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QSL seekers:  KØRO is a new call for me.  I acquired it in December, 2015 under the FCC vanity call system.  If you are seeking a QSL from a contact before that time, I'm sorry I cannot help you.  I have been advised that the former holder of KØRO, an avid CW and DX operator,  no longer lives and apparently left no logs of his contacts.

As for me, I'll gladly reciprocate on any paper QSL and I upload to LoTW and eQSL daily.

RADIO MEMBERSHIPS:

ARRL,  Hattiesburg Amateur Radio Club (Mississippi),  Arctic Amateur Radio Club (Fairbanks AK),  FISTS No. 12906,  SKCC No. 14800T, AMSAT

OPERATING EQUIPMENT:

Kenwood TS-870,  Kenwood TS-50,  Icom 910,  Ameritron AL-82,  J-38 Key

SteppIR  3-Element Yagi with GM3SEK 6-Meter modification at height of 17 meters on:

US Tower TMM-541  

OPERATING PRACTICES:

December 1, 2015:

2016 is my 60th year in Ham radio.  I have been away from CW since receiving my Conditional ticket (KØHML) in 1956.  I intend to make 2016 my CW return year by making at least one CW contact each day.  I'll not obsess on this goal--I'll take as many mulligans as I need.  But my intent is to regain credible CW activity and proficiency.

June 30, 2016 Status:

In early January I broadened my goal of one CW contact per day by deciding to dedicate 2016 exclusively to CW. That decision was influenced by learning a bit about the previous holder of KØRO who was an avid CW and DX operator and is now a Silent Key.  I also joined SKCC and have actively pursued its various award levels. 

 I've met and exceeded my one-per-day CW contact goal, having logged over 450 contacts since January 1.  Of those, 93 were DX and 178 were SKCC.  I qualified for SKCC Centurion in late April and Tribune in early June.  I've got a good start on the Senator award which I suspect will take at least the rest of the year.

As I hoped, I've improved my CW proficiency and operating practices.  I hope to continue to improve.

I've learned a lot in six months but one thing stands out:  CW operators are among the finest people in our great hobby. 

 

December 31, 2016 Status:

Well, my original goal of one CW contact per day during 2016, my 60th year as a ham, turned into quite an adventure.

As noted above, I started working for SKCC levels early in the year and attained the Tribune level by early June.  Since then, I’ve been actively pursuing the Senatorial level but it’s a much bigger job and is not quite done yet.  I’m at TX6 with a few to go for TX7 and hope to have Senator by mid year 2017.

Meanwhile, here’s my present status.  I’ve logged 1830 CW contacts for the year. (I put the microphone away early on and it’s not been back on the desk).  Of those,  238 are DX and 1174 are SKCC.  So my initial goal of one CW contact per day has been exceeded.  I ended the year at an average of five per day.  Most days now I’m logging 8 or ten contacts.

My goal was about more than numbers.  I wanted to develop a good fist and good operating practices.  I’ll leave those goals to others to judge but some have complimented me on my fist and I did receive an unsolicited “Good Operator Report" from an ARRL Official Observer.  So I feel good about those two goals.

My goals for 2017 include finishing SKCC Senatorial level.  I haven’t decided what other SKCC levels I’ll pursue after that but will select one or two later in the year.  I’ll continue using CW exclusively—I have no immediate desire to get back to SSB.  I’ll slow down to meet the needs of  new and less-skilled operators because I’ve been there too.  I’ll listen hard and patiently work the QRP operators.  They’re often hindered by antenna restrictions and deserve credit for getting on the air under tough circumstances.  I’ll rag chew with those who enjoy it and cement friendships with repeat contacts.  I’ll work as many SKCC events as I can and share my T/S number with those who are striving for their levels.  And I’ll include my SKCC number in every exchange in hopes of encouraging others to join the group.  

I give SKCC all the credit for my CW development and for the fun I’ve had as a ham in 2016.

Finally, this all started over a year ago when I learned about the previous holder of my new call sign and decided to dedicate 2016 to CW as a bit of a tribute to his memory. I’m told by his brother, also a ham, that he was an avid CW and DX operator who died an untimely death.  If he could hear me operate and see my log, I believe he’d be pleased.

Now on to Year 61.

 

June 30, 2017 Status

 

Well, it’s been 18 months since I started my return to CW and it’s been a wonderful adventure.

 

I chuckle now at my modest initial goal of one CW contact per day.  Back then when the sweat would rise on my neck and my heart would pound, it seemed like a lot.  But now, with over 3500 contacts logged since then, CW is second nature.

 

I’ve worked hard to reach SKCC levels and attained TX8 on March 13.  It was an arduous task, compounded, I’m sure, by my decision not to use scheduled contacts.  Nothing against that, I simply wanted to do the job with spontaneous contacts by calling or answering CQ’s. 

 

In addition to the CQ activity, I worked several SKCC events, including volunteering as a K3Y station in January.  That was a wonderful experience which I recommend to any SKCC member. From Centurion to TribuneX8 took 2,337 contacts and a bit over 10 months.

 

Then, having the TribuneX8 in hand, I started working toward the Senator level which requires 200 T’s and S’s, significantly narrowing the field of SKCC members who could move me forward.  That task took another 840 contacts and 80 days.  Finally, on May 31, 2017, I qualified for SKCC Senatorial level.  I’m Senator number 251 out of something over 17,000  SKCC members.  Not bad for an old guy who dusted off his J-38 for the first time in 60 years just 17 months earlier.

 

I’ve said it before:  I owe much to SKCC for the motivation to work hard at CW and I'm delighted that our ranks are growing.  Thanks to the many operators, both SKCC members and non-members, who are in my log.  There are many new friends there and I look forward to future contacts with them.

 

And thanks as well to SK Art, the former KØRO, to whom I hope my Radio activity has been, and will continue to be something of a fitting tribute.

 

And now, on to more CW adventures….

  

 

8265925 Last modified: 2017-08-10 23:31:18, 11099 bytes

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