eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Why I love CW

david todd (KA9KOJ) on August 4, 2019
View comments about this article!

Have you all ever wondered why the QRP guy or cow contester loves CW?

1. Very efficient
2. Even in very bad conditions CW is easier to get thru.
3. CW is a language of its a own right.
4. You can build or buy a decent CW
station many times over versus a rig based on voice.
5. It weeds out the idiots who don't care what the spout over their microphones.

I mainly use CW but use sideband on some bands like 10, 12, 17 meters. Some operators act like they own a particular frequency. They don't. I run CW wherever its allowed. FCC says CW is allowed throughout all amateur bands.

Now there are quite a few phone ops that are decent, but have you listened in on 80 and 40 meters lately? Guys spouting garbage and profanity left and right. That isn't ham radio. These guys either don't care because they are appliance operators or the memorized the answers to the test and didn't bother reading part 97. Sad but it reflects the attitudes of 2 meters and 440, which are dead bands in many parts of the country, because no one wants to bother talking to a stranger.

Then you get people who want to be more important than they really are by practically militarizing ARES, etc. being wan to be cops with emergency communications, D-STAR etc. Just my opinion. Or try giving a storm report even though you have been thru the classes etc…and they act like WHAT? How dare you give us a report. you’re not part of the sub click. This is what turns away people who still use common sense.

This is why a lot of guys learn CW, PSK, RTTY, etc and stay there. I guess some hams forget where they came from. I guess they forget hams get licenses for various reasons, but the biggest one is to communicate through the air to some distant or close point, without relying on telephone, Internet, or mail.

The mystery and thrill is still there when I answer a CQ… Learning about someone, their weather, their rigs, etc. Yes, anyone can pick up a cellphone and yak and not have a clue about how that signal gets from point a to point b. But communicating in CW, you talk to all countries, no politics, no garbage talk, just fun.

That's why I love CW.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Why I love CW  
by ALPHONSE on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
". . . the QRP guy or cow contester . . ."

Ugh.
 
Why I love CW  
by G8FXC on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have to say that I'm not as active on CW as I would like to be, but each CW QSO gives me ten times the kick that a phone one does! I really must make the effort to get my speed back up...
 
Why I love CW  
by K3DGR on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
...Been using CW only for past 45 years or so, started with it in '57, still the best mode for getting the information through!..Having fun meeting new people and getting daily CW fix on 40m or 30m each morning after 9am and 80m in the evening..Be patient!..Lots of QSB but that's the way the HF bands are now with weak prop. CW will still get through, so you don't have to give up this great hobby and go back to your stamp collecting!
Hope to c u on the CW bands soon, MY bio & pics on QRZ page. 73's Dave K3dgr
 
Why I love CW  
by K4LSX on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Amen! Brilliant, thanks for posting.
73
John
 
Why I love CW  
by KD7T on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW Forever!
 
Why I love CW  
by AK0B on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article. I learned the code as we called then; back in 1954. Where else can one build a transmitter for less than $5 and run it off a half dozen flashlight batteries.

Just about any cheap receiver can be used. As one gets older with more change in their pocket a better receiver can sit on the operating table.

Ham radio is an affordable hobby if one sticks with the primary requirements. Which include in capital letters.

I AM HERE TO HAVE FUN.

I do operate other modes, but when sitting at the operating table playing with the internet in the background I listen to 7030 Khz most days.

73,, Stan AK0b
 
Why I love CW  
by NL3D on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
This article also demonstrates that everyone enjoys the hobby differently. With the exception of the operators who violate part 97 rules, we as a ham radio community should respect one another's preferred method(s) of enjoying the hobby and not criticise/judge one another. That welcoming community is what keeps people in the hobby.

73,
Mike (NL3D)
 
Why I love CW  
by K8QV on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
If you never master the basics you never master the game.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KG4Q on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW is like bow hunting and fly fishing - same sport but additional skills are required. There is a sense of accomplishment when improving one's skills and learning.

Some may say it is old fashioned but do they say that about oil and watercolor painting when it is much easier to snap pictures with the phone?
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by NN2X on August 4, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
First 5 Points are all good..

I passed the 20WPM, back in 1980...that was something, very gratifying, however, rarely used it..

I do like the digital modes, like JS8CALL, Olivia, and once in a while FT8...

However, I will march back to CW as well, why not, another flavor of Ham radio....it is efficient!

C U on the bands..

DE NN2X, TOM 73's
 
Why I love CW  
by KC3JV on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
QST had an article on what gets through and PSK gets through below the noise floor. CW can't do that.

CW is a skill unlike the technical part of HAM RADIO not everyone is good at it. If you are enjoy it have fun. I'll stick with PSK 31. It's great for conversations and I have an NUE-PSK unit which fits with a mini keyboard in a small fishing tackle box and displays 2 lines of the received signal. text. Each to his or her own.

Mark KC3JV
 
Why I love CW  
by KM9K on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW is my favorite mode!
 
Why I love CW  
by NY7Q on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely brilliant post. I have been CW OP since 1953 and I spend at least two hours a daily on 20 or 40 mtrs having a blast.
Those folks who bad mouth CW are just lazy, too lazy to set a goal and work at it.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KC7MF on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The OP asked: "have you listened in on 80 and 40 meters lately? Guys spouting garbage and profanity left and right. That isn't ham radio. These guys either don't care because they are appliance operators or the memorized the answers to the test and didn't bother reading part 97."

I wish we could have just one thread when some geezer does not deliberately insult new hams. Take a note sport. The folks on 80 meters who have turned it into swearing fest are not newbies. They are guys who have been in this hobby for decades many of them. Even most of them. Check the call signs.

Secondly my arrogant friend...It is unfair to refer to people who do not prefer to use code as "Appliance Operators" and accuse them of memorizing the answers to the test. There are a legion of old time hams who could not even come close to passing the test or the code for their Extra Class license today if they had to retest. And a significant number who could not pass general or even novice.

CW is an individual choice. No more. Some find it fun. Some don't. If you like it, by all means tap away. Enjoy a pretty difficult club to join. But be careful. Plenty of new hams are leaning CW. But if the old timers keep insulting them then it is the whole hobby that will go away. And take CW with it.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by NN2X on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
This is for KC3JV

For the particulars!

Relative Sensitivity in a 2500 Hz Bandwidth

Mode SNR Threshold Power Equivalence

WSPR -27 dB 5 W (Only exchange Signal Report. etc..)

JT65 -24 dB 10 W (Only exchange Signal Report.etc..)

FT8 - 23 dB 11W (Only exchange Signal Report. etc..)

JS8CALL - 23 dB 11W (Key board to Key Board messaging)

Olivia -17 dB 50 W (Rag Chew Mode) / this is for 500 / 8

PSK31 -7 dB 500 W (Macro / Some Rag chew)

CW -1 dB 2,000 W (Rag Chew)

RTTY +5 dB 8,000 W (Rag Chew)

SSB +10 dB 25,000 W (Rag Chew)

Source: by Dr. Carol F. Milazzo, KP4MD (Interpreting WSPR Data for Other Communication Modes – Aug 2013)
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by VE3WGO on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
NN2X, you need to finish your analysis (for me, and KC3JV).

Add in the words per minute of each of those modes, and come back with the energy per word. (not the energy per bit).

All modes should be compared using the same abbreviations.

Say for sake of argument that CW is 25 WPM.

SSB is about 170 to 180 WPM.

You will then find that CW and SSB stack up pretty nicely in the energy efficiency analysis.

And don't forget to include energy consumption of the computer that is needed for all those modes that are not decipherable by humans, which means all of them except CW and SSB.

Claude Shannon is watching with great interest.....

73, Ed
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by AK4YH on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Both CW and Morse code rock! Mainly because of the simplicity and efficiency. I believe CW is still the best mode for prepping, though digital modes are better for Emcomm. One thing to remember is that CW is a mode like AM, FM, LSB... You can't learn CW, for the same reason you can't learn to speak FM... It's a modulation mode. You learn Morse code. CW is very efficient while Morse code is not. Combine the two and you get something that works well in most situations. The small size of the radios is great for portable operations, not to mention the tiny current draw on receive, some down to 20mA! A K1 draws 60mA, a QCX 100mA; hard to beat, as these radios also only draw around 800mA for a 5W output, not 5A... What would you prefer to carry on a 10-mile hike? Eight AA cells or a 10Ah gel cell battery? Great thing is, you can also use Morse with a flashlight, tap it on someone's arm, etc. It's not only for radio. The CW/Morse marriage will last, simply because it's simple, elegant, it works and always will.

