Some DX Operating /M On 10m

I’ve had a couple of exciting contacts this week operating from my parked up car (I use G5JIM/M but probably could be G5JIM/P).

Firstly I managed another contact with N1MX which was nice as I’ve now worked him (and transatlantic) on 2 different bands. The next day I then managed a really enjoyable QSO with 9J2BO in Zambia, very exciting indeed!

Three CW QSOs This Evening

In a somewhat unimpressive personal record I managed to rack up 3 CW QSOs this evening, in England, Italy and Austria. It was nice to have 3 very different QSOs too, the English one was G0POT who I know from LICW, a nice steady speed, the Italian one was about 5 WPM which was a real struggle, I’ve never listened to CW at that speed without Farnsworth spacing and the Austrian contact was clearly using a bug, the dits really raced!

All good practice, need to try to fit it in when I can!

Getting Back In The Swing Of CW

I recently realised that the bands I have access to (20m & 40m) have improved again in the evening giving me the opportunity to make some more CW QSOs. I have been back practicing after a bit of a hiatus in the winter and feel that my head copying in particular has really improved.

I’ve been using certain sections of the Chuck Adams K7QO course files, just listening and not copying down on paper. To start with I was using files 070 – 075 which are qth hr is…, name hr is…, rig hr is…, wx hr is, ur rst is… and ant hr is… reasonably slow, I also listened to the QSOs, 077 – 082 and the random letters, random numbers and pi 083 – 086 (I probably should have used random characters 088-089 too, but missed those). I’ve now moved on to various “essays” from 091 onwards.

One thing I’ve noticed with improved head copy is that even when I’m having a QSO and copying onto paper my hearing where spaces are has hugely improved, this was something I really struggled with, I can also sometimes skip over bits of a QSO I might not need to write down.

Over the last week (and a day) I’ve made 5 contacts which for me is a big deal, I am also feeling much more confident in the contacts I’m making, and hoping to be able to better use whatever little time I have spare to make contacts in future without it being such a “big deal”.

I am still really enjoying CW and get a kick out of this mode in a way I don’t with other modes, but that’s a personal thing at the moment. There are so many facets of radio I’m still yet to explore!

CW QSO with Russia

It’s been somewhat slow with the QSOs with life getting in the way, but I recently managed my first CW QSO on 20m around 14055 (the QRS frequency) and managed a QSO with Russia, much clearer than the UK and Netherlands QSOs I’ve had recently, banging through with no QSB! I also got an email from a UK based ham who heard the QSO and tried to join in afterwards but I didn’t hear him, really nice to get feedback from people who’ve heard my QSOs, hoping for a few more to follow.

Two more CW QSOs

I’ve now managed another 2 CW QSOs, this time both with G4 stations in the UK, both stations were very helpful and understanding and responded to my CQ calls at the speed I’d called.

One thing I have struggled with is QSB, on both occasions I had booming signals one minute and pretty much silence the next which made it super tricky to copy at times, I’m not sure if that’s an issue with the 40m band or just recent propagation.

It has definitely already got much easier since the first QSO, I think getting past the shock of hearing a response to the CQ and being prepared for that and knowing what I’m going to respond helps.

First CW QSO

Last night I managed my first “proper” (i.e. not scheduled with a friend round the corner) CW QSO, I was messing around with the radio, called CQ and got ? back, called CQ again and got a response, from PA3FYE. I immediately went into a panic and pretty much forgot all of my Morse code but managed to get down the call and give a signal report, I also said “sry first cw qso” and mentioned that there was QSB. PA3FYE was very kind in putting up with my terrible code and we said our 73s and went our separate ways. It also turned out that a LICW member heard the exchange and then tried to call me afterward, but I think the QSB and me recovering from the previous QSO meant I missed it although I did copy some of his following QSO which was good practice.

This evening unfortunately after almost an hour of calling CQ I’ve heard nothing. I’m hoping that last night wasn’t just a fluke and I’ll be able to make further contacts and improve my CW on the air, after all that’s why I’m learning!

Joined The Long Island CW Club

I’ve now been learning morse code since the end of June and more consistently since September, over Christmas I have let it slip a bit, but still continuing to practice. After a recent talk from Howard WB2UZE I joined the Long Island CW Club, previously I’d looked into this but the timings of the beginner classes didn’t seem to suit UK times, however now I have reasonable grasp of the characters there are far more classes at times which suit and the joining price is very reasonable.

A week in I’ve really enjoyed the meetings I’ve gone to and everyone is very friendly. In hindsight I could have joined at any point and sat in on other meetings/classes as I was going through the characters, there are a number of members who do that and it’s fine not to participate but just to listen.

I look forward to continuing more meetings and improving my morse code and would thoroughly recommend anyone learning morse code to join.


As my CW has improved I’ve started to schedule QSOs with a local friend, this has been great practice. At times despite being only a mile apart the signal has been very weak, but this has been great practice, in particular when we have had QRM, nothing beats on air experience, I can really see the improvements!