I got into the hobby around 1997 after talking to a ham that was working for security at a football game. I found it rather interesting, so proceeded to study up on the basic requirements as well as morse code. Unfortunately, I learned to see what morse code was made up of, rather than learn it by sound, which caused me to decipher it in 2 steps rather than auto-recognition. I would not recommend learning morse code by seeing how many dits and dahs make up the characters. This will have you counting dits and dahs and putting them into letters and words... not good if you wish to be an efficient code op!
I found cw to be the mode of choice after getting my ticket... (ergo the "CW" call sign). I figured I wasn't going to put that time and effort into learning it only to let it go, and did actually enjoy tapping out the characters and words on whatever straight key I happened to have at the time. I didn't put a lot of time in working above about 10 or 12 wpm for the first years, but am working on learning reflex copy these days, and am slowly starting to hear words come together rather than trying to focus on dits and dahs and sorting them into letters and then words, so that is a good thing.
I belong to the SKCC CW Club, and will exchange member numbers for the various award levels within the club for a bit of added fun. Other than that, my preference is cw ragchewing, and I will be happy to discuss a variety of topics in a cw chat... the weather, your ham station, that old truck you are fixing up, why your keys spell checker isn't working, how you managed to trade your spouse for a new radio (antenna, power supply, key, etc), or just a quick "Hello, howzit going?"
I don't use a paddle or keyboard, but have pretty much stuck with a straight key. I have had a variety of straight keys, but found the Czech military key I picked up tends to be my favourite, so it is the one I use whenever I work a straight key. I also found "bugs" to be rather interesting, so have started to mess around with them as well. I have 4 Bugs, including a Wilson SA-100 that is rather unique since you can flip it over and use it left handed if required. It is the one I pretty much use all the time, along with the Czech key. I have them both in line, and switch as required. You can find information on the Wilson here. I am not a Bug collector, but just happened to come across a few that I liked. (Click on image for larger view)
NOTE: I don't have QSL cards; I don't collect QSL cards; I don't exchange QSL cards, and I don't use on-line logging programs.
3 EL Triband Yagi
80m inverted V dipole
Bill - VA5CW
8057432 Last modified: 2017-04-26 19:39:34, 5972 bytes
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