My earliest memory of CW was picking up a library book about Morse code as a young lad, and whilst I didn’t start learning then, it was the spark for my interest in communications and radio. Some 8 years later, Dave G3XYV #356 introduced me to Amateur Radio during lunch breaks in teaching me and my fellow classmates Morse code; watching him work stations at a speed that I couldn’t fathom helped to nudge me into taking the Radio Amateur Exam, quickly followed by the 12 wpm Morse code test in April 93.
Armed with my FT-817 and Palm Paddle key I dipped my toe into SOTA and quickly realised that my 12 wpm Morse test hadn’t prepared me for real CW, and without an Elmer to guide me, it became clear that CW proficiency would be a long path. At the same time work and life took over and CW stopped.
When life calmed down, I was drawn back to CW by Thomas K4SWL and his POTA adventures where those simple exchanges showed that CW could be easy and great fun. I found it to be a blast and great at improving instant character recognition. TJ K9KJ #3228 showed me that high speed CW whilst mobile was also a thing (and something to aspire to), and he was also an advocate of CWops, something I’d not heard of until then. K4SWL showed the fun, K9KJ showed the skill; YouTube is a powerful tool.
CW Academy under Buzz AC6AC and his co-advisors has been a real eye-opener, and provided education in ways that I didn’t expect. The culture of CW, the broadness, acceptance, humility, the daily practise, and the skill of course, shift focus from speed alone, to the well-rounded operator who has the ability to participate at the highest levels of all aspects of CW. Thanks must go to AC6AC, WN5T, K7EFW, AH7RF, and W5DT for shaping me into a CWop, and to N5NA, W0BM, DF7TV, EA6BF, K1DJ, and G0MFR for sponsoring me.
A strong advocacy of the CW Academy is an obvious enduring way ahead for me as I emerge as a new CWops member; in time I’ll give back more, until then, more CW required!This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.