Tim Johnson , KB5ZCR

I would like to thank my code mentor Bill N5IR. Bill lives about 25 miles north of me and he helped me immensely with our regular practice QSOs. Having these QSOs with Bill made me want to get just a little better each time. 

I also want to thank AC2K for nominating me along with those that sponsored me for membership. 

I got back into HF in October of 2017 after about 15 years without an HF rig set up here at the house. I first got my license in 1993 as a no-code Tech; after a while playing on 2m, I decided I wanted to upgrade to General so I started learning CW. I remember having a small “deck of cards” size device that you could plug an earphone into, and it would send code to you at whatever speed you needed. I managed to get up to 13 wpm and got my General. Oh, I made a few CW contacts shortly after upgrading, but really didn’t continue with CW as I was young and was just too excited to get onto phone.

Then in Oct of 2017, I got the taste to get into HF again and bought a little You Kits QRP rig and started to relearn Morse code. I guess I was at about 8 wpm at the time and learned about the SKCC group and joined and met Bill (N5IR), I remember seeing the CWops logo on Bill’s QRZ page and found out you had to be at 25 wpm to qualify. At the time I quickly put it out of my mind as an impossible feat. After about a year I guess I was up to about 18 wpm and started thinking that perhaps it was possible for me to get to 25. So, I set a goal to practice every day and hoped to qualify for the CWops. Well, that glorious, wonderful day came this month, and I am super happy and proud of qualifying. I love operating CW and found that I have not had a phone QSO for over two years.

Yes, I guess I am now a CW operator!!!!