Missing ingredients

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NM7G, Jul 1, 2021.

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  1. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    After reading perhaps 30-40 posts by hams seeking to learn CW, or to increase their speed, I finally realized that few ops say why they want to do it. They omit objective(s) or a goal. A close family member once told me she could not learn math or science. "It is too hard" was her typical reason for struggling in school. From age two, she had liked horses, and I mean was very fascinated by horses, and wanted to see them and pet one at every opportunity. Years later, while talking with a classmate about her love of horses, she found a chance to ride one. Soon she was grooming, watering, and feeding her friend's horse. Her enthusiasm for horses became known by word-of-mouth and tweets, and she was told to join Future Famers of America (FFA). Today, she cares for horses at a large stable, owns a horse, and gives riding lessons. Her goal now is to master the science needed to become a veterinarian. What had been missing? Motivation.

    We may have different reasons, but here are some reasons learning CW motivated me:

    1. Using 100W, I wanted to make more contacts with reduced bandwidth compared to phone.
    2. I liked the idea of having a skill that few non-hams ever have.
    3. Being asked to run the CW station on Field Day (thus aiding the club score) appealed to me
    4. The idea of running contest QSOs at 35 wpm, like KH6IJ, and sending beautiful CW like W4KFC was exciting
    5. Thirty wpm or higher includes an element of privacy, since many hams don't choose to do it
    K1LH, K8PG, KD4ZFS and 2 others like this.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    38819611_10155773185591938_2364535751653195776_n.jpg Well, I suppose if the horse is motivated enough you could teach him morse code...
    K8PG, KD4ZFS, KD2RDG and 1 other person like this.
  3. KD5TXX

    KD5TXX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I learned it to get on HF. But I relearned it because I wanted to know it. I love QRP. I tried ssb QRP and that motivated me to relearn code. Sitting in the woods yelling into a microphone is not the image I want to portray. It became a challenge to me and I am amazed every day how efficient it is.
    W5ESE, KD4ZFS, W5BIB and 2 others like this.
  4. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just beautiful!

    CW is its own path. My own draw is a combination of its effectiveness, the art it takes to communicate with it and the challenge it presents to me. I also do some contesting CW QRP and end up every time amazed how well it can do. Yeah, the agn? can get old, but the contacts can be had.

    I also am a QRP POTA guy, and CW reigns there.

    Jim KF9VV
    KD4ZFS, KD2RDG and WA1GXC like this.
  5. KD2RDG

    KD2RDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    1. 100 watts and a wire can work around the world
    2. Brings together various other interests like history, sailing, music, technology
    3. Mental exercise that improves short term memory and coordination.
    4. Few distractions. A key, a radio, and an antenna.
    5. Quick time to qso. Easy to get a contact started. Not a time suck.
    6. Friendly, worldwide community
    W5ESE, KD4ZFS, W5BIB and 1 other person like this.
  6. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    A special Brother- and Sisterhood that others, who have never entered and experienced, can never possibly know or understand.

    Sitting in the middle of the night and saying goodbye to someone, just like you, on the other side of the world.

    A bond with the same special world as 100 years ago.


    WA9FZB, KD4ZFS, W5BIB and 2 others like this.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Another ad: Assuming one has headphones that cup the ears pretty well, operating CW in a very noisy environment works fine. No mike to pick up noise.

    Another ad: Assuming one has headphones, you can operate CW and make contacts while "others" are conversing, listening to music, watching TV or doing whatever they're doing and you won't bother them at all, since the tiny clicking of key contacts don't make enough noise for anyone to hear, and the headphones cupping your ears don't let enough sound leak out for anyone to hear, either. Great mode for operating in a crowded room, or really anywhere you don't want to bother people.

    Another ad: No computer or any accessories required. Transceiver, power source, antenna, key, headphones can all pack into a very small space if desired. As minimalistic as one wishes to make it, and it will still make contacts.

    I keep mentioning "headphones." Anyone can tell I really dislike speakers for CW operation, and can't ever imagine using any.:p
    WA9FZB, KF9VV and KD4ZFS like this.
  8. WB4BIN

    WB4BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just like CW. :D
    KD4ZFS likes this.
  9. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For years, the CW requirement kept me out of ham radio, because I didn't have the persistence to learn it.

    When I heard the requirement was dropped for VHF/UHF, I still didn't bother, but after I heard it was dropped for HF, I went ahead and got a license.

    But the aspect of ham radio that most appealed to me was using a small portable radio to contact people far away. I also liked the idea of using a kit-built radio. Both of these factors motivated me to learn Morse Code. And it wasn't very hard to learn, with that motivation (though it took several months of consistent practice).

    As WB2WIK points out, CW can be used without disturbing those nearby. I'll add that this makes it an ideal mode to use late at night in a campground, even after quiet hours, perhaps while people are sleeping in nearby tents.
    KD4ZFS likes this.
  10. N8RKD

    N8RKD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was first licensed in 1993 as a Tech+ and we were broke. I snagged an inexpensive pair of Heathkit HX1680/HR1681 twins (CW only) and a cheap 2m mobile. This was back when 2m repeaters actually had traffic.

    Imagine my thrill one day when I actually got Hawaii on 15m and my homebrew G5RV. I was hooked. I'm still limited to 100W and homebrew dipole. The fun hasn't stopped for me. My send/receive speed has topped out at about 20 wpm but that's OK. Still plenty of folks to talk to. My motivation is meeting somebody new with my straight key, Maybe I should practice more with my bug.
    KC7JNJ and KD4ZFS like this.

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