Phil Hartwell , VK6GX

Hello from Gidgegannup, a rural area in the Hills north-east of Perth. I’m honoured to join CWops. A big thank-you to Jim, N3JT for nominating me and to my sponsors whoever you are, it all happened so quickly I didn’t get a chance to check the nominees list.

My Morse code career started as an 8-year-old. I had to learn it for a Cubs badge. Luckily my father was a WW2 Air Force radio operator and taught me with a WT 8AMP #2 war surplus key and a buzzer. I was able to get plenty of CW reception practice via an early AM transistor radio with a 465kHz IF, a nearby coast station operated on 464kHz, the IF breakthrough was loud and clear!

A few years later, I and a couple of mates discovered the Ham bands and used to scrounge old tube BC sets from the local repair shop and scavenging at the local garbage tip. We soon accumulated a good stock of spare tubes and parts and were able to get many sets working, earning a healthy respect for high voltage, the hard way! We were able to tune most of them down to 160m, some even had short wave.

In 1962 I upgraded to a BC-348-Q, which I still have. This led me to a 5-year career as a sea going R/O, then marine electronics, air traffic control, instrumentation, medical electronics and finally 20 years servicing analytical scientific instruments with Varian Australia and Agilent Technologies, retiring in 2015.

Low band CW DXing has always been my main interest. I’m a straight key dinosaur, never progressed to these modern paddle devices. I’m not much of a contester but do enjoy a good rag chew on the key. Further station details on