I suspect my auto keyed memory will change form “do you have a microphone” to “QRZ?”..
I collected an old (but new) and new to me MFJ-564B Iambic Morse key from an old stock clear out at Strictly Ham had over Xmas as they moved form their old to new stores. It cost me $25, which i feel is a good price for an entry level morse key. Its based on the Bencher BY-1. The cable and socket cost me ~$6 from jaycar and was easy to make up.
So, now to being the re-learning and (use) of cw. I had my first ever (bad) contact over xmas using my dinkey and ft817 and have been practising my letters, trying to get back up to speed. having passed xmas for morse in the late 1990’s but having never used it. Its actually been easy to remember and pick back up the morse. I guess it really was well stored away somewhere at the back of my brain.
Ive also been using a simple ($1) app on my iPhone/iPad while I have a spare moment, on the train and the like to try and increase my speed, sending is fine, its the receiving that was always a challenge. The program is called Koch Trainer and it works really well. Another FREE app is called Morse Coach, it uses the same Koch method, and is also good, but for $1 the other app is much better. Many others as well.. Including the Learn CW Online website.
Ive also started to listen to (but not yet game enough to join in on) a VK CW Beginners group. They operate on 40m on saturday and wednesday nights and will help you learn morse, and learn how to have a QSO.
And finally, Nathan, my 5 year old son has been reading a science activity book he got for xmas that has morse code in it, and he has been practising with me! He was also interested in morse from me showing him the JUNO space mission to Jupiter and an experiment hams assisted with as the craft passed earth in late 2013.
3 thoughts on “The Long Hard Road back to CW begins…”
Well done Andrew, I too am re learning morse, inspired y the number of SOTA stations using CW now. Have listened to some of the VK beginner sessions and called in on SSB, havn’t been game for CW yet. Bought myself a touch keyer from the US and have been practicing receiving and sending with another local here. Good Luck, Tim VK5AV, Mount Gambier.
Thanks Tim. Maybe we can do a summit 2 summit sota cw contact one day!!
me too after a lay off of about 25 years in amateur radio … it get hard when you’re older … should have got my dad to teach me when I was younger !