I learned CW in the Boy Scouts a few years before I went for my Novice License.April 1,1966 (April FOOLS Day) I was Issued WN2WGX. Then I learned CW again the proper way, a pattern of sounds. When I upgraded to the General License, I put away the key and spent a few years talking on AM and SSB chasing DX. Then I noticed there were DX stations on the low end of the CW bands without the big pile ups and QRM, so I upgraded to Extra Class and really started to enjoy CW again. Now 54 years later I operate CW 99.9% of the time and love it more every day.
I collect McElroy semi-automatic keys and I think they are the smoothest & heaviest of the old bugs once adjusted correctly. I use a Begali Graciella paddle with the Accukeyer I built in 1977 for higher speeds. I also collect Straight Keys and Vibroplex bugs and they don’t stay on the shelf, I try to use them all.
I was a Communications Technician Matman (CTM) in the Navy for six Years, working on KW26 and KW7 encryption systems and related interface equipment. Then I was hired by the Border Patrol as an Electronics Technician working on radios and intrusion devices used on the U.S. and Canadian Border.
When the Buffalo Federal Detention Center opened I became the Electronics Technician for portable and mobile radios, door access systems, and alarm systems in the building. I liked the job but now I love retirement much better!
Now I keep busy by restoring and using vintage boat anchor style amateur radios, usually bought at Hamfests for a very low price and put them in the basement until I have time to restore them since the Coronavirus pandemic
I have recapped 2 linear amps, a Valliant and a 75A4. The radios are easy to work on. Nice big cabinets and large components that are easy to see and handle, and a lot of information and modifications are available on the internet.
The bonus is they still work great on CW!
When the weather is warm I get outside exercise by riding recumbent bicycles and kayaking. I restored my 1966 Corvette 327 CI 350 HP that I have owned for 41 years. I also play a Martin D-28 guitar and Dobro style Restophonic guitar. Bluegrass and OLD Country music are my favorites.
I try to check into the Waterway Cruising Club CW net every morning.
We meet on 7.053 at 7 AM Eastern time. On Saturday I am Net Control so please stop by and give us a quick report on the weather at your QTH. We usually get between 20 and 30 check ins and are always looking for new members. No dues or other requirements, just drop in and say hello.
I also belong to SKCC # 580 FISTS # 6853 BUG #118 NRR # 653
I am very happy to be CW OPS # 2630 and hope to work you on the air soon.