I have been around for 557 moons. I have always preferred simple things, but by a twist of irony I ended up working full-time as a researcher in complexity science. I have kept myself entertained with many different activities, including camping, B/W photography, using, developing and advocating free and open source software, playing chess to a lower-than-mediocre level, tinkering with all sorts of stuff, cooking, baking, home-brewing -mostly ales- and having great fun with my kids and the Field Marshal.
I had decided to get a ham license back in 2002, but I was too busy with several of the things mentioned above, so it didn’t happen. In early May 2021 I started reading about those SDR dongles to listen to shortwave radio on your laptop. The week after I enrolled in a Zoom CW class and booked the UK Foundation exam. I got my Foundation callsign M7KTZ on May 26th, and by June 3rd I had grown bored of SSB. I progressed to Intermediate by mid-June (as 2E0HTZ), and finally to Full on July 1st 2021, becoming M0KTZ.
My first CW QSO was on June 17th 2021, with Bernard ON7ZH. I was sweating like a pig and erratically pounding a second-hand Kent straight key at 10 wpm or thereabout. After that contact, the situation precipitated. I devoured the CW Academy Intermediate material through the summer. I joined FISTS and the G-QRP club, started building QRP kits, managed to not burn all of them on the first power up, and got totally mind-blown in seeing how much you can do with a very simple rig, a piece of wire, and CW. Since September 2021 I have been running an HF QRP-only and CW-only station from my QTH in London, mangling with wire antennas in my loft, and home-brewing little QRP gizmos.
Since January 2022 I have been on a streak to make at least one CW QRP QSO a day, every day. In May/June 2022 I did my CW Academy Advanced class, and on June 30th Jim N3JT sent me an offer I could not refuse.
I am thrilled and chuffed to join CWops. I prefer rag-chewing QSOs, but I have enjoyed the weekly CWT sessions for several months now, as they have given me the chance of meeting some truly extraordinary fellows. I am delighted to see that CWops is putting more focus on conversational CW, and I look forward to joining the QTX/MQTX scheme and the “Giving Back” programme. I have already signed up as an Advisor for the September/October 2022 CW Academy semester, as I am eager to help more fellow hams become confident and proficient CW operators.
I am not a multi-decade-experienced CW operator, and I still have lots and lots of things to learn. But I truly love CW and I know that it will stay with me for the rest of my life, together with camping, photography, chess, cooking, home-brewing, and a deep fascination for the beauty of simple things.
I am particularly grateful to Kit G0JPS for nominating me; to Adam SQ9S, Fabian DJ5CW, Sal IK7UKF, and Tom DF7TV for sponsoring me, and to Chris G5VZ for trying really hard to do that; to Mario IK2YRT, Sandro IW2EAB, Ben I8QFK, Fulvio HB9DHG, Keith G0HKC, and Kit G0JPS, for providing guidance, advice, and encouragement; to Alex G7KSE, David M0WDD, and Kat KK6CN, for the most exciting and fun CW class in the history of radiotelegraphy; to Gabriele IW9HGS and Marco IU8OJT, without whom this journey would have never begun.
“Managing to do one totally pointless thing every day is what makes life meaningful”, George Dobbs G3RJV, SK.This biography is what appeared in Solid Copy when the member joined CWops.