Gil.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K5UJ on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
What's a "cow contester?" Never heard that one before.

" They are guys who have been in this hobby for decades many of them. Even most of them. Check the call signs. "

Call signs mean nothing now. There are no code one day wonder Extras who have 1x2 calls who don't know which end of a soldering iron to pick up. A non-vanity 2x3 starting with WA or WB has more prestige thanks to the lack of CW testing, the lack of the two year wait for Extra testing, release of the actual exam Q&As used by FCC because of FOIA and profiteers who exploited it ... look at the "Dr. Is In" QST column. Extra class hams asking questions a Novice used to be able to answer.

All those N dB below the noise floor digital mode specs are a myth. Look into how they were derived and you will see.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I was licensed in 1962 or 63, I'm not sure which, and I wouldn't classify myself as anything but a cw lover.

I don't believe I have ever bad-mouthed a ham radio "youngster", although I must admit a certain … uh … resentment(?) towards one that has anything above a General ticket and shows a complete lack of the basic fundamentals involved in what used to be the Novice license. (I'm afraid to see the questions involved with today's Novice test.)

It was hard work being a Novice back then and if you really wanted to be a ham operator, you earned it with hours and hours of studying and code practice!

Passing that General code and theory test was the greatest experience of your youth. (Until you discovered girls, of course!) You EARNED it!

It seems that today we have come into the "They owe me!" generation. ie: If it's not easy or free, I don't want it!

… sigh …

Long live CW!

Charlie, K3UIM
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KC7MF on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"Passing that General code and theory test was the greatest experience of your youth. (Until you discovered girls, of course!) You EARNED it!

It seems that today we have come into the "They owe me!" generation. ie: If it's not easy or free, I don't want it!"

What nonsense. The average age of new ham is pretty old. Generation has little to do with it. Most new hams are in their 40's pr 50's. Many much older. Certainly old enough to not be condemned by some ridiculous notion of what "young people are like today". I work with young people all of the time and I can tell you that they work just as hard or harder than I ever did in my 7 decades of life.

Further. I get that people did a lot of work to get licensed in the past. Good for you. But I still maintain that most of the old timers could not pass those tests today. But look what you did. You condemned new hams for asking questions to get better. Way to go. Why not ridicule people who want nothing more than to become better operators.

Frankly if this hobby is to survive it has to join the 21st century. There was a time when the Amateur Radio Service provided a pool of people who could help the military (or join as operators) in time of emergency. Today we still provide the potential for emergency service but the idea that we will set up Morse Code relay stations to handle emergency traffic requires a set of pretty remote circumstances.

When the tests required that the candidate be able to repair or even construct a transceiver there was the real possibility that they may be called upon to do it. Not today. How many old-time Extras could repair their Icom 7610? That would be practically none. To build a modern transceiver would require knowledge of a whole different kind of code. You think Morse Code was hard? Try to learn to write code the for an SDR.

Don't get me wrong. I think there is plenty of room in Ham Radio for CW operators. Indeed we have our own spectrum that this knowledge entitles us to. That should be enough. But no. We have to throw rocks at new hams. Even the ones who are currently struggling to learn Morse Code get painted with the same brush.

But for those who believe that what they learned in the 1960 Extra Class test is essential, let's give you the test tomorrow. If you can pass it you are good to go. If not? Well you can always study for the new test.

 
RE: Why I love CW  
by W6SWO on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Agree Mike! I prefer CW to other modes, but if someone else in the hobby wants to go off in another direction, I'm all for it. It's a hobby, and as long as you're having fun, you're doing it right. Tom W6SWO
 
Why I love CW  
by K4EMF on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Since getting back into Ham radio after being away for decades. I've been relearning Morse Code. I'm up to about 7wpm, with a character speed of 20wpm. I couldn't find my original straight key from the 70's so I ordered a single paddle. It should arrive today. I'm looking forward to getting on the air with CW again.
 
A SUPERLATIVE Lid Filter...!!!  
by VE3CUI on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW is the absolutely greatest, most effective "...Lid filter" that there ever was...

Yes, it DOES take some work & effort to become even MODESTLY proficient in it --- but then again, what IS there that's at all worthwhile in ANY of life's enterprises, that DOESN'T demand a bit of work & effort...?

I'm just oh-so-glad that a seemingly majority of "...unlettered louts" in Ham radio are content to simply park themselves in front of a microphone & spout inanities for all to hear, with their mouths in "...gear" & their brains still in "...neutral."

Simply can NOT do that in CW, a mode that actually forces you to THINK before you SEND --- and to continue to think whilst sending, too. And there's nothing at all wrong with that sort of a "...Lid filter"...no, nothing at all.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Judas Priest, Rick! I guess it must have sounded pretty strong for you to burn me like that. I'm sorry if I insulted you in any way. It wasn't intentional, believe me.

I was speaking of how it seems to be for me in this area. If I ask a question relative to repairing, modifying, or experimenting on/with a radio problem, I get mostly blank stares. If I need a part? "Go to Ebay, they've got one".

I long for the long-gone days of the local hams being eager to help and learn when problems come up in our group. I always had, and still have, an eagerness to be just that way. I can't tell you how many antennas I helped put up back then or how many times I repaired a "broken" rig. (Usually for a novice that I had originally given the test.) I even remember purchasing three 10 foot lengths of TV pipe for a local that was still on a small-teen allowance.

Gotta go take a cool shower. Hi.

Charlie, K3UIM

 
Why I love CW  
by KB2DHG on August 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I am with you, I remember back when I took my test CW was a requirement 5,13 and 20 WPM. I remember how I hated learning CW and thought it was so not needed. Well I had to work hard learning the code but once I got it I actually became to love it! As a Novice back then code was all you could do and I wanted to get on the air. Once I made my first CW contact and heard my call come back I was hooked... Fast forward to today, I still am mostly active on CW. Yes I modulate the microphone too but as my first choice I use CW...

Which brings me to this, If I was never forced to learn the code I probably would have never put the effort into learning it and would have never known the beauty, fun and excitement CW gives.

So to all of you non CW operators out there, Learn the code and give it a try, CW to me is worth the effort!
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KW6LA on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
With the SKCC club, there is still code Op's sending @ 13 wpm
and slower. Still a chance for a Newbie to learn and operate code. I was a no coder/ no license for years with that obstacle. Guess I grew up and got serious with 5 wpm
and the tech license wow ! 5 became 14 became 21 wpm and
gosh the Extra class license. FCC took that away, so I pass the 2nd. commercial telegraph T2 with 20 wpm required. Now they took that away: GROL!! Like so many that don't understand Morse code,I had the same BAD attitude for those that did! I think PSK is a waste of
time, cuz I enjoy code more.I will never throw a barb out
when there is a article on digital modes. Just not my thing. To each their fun mode, but i share the authors love for CW and low power QRP kits radios.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by AC2RY on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW will eventually die at least as mainstream operation mode. New licensed hams almost never learn it, so there will be no new generation of operators. Using CW vs. digital modes today is like going hunting with bow and arrows vs. high power rifle. Some are challenging themselves, others just choose the other way.

The same can be said about FM modes on VHF/UHF. Soon we will see more way microwave mesh networks (like AREDN) than repeaters. And it will be more important to learn how to setup mesh node and configure VoIP with Asterisk on top of it than try to learn code.

Voice modes will still be around for a while either direct (SSB) or as VoIP through one of high speed digital modes.

And how one of authors above said - it will be more valuable to learn how to develop SDR code for FPGA than how to build CW transceiver.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by AK4YH on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Quoted:
"CW will eventually die at least as mainstream operation mode. it will be more valuable to learn how to develop SDR code for FPGA than how to build CW transceiver."

