the code. That gave me a year to pass the code. Along comes 2000 and all I need is 5 WPM, which I already had, so I got my Extra license.

The big reason I got into this hobby, I wanted to be a whizbang Morse code operator. It hasn't come easy. I refuse to get on the air less than 20 WPM. I'm making one more attempt to attain my goal. I'm using the Koch method and I think I'm finally going to get there. I highly recommend it to anyone who's really wanting to learn Morse Code. Type in G4FON and you can down load it.

Posted by AD9GB on February 6, 2016

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