It’s shameful that I have been an extra class licensee for something like 20 years and can barely hold a coherent on-air conversation on CW. Well, to me it is. I’m absolutely not passing judgement on any other amateurs. I understand that some aren’t fond of CW and that, of course, is fine. Trouble is, I’ve always really liked the idea of CW. I stare at pictures of homebrew QRP CW rigs online and in magazines as if I were a teenage boy looking at my first images of scantily-clad women. I THINK of myself as a CW operator, even though I’m not.
So I did something about it this morning. I heard W7GET calling CQ on 7034 and answered him. When I heard his CQ I had this feeling that were he to come back to me, I’d have trouble keeping up with his sending, and I was right. It’s not that I can’t copy at the speed he was sending (which I’m guessing was about 12-14wpm), it’s that I need to work on my concentration. You see, when I answered his CQ, part of me was hoping he wouldn’t hear my little 5 watt signal so that I would be relieved of the responsibility of having to work him. Thing is – he came back to me, and suddenly I found that I wasn’t able to send or receive. What was THAT all about?
Garret lives in Plains, Montana, and was very understanding of the fact that my CW skills need a lot of work.
I’m still coming down from the high of having actually had a QSO on CW. I just heard KC6T call CQ on 7035 but I think I’ll give him a break and not answer his call. I need to find a few amateurs for a few slow QSO’s in order to build my on-air confidence first.
Anyone up for some slow easy QSO’ing at around 8-10wpm?
Thanks Garret – you’ve given a would-be CW operator a real kick and a determination to keep trying!