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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. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As a kid, I was an electronics nerd. Getting a ham radio ticket was a natural thing to do. Of course, in the mid-1970s, Morse code was a requirement.

    My first attempt to make a CW contact ended very badly and I thought “no dits or dahs will ever be sent by my hands or left foot.” Still had to study enough to pass the 13 WPM test (which took two attempts).

    Still no HF contacts then ham radio went on the back burner (really, the refrigerator) for 35 years.

    When I came to my senses, I jumped into HF with both sidebands but CW was a total nonstarter. Three things happened, though, including encouragement from a YL I talked to on SSB.

    I made an ultra-rare New Years resolution to (re)learn Morse code and, after 40 years, make my first CW contact. And I did!

    It was fun! Later on, I went CW-only and love the challenge. Plus, you have to admit, CW people are the coolest. I’m even helping people learn CW. Why didn’t I do this 45 years ago?
    N7BKV and KD7ICW like this.
  2. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    K5TSK likes this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Around 1957 my Dad gave me this Philmore receiver it covered both the AM broadcast band and a small part of the shortwave band that covered 75 meters that got me started as a shortwave listener and led to nearly 60 years as a ham radio operator.

    The inspiration to learn CW is very basic. No CW, no license. At the time you had a choice to learn CW or find a different hobby. For better or worse things change with time and CW is no longer a requirement. The result over the years licensed is likely around 80-90% CW operating.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^Yeah, except I'd change "CW" to "code," since CW is a mode but code is what we learned and use.

    Still my favorite and most used mode after 54 years.
    K3XR likes this.
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    "^Yeah, except I'd change "CW" to "code," since CW is a mode but code is what we learned and use.

    Still my favorite and most used mode after 54 years."

    I hope you have no other worries than the use of the words CW/code.
    N7BKV likes this.
  6. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now that brought a tear.
    My encounter with AP&L electricity would have been around 1949-50. I remember hearing Hank, Sr. on the radio and my parents old 78's.
    Want to say a Philco AM/FM/SW radio with a pull out turntable for 78 and 33 rpm. But like I said memory is fuzzy.
    That thing had a big multi turn loop coil in the case for an antenna and I remember trying to hook a wire to it to get better reception.
    Thank you for reviving the memory.
    Hank, K5TSK
    N7BKV likes this.
  7. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Accuracy still matters to a lot of us in this hobby.
    Does one LEARN SSB, RTTY, PSK-31, FT8, Slow Scan, ATV or any other MODE?
    One has to learn Morse to Do CW, Plain es simple.
    Ham radio is dumbed down enough...

    Learn Morse.
    Do CW.
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "learned" it back in the early 90's in order to pass my 20 wpm exam. I HATED it with a passion, and just stopped using it. The flame that got me to learn it was the Extra class ticket.

    However, I always felt like I was missing out on something. 2 years ago I decided as a bucket list item, I would go back and try it again, only this time without the pressure of a test hanging over my head. This time it was fun, and I learn it quickly and I am glad to see that there are a lot of ops getting involved. The flame that got me going that time was AGE. I saw it as a bucket list item, and I'm not going to be around forever. I don't have much air time in the summer months, but when I do get on, it will be in the CW portion of the bands.
    N8AFT likes this.
  9. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did someone say you don't need to learn Morse to do CW?
    Give me a link to one multi-mode transceiver or receiver where you can listen and select the mode for CW that says Morse or code. Every piece of gear I have, about 50 pieces all say CW.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  10. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quite a few folk have said somethig along the lines of "No CW? No licence.", and I'm sure that provided a primary reason for learning Morse back when a Morse test pass was a requirement, but I know a fair few folk who clearly had to have passed the Morse test, but from the moment they got the required certificate they've never touched a key again, so for those who had to take the test but then kept on using Morse, I'd guess there's something more that kept them at the key after they passed the test....

    The Morse test requirement was one of the things that kept me out of amateur radio for quite a while after I first encountered it. I first got a licence long after the Morse requirement was dropped. It was SOTA ( that persuaded me I had to give Morse a serious try...
    N8AFT likes this.

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