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. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very simple answer for me. It was required, everybody did it, no big deal. How long did it take? Just a little bit less than four decades. At least, that's what it felt like. Actually maybe a month(?) to be 'comfortable' on the air, sort of. That was in the Novice portion, not the Extra!
    If I'm away from it for a while I don't have to start learning from scratch, but changing gears into the CW mind-set can take a while, you know? When I get tot he point where I start critiquing someone's fist, I know I'm 'back'. When I start critiquing my own fist, I know it's time to take a break again.
    WW2PT likes this.
  2. AG4XF

    AG4XF Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. Hello to All, First heard code From the Radio Station owner ff KALT radio in Atlana Texas in the 1960s. I use to listen to him talk from his shack at home. Many years later,1986 I had went to trade school and went to work for RCA Astro Space Division in Princeton NJ. The company had a RCA Radio Club with an Air Conditioned Trailer a huge commercial reciever and a 3 element beam. I made friends with Mr. Charley Hassel who was retired and always at the trailer. He was a great guy and I will Always remember him. I bought the Radio Shack CW Learning Tapes ant finally got above 5 words a minute. Charley gave me my novice code test and I passed !!! I bought a used Heathkit HW 50 Radio. Put up a dipole in th attic of My Apt. was so nervous to make my first contact. I haven't done code for years now but I am getting caught up and will be on the key soon.
    WW2PT likes this.
  3. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, it was required in 1977. I wanted to get on the air! Like most Novices I knew, we started with whatever old cruddy straight key we could scrounge up. Then we all got keyers so we could send 35 wpm at each other. "At" each other because we could only copy about 10 wpm. [grin] Then I wised up and got a bug (which I still have).

    One night I was on 80m and heard this really weird beeping in a strange cadence. Sounded like code but the letters I recognized didn't seem to be in the right places. Then the sender dropped into Continental and I got his call -- and some other stn pops up hammering away in that strange code again. So I pulled out the Callbook, looked him up, and sent him a letter. (When was the last time you did that?)

    Turns out I'd stumbled into a nest of old railroad telegraphers, using simple interfaces to turn audio into pulses to drive a telegraph sounder. I was hooked all over; HAD to learn this other code. Forty years later I'm no speed demon, but I still have fun. Just finished a QSO on 40 with a guy in PA; heard a Brazilian up on 30 but the band was on the way out at 2300Z and I couldn't make the lift.

    The key I used tonight is my old Nye Deluxe that Mom got me for the first Christmas after I got licenced. I had to be off the air for a few months while repairing the antenna system and adding to the ground. Didn't feel like stretching too much, so kept my busy fingers off the Vertaplex this evening.


    Chuck VE7PJR/WB7PJR/Wire Sine CH
    M6GYU likes this.
  4. N4NSG

    N4NSG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Age was 14
    Jasper, Texas
    Joined the Navy 1961 and still pounding brass
  5. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. N0NB

    N0NB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wasn't so much inspired as required. Caught the ham radio bug in early 1981 and quickly learned that without knowing Morse Code I wasn't going much of anywhere in this hobby. Bought the ARRL Tune In the World book with its instructional tape and doing things by myself, that didn't go well. Looking back it was too easy to get frustrated and put it away. A class or at least a mentor would have made things better as I would have been in a position to have to deliver results.

    I probably first heard Morse over the air in early 1982 after I built a Heathkit SW-717 receiver. I quickly learned that it was a poor choice for receiving CW, either a Kenwood R-600 or a Radio Shack receiver I had my eye on would have been a better choice but I wanted to build and so I did.

    I passed my Novice in late '83 after using the Code Quick crutch--I'm still unlearning it and may never completely be free of it. After having been a Tech for several months in early 1985, a level I thought I'd be stuck at forever, I got truly serious about working CW in late July and passed the 13 WPM and my Advanced in mid October of that year. I stayed there until I got serious about the Extra and passed the 20 WPM almost right at 7 years after getting serious the first time.

    Now I work a few contests and some straight key stuff in the winter.
  7. NT5TT

    NT5TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have tried to learn code in around 2004, using Koch method. Did not succeed and stopped at about 10 characters mark. Then I got my license in 2017. I started learning using Koch method again. After 9 months of practicing maybe 15 minutes per day. I finally got it and start using it on air. Now it's my favorite mode. Age is 41 when I learned it.
    N0NB likes this.
  8. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page


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