I really do not think so. Given the number of Morse operators on any band at any time, it is here to stay, and for a simple reason: It works extremely well, it's very efficient and CW transceivers are tiny, sip a mere 20-60mA on receive and 800mA for 5W output. Try to beat that with ANY modern DSP all-mode radio... My Weber MTR3b, tri-band transceiver is the size of a pack of cigarettes, outputs 5W and lasts forever on 8 AA cells. A QCX kit costs $50 and performs as well as radios costing ten times as much. So, no, CW transceivers and Morse code ar not about to disappear from the bands any time soon. We might see integrated tablet/transceivers in the future, but their cost, complexity and battery requirements will always leave a spot for the simple circuits of CW-only-mode radios. For portable operations, Morse with CW will for a long time beat anything else. I really like JS8Call for instance, but when I go on a hike, my laptop stays home, along with the interface, cables and bigger battery... I'd rather carry my K1, a QCX or MTR3b.

Gil.
 
Why I love CW  
by KC0W on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Cow contester.......

Tom KC0W
 
AK4YH  
by VE3CUI on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
In as much as I wish that what you say is true re. CW being here, essentially forever, sadly my own personal experience says otherwise...

I LOVE rag chewing on 40-meters CW whilst at our summer cottage --- CW on 7-MHz was the place where I first cut my Ham radio eye teeth back in 1971, & I still enjoy my time there...but I've noticed that the VAST majority of operators that I might encounter there anymore are invariably all in their late 60's, or 70's, & that they've been licensed for 50+ years.

In fact, the YOUNGEST op that I QSO'ed this summer was 58 years old --- & he was a "G":-land station, vacationing in Michigan!

Is this a reflection of the demographics of ALL CW operators, or merely the fact that my "sampling" is limited to rag chewers who habituate 7-MHz...? I don't know --- my observation is HARDLY scientific, but noteworthy just the same, IMHO...& after time takes its toll, & my associates & I are welcomed into the ranks of SK's, what demographic will pick-up the mantle & carry-on in our stead...?

At this point --- based upon personal observation & experience --- the answer is "NONE."

 
Why I love CW  
by KL7AJ on August 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
My first station cost a grand total of $20, for a pair of ARC-5 receivers. I had a borrowed Johnson Adventurer. The receivers were as broad as a barn door, but I really trained my "aural filters" to cut through the QRM. Being an impoverished college student at the time, I never could have afforded getting on the air with anything but CW.

I've used just about every mode there is, but CW is my "default" mode after nearly 50 years in ham radio.
73!
..
Eric
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by NN2X on August 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
For what it is worth

I see a few Ham comment on the CW Test..I passed in 1980, (Extra) so I had to pass the 20WPM, and the theory of course. It was very rewarding and launched my career..

Recently, I requested my son, who is 12 years old to pass the Tech license.

My son only passed for me, he had no passion in Ham Radio. But he took the exam and passed in a few weeks of studying.

For those who think Tech license today is easy, try an online Tech Exam...Of course it is not like back in the day, but it is not as easy as one would think.

For record, I wish FCC would require CW..Who knows, maybe my son would like that aspect..!

C U on the bands, NN2X, Tom
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KC7MF on August 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Here is a unique idea.

What if:

People who like Morse Code would teach classes at their radio club.

People who like CW would deliberately send CQ at 5 WPM frequently to give new operators a chance to practice without feeling like they are imposing.

People who value Morse Code would stop insulting people and driving them away from the hobby not to mention any attempt to learn code.

People who value code actively recruit others to learn it by offering to teach them.

I know there is some of this. But if there were as many words of encouragement for new hams as there are words of insult and denigration then maybe the hobby AND Morse Code would grow in popularity.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by VE3WGO on August 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
It might also help if CW enthusiasts were to drop in and operate some slow CW in the old Novice subbands every so often, like 7.1-7.120 or so, especially around 7.114 MHz. It would give new CW ops and even old rusty ones (like me) a chance to enjoy some CW contacts and get our speed up.

As long as CW continues to have subbands allocated to it officially or otherwise, I think the mode will survive for a long time.

But if regulations or contest rules change to allow any other modes to operate in the CW subbands, or make the CW subbands even smaller, then I worry that CW will probably get crowded out and die.

73, Ed
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by WA8OJR on August 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KC7MF: Amen!!
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by W7ASA on August 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks you for posting your thoughts on why you love Morse/CW. I do too and for very similar reasons.

A few thoughts after reading the comments:

1. What to you is 'slow' may not be the same to the ham next door.

1.1 I just came from the radio and was listening to forty meters where MUCH of what I heard was SKCC, with speeds between 5-13 WPM. This is slow and makes sense, because that's comfortable on a straight key. there were couple of bugs, but even then, they were about 15-18 wpm ; for a bug, that's definitely not fast.

2. "Insults" - really? are you certain? Calling anyone older than yourselves 'geezers' and old F's and more is common here. Those are insults. Remember : when you stop getting older, you're DEAD. Personally, I enjoy being old, for me it comes with grandchildren, which is a real plus.

3. In SKCC operations, I meet quite a few 'new to Morse', people, many of whom are having a good time, some are already quite good at it ! ( Accuracy is good; speedy mistakes is not the goal.)
3.1 To become good at anything, train then DO IT. You will > make mistakes< . I certainly do. Laugh and learn; which is good advice for life in general, offered for FREE, so that it's worth the cost.

4. Ham club Morse lessons - Frankly, we have such SUPERB Morse teaching programmings, 'academy on-line articles, blogs, vlogs and YouTube, that expert instruction is accessible in the extreme. Once pointed to the first few links, a little Google Fu takes care of the rest - if the desire is really there. if not : horse/water.

Finally, let me make it perfectly clear to anyone new to Morse : The people you'll meet on the air (especially SKCC) are FAR more upbeat and helpful than what forum comments might lead you to you believe. I can count the rude comments sent to me in Morse on one hand and still have vacant fingers. On forums, well you know how negativity flows.

73 de Ray ..._ ._


 
Why I love CW  
by K8ZT on August 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
CW Resources Page- http://www.k8zt.com/morse
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"Finally, let me make it perfectly clear to anyone new to Morse : The people you'll meet on the air (especially SKCC) are FAR more upbeat and helpful than what forum comments might lead you to you believe. I can count the rude comments sent to me in Morse on one hand and still have vacant fingers. On forums, well you know how negativity flows.
73 de Ray ..._ ._"
Exactly, and thank you.
Charlie, K3UIM

 
Why I love CW  
by W2FKN on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Been a ham since 1956 and received my ARRL CP-25 at age 15 and the following summer received the CP-30 wpm. Guess I am a cw nut for sure. It's amazing the contacts one can make on cw. Have QSO'd some great people. Used to get help with my German homework on cw with a ham in Germany. Who says cw is dead - just get into one of the many contests and that'll wake you up. Nothing more exciting than a cw pile-up chasing some dx entity. Again, I am prejudiced towards cw. Best 73 to everyone
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by AC2RY on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
So far all responses were from older HAMs.

We need to hear from someone who was licensed less than 5 years ago: why does he love CW.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by N4OI on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"We need to hear from someone who was licensed less than 5 years ago: why does he love CW."

New hams are busy trying to locate the "CW" button on their HTs.

73
 
Why I love CW  
by KJ7WT on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KC7MF wrote:
"The OP asked: "have you listened in on 80 and 40 meters lately? Guys spouting garbage and profanity left and right. That isn't ham radio. These guys either don't care because they are appliance operators or the memorized the answers to the test and didn't bother reading part 97."

I wish we could have just one thread when some geezer does not deliberately insult new hams. Take a note sport. The folks on 80 meters who have turned it into swearing fest are not newbies. They are guys who have been in this hobby for decades many of them. Even most of them. Check the call signs.

Secondly my arrogant friend...It is unfair to refer to people who do not prefer to use code as "Appliance Operators" and accuse them of memorizing the answers to the test. There are a legion of old time hams who could not even come close to passing the test or the code for their Extra Class license today if they had to retest. And a significant number who could not pass general or even novice.

