In this blog I’ve documented my recent commitment to, and preoccupation with CW. As I mentioned before, this is the first time in my amateur “career” (which began in 1978) that I have made a protracted effort toward being active on CW. I’ve only been at it for about 2 1/2 months but I’ve made definite progress. I wouldn’t say that at any point it was hard, but for the first couple of months I had to consciously apply myself. CW felt a bit unnatural and there were times when I had to “force” myself to copy it. I’ve made attempts to become more fluent in CW before, but they were so half-hearted and brief in their nature that they don’t really qualify to be even called attempts. For some reason, I persevered this time.
I had a fun morning on 40m today. I got out of bed just before 5am local time and called CQ on 7030. As a station who is running just 5 watts to a Buddistick vertical 20 feet above ground, I don’t usually expect a reply when I call CQ. This time however, JA1KIH came back to me and gave me a 569! An hour later, I worked DS5USH in South Korea. That QSO wasn’t quite as easy, but he gave me a 439 and I have never had a QSO with South Korea before, so that was fun. I then spent a happy hour or so listening to the pile-up on 7005 generated by T2G on Tuvalu, as well as 8J2MC/2 in the Phillippines, and a Russian station – all on 40M. It was a good morning.
It was then that it occurred to me that I hadn’t felt like I had had to “force” myself to think in terms of morse code in order to be able to copy the stations. I still had to concentrate of course, but the effort felt more natural and was enjoyable.
I think I’ve turned the corner. Now would any of those employers that are advertising positions on Craigslist as needing bilingual applicants consider someone who speaks English and Morse code?