Sunday, March 15, 2015

There is a method to my madness

I am now trying to get proficient at CW (Morse code) and have tried a couple of programs with a remarkable lack of success.

I have my alphabet, numbers and a few punctuation symbols memorized and that's about it. It's a start and now I have to go with what I got because programs don't seem to work well on me.

I have to simply sit down behind a key and start working CW.

My problem isn't sending it as I can send it as fast as I can recall the letters which isn't all that fast but that will pick up.  Like most people my problem is reading it.

I am listening to it now as I write and am able to pick out letters here and there at the speed the operators are sending it. A letter here, a letter there.

All of this is going to take time. Still, I have realized that in my case the best way for me to learn to read code is to actually send it.

Of course, when I go out and try and send in a world of 30 word per minute operators I get swamped fast. A few guys get upset but they have the right to spin the dial and find a faster operator. Everybody's got to learn sometime.

Anyway, enter the certificate of appreciation.

I am in the process of getting about 100 official certificates of appreciation made up and the first 100 DX stations to work me on CW will get one.

It says thank you for working a newbie and for being kind and patient they have been awarded this certificate, suitable for framing, wrapping fish or lining a bird cage.

There's a method to this madness. 

Word will get out as everyone likes to get a certificate.

A few will simply be thrown away, most will go into a ham related file after they get a chuckle. A few will actually be framed and put up on the ham's vanity wall along with his various awards. 

From time to time a visitor will notice the certificate and get a confused look on his face and the owner will proudly and cheerfully explain that he was given it for helping a newbie learn code.

No matter what, the ham that gets one of these certificates will likely appreciate that someone was grateful for his help. He'll likely keep his ear tuned for my call sign in the future and answer my calls.

I'll be printing these up in a few days. I have a friend that loves to make official looking certificates and letterheads up.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY


  1. CW starts to 'click' when you start to hear words rather than a string of characters. Backwards of how as infants we learned words, then the letters.

  2. I am already hearing a couple of common Q signals etc as words. For example I don't hear C.....Q anymore. I hear CQ as a one word. It'll take time and a lot of listening. The next thing I want to be able to do is recognize my call at all speeds.