My Most Recent QSO's

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New NAQCC Banner

As anyone realizes, that has read this blog for very long, I'm a strong advocate of learning and using Morse Code. I have a microphone, somewhere in the house, but I'd have to look for it if I decided to use it again. I might drag it out to make a contact with a "special event station" but if given the choice between a CW contact and a SSB contact, I'll go for the "key" just about 99% of the time. I'm not into the "digital" modes either. To each their own, but I just LOVE Morse Code. Communicating with another operator with a "good fist" is like listening to a good Symphony to me.

It's SO simple and SO efficient and the satisfaction and camaraderie that exists between CW operators is something difficult to put into words. I get an enormous sense of accomplishment when using the "dots and dashes" to communicate.

I've been a member of the North American QRP CW Club for several years now. They've created a new "banner" to express their enthusiasm for CW.

I like it!

There's a link to the club on the right side of this blog. They promote communications with QRP power, and of course, CW.

Check out the web site.

Read the free monthly newsletter.

There's no membership dues.


Learn CW and join in the fun!


pidloop said...

Hi John. I enjoy CW also but when I hear folks such as yourself sing its praises I wonder if I am hearing the same thing you do. I can copy 20 WPM on a good day but it's not easy, it takes 100% concentration and there's nothing left for comprehension, I just write down every letter then read it back quickly. I am basically still counting dots and dashes, albeit rather rapidly. I have a hunch folks that really "LOVE" CW have a simpler experience. For example, I suspect the characters just appear in your head without ever consciously having heard the dits and dahs. How did you get to that point? I've been practicing code for over 40 years and I still don't hear it this way. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks, and keep up the nice blog. Elwood, WB0OEW, Tucson AZ

Jspiker said...

Hello Elwood,

I've had people ask me, many times, how I play a certain piece of music on the guitar or piano (I have my own style) and I always say "I don't think about it". As with code, (at least for me) I do the same thing. I know that sounds confusing, but that's exactly what I do. I don't "think" about it.

I'd suggest that you drop your speed down to a point where you can "keep it in your head" and forget about "writing everything down".

Listen for "words", not letters.

I usually jot down the call, name, QTH and RST. but I write VERY little and only when I find it hard to copy a "particular" operator. I can't write down much of anything at a speeds faster than 13 wpm because I find it very distracting.

And I rarely send or receive at much more than 15 wpm, but at 15 wpm or slower, I find the words just "voice" themselves in my head.
That's the reason I use the term " a good piece of music" to describe a really good CW operator.

As to "how you get there", don't look at code as a "challenge" or a "competition". I could care less about how "fast" and how "clever" an operator is with their "abbreviations". I think the object of sending and receiving code should be to "communicate", not "impress" others or "snow" someone.

I admire your "20 wpm on a good day". That's about it for me too. Hi. I'm NOT a fast operator.

I'd bet that if you got into the habit of "not writing everything down" and "not viewing code as a competition or a challenge" you'd find yourself "hearing" the words in your head in shorter time than you expect.

Stop thinking about all those letters....

pidloop said...

Thanks much for your encouraging comments. I'm astonished you can hear words, I can't even remember one letter to the next to form a word, that's why I have to write them down. This is true of spoken English letters too: I've asked people to talk to me by spelling the words and I find I can not form the letters into words in my head, so it's not just a CW issue.

Anyway, I'm always impressed with any op who can copy easily. Maybe I will too one day, but so far 40 years of practice has not been enough.