CW is an individual choice. No more. Some find it fun. Some don't. If you like it, by all means tap away. Enjoy a pretty difficult club to join. But be careful. Plenty of new hams are leaning CW. But if the old timers keep insulting them then it is the whole hobby that will go away. And take CW with it."

I agree - most of the foul-mouthed, deliberate QRM producers are old timers who think that they are the only ones with valid opinions, and, rather than discussing these opinions in a civil manner, spout profanity and deliberately jam others with whom they disagree. As an old-timer (relatively - first licensed in 1969) I am embarrassed by these tired, bitter old men.
I also disagree about calling those who don't use CW as "appliance operators". I did get up to 15wpm to pass my General back in 1983, but never used CW again. I wanted to use phone on HF. My CW speed is about 7.5 wpm now, and every once in a while I fiddle with a CW practice program. I run an "appliance", an IC-7300. It is a great radio, and has capabilities that I could never build on my own. Over the years I have built a variety of gear, mostly accessories, but some RX and TX projects. I recently re-capped and re-tubed an SX-100, just for fun, but never use it, as it is big, heavy, smelly and drifty. The 7300 just works. I started in the the tube days, and still have several tube projects in the works, but I also realize that technology marches on, and if a person chooses to use older technology, that is their right, but it's like those who ride bicycles dissing those who drive cars. If you enjoy CW, then have fun! Don't however, think that the problems on the phone bands are new, non-code hams. They are mostly old timers who have allowed their baser emotions to run their mouths.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by W7ASA on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
same post, different day.. .

'It's Deja Vu All Over Again'
-Yogi Berra:
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Ken,
Woo-hah!!
Charlie
 
Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 10, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry for the mistake on cow contester.
It was supposed to be qrp contester.

1. Not bashing newbies. Newbies are starting out and whatever you like to do in this hobby ,more power to you.
1a. Thanks to all the kind remarks from fellow cw ops.dit dit.
1b To those who critized, get a life and quit being thin skinned.

2. Appliance operator in my book is the fellow ssber that keys up on fellow cw ops since the lower portions of the band have been opened. more splatter,foul language ,deliberate key ups on cw ops.These guys deliberately mistunes their rigs to splatter the cw op ive heard it . tried to get any callsigns to report but the appliance op doesnt give a callsign.

appliance ops will not build or experiment with new technology to further the amateur radio community as a whole.

3 CW should be made mandatory at least 5 wpm. with the rich history and sucess it should be.

3a very few parts to build a cw transmitter in case its needed in an emergency compared to any other rig that does ssb or digital.

3b.very little power is needed and simple antennas that are properly tuned will get you a dxcc award if you really go after it.

3c. try building a rig from scrap parts just to get on the air . cw transceiver /transmitter with simple rig will keep you smiling for years.

3d. I still use a scope to check waveform for distortion, etc when i use my rigs. I still use inline filters even if the rig is fancy. why? because i have the other ham at heart. Too many hams run crappy ssb rigs that splatter or have noise on output etc and all i hear on their qsos are fine buisness ur 5x5 solid signal, 73s thanks for qso.I

I get on ssb once in a great while. I told one ham that he had some hum on his signal and all 4 in group i was talking to said awwww your nuts. then 2 more guys came on after i said my 73s and they complained of the hum .and the others were giving 599 signals to this ham. We need to be truthfull about our signals.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 10, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Yes i love cw and im not apologizing for my article.
I never said anything against the new ham.WE WERE ALL NEW AT ONE TIME.Some of you who think i did need to brush up on your english language or better yet take a code course.

I enjoy many modes of operating. I use SSTV,CW,RTTY,FT8,SATELLITE,MICROWAVE. wasnt bashing anyone .

Just the loud mouths who key up deliberately on someone and silently laugh thinking"oh boy i control this part of the band i just ran some cw guys off" ,or start spouting mindless dribble.

And for the ones who suddenly gets offended when someone posts about a mode that actually started ham radio,was used in the military, Governemnt, for beacons, etc,all i will say is get a life and quit being thin skinned. Or quit keying up on your fellow hams or quit spewing mindless dribble that most in the ham community would rather not listen to.

Or maybe some of you have swished your vfo across a band to give the impression that a particular section of band is in use because you are waiting for that juicy dx or local round table?

CW portions have been encroached upon by the voice modes given authority by the FCC. Now just picture the reversal. What if the voice bands were to be shrunk and all that wide open space given to the cw and digital groups? I think that the voice guys need to respect the areas that was for cw only. and actually listen before keying your slobber infested microphone.

IS THIS BASHING ENOUGH? I think i made a point of i love cw and why i love it. I never bashed new hams. those of you who ASSUMED THAT need to learn their english better or maybe take a code class. i was just stating a fact about my experiences on the bands . There are great operators in every facet of this great hobby. and alot use only one mode. More power to them. FUNNY YOU DONT HEAR ABOUT THE CW OR DIGITAL GROUPS DOING THIS TO THE VOICE SECTIONS. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

nuff said. quit whining and quit reading into an article , stuff,that was never there. In other words quit being a politician. I know hams that are vhf only. I know hams that are uhf only. I know hams that are SSTV only. I know hams who do digital only I know hams who do SSB only. And i respect each and every one of them. Why because this not just a hobby but actually a way of life, a community.And when my brothers and sisters say something , i listen. But i dont bash irresponsibly like some on forums like this. Again i was only sharing my love for a mode in this hobby that actually STARTED thisgreat hobby. And i shared WHY.

Finally to those who automatically brissel up and get hateful, to you get a life quit whining and quit being an appliance operator.

personally, i have been on 40,80 and have experienced some nuthead who starts talking out of the blue to no one ruining a perfectly fine qso in cw with another ham.continuing without stop until we qsy.
Only to hear them chuckle later in their conversations about clearing the spot for the group.new and old have done this.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 10, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
oh and to the one who said i was saying anyone who doesnt use cw as appliance operators. you really really need to quit drinking the liberal lie cool-aid. I NEVER STATED THAT. NODDA NOT ONE BUT READ MY EARLIER POST THAT PERTAINS TO YOU AND OTHERS WHO ARE FILLED WITH HATE IF SOMEONE POSTS AN ARTICLE THAT YOU DONT AGREE ON. personally ,i dont give a rats butt what mode you operate on. Its your choice. and to the other hams , i agree many times have i seen a ham post a help on forums on what resistor to replace another one with. REALLY? or another ham posting help to figure out dipole dimensions. REALLY? I MEAN THIS IS ON THE EXAMS AND THIS IS WHAT YOU ALL HAVE STUDIED FOR. personally i think a one day or one week wonder is great if they can prove they can set up a rig , antenna check for proper operation and show that they UNDERSTAND the concepts of ohms law, formulas for antennas like a simple dipole, resistor value and capacitors, etc. its in your quick books.the Extra class is an exam that has alot of questions on the commercial fcc exams. So you would THINK an amateur of that license would be able to mentor instead of asking for help on a forum.I personally think that all licenses should have a manditory hands on section proving the setup operation and maintenance of a basic radio station.Like cutting wire to set up a dipole at a given frequency, proper tune up procedures, and visually identifying basic resistor values and telling why would you raise or lower a given value ,etc.

Bring back the novice license along with the current tech license. Then along with those classes bring in 2 sub extra class licenses an a b c subset. each one having to prove hands on technical knowledge.after getting the full privilages of the extra as an a class you are awarded a passing of the FCC general radiotelephone license. then just take basic rules and regs test and you have your GROL LICENSE.

if you do this by making a prospective new ham UNDERSTAND HOW TO MAKE A DIPOLE, HOW TO MEASURE RESISTANCE HOW TO CHANGE COMPONENTS ,INSTEAD OF JUST MEMORIZING THE ANSWERS, THEN YOU SEE A COMPLETE DROP IN QUESTIONS ON ALOT OF FORUMS THAT SHOULD BE KNOWN ALREADY.ALSO THE NEW AND OLDER HAM WILL RESPECT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ACTUALLY OPERATING A RF EMITTING DEVICE.

NUFF SAID
 
Why I love CW  
by AE4TA on August 10, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I like CW a lot, but but not the automated stuff that pops up on every contest. Do those guys even have a key? Could they have a cw qso using a keyer?
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KB6QXM on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I said KNOW CW, not NO CW.

