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                                  Credit: -Eric / KK0ECT
                                  CW? Put in the work and you'll discover a
                                  new way of looking at things. It's a lot of fun
                                  for communicating too. It's there. Learn it!

Learning And Operating CW

100 Most Common Used Words

CW Ops


     An Interview with Bruce W7BCW regarding his continued studies with Morse Code. Bruce has found a great class and it’s free of charge offered on the internet. You must have a web camera on your computer and headphones helps too. The class was 2 times a week. For about an hour each time. You would be given homework that would last 3 days. 1 homework piece each day for about an hour or so each time. This really does help improve CW speed. The classes are 8 weeks in total (16 sessions) for each of the 3 levels.

Level 1:

     Learning the morse code with letters and numbers and symbols being represented with sound and NOT dots and dashes. You learn what each of those are so you can start copying them in your head and know what that represents instead of writing it down. It is better to copy in your head. That’s typically how you would handle messages of this nature. You start to learn all of that in this level. They try to get you to at least 10 wpm which is more then the Novice class of license which was at 5 wpm.

Level 2:

     They would like you to do 15 wpm. Where you would take the test for your General Class license at 13 wpm, since that was the requirement long ago. They would like to see you go faster then that of course. It’s similar but you learn more words, rather then letters and numbers. Again, you’re given homework to do the days in between the classes. I was very good and made sure I put in all my time.

Level 3:

     They want to see you do 25wpm (copy and send) and possibly to 30 wpm. You learn more about contesting. How to read the call signs and take different information down just like you would on Field Day. On Wednesdays there’s a practice called CWT. There are 3 separate sessions, morning, afternoon and evening. That helps you keep up your code speed. That helped me a lot. Other programs you can use to essentially do the same thing but they are simulated and not live like this one is. There are QSO’s and short story audio files you can listen to to help you copy it in your head. Some people do type or write down but if you are a hunt and peck typist you will lose your place and get frazzled trying to keep up so you will lose some information. At the end of level 3 class there were 4 students left in the class I took. This class I’m in is on the computer live while we use webcams with each person at their home in their radio room. We started out in level 1 with I think 6. The teacher puts your call in for a nomination at the end of the level 3 class. The nomination is to be a CW Ops Member. You have to make contact with 3 of the members over the radio. I did it through the CWT practice. I went through my logs and found 5 and found I had made 3 or 4 contacts with these other members. That’s a prerequisite for a member of the club. You end up with a membership number. There are some dues, not sure how much. But becoming a member you can also get other information from their website which is for members only.

Hope this information helps others take up the interest in CW!

Bruce Weber, W7BCW



ONLY for "Americas Chapter New Members" Joining March 1, 2019 and after . . .

New Members can earn a free FISTS CW Club cloth patch by doing the following: 

FISTS Key Patch 

Make "ONE 10 minute CW QSO" with "ONE" FISTS Member on any band. 
We encourage you to use the FISTS calling frequencies. Calling Freqs listed HERE. 

Report the required QSO data to the FISTS Awards Manager at: 
He will mail your FISTS CW Club patch to you. 

Required data: 
Date, UTC Start and End Times, Freq, Call, Name, and FISTS Nr of the station contacted. 

Remember to also send your name, call, and mailing address. 

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