- Why does the world need another CW Top Operator’s Club? It doesn’t ‘need’ any CW clubs. But we think there is room for a club that will sponsor exciting CW activities. We want to create a renaissance in CW! CWops isn’t a ‘top operators’ club. There’s no limit to the number of members it can have, and the skill requirement is modest. We’d like every ham to qualify!
- There are several other CW clubs. How is CWops special? CWops is an activity-oriented club. It is international in conception, membership and management. It makes full use of the Internet for its organizational functions. Its goal is to get hams on the air using CW, regardless of their special interests whether they be contesting, DXing, QRP or just conversing.
- What kinds of activities are you planning? We expect to have lots of on-air activities. All of them will be open to everyone who wants to participate – there will be no closed or ‘private’ events. They’ll range from competitive ‘radio sport’ to more relaxed events intended to build CW skills. We’ll also have get-togethers and social activities all over the world. Of course you are not required to participate in any events in order to be a member, but we hope you will.
- Looks like many charter members of CWops are also members of FOC. Are you trying to replace FOC? Absolutely not! There is no reason that a person can’t be a member of both clubs. FOC is also based on love of CW, so naturally many FOC members have also joined CWops.
- Why is the admittance bar set at 25 wpm? We want members who have a serious commitment to CW. One way to measure this is by competence. 25 WPM doesn’t represent an especially high level of skill, but it’s still a nontrivial accomplishment.
- Are you telling me that unless I can send and receive 25 wpm, I’m not as strongly committed to the goal of preserving the art of Morse code as those who can? No. It just means that you need to practice a bit before applying for membership.
- Who decides if I’m qualified? Is there a test? There is no code test, just the judgment of your sponsors that you can send and receive 25 wpm.
- Is CWops just a club where membership is based on “who-knows-who”? Well, somebody has to sponsor you. But there’s no reason that you can’t ask someone to do so, or to suggest to other members that they meet you on the air so that you can receive more sponsorships. There are no secret handshakes! Here’s a list of members. You probably know some of them already.
- How do I become a member? The Bylaws have all the details. You must be sponsored by four current members within a period of five months. Your sponsors must have had at least two QSOs with you on CW within the past 12 months. Look for us on the air or arrange skeds with members you know.
- How did you go from zero to almost 1,000 members so quickly? A short answer is that the time was ripe for a club like this. But here’s how it came about: a small group of CW operators started kicking ideas around for a CW club that would be based on activities, that would bring together good operators without being stuffy or exclusive, and that would be truly international in governance as well as membership. They were enthusiastic about the idea and created the bylaws, etc. They told their friends, who brought still more ideas — and their friends as well. The charter membership grew to about 150 within a week or two. Every one of these was individually invited by a friend and agreed to become a member. The charter members created an invitation list, which contains more than 300 names. On January 3, 2010 these people received invitations to become charter members as well. At the end of the charter period, January 31, we had over 650 members! (more than 3.000 members by 2021)
- How does CWops differ from FISTS? CWops is intended for more advanced operators; there is the 25 wpm requirement, and also the sponsorship process. FISTS requires only an interest in CW. There is no reason why someone who is interested in CW shouldn’t belong to CWops, FISTS, FOC, or any other CW club. CWops is not intended to replace or supplant any other group.
- How will members’ dues be used? Funds will be used for educational purposes, for plaques and awards for our competitive events, and for other uses that fit the purpose of the club as specified in the Articles of Incorporation. Administrative expenses are expected to be low, since information to members will be distributed primarily by electronic means.
- I want to sponsor a well-qualified CW operator, but he is unable to access the Internet. Can he be a member? Yes, if you will agree to receive emails for him and be responsible for providing him with notice of club activities, elections, etc.
- Does CWops have particular frequencies where members gather? Yes. Primary frequencies are 1818, 3528, 7028, 10118, 14028, 18078, 21028, 24908, and 28028 kHz., plus or minus QRM of course. If these are busy, try others ending in ‘8’: for example, 3518, 7038, etc.
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