Knowing CW, Liking CW and appreciating CW are two different things.

I Know, appreciate and like CW.

The shift in society that whined that CW was too hard, instant gratification crowd and the ARRL pushing for first a codeless Technician license, the elimination of the Novice license and then the elimination of the code requirement completely has irritated me since it has happened.

Just to "get the numbers up" or "we will loose our frequencies if we do not get our numbers up" is just an excuse. First off, no one wants HF frequencies commercially, not even short wave broadcasters.

In the past you had to pass a written and an CW test-send and receive and you received a 1-year non-renewable license. 75 watts input, crystal controlled. Either you upgraded or you found another hobby. No whining or pandering to the instant gratification crowd. In the past people looked up to amateur radio operators, especially in the Silicon Valley where I work. Not anymore.

If it wasn't for the pandering to the "whiner class", we would not be having this conversation. CW in the past was like learning your A B C's.

73

Shame
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I whole heartedly agree with your statement.

Many times i attended a code and theory class held by the local ham club at the high school in the electronics class.At least 15 of us boys and girls took the class. learning a few letters and numbers at a time and swapping recorded tapes with each other.we also had theory class which everyone had a radio shack book labeled from 5 watts to 1000 i think it was called that.. The price was i believe $10 dollars or so.

we had to buy the book off the club at cost and they furnished some parts, etc and soldering irons. we build code oscillators,crystal radios,we learned to build antennas from these great mentors ,they brought in radio gear and we all got to learn how to operate the radios we were eventually going to wind up with.

and all the hams who volunteered to help train us actually found gear to donate to us to get started after we passed our tests. all crystal controlled but hey , go to the local or neighboring county club and you could always trade for extra crystals.after theory
class and code class was over they had us in for one more class a week later.

they wanted us to copy and send our newly learned code. then with all the volunteer ham testers, about 20 showed up that night, each of us were sat down and given a written exam which we thought was our graduating final. It was!!

It was a novice exam.20 question test and 5 wpm. We had alot of advanced and extra class operators who administered our exams.
yup we built stuff that we tested for. we were trained hands on supervised by many great hams.They made sure we knew how to take care of our own station before testing us.

I started with a johnson viking and coupled that with an s38b hallicrafters with a relay and light switch as my transmit and receive control. later i built an all band regen tube receiver with tickler winding.my transmitter , i was given two crystals to get me started. I think i worked all of canada that summer and a few uk stations.the rest is history.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
When i went for my general class i believe it was before ve program was formed .I had to drive from indiana to Chicago To the Federal building on dearborne street if i remember and sit in front of a steely eyed FCC engineer who administered the 13 word per minute code test. Then he went thru them and circled the perfect copy you had to have and proceed to give you a brief bathroom break.call out names and those flunked the code test.

then checking us again for any hidden notebooks etc we were sat down and given 2 pencils and scratch paper. then we were given a written exam.You were allowed slide rulers if you wanted to if i remember. If he called your name you flunked. the rest of us stayed to fill out paperwork for our license upgrades.

Then driving home in victory, stopping at at a burger joint along the way.:)
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
forgot,
another reason i love cw.
It built this country.
1. first mode used. some debate that with fessedines phone experiments in the 1800s.
2.without it most ships in the early spark gap days would have sunk and or alot of people would have died.
3. wild west used it in a form called the continental code if im right.the messenger boys really send it over wires in the early years of our great country.

some reportely used the newly installed railways when the opposite sides would cut their signal wire in the civil war.dont know if this one is true or not.

4.morse code has been used countless times when alot of other modes could not get thru.
5.repeaters ham and commercial use cw id.
6. armed forces can give thanks to cw for helping save the day and passing along vital information.
7.government still uses it even when telling the public they dont.You know , spys etc.
8.I believe in the 80s a ham was working on a circuit to indentify in cw where you were on the bands for hams without sight.
9. beacons use it.
10.boyscouts and i believe the girl scouts too used it for merit badges.
11. lots of movies especially victory films used it alot.And the movie Independence Day used it too with straight keys even!!!wooooohooooo.
anyone else can think of something else let us know
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
forgot a big one.

An amateur radio license generally got the doors opened to big tech companies who hired the nerds like us who showed "GRIT".Anyone who can learn and pass the tests probably will make a doggone good tech here. And no you didnt have to have a masters degree or phd ot whatever to get a tech job back then.associates, 1st phone with/without telegraph,CET certificate would get you in alot of times interview consisted of talking with the senior engineer. He knew his stuff and knew whether or not you had a gift of gab or were the real thing.If the interview lasted more than a half hour you usually landed the job. because talking theory with a senior engineer usually lasted more than half an hour if he knew you were speaking his kind of language UNDERSTANDING THE ELECTRONCIS THEORY AND ACTUALLY DISCUSSING REALTIME PROBLEMS WITH HIM AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS. This is what one did to me to find out if i really knew anything about circuit analysis and troubleshooting.surprisingly i could answer about all he asked.He asked me how i knew so much and i explained that since i run morse code alot i homebuild alot of my equipment. I told him i go to hamfests and buy broken transceivers and fix them up to resell so i can fund my hobby.He smiled, handed me a time card and some forms and next day i started out as an engineers technician.troubleshooting to component level. 1 year later i worked into a supervisory position. stayed that way until the company shut down 15 years later.Took my resume to another company similar to the one i worked for and was offered double the pay starting out.So ham radio got me into doors and cw landed me money.

I landed several good paying jobs just because an engineer started talking with me about the code and how many contacts he made and remembering about learning it.
I received a notice for pay raise from my boss in my earlier days in cw. he was smiling and i asked him to let in on his joke and he said copy this. so i did and was floored. first time i received a raise in cw. of course it was in his office and he was using a heathkit code oscillator.yup good times goood times.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
David,

Call me a sentimental old fa---fool, but your responses put a lump in my throat.

My greatest wish back in the 60's was to be a worker in Heathkit corp. (One of our locals made it.) I wouldn't care if it was soldering into a circuit a 1 meg resistor all day long. (Sheesh! How boring that would have been!! Hi)

I did a lot of scrounging around in the junk yards and behind businesses for anything electronic. ($1.00 a week allowance doesn't buy very much when you're a kid and just starting out with 100% adrenalin flowing through your body for your new found hobby.) I wonder how it is today with the entitlement generation? Are they ever filled with the same kind of energy(?) of yesteryear? sigh I hope so, for their sake.

What a truly wonderful age we lived in, but progress will always step in and "improve" things while leaving us with so many great memories.

Thanks for your responses.

Charlie, K3UIM
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Charlie,

That was a great post.

Remember the tvs that had modules instead of full boards? My best finds were exactly like yours scrounging thru the junk and gleening the transistors and tubes and transformers.

The other parts that was famous and still is is the color crystal oscillator section with the color burst crystal,transistors etc.

Alot of boards back then had the transistors pushed into these standup terminals and all you had to do was pull em and test em with a meter that you used at the local radio shack who employed the local 1st phone licensees .You became friends with these guys!!!.They actually had repair guys in radio shack then.the transformers ,i would use either in a power supply project or strip it out for antenna wire.
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
David,

Some dreams and old memories will never die. Hi

Charlie
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by N8XI on August 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have been using CW since 1959.
It's my favorite mode but I occasionally use
SSB, RTTY, PSK-31, FT-8,etc.

The title of your article is:
Why I love CW
and these 4 points at the beginning:
1. Very efficient
2. Even in very bad conditions CW is easier to get thru.
3. CW is a language of its a own right.
4. You can build or buy a decent CW
station many times over versus a rig based on voice.

Then you went into a diatribe about phone operators
and bad people in ham radio. That sir, has NOTHING to do with "Why I love CW"...IMO
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K9MHZ on August 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, I've never understood why some CW enthusiasts view it as a binary, "you're into CW or you're nuthin'" deal.

It's fine but good grief, it's just a mode. Personally, I find it a huge yawn, but that's just one opinion. Maybe: "(C) All of the above" is the well-adjusted outlook on these things.

Glad they're utilizing the bands, though.

