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I Love CW

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A little after midnight I was tuning 40m CW portion on my Yaesu FT-100 and Alpha Delta DX-EE (40-10m parallel dipole, shortened on 40m). Given that this dipole isn’t a full size half wavelength on 40m, you’d think it wouldn’t hear very well and you’d think it wasn’t going to do much good on transmit. It has been surprising me all week though.

Ok, I’ll continue… I was tuning around 7000-7025 and came across 8P6ER on 7001.1. His signal was S9. I heard him in a QSO with another ham. I listened for another 10 minutes as he ran through some more contacts. The whole time, when Gary would throw out a CQ, he’d have a pileup coming back to him. I’m sure I was hearing nearly a dozen of them myself.

After one of his CQs I threw out my call along with the rest of the peanut gallery. No joy. I did it a second time, nothing. After another minute or two Gary CQ’d again. I heard stations trying to get back to him and I nailed the paddles on my MFJ keyer. Lo and behold, I hear .- .- —.. ..–.. (translated AA8?), from Gary. I nearly fell out of my chair. I felt like a kid in the candy store.

At that very moment everything on the radio was sounding mysterious – My 300 hz CW filter was kicked in and the attenuator was on to cut down on the nighttime noise. Hearing Gary’s booming CW coming through the speaker (directed at me) was exciting. It was an awesome feeling, and one I hadn’t felt since 1991 when I CQ’d on 10 meters and heard XE1MMJ (Maria) come back to me for my first QSO.

I finished the contact with Gary, logged it, and am now sitting back listening to dead air, with the hollowed out sound of a CW filter kicked in.

What made Gary come back to me instead of the dozen(s) of others calling him? I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with a strong signal. All I know is that it never would have happened on SSB.

Who says CW is dead? Certainly not me. And, there are obviously still some really good folks hanging out on CW who are willing to give the underdog a chance.

Thanks, Gary, for making me feel like a kid again!

Written by Mike

May 24th, 2010 at 1:02 am

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