There are two stations that I've always hoped to work since I earned my ticket many years ago. One is the ARRL (W1AW) club station in Newington Connecticut. (I worked it last year) The other is the FISTS "club station".
This morning I worked Dave (KB9MLE) who was the operator of the "FISTS" club station transmitting from Goshen Indiana. He was using a "/9" on the end of the club call.
It took me a moment to decipher his call (it caught me totally unexpected) when he returned my call. (Know CW ie KNOW CODE). All I heard at first was the CW (the mind plays funny tricks on me at times). But then we exchanged the "basics" and his personal sign and number. I did the same with my club and CC numbers. I'll send my card to the Buro in the morning and display the KN0WCW card on the blog when it returns.
This is a card I'll cherish for many years.
Morse Code has become controversial these days. There was quite an uproar, a few years ago, when "code" was dropped as a requirement for a ham radio ticket. I've even mentioned CW "as a dying art" to prospective hobbyist. Hence....(and I'm glad to see it) this clubs "play on words".
But the "new ham" numbers have been slowly increasing the last few years. And remarkably, so have CW operators. I realize it's NOT for everyone but I can't imagine ham radio without it.
It's a personal choice and one with (hopefully) no "good or bad" connotations.
I guess it's from my Navy days, but I consider Morse Code operators a "special" type of people. CW op's are a unique "sub culture" within ham radio. We use unique procedures and abbreviations. TU ILBCNU HIHI GUD LK B4 1TTW IMI CUL AGN ...this list goes on and on.
In the Navy, I remember dark cloudy nights when I bounced a light off the clouds to ships over the horizon. (fifteen miles) I remember sending CW via the masthead lights and using infrared filters during night operations with "bird farms". I once used "wig wag" with a semaphore flag. (at about 5 miles). Maybe it's just a "survival instinct" but CW can be sent with LOTS of different mediums. You can send CW with a mirror at nearly 100 miles on a bright sunny day.
Regardless of your choice of modes (code or no code), we're ALL still ONE big happy family. There's more than enough room on the bands for all of us. (we have out special 30 meter band) I know this sounds biased but, if you're NOT using code, you're missing out on a lot of VERY unique fun.
I'll be looking forward to getting this card back.