Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Just signed off with K7MQV (who I of course copied as "W7---") in Washington state! Not bad, especially since it was me callin' CQ. Conditions were lousy and I'm up too late on a school night, so it was just a quick swap of signal reports, locations and names, ending with the usual best wishes; but hey: I heard the West Coast! I got a signal out!

That's a first for this location. The Ten-Tec Scout comes through again! They have a rep for having a slightly noisy receiver and fragile tuning mechanicals but I like mine.

No bug key this outing. I wouldn't inflict my rusty bug CW "fist" on anyone. Used a WW II British "W.T. 8 AMP." straight key, a little heavier than the Bunnell "Triumph" type (e.g. J-38) more commonly seen but a good, solid key.


  1. Congratulations!

    How many watts? What frequency?

  2. Okay, 0kay, I'll start actively pursuing my General.

    And maybe even CW.

    (Don't know the gentleman, but then, