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What Inspired You Or Lit Your Fire To Learn Morse Code?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N8AFT, May 30, 2019.

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    What / When / Where was your first ever encounter of hearing Morse transmitted on radio?
    Your Age at the time, Date, Place etc. PSE.
    Many OPs were military taught frm scratch, many were of us were not.
    I was never in mil sevice, forgive me pse.
    I heard Morse beacons on my mom's AM portable radio as a child tuning it in our bk yard.
    We lived vy near Port Columbus airport. I had my Boy Scout Handbook out, page turned to Morse code.
    I was hearing, imagining more like it, messages being sent to airplanes in the sky above me at the age of 7.
    Most likely a range beacon for landing @ below 500kc. Summer early 1960 something.
    That was the flame up time for me...
    What's your story?

    Learn Morse.
    Do CW.
    KD7ICW, K9ASE and KB2COP like this.
  2. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first encounter of Morse over radio was most probably at age 10 or thereabouts.

    I had just discovered amateur radio and had found a neighbour that operated Morse on a regular basis, and I sometimes listened in when visiting his basement "shack".

    The donation of a code-practice oscillator complete with a surplus RAF key became the start of my Morse learning.

    Showing how to add a BFO to a donated table radio
    made also it possible to listen on my own.

    Shortly after, the slow-Morse transmissions from SK5AA were used for continuing practice.

    N7BKV and N8AFT like this.
  3. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You were vy fortunate Karl!
    Not enough neighbors like yours!
    N7BKV likes this.
  4. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those were the days when society still was amateur radio friendly, and parents could trust their neighbours so I could be away for hours talking to other amateurs and only reluctantly return home for supper...

    N0NB, K9ASE, N2EY and 1 other person like this.
  5. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was relinquished to 11 meters as a kid, it was still safe and I had a few good adult friends in the radio hobby albeit no cw.
    It was a fun intro to the radio electronics hobby and life-long electrical / electronics craft that made a living for me and my family.
    My wife never needed to find work to help us pay our bills and put food on the table.
    N7BKV likes this.
  6. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    For me it was back in the 60's listening to Frank Sinatra sing "I dit dit my way". Took me forever to figure out those were not the real lyrics. ;)

    Seriously though, I wanted to communicate the furthest with the least. Just to go against the flow today. Flex boxes, waterfall screens, IRLP, VoIP, digi---all good, but they don't float my boat. If it needs a USB cable, it's not for me. Had enough of that stuff in my life.

    Off-grid solar charged battery operating my 40 meter CW-only rig with roll up antenna that all fits in a shoulder bag is my game at present. And when I make a 1000+ mile contact I grin! And key more.
    PY2RAF, WN1MB, N5YSW and 2 others like this.
  7. N6MST

    N6MST Ham Member QRZ Page

    It still is, the general public just knows less and less about it since cellphones have taken over.

    I've NEVER trusted my neighbors, even as a kid, and I never will. Recently found the guy next door is a sex offender so I did the regular internet sleuthing, the whole damn city is filled with them. They're everywhere! And that's just sex offenders AND just the ones who've been caught and convicted. Add in drunks or drug addicts, domestic abusers, and the rest of the people who fall into other ne'er-do-well categories and you're basically surrounded! My young children will, unfortunately, have a very protective father for the first 30 or so years of their lives.
  8. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Lane, long time no see.

    Parkinson's "Today I am a Ham" kids novel sparked (!) an interest in radio for me - probably around age 12 (1976ish). I grew up in rural Ky with nary a Ham in sight that I knew of. I too was confined to the CB realm, but ham radio, and Morse Code, remained an interest.

    I wasn't a communicator in the military but I used to help out the commo guys when I could. By helping out I mean holding one end of the dipole while the commo guy bursted out then tapped out the message on a leg key. For some reason I thought that learning Morse was out of my reach at that time.

    A few years ago some work I was doing renewed my interest in HF radio so I put in the study time and passed my Tech and General the same day. "Today I am a Ham" indeed. Still, I didn't feel like a real ham because I didn't know Morse. At some point I discovered Tim, N6CC, and his wonderful website His enthusiasm for CW was infectious and I finally committed to learning Morse Code.

    As you know, Lane, it wasn't exactly a smooth process, but thanks to the great encouragement I received both on the air and through private messages through this site I was able to finally fulfill a life-long ambition and become a CW operator.

    N0NB, WN1MB, W5BIB and 1 other person like this.
  9. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As early as I can remember, since I shared a room with my 10 year older brother, who was an avid ham at the time...

    Edit: ... and I remember the smell of solder from those early days as well.... radio was magic
    W2AAT and N8AFT like this.
  10. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Al!
    Fine to hear frm u OM! Been too long since last QSO wid u! Morse was outta my realm of personnal expectations too!
    You have made the rank of FB CW OP I am vy proud to say!
    Glad to have met you and to know you my friend.
    VY 73 Lane

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