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Your CW Stories

I quite often receive stories from my visitors about their experiences in ham radio (or other fields) while using Morse Code (CW), and I am going to share some of those with you since they are so interesting.

If you have a story pertaining to Morse Code that you think is interesting, send it along to me via eMail, and if I think it is appropriate, I'll add it to this page.

The following table alphabetized by call letters 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 latest story has the teaser in blue text.

If you enjoy these stories, I'm sure you'll also enjoy my Teens and CW stories in this section.

CallNameDate Posted - Teaser
Geoff
Pallett
Geoff2006-05-03 - When I announced to fellow (local ham club) members that I had no money and intended to learn Morse Code and homebrew like my uncle Graham I became a source of ridicule and laughter. They advised me to take a second mortgage or forget HF and buy a 2M hand-held which I did - it's less fun than CB!
AA0RQBillpre-2006 - I remember hearing my son say "I love you dad" via Morse code, the tears fell down my face. That was the most important QSO of my life.
AC4NWDickpre-2006 - Whenever I heard Morse in the old war movies, I always wondered what they could be saying. One day I determined to find out....
AL7NEdpre-2006 - When I was a young feller, somehow I became interested in the Morse telegraph. I don't know rightly why, but something about those strange clicking devices down at the railroad depot caught my attention, and fascinated me from an early age.
HB9OXClaudepre-2006 - I have even made DX CW contacts VK /PY etc. using the SST 20 and a home made Whip antenna.....
JJ1BDXJoepre-2006 - Eventually I realized some good-old warm-hearted people are the driving forces of those CW clubs......I could finally conclude that ham radio is a good social, if not technical, tradition, especially among CW enthusiasts.
K7RVXMikepre-2006 - You're right about CW, John. It will get through when NOTHING else will, including all the wondrous digital modes like PSK-31. Guess who doesn't work PSK-31 any more?
K8MPJoeNov 2008 - Just how did I learn to love the code? I don't know. I just did. I didn't have a choice. It was CW contacts or stay off the radio. The loving came with just doing it. If I had never been forced to learn and use the code, I would never have known what I was missing.
KB7MBIAlanpre-2006 - Just when you start to get a bit sidetracked with life's events you get a little reminder of what is important in life and ham radio......I had the pleasure of running into a gal that was in recovery from a recent brain surgery and had to relearn code and how to send.
KC2AFKDavepre-2006 - My speed just would not go reliably beyond about 7wpm! Finally I told myself that this was crazy, I had invested serious time an a limited amount of money in getting that ticket and was not using it. So, I went and got on the air on the novice bands CW. Well, the code speed came right up.....
KC2OBSJane2006-06-06 - They told me that very few women were hams, and hardly any of them operated CW.....Right then, I decided that was my kind of challenge!.....
KC0IOXEricpre-2006 - In looking at the history of amateur radio, I think the old 1 year non renewable Novice license was a stroke of genius. You had to use the code, and you got better. While I passed at 5 wpm, I wanted to work on my speed and be a CW op.
KD6YPUTerrypre-2006 - All those years of listening to my grandfather in the garage with his dits and dahs has caught up to me. All I want to do is communicate with Morse code.
KG4FXGBillpre-2006 - I have several antennas in the attic, a 80 meter dipole, 40 meter dipole, and a Carolina Windom 80 shorty. They all work great.
KG8THBobpre-2006 - I sat down and put on that set of headphones and took about 6 sharp pencils and waited. Here comes a series of V's then a slight pause and then the 5 letter groups. I aced that receiving test and after all the other exams I was awarded the MOS of 051 Radio operator.
KI4NZUKristen2006 - I want the following 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...
N6KBKenpre-2006 - The CW requirement did not keep me from being interested in ham radio..... The present CW requirement is such a joke anyway. ANYBODY can pass it..... Without CW it's just CB. Ham radio IS CW.
N0HHSEricpre-2006 - 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.
ON5ZOFrankipre-2006 - I tried to make two or three qso's in CW every day, then grabbing that mic again... After a couple of days, CW took over. Right now the mic isn't even connected anymore.
VE6HFJeff2006-05-18 - ...I really love the code. The CW operators are a pretty good bunch out there. I hope to make CW contacts every week and my mic is not even plugged in!... I'm just having too much fun with the code!
W4SONJack2009-09-14 - I won SS for TN in November, 1951, 7 months after getting my ticket. After those 2 busy weekends, my straight key fist was shot. I went to a bug, then built a keyer a few weeks later. Before 1 year, I was rag chewing at 40 WPM.
W6SQLMarcpre-2006 - I just got my General upgrade on Sep 9, 2004 and since then have managed 17 CW QSOs. The microphone has been unplugged from the rig and now sits in a drawer - where it belongs!
W6YNSMattpre-2006 - As for CW it has a consistent pitch that doesn't vary. Sometimes with the human voice with the conditions of solar activity, it isn't always feasible to use SSB. So CW has that advantage as well.
W8LQChuckpre-2006 - The kid sitting next to me in 7th grade ( a guy by the name of Bob Coppernoll) got me interested in Morse so we could talk to each other in class by squeezing hands across the aisle.
WA6OCPNealpre-2006 - ...my last SSB QSO was on May 14. In one month, I had more CW contacts than I could find in my log from 1992 thru 2003. I have no desire to go back to sideband and the types of QSOs that are all too common there.
WA7KJCGalepre-2006 - I would say that CW and homebrew equipment and antennas is amateur radio to me. I've operated other modes.......but CW is where my heart is.
WB6TNLStevepre-2006 - Back then I always drooled over Ed's Collins S-Line, his Hallicrafters "T.O." keyer and his chrome Vibroplex "Vibrokeyer" paddle. Now that he is gone, I own that same Vibrokeyer and will always treasure it.
WB8FEQAlpre-2006 - I responded to your poll about how I learned CW. I used a "Field and Stream" magazine article about the "EISHTMO" method when I was 14 and learned the characters in about an hour. My dad, a former Rail Road telegraph operator learned the different characters and sent me practice for a week or two....
WD4GXDTim2007-02-12 - It was surprisingly easy for me to become comfortable with Morse code again even though my last real experience with CW was testing for Advanced/Extra Class nearly thirty years ago. CW opened up a whole new world of ham radio to me.
WD9FJLStevepre-2006 - Those novice days were just as much fun as the class, because we were all plodding through the learning steps and working to that goal of General, or better. What a shame that we are losing this important part of the hobby. Those guys that fight CW today have missed a lot of enjoyment and camaraderie.
WU7FMarkpre-2006 - (ex-AC7XR) You've inspired me to put away my microphone.... CW is the right answer for me. However, CW is NOT like riding a bike! Well, at least not for me. My code speed, while never very fast was now less about 10 WPM on receive. I put the microphone away and started listening to CW.