K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities
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Eric - N0HHS

You have a terrific site. Thanks for promoting QRP, CW, and Morse code. I have been licensed since 1986, starting as a 5 wpm Technician. I was sporadically active on 2m until 2000, when I was automatically upgraded to General by the 1999 re-classification. I bought my first HF rig and started to explore the bands. My twin sons became interested in the hobby in 2002 (at age 10), and both decided to study for the Technician license. I wanted to work with them, and given the new license classifications, the only upgrade left for me was Amateur Extra, which as you know is now just a written test. We all passed in October 2002. Since then, my wife has also passed the Tech exam, and my 7 year old daughter is working on multiplication so she can understand the math on the test.

I felt a little like a cheater for being an Extra with only 5 wpm code proficiency (from 16 years earlier), so I decided to re-learn the Code and try to get somewhat proficient. I used the G4FON software and pretty quickly got beyond where I was in 1986. I had remembered the old Tuna-Tin from QST articles and decided to search the internet for something I could use on the air that I had built with my own hands. I built a 20m Rock-Mite, my first real electronic construction project, which worked first time like a champ, and made a couple of QSOs with it. Since then, I bought an Elecraft KX1 kit in Dayton this past May, which also works beautifully and allows me to set up on the road, or camping, or wherever. I am mired around 10 wpm, mostly due to lack of on-air time, but even with my limited skills I enjoy CW and the thrill of making low power contacts. I am a member of the Adventure Radio Society, and just applied for membership in the new NAQCC, which you have done such a good job promoting.

I am also--anathema--a member of No-Code International, and one of those intrepid few who petitioned the FCC last year to drop Morse code proficiency for HF transmitting privileges immediately after the ITU dropped the requirement at its World Radiocommunication Conference. I strongly believe that the best thing for the hobby is to promote new membership, and the code does presents a significant hurdle to many who would otherwise experiment with HF operation. I also believe that CW and Morse code are a wonderful aspect of amateur radio--indeed, the purest form--and of course worth preserving and promoting. I just don't think the regulatory process is the way to do that, particularly since the FCC had previously ruled that the only reason to keep a code proficiency requirement was because of the (now eliminated) ITU regulation.

Wonderful hams like you and all the other avid QRPers out there, coupled with the availability of great kits from Small Wonder Labs, Elecraft, and others, have led to a real resurgence in the popularity of CW. This renewed enthusiasm for getting back to basics will certainly keep CW healthy well into the next century, regardless of licensing requirements or technological innovations. I hope you guys will let me into the NAQCC despite holding what many "know code" hams might consider a radical viewpoint.

Thank you again for sharing your commitment to the hobby, which is an inspiration to all of us trying to QRQ...

72, Eric N0HHS

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