CW Clubs

06 Dec

I was saddened to see an original charter CW Ops member drop out this week. It becomes easier to understand when one looks at the focus of Club Activities through the year. It seems the Ops group has morphed into a contest club for the most part and that simply does not appeal to a lot of folks. Having added pressures to promote activity that you  are not fond of is adding pressure to a hobby that normally should be reserved for a working environment, not a pastime environment. I sometimes feel we hobbyists project working world drive into our hobby life and then wonder why we burn out.

Lately though, CW Ops has begun a QTX rag chewing activity award. Inasmuch as my practice buddy and I get on each day for an hour, we have divided our hour into three twenty minute QSO’s on different bands and plan to enter that award with a QSO we would have been doing anyway. I suppose that it a breach of some semblance of rule making but until someone tells me to stop Ill submit my hours of activity.

Most of the remaining CW enthusiasts from my era began life in a solitary way, finding our skills by ourselves, learning solo, making friends on the air rather than via the internet and until the coming of phone trees, DX repeaters and DX Clusters ruined everything (for me at least), radio was a singularly solo sport and achievement came at the cost of time and sacrifice with sweat. Clubs rarely organized around a Morse Code event or for that matter ever recognized Morse Operators very much. It was all Repeaters, VHF, UHF, Field Days or other activities which lend themselves to groups. Perhaps that is a fundamental difference between general Ham Activity and those of us that became CW aficionados earlier in life. Perhaps I am recalling wrongly. Maybe I am sentimental and full of BS. Given that the aforementioned is true, I will still miss my friend, but I know where to find him. Another beacon from Asia with an excellent fist and a bit of warm conversation for anyone that comes along. I will be spending more time around the low end of 40 meters this winter on the off chance I can once again renew an acquaintance. And that is the way of Morse and Radio. It is best accomplished live and on the air.

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG


Posted by on December 6, 2011 in DX, Morse, Radio, Stuff


2 responses to “CW Clubs

  1. Jim Diggs

    December 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Been a ham for 55 yrs plus, last 4 years CW only, member of FISTS and SKCC. Active in QRP /P. Couldn’t agree more. CW is definitely an ART, and one earns GRACE by practicing an ART. (See A River runs Thru it). We tend to forget that Amateur radio is about the ART of Communication, not the bleeding edge of Technology or Contest Accomplishment. It is also about the gentle ART of making friends. Love the ragchew on 40 meters, not sure I’ll ever make 25 wpm, though. So don’t forget us slow guys between 7030 and 7040…


  2. John

    December 9, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Hi Chas,
    There is much truth in what you say, unfortunately.

    I came to the hobby from a different background to many hams. I was a ship’s R/O until 1987 and missed Morse code after that. I didn’t touch a key again until 2002 when I got my ham license. The reason for becoming a ham was to practice the art of CW, but I find it is mostly number-crunching, computer-generated boredom. I simply cannot understand the attraction.

    When I was R/O we used CW for official comms of course, but if the coast station op was not busy we would always hang around and ragchew at the end of the QSOs. It was all about getting to know people and I stil have friendships from those days, dropping in to see these (mainly retired) ops whenever I travel abroad.

    I have made some friends through ham CW in Japan and they will drop in to see me when they come to Singapore on business, and vice versa. I cherish these friendships because I know they are a fast-disappearing phenomena. I get no pleasure from working pileups from 9V and the endless, boring lists of 5NN TU.

    CW ops has been a disappointment for me, but I live in hope.

    73 John / 9 V 1 V V



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