I am honored to be joining the ranks of CWops. I never would have made it without my instructors. Some of those who helped along the way were: XXX
– Quinton Gleason, NU7Y who took us level 1 student and taught us to head copy the characters and some of the possibilities for fun things to do with CW.
– Ron Stark KU7Y who got us Intermediate students to send words to each other in a semi-coherent fashion so that we could actually converse and taught us quite a lot from his vast experience
– Buz Tarlow AC6AC who got us barely literate folk in Intermediate and advanced up to a more reasonable speed and error rate, and works extremely hard to elevate everyone to their best potential
– Several others who helped with practicing such as Gerbux W6BUX and Joe KH6FHI and others.
– Anyone who has suffered through any of my failed attempts to send (or copy) well or my low signal due to low power and low antenna.
I got into this hobby as sort of a happy accident. I grew up in Central Florida and would sometimes listen to the funny sounds on shortwave and wonder what they were and what was being said. I used to take (far too many) things apart to figure out how they worked. I eventually went into the Marines and did Electro-Optical Ordnance repair in 1st Tank Battalion and loved soldering or playing with oscilloscopes much of the day, and would fiddle with computers in my spare time.
When I got out of the military I did some schooling, met my future XYL, and found myself with the best daughter in the world and her very excellent brother to inspire me to be a better person. I soon got into fiddling with computers for a job, and now I have an excuse to sling some solder again in my spare time. Building QRP kits and a few simple homebrew things is greatly enhanced when I can actually use them to reach out and say hello to folks. I’m still not sure if it is more like magic, or more like a puzzle that can do useful things (or go up in smoke, as sometimes happens).
Either way it’s great fun, thanks for helping me along and I hope to see y’all out there on the bands!