Why CW?

Back in the old days, all Canadian hams had to pass a CW test at 10 wpm and then run CW for at least six months before they could apply for a 10-meter SSB endorsement on their basic license. After one year you could try for your advanced license but you still had to bring your paper log with you to show that you had been on CW and then pass a CW test at 15 WPM.

Now with the no-code license a lot of new hams are missing a great part of Ham Radio.

So why CW?

You can build a working CW transmitter kit for $25. (The Tuna Tina CW transmitter (on left) is a 330-milliwatt 40-meter crystal controlled rig that works with any receiver.) Talk about cheap! Used CW transmitters like the DX-60 (in photo) can be had for a few dollars at a flea market.

CW is much easier to use during contests. Some contesters only run CW and hate SSB contests saying it’s too noisy and annoying.

CW is actually faster than talking when it comes to making contacts and passing information. It’s a lot easier on the ears. 

Learning CW is relatively easy and once you know the letters and numbers there are lots of slow CW nets for you to listen to daily. Here’s a guide to learning CW. If you want to improve your CW, Morse Runner is a free downloadable contest simulator.

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing and yoga. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.
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