6 Month Status Report

Started by DogDidIt, July 13, 2014, 01:07:16 pm

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July 13, 2014, 01:07:16 pm Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 01:19:19 pm by DogDidIt
Hello everyone,
I don't post much, but I joined this site and started my on-air CW about the same time (a little over 6 months ago) so I figured I'd give a little status report, for anyone interested.
- Stuck to my daily sked (by the way, thank you sked buddy for all your patience).
     I can see an improvement in both my copy and send (both speed and accuracy, slowly but surely).

- Switched from a straight key to a paddle.
     Even though my paddle send accuracy suffers compared to my straight key, I'm happy with the switch.

- Learned to solder on a circuit board, plus bought and built a KX-1.
     I enjoyed that and yep, I even built and installed the 30m/80m option whew LOL.

- Took a CW course at a level higher than I probably should have to challenge myself, and boy, did it ever.
     I was way behind the other two students, but I stuck to it and finished the course.

- Even did a little CW during Field Day this year.
     That was interesting.  A few were willing to slow down for me, and some just wanted a quick contact and seemed to not have time to slow down.  The "computer-based" CW guys were possibly having problems copying my manual CW, so I think I could stand to improve on my sending a bit, but overall it was a good experience.

- Learned that copying via typing is much better (at least for me) than handwriting.
     I resisted (because from an ecomms standpoint, you might not have that keyboard in front of you), but yes, it is easier, especially when you are not a morning person and your sked is early (at least for a night owl).  I just close my eyes and let my fingers type away as I'm copying. :)

- Starting to hear a FEW of the shorter words, instead of hearing letters.
     That will come with more practice and lots of time.

So for those who are on the fence about learning CW, all I can say is Come to the Dark Side.  It's challenging, but at the end of the day, you won't regret it.  I'm probably preaching to the choir, but imagine how good it would be to know you can reach a friend 500 miles away during an emergency MUCH easier than trying to find an open spot within a VERY crowded band for voice.  And also imagine how good it would be to know you'll only be using a fraction of the battery power to reach them (instead of max watts or also having to power up your laptop for digital).  By the way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with those choices, but the more comms skills you have, the better you and your family/group/community are going to be.  Like they say - 2 is 1 and 1 is none. :)

God Bless,


Great progress for six months, congratulations!

QuoteAnd also imagine how good it would be to know you'll only be using a fraction of the battery power to reach them

That is a big one for me. Charging and carrying batteries can be a daunting task. I can power my radios with eight AA rechargeable cells that weigh very little. Charging them requires only a small 7W solar panel. It is a big advantage over a voice mode radio.

I would suggest that I soon as you can you try to head-copy...

Have fun!



I enjoyed reading your update.  I wish I had moved as fast with learning as you have.

WRT to the speed-demons on Field Day, a good operator slows down to your speed.  I have little patience for those impatient types.


Awesome!! Congratulations and welcome to the dark side 8) . I couldn't tell you the last time I picked up a microphone (at least not for amateur radio) and I don't miss it one bit.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin



Well Done!

CW is SUCH an efficient, effective and enjoyable mode to communicate in, that I rarely am on any other.  Digital modes are superb for what they do and voice is fine (yawn!)  but to me sending and receiving Morse is a pleasure all by itself. The other modes are just a 'dumb machine' like an internet chat room.

For your efforts and success, I award you a medal JUST for you. 

As you can plainly see, it sayz "Hero of Morse!" - riiiiight?!

Good Job - now Back To WORK!

>RadioRay ..._  ._

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry