It sure took a long time to get over the sweaty palms on CW. I guess this is why so many years ago I gravitated to DXing where the contacts were short and sweet – just repeated callsigns and 599’s. Never ran a frequency though because I’d actually have to decode call signs on the fly. That was impossible!
But now, thanks to Buz AC6AC and his great advisors there’s no more sweaty palms and there’s also been a few “almost ragchew” QSO’s.
He’s been a real confidence-builder and I am truly indebted to Buz. After almost 35 years of ham radio, I can actually do some real “head copy” now. I get a little giddy and excited when I hear code now, so thank you CW Ops!!
Years ago, my next-door neighbor and long-time Elmer was Earle, K6WS (SK). Back in the 50’s Earle was a paid CW op in Alaska. He was the only ham I ever met that could carry a full-on conversation with you while at the same time he was copying 25+ code on his old “mill” typewriter. Earle gave me my novice code test and passed me on the condition that I actually learn something besides e, t, s and o. So, I went from novice to extra over the next year under his guidance. Before I knew it there were antenna wires strung back and forth through each of our back yards. Winter evenings were always quiet time on my radio because that’s when Earle was on 40 or 80 ragchewing; QRMing my neighbor was just not a cool thing to do.
I think I learned more about electronics from Earle and his ham radio escapades than I ever did in school. He would explain how things worked without ever mentioning Maxwell’s equations!
He loved his hobby, made several careers out of it, yet he found time to mentor newbies and share his enthusiasm for CW. He made it easy to understand how important it is to give something back to our hobby that we all love so much.
Buz and Earle have a lot in common with their unselfish sharing of wisdom – and CW Ops is very fortunate to have such an outstanding CW teacher as Buz. I know I am very thankful.
Very best 73 to all and I’m looking forward to some “almost ragchew” QSO’s with you soon.