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Teens and CW

This may be the most important page on my web site. Please, if you know a teenage ham, or even an older or younger newcomer to ham radio, urge them to read this page.

Back in 1963 when I got my Novice ticket, I was a teenager (17). When I got on the air, probably half of my QSO's on CW were with other teenagers. You could literally tell when school would let out for the day because the activity on the CW bands would increase sharply around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

What a different story today. I would estimate over 80% of my QSO's are with hams 50 years of age or over. As far as my QSO's with teenagers, the proportion is probably less than 1%.

This is very disturbing to me, and does not bode well for the future of CW. I want to do something about it by devoting this page to teenage hams who love CW. I have asked a few of my teenage ham friends to write about themselves emphasing why they like CW so much. Hopefully this will encourage other teens to try CW, and find out just how enjoyable it is.

The following table has a teaser from each story that hopefully will entice you to read the whole story which will open in a new window when you click the call letters. Close that window to return here.

The stories are in chronological order with the newer stories received at the top.

If you enjoy these stories, I'm sure you'll also enjoy Your CW Stories in this section.

CALL (Link) Name Age Teaser
KI6JPX Itichai 16 It was when I met my elmer Hugh "W6WTU" on 10 meters sideband, and at that time had acquired myself a "1948 ed. of the Radio Amateurs' Handbook" and a tube power supply. That was when CW sparked my mind! And I learned the code...Like Finally!
K0DXC Cal 13 I then remembered the thrill that CW gave me years ago. I decided to once again use this fine mode....After that my microphone found a place in a storage bin in my closet as I was having way too much fun on CW.....Without this mode, I probably wouldn't be in this hobby right now; if I was I wouldn't be nearly as active. I strongly advise you to try this mode if you haven't already, it has done so much for this hobby.
N3ZL Greg 17 ...and I suddenly realized I had been operating ONLY CW for over 6 months. Now, I have been operating CW only for nearly a full year.
KI4NZU Kristen 19 I want (my) story to be a very good promoter of CW usage.....I already knew a great deal about the Morse code because I was fascinated with the history and decided to learn it before...
KC9EVC Rick 17 It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you can learn a skill like Morse code.
KD5VDO Noah 16 I started using CW again, and have had more fun than on any other mode......Anyone can talk into a microphone, but one must truly love this hobby to learn and use CW.
KD7ZDY Justin 14 What is Ham Radio without CW? Nothing! The great feeling of decoding messages which others are dumbfounded by is infinitely pleasing. CW is music to my ears and I certainly hope others feel the same way!
KD7UUB Mike 12 The thing I like to do the most with CW is to ragchew. I like finding out what the other person's hobbies are in addition to radio.... I learn about other things that I have never been exposed to.... I wish there were more young people that would get on CW. I have talked to one 18 year-old....the rest are older.
N0SG Jason 14 It was so much easier to work people on CW than SSB......CW is my favorite and most used mode.....I cannot understand why anyone would want this great, yet simple mode to be removed from amateur radio.
KD5SCG Jack 14 I figured that I would never need to use morse code again. But within a few days I discovered that HF voice was as boring as 2 meters.........Ever since that (first CW) QSO, my mic has been hidden under my desk, and I've been raking in the CW contacts.
KG4OAG Drady 15 CW in my opinion is like the internet, you've got the whole world at your finger tips. CW is actually the most practical way of enjoying the ham bands.
KB9KTC Chris 18 I found it rather ironic that I liked CW better than voice since I only got into the hobby to use voice. It has been about 10 months since I last made a SSB QSO
AB2T Jordan 18 I hope sincerely that there will never be a day when I will not hear the nervous fist of a newcomer pounding out an earnest "CQ"
K5AEA (ex-KD5AKO) Justin 17 I began helping Terry by running CW......I worked DX stations with ease because of the low bandwidth of CW. This was the fact about CW that peaked my interests
KE4QLH David 15 I like CW because it is a fun and effective operating mode.....CW operators tend to be friendly and courteous.....I believe every ham, whether they are 9 or 99, should at least know the code. Give CW a try!
N1SNB Jeff 17 CW is only as hard as you want it be. If the people that cried about learning the code, spent half their crying time studying they probably would be filling up the bands at 40 wpm by now!
N5NU Jason 14 The pace in CW is in a way similar to that of video games, which is what makes video games so popular. The pace in CW can go from sleeping slow to a sweating chaotic pace.

I would like you to read each and every one of the reports. They are fascinating reading. Just click on the call sign in the left column to read that ham's report, written in his or her own words.

If you are a teenage ham who operates and loves CW, and would like to encourage other teens to use CW, I invite you to post your story here. Contact me via Email to receive the guidelines for your report.