A group for all Amateur Radio operators in the area and for those interested in becoming one!
Monday, April 13, 2015
Job or Adventure?
As always, I am going to taste, swish around in my mouth, and savor each and every experience in Radio that I am lucky enough to get. Like cheese tasting or biting into one of those awesome gourmet burgers you get at some place like Applebees or Fridays; those frightening experiences in life are ones to be relished for their power to shake your nerves and heart both.
I have been practicing CW, or rather Morse Code, for a long while now and yet I am still shakin in my boots when I attempt to make contacts. The funny part is that I work almost daily with my Elmer WØIIT like a seasoned pro, and recently I have been able to check into a local and regional CW net. Outside of that, you might say I've got a mean set of the jitters. Key fright.. Ouch! But hey, maybe there are one or two others out there who will say to themselves, “Wow, I am not the only one...”
After an enjoyable check in on the Rocky Mountain Regional net this evening, I was marching about the house, patting myself on the back and reveling in my glorious triumph; thinking myself master of the CW universe. Ya, right. After a bit though, I went back to my rig and began to work on a T match problem I have been having.
As I was just finishing my work, I heard a fellow operator calling CQ in my earphones. I knew by the call that the operator must be out east some place so I wrote down the call and listened too see if I might be able to try this one. This is a bit of a process for me as I always go through a line of reasoning that includes the old self-talk statement that “no one is going to do it for me.” There was some QSB and lots of noise but I thought that I might zero beat and key out the call sign to myself real fast. “Maybe I will try this one,” I thought to myself. As I started to key out the call, I suddenly realized I was sending. I was live. I had left my transmitter keying circuit live after the net. Holy cow!
Without missing a beat in my mind, I knew I had to keep my composure and keep going. Maybe I wont' be heard. Yes, that's it! Rationalization rarely works for me. So half excited and half terrified, I kept going. And to be sure, that whole not being heard thing has happened too many times for me to count. But not tonight. Sure enough, I got a call back! There it was now; that sudden shrill excitement that climbs up your windpipe into your throat when you make a contact. That never gets old. Unfortunately, just after exchanging RST and name, QSB started having fun. NO! Not now! RRR!!!
CW and Morse Code are not a job, but they sure are an adventure. They are that specter that haunts each of us just around the corner: stretch and growth. The painful chasm that separates stagnation and the push onward and forward..
If you struggle with CW and perhaps with self-confidence; do not give up. Stay the course and just do your best. It will pay off.
D Keath - NØWKZ
* David is a SEKARC club member and a frequent contributor to SEKARC.net and his article are always among the most popular that we post! Another great one, keep them coming David!!
Posted by Jeff Chancey on April 13, 2015
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
David - thank you for the QSO this evening in the NAQCC Sprint. I wasn't taking part, but heard you call and wanted to try out a new QRP rig I have recently built. I was only running 1W so was very happy that you could hear me. It wasn't until after our QSO that I realized I was supposed to send you my state as part of the contest exchange. Not sure why I forgot that, but I copied you sending me ST? and for some reason, the lightbulb didn't go on in my head. That's why, when I realized my mistake, I came back later and told you "CA".ReplyDelete
The main reason I am leaving this message is to tell you that after our QSO, I listened to you call CQ NA for several minutes and was amazed that that the QSB had brought your signal strength up. You were as clear as a bell. I assume you were running QRP. How much power were you running, and to what antenna? I'm curious. You sounded great on my little home-brew receiver. At that point, yours was the only signal in that part of the band.
73/72 and tnx fer the QSO OM,