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My Ham Radio hobby

How to learn CW (Morse code)

by Duane Ausherman, W6REC


My first ham radio call sign, in 1956, was KNØGST, a novice at 16 years of age.  The first transmitter was home built, a single 6V6 tube on a piece of wood. Later I moved up the ranks and worked at any job to afford the Cadillac of the day, a Collins receiver.

In 1967 I moved to California and got my call changed.  I was given W6REC and I love it. Those letters (REC) make for lots of acronym type fun jokes, such as Retarded Elderly Codger, Radio Extra Class and hundreds more.

I have been lucky to have operated amateur radio in several countries while working and traveling. Here is the list as I remember them; Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Mongolia, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lord Howe Island, Kermadec Islands, Antarctica, Fiji and Monserrat. I hold the permanent CEPT call of OK8AVA for the Czech Republic.

Somehow I got involved in radio contesting in 1982. A club call (NC6M) has been issued for my friends and I to use.  It works much better for both voice and CW (Morse Code) than my own call. To make radio life even harder I often use very low power, called QRP, in radio lingo.

The station currently has two towers; one at 86 ft and the other at 106 ft.  For 80 meters a 4 square is in use.  It is made of 4 62 ft lengths of 3" aluminum irrigation tubing.  With the required radials it takes up 180 ft X 180 ft in our yard.  It works very well and with only 5 watts I now have 80 countries worked on all 7 continents.  About 1/2 are SSB and 1/2 are CW.

In the last few years my ham radio experience has allowed me to work in the cellular telephone business, called wireless.  Finally, I learned to install cables neatly.  See the before and after pictures of the exact same station.

ham1.jpg (76168 bytes)                 ham2.jpg (77295 bytes)

Before                              After


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This page was last edited: 04/06/2006 - copyright Duane Ausherman
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