 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KA9KOJ on August 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
You are both right.
apologies. My parkinsons(going on 9 years into it) gets the best of me sometimes with mood swings.

And no I dont believe in the" if your not doing cw your not in it or nuthn".syndrome. I may have come across that way but not intentionally. Like i said earlier i love every mode and know some great phone guys too. Alot of those guys are right here on this forum.But unfortunely there are some rotton apples that have decided to park themselves on popular bands and in certain modes.

Hopefully the FCC will start enforcing the rules and pull their licenses.


To each his own I say.just like I have posted.

.Sometimes when im typing my parkinsons gets me into a different mood and i stray from my main points. But the other points are valid as well. But probably not with the enthusiasm i put into them.

To all, sorry.

But I still love cw.I use cw because its actually easier for me. My voice has been affected in a way that when i try to communicate like in a contest, my voice starts breaking up. kind of like linda rohndstats problem.

I actually use a homemade great lakes sideswiper for main key.easier to use left handed since my right side shakes so much. OH well.

anyway., if i sounded gruff, sorry.

73s
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K3UIM on August 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"But I still love cw.I use cw because its actually easier for me. My voice has been affected in a way that when i try to communicate like in a contest, my voice starts breaking up. kind of like linda rohndstats problem.
I actually use a homemade great lakes sideswiper for main key.easier to use left handed since my right side shakes so much. OH well.
anyway., if i sounded gruff, sorry."

Dave,
As an 85 year old CW loving far … duffer, I can tell you, (as you'll echo, I'm guessing), that getting old is not for sissies! LOL Hang in there!!
Charlie
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by K9MHZ on August 15, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I’m glad you guys are using the bands. Utilization is huge, and the CW guys seem really dedicated to using the bands, which is great!
 
Why I love CW  
by K2MMO on August 20, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have been licensed for 28 years and have worked CW only for all of my ham radio years..I have worked QRP as well as 100 watts and If I wanted to get out a really big signal I would turn on my amp.(have not done that in years)

I have made so many friends over the years and some of them become SK.With friendships of that long you mourn the passing even though in many cases you never met face to face or heard their voice..I still meet many friends on the radio at certain times just to catch up......any always looking to meet new ones.

CW is a wonderful basic mode that does not require a radio with a lot of bells and whistles and the most inexpensive antenna will punch out a signal.

Sure we have cell phones and face time etc that can get us to who ever we want to talk to"......but getting around the world on 5 watts or 100 watts"........now that’s communicating.
 
Why I love CW  
by K2MMO on August 20, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have been licensed for 28 years and have worked CW only for all of my ham radio years..I have worked QRP as well as 100 watts and If I wanted to get out a really big signal I would turn on my amp.(have not done that in years)

I have made so many friends over the years and some of them have become SK.With friendships that long you mourn the passing even though in many cases you never met face to face or heard their voice..I still meet many friends on the radio at certain times just to catch up......any always looking to meet new ones.

CW is a wonderful basic mode that does not require a radio with a lot of bells and whistles and the most inexpensive antenna will punch out a signal.

Sure we have cell phones and face time etc that can get us to who ever we want to talk to"......but getting around the world on 5 watts or 100 watts"........now that’s communicating.
 
Why I love CW  
by K5CIS on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I love CW for many of the same reasons...CW rag chewing is my favorite thing to do in ham radio.
However I operate (and respect) other modes SSB, FM, satellite, FT8, local repeaters, and Ham Forums. I just want to say that in every voice mode (especially online Ham forums), I have heard many many MANY jerks... I don’t think I have ever read a long post that didn’t develop into a debate on testing methods and the “when I was first licensed” bickering. The amateurs code should be required memorization in order to be a ham or be allowed to post on forums.
http://www.arrl.org/amateur-code
Sincerely
Brian K5CIS
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by KY5U on August 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the OPs original message. Especially the last point.
 
Why I love CW  
by W8ES on September 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
ZUT
 
Why I love CW  
by N4LSJ on September 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I got started in 1983, and sort of stopped in 1997. Just got back on in 2019 and CW still has the magic it had then. The SKCC has also done well to advance the state of CW, and has unified CW operators, very much unlike the House or the Senate. :-P (No politics past this point.. that was meant to be a joke.)

I have a J-38 shipping and showing up soon, I hope!

 
Why I love CW  
by VE3WGO on September 3, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I don't use Ham Radio for reliable and efficient communications.... I have a handheld multi-mode voice+data full-duplex VHF-UHF multi-band transceiver for doing that (a.k.a "smartphone").

I use Ham Radio for fun. And CW is fun to send, fun to decode... that's why I love it.

73, Ed
 
Why I love CW  
by W5TTW on September 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
All that beeping! ba-da-beep, ba-da-boop, ba-da-bip...
 
Why I love CW  
by GW4BVJ on September 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I learnt morse by the G3HSC records aged 16 and could do 16wpm after 6 weeks.

I increased my speed by doing lots of CW contests which prepared me for ZD7K and ZD8K in 2001.

These days I seem to hear and decode each character and there is a direct link to my fingers that push the right keys on the keyboard. I do seem to have a buffer memory where I can store the suffix while I am typing the prefix.

This is why I like the logging programs that do 'call type ahead' you can type the prefix in and start sending the second they finish, and put the suffix in at your leisure as it were!

I recently coordinated and activated the call GB19SG
in the Cricket World Cup and it was such a buzz with pile-ups nearly everyday.

Above all else my knowledge of CW has taken me to some amazing events and places over the last 40 years too numerous to mention.

Rock on CW! Rich GW4BVJ/MW6M
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by N5GWU on September 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I joined the USAF in March of 1970. A couple of months later I was at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi learning Morse Code on the way to being an Air Force Morse Intercept Operator. Was there 6 months learning code and radio theory and operations. Had to pass 18.6 WPM to graduate, I was copying 30 WPM. This was the beginning of my career in USAFSS (US Air Force Security Service and no, I wasn't a cop) Later in my career I could routinely copy 50 WPM for hours at a time. But, the key is I never had to learn to send.

In 1982 I got my Novice ticket while stationed on Crete and the Greeks used to give full privileges to Novices ticket holders so I could work any of the subbands and was often on with CW and SSB on my old Swan 350A. I got pretty good at sending and receiving something pretty different from bad guy military Morse comms (who used to hide under other transmitters and used highly directional antennas to lessen the chance of intercept but with a AN/FLR-9 antenna array and a good R390A receiver I could dig them out). I was good using a Heathkit keyer, a straight key and a bug. Time passed.

I got my General ticket in 1984 while stationed in San Antonio, TX and picked up my N5GWU call which I've had ever since. I was pretty active there, very active when I went to Japan in 1986 where I stayed for 6 years, spending a lot of time working MARS traffic and back up comms for the base when we had system issues. Still being active getting after the bad guys on Morse.

In 1992 I retired just as the real big bad guys gave up Morse for cell phones and satellite comms. They door down the AN-FLR-9 and build radomes and did away with that part of Electronic Security Command. ESC became Air Force Intelligence Command and it wasn't my problem anymore.

Now, what does all this have to do with HAM radio? Bottom line is I am a dittybopper from way back and always loved the code, but I'm now gaining on 69 years old and all those years of heavy QRM and QRN and lightning burst static and then small arms fire in the jungles of Vietnam have worn on my ability to hear well. Morse is starting to become unintelligible and SSB is barely something I can understand anymore. No more Morse QSO for me. Probably soon I will hang up my headsets for SSB. Maybe some digital modes using the keyboard and monitor, maybe not.

How long can a CW operator keep keying and copying? I'll let you know soon. I will always love the code. I will always love the hunt for weak signals in the middle of pileups. I just may not be able to be active much longer. Hopefully some young pup will get his Novice ticket, get a key and get active. There are CW folks all over the world, you may just have to dig them out.

73
Cliff
N5GWU (ex KA2PFV/SV9)
 
Why I love CW  
by KE4LJH on September 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The story of how I learned CW

CW is a facinating part of this hobby. I passed the Extra cw requirement back in the 90's. At the time, I was doing it only because I was told, by far more experienced radio operators than myself, some of them with w2 callsigns from world war II that I would never regret learning something new. In this case it was CW.

