Sunday 3 January 2010

2010 and all that

Well here it is- my first post of the new year!
Happy 2010 to all who read this. I am not a great believer in new years resolutions but I do have one radio -related resolution and that is to start using CW again.

I obtained my first amateur radio licence back in 1984. In those days passing the radio amateurs exam earned you a class B radio licence which allowed you to operate on 144Mhz and above. In order to use the HF bands you had to pass the morse code exam both receiving and sending morse at 12 words per minute. I did this and obtained my existing callsign in 1988.
I learned morse code at my then local radio club. The tutor was a very enthusiastic CW man and made me promise that my first ever contact on HF would be on CW. I kept this promise and for the first couple of years used morse fairly regularly.
Over the years for various reasons my amateur radio activity was a little patchy. When I did get back on the air properly I had lost confidence in my CW skills and switched to operating on SSB and in more recent times the data modes. what I need to do now of course is to set some time aside to re-learn my morse receive skills!
Morse is an interesting mode and it can enable a simple low power station to work much further than an equivalent equipped SSB station.
So that's my intention, watch this space to see if I have any success.
Radio operation here has been limited over the last couple of days. I have been using WSPR, mainly on 80metres and was very pleased to see that my 1watt signal had been heard in the USA. The funny thing is that I haven't ever worked the U.S from here on 80 metres, even with 100 watts. I guess that just shows what an amazing mode WSPR is!


  1. Learning CW again is a good new years resolution! ;-) Since 1985 I did not use CW till 2008. In a few months I was back on the air with CW. You never forget Morse Code really. Only the speed to copy is less. I use CW-freak (free software) to learn to copy CW. A wonderful program. Good luck, 73 Paul

  2. Wish you good luck too. It is impossible to forget CW and I hope to meet you one 2010 night on the Air using old good Straight Key.

    73! Andy