And they were so right! That was over twenty years ago.

The reason for my story is to show how hard I wanted to learn but found I needed help to learn CW the right way.

For our newer radio operators who have thought about learning CW but maybe just can't find a good reason or motivation or maybe it's the time that it takes to learn CW vs. other digital modes.

Here are a few things I learned along the way about learning CW.

Get a CW elmer.

Someone who can practice with you live on the air as you are learning. This makes you use the straight key (not an iambic paddle. My elmer said No paddles, straight key only) and train your mind, ear and hand at the same time.

I was taught by a former WW2 radio operator, now a silent key.

I consider being able to pass along this cw training system that I learned from a world war 2 radio operator, a privilage.

I hope that it may inspire those who have had learning cw on there mind, to go for it.

Here is the system he used to train me. I later found it was a fast way to learn and build speed.

first learn the sounds of the letters. I used a morse training program just like this.

Begin learning the letter "A". Have your morse computer program sound out the letter A five times consecutively over and over.....And... here is the key, ...WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU COPY...do not just sit there and listen to it. Start writing everything you copy down right from the beginning.

AAAAA
AAAAA
AAAAA ETC.


Then add the letter B.

BBBBB
BBBBB
AAAAA
BBBBB
AAAAA
BBBBB ETC

Now you copy A, which you now know and are adding to it the letter b. Once you feel comfortable move on and add the letter C to the A and B. etc.

Each time you add a new letter to the previous learned letters all the letters are being reinforced over and over.

Continue with this system as so, adding a new letter when you feel comfortable.

Learn the alphabet in alphabetical order.
Then progress to adding the numbers in numerical order. Adding one number at a time.

11111
11111
11111
11111
11111
22222
22222
22222
22222
22222
11111
22222
11111
22222 ETC

Just to reiterate, have the software repeat each letter, number and prosign five times per line. And in order.

Alternate listening and recieving this system AND WRITING EVERYTHING YOU COPY DOWN. If you miss a letter just add an underscore for that spot "_" and keep moving to the next letter. Go back and "fill in the blanks" with the context of the message after recieving all letters. This particular habit seems un nessecary now, but later it will pay dividends.

Alternate with sending the same sequence and format, each character five times with a straight key. Use a code practice ocssilator or I did not have one, so I used my hf radio on the lowest power setting with a dummy load. Turn on the moniter feature on the radio and listen to the characters that you are sending.

Letters in alphabeitacl order
Numbers in numerical order
Prosigns in the same order.

From the beginning set character speed to 20wpm.
As part of your daily excercise speed up to 25wpm and stretch and go beyond what you think you can do. Then slow down again to 20wpm and see the difference.

Listen in this format, write everthing down that you copy. Don't just sit and listen.

Then,
Send in the exact same format with a straight key.

Do this every day. For say, 30 minutes or so.

Also, twice per week my cw elmer and I had a sched on 10m, we lived about 20 miles apart so we communicated by ground waves on 10 meters with cw.

My CW elmer would:
send the alphabet in alphabetical order
then the numbers in numerical order
then the prosighn in the same order.

Each character repeated five times. The same format as above.

There was no conversation. I listened and wrote down everything I copied "on air". Once the alphabet, numbers and prosigns had each been repeated five times in order the session for recieving was over. He went to bed and I continued practicing and copying and sending.

Each time you repeat the listening, writing and sending the same format in the same sequence, you are reinforcing everything you have learned over and over. WITH THE CORRECT SOUNDS.

Again, no random characters were ever used.

Repetiton is your friend. Do this daily.

What I observed at that time was that at no time were random letters recieved or sent by straight key.

Therefore, I only listened to the correct sound and in order so I knew what was coming in advance, so to speak. Knowing in advance what you are going to recieve from the software shows you immediately what letters you are haveing challenges with. It also does not create CONFUSION about the sounds of the letters.

I found that random characters just created confusion for me.

I had already passed the 5 wpm code test with a VE session. But just could not get any farther for two years. I tried to pass the 15 wpm code test 7 times and failed.

The ham that introduced himself to me at the VE sessions after failing the seventh time offered to become my CW ELMER.

The afore mentioned program is how it was explained to me by a WW2 radio operator who became my cw elmer.

It worked fast.....

At the next VE session 30 days later at the club meeting and testing session, I took the 15 wpm code test for the eighth time.

I passed the 15 wpm code test at 100%.

The VE's asked If I wanted to take the extra code test at 24 wpm.

I said, "I havn't practiced that speed, but I'll try".

I passed the 24wpm code test also 100% copy.

I had no idea how fast I was copying cw until I went to the VE session and past both CW examinations.

Get a CW elmer to work with you. It keeps you motivated.

30 Days.....

73
AR
SK
 
RE: Why I love CW  
by VK2MS on September 20, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Hi. The reply from KC7MF is one to which he is entitled but like any of us passing opinions, we can be challenged. There's something now quite right about his argument. I'll make a dissertation which may indicate some of it....Whether old or new hams, the vast majority, encouraged perhaps by admiring photos of their commercial set up, are appliance operators.From the outset , there are hams who are just brilliant scientists, designers, thinkers, metal workers,conceptualists and many of those are appliance operators...it's the pit into which commercialisation took us.Others I admire immensely, seek out and restore ancient stations and equipment and do staggeringly fantastic restorations....way beyond my ability. I 'dips me lid' to them.

This is nonsense if not preposterous-for-an-effect' thinking from KC7MF:

"Secondly my arrogant friend...It is unfair to refer to people who do not prefer to use code as "Appliance Operators" and accuse them of memorizing the answers to the test. There are a legion of old time hams who could not even come close to passing the test or the code for their Extra Class license today if they had to retest. And a significant number who could not pass general or even novice."...

Anyone ''compus-mentis' who passed an early licence exam would know vastly more 'examinable' than a modern licencee. They had to have seriously profound electronics knowledge, and I imagine you just have no knowledge of the exams they passed way back when....

There's an idea permeating that a 'ham' is someone who can get '5 and 9+' whatever it costs.They are appliance operators...as we all are when using a toaster or a dishwasher or whatever, in the case of well, named for them 'ham' radio operators they plug things together and start talking, after (perhaps) passing a pathetically low-demand exam.I recall as a young bloke reading the full-call exam (there were no 'novices'. Amateur operating was for the skilled contributors, not someone wanting to avoid telephone bills. Third party traffic was 'banned' and it was made clear that ham radio was not an alternative to the telephone.

To become a part of the respected fraternity One had to be able to design aspects or Rx and Tx...know the Amateur code and proactively know the Morse code. Amateur radio was for highly skilled contributors involved in experimentation, not just a 'right to do as I please under the constitution'..

The hay-days of Amateur radio were the 20' and 30's in which tradition and skills were exciting and interactive. That said, already commercial gear was creeping-in from National and others. Post WW11 instead of demanding amateur frequencies as sacrosanct, owing to wartime contribution of skills and equipment, nothing was done, leaving the bands at risk and the domain of secondary service. The ARRL and WIA did nothing to immortalise the bands. New excitement emerged in getting ex services gear on the air but I recall some of it...e.g. 348's being used with 1930's transmitters...

The tradition seemed to be holding. Kitsets were available for swl's and amateurs to hone skills and take pride in achievement . Then came the curse...icom kenwood and the like turning amateur radio operators into desk-jockeys.

Life changed and never sat for my licence. Licensing requirements diminished to the point where, when I finally sat mine in 1990 it was almost embarrassing. I'd studied over some weeks in the cot whilst fairly badly injured then to challenge myself sat all three grades in one day, passing with highest marks in the 'full call'. My great joy as a youngster was swl on ham bands and other...e.g. broadcast band dx... and building regens.

I then moved to restoring and converting WW11 gear... remembering please that when Ham radio was 'genuine' we still had substantial engineering requirement then to become an 'Amateur' so I would have had to do a lot better than I did in 1990 to pass the exam in 1960.

By 1990, having disposed of all my gear both home-brew and ex-services I then used an Icom 735 I think it was, an in one day learned how Amateur standard and traditions had deteriorated. By 10pm after 15 hours operating, 10 on cw I was ready to toss it in forever "if this arrogance and lack of tradition is ham radio today...I'm out of here!!".

Then in the most appalling atmospheric conditions Sandy Lynch then in Japan suddenly and very faintly came on board and we chatted for well over an hour...in which time my speed increased to beyond 28wpm..his wife could no longer copy.

We had some letters and his4 page letter to me accompanied by an ARRL Certificate for communication under almost impossible conditions was what kept me going. Sandy,a young man really but extremely experienced silicon valley type and examine sadly died soon after his son was bor.

Sandy had moved I think to Oregon and was so excited that deer came to his property. I used to write letters to him using Morse-code. Sandy Lynch was and is my inspiration to stay with Amateur radio even through its unfortunate demise into such attitudes as 'they can go...and take their CW with them' as KC7MF concluded.

In my reasoning, Morse code should not be viewed as some sort of thing you can shake loose from your boot having stepped into it, but as a primary requirement for the admission into the Amateur fraternity. Ok we had the 'Z' calls....who thought they were superior and more intelligent than HF chaps, we now have the pathos-laden F call which makes a novice licence look like a MENSA exam, and for which I was (and rejected) the rounds of the table for also teaching tradition and history...

In my view the F licence which should only be allowed to last a year in my view, require licencees to construct a working QRP under experienced guidance but not to go on forever persisting in 'off the shelf' operating. That was ridiculed by the WIA president. I tossed-in teaching and examining as it was us working as serfs for the WIA's profit and furthering a business venture, forced as well to pay WIA membership fees and WIA would compromise on no suggestion for a more equitable arrangement (such as club membership for one membership cost)

As for foul language and the like, I can't say 'who' may use it on 80M though I have heard some un amateurly' conversation on 40M last year but I do recall that in the 50's-late 60'sI never heard it from Amateurs.

Perhaps with the planetary pressures and psychopaths 'leading'nations' stressing us all and confronting us with 24/7 genocides older folk might use it but I doubt it's as commonplace as young people on 2 metre duplex.. even organising parties and viciously arguing even making threats. Perhaps it's because the licence is far too easy to obtain that introduces 'riff-raff'.

These quasi-cb operators should have their licenses quarantined when offending , however as no longer is courtesy and tradition taught, and with foul language commonplace on TV and movies it's understandable but still unacceptable in what should be an hallowed institution. I also think it's up to the fraternity to pull up and report foul mouthing on ham bands...

I have no time for sympathy for people who say they can't learn Morse or don't want to do so because I reject it cannot be learned...it's a lot easier than learning foreign language and whether obstinacy, arrogance or laziness in my view if you don't learn it and at least sometimes use it you are not worthy of being a part of the once hallowed organisation, group, 'hobby'.

If your Amateur radio is simply joining connectors together, I've heard claims of nearly $100,000 spent, then why call yourself a 'ham', you are little more than cb operator licensed to operate on Amateur bands. You ask for 'rs' but never have a need for 'rst'...and that's where you fail, in dismissing morse on cw/mcw.

Me?...whilst I do own a Kenwood TS 130V with 250Hz filter which I worked Wales 4/7 for example on 7W input sideband I fix and rebuild military sets. After 5 years of (other) university study, completed 2 weeks ago, I am now getting on top of the collection...I have recently rebuilt 6 pieces of (tube) test equipment, 2x AR7's and repaired an RME 6990.I've rebuilt a 1940 airzone portable, now also with 240V supply. I've gone through my (mod's) TS 820 S owing to a flashover when I tried it on a new antenna which came with a Balun fault...

Today will be an BK tube tester, then rebuilding a BC 348Q, so messed up I can't even imagine what he had in mind. Then comes a third AR7, a BC348 R, 2xB-40D Murphy's, a TRC77, 2 x ZCI Mk 2's...one 'seriousl'y converted by someonelse and a bit of a mess.., the other original.One is the rarer 'Army model' which I've nearly finished until I deside whethewr to change ALL the caps or for consistency or leave the originals in a sort of hybrid arrangement. Is the originality more important than the functioning...dichotomies!!..

I've another AR7 to pickup as a complete station and rebuild. My other (ex RAAF) BC 348 R is going back to dynamotor supply, already commenced. I've a Drake R4-C to repair and another to perhaps fit Sherwood mods...although the problems with R4-C are actually at T4...most of the rest is window dressing, tweaking instead of fixing the problem.

There are six 'command sets' 3 or 4 being453's and the others include the bc band model,...I've other test gear to do, some valve (like Tektronix, some solid state...textronix') I'm not much on IC gear...but then I am utterly disinterested and bored with the concepts of 'digital(binary?) modes on Ham radio...almost all 'off the shelf' including computer based 'programme and type'.

I guess that all dates me but whilst being on top of engineering IS Ham tradition (me culpa) binary transmission , unlike Morse code, is not of the essence in Ham tradition. Digital IS, because Morse is digital.

Having been involved with the weapons research facility during the Vietnam era I have a WRE transceiver Mk2, designed by Lloyd Butler and another chap for use at Maralinga and the atomic test sites (which tests were a crime against humanity), it needs a couple of caps. and an ART-13 which I have to build a power supply, having collected all the gear but it's secondary to the other stuff.

I don't consider myself as purely an appliance user, I am rebuilding gear to use and to sell to others who get comfort from traditional and nostalgic gear...which your D-star and packet etc. will never achieve. I have also the original AR7 set of 1963's "Amateur Radio" magazine ...very highly modified, to redo. I'd better stop thinking about the workload...I wish I'd been at that 1950's-60's level amateur radio level,I do good work but am not as technically competent as my qualifications! I suffer also from some lack of confidence and from seeing the demise of Ham Radio standards.

In closing KC7MF stated (we all I suppose say things in the heat of the moment;

"CW is an individual choice. No more. Some find it fun. Some don't. If you like it, by all means tap away. Enjoy a pretty difficult club to join. But be careful. Plenty of new hams are leaning CW. But if the old timers keep insulting them then it is the whole hobby that will go away. And take CW with it.".

"tap away" indicates to me this chap has no idea...you don't 'tap' a Morse key if you know what you are doing. That's the way he may see them doing it in the movies. The 'club' is not hard to join but the arrogance of some high speed operators and their typed or vibroplex operations is notable.The problem is not 'old timers' insulting newcomers, which granted is not encouraging for some, but that the types who have reduced Amateur operating to simply being a radio operator are to blame for it. That's not to say that Kenwood and Icom and the like have not pushed for reduced quality of examinations (likely?) to keep selling their gear...and now to 'F' calls. By reducing the examination demands you don't maintain a barrier for around the tradition respecting sort of person who is seriously dedicated. I'm way down the list of people with technical expertise, I acknowledge that and keep studying and asking questions. For me, whatever licence one holds, if the holder has no assimilation of and respect for the history and traditions of Amateur operating from the early 20th century at least, then you may be licensed, brilliant, charismatic, have dx-cc and other awards covering your shack even call yourself a ham' but you are not a HAM.Anyone, also, can join up plugs, buy a comfortable chair, press a switch and talk into a microphone, but it takes skill to be competent at Morse code...That sets the bar too high it seems for people to become genuine HAMS.
 
Why I love CW  
by N2RRA on September 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
What’s left too say. Everything’s been said. Spot on!

CW Forever!
 
Why I love CW  
by N2RRA on September 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Went for my Tech Test at age 14 when 5wpm was the standard. No Elmer. All on my own. Walked out of there with my 13wpm spontaneously cause I was encouraged just to give it a try. Never stopped sending code since.
 
Why I love CW  
by VK2FK on September 30, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I participate (when possible) in a daily SSB net which I really enjoy.
On weekends, this net is on CW.
I anxiously look forward to the 2 days of CW and am always disappointed when I can’t make it.
That’s why I love CW!
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Related News & Articles
Danger in St. Elmo


Other Recent Articles
New Radio Repeater Installed in Skamania County:
East Texas Emergency Response Teams Hold Multi-County Training:
Voyager Missions Saw Solar Activity Sending Pressure Pulse Into Space:
FCC and Commercial Products Used in Amateur Radio:
Ham Talk Live #186 -- VR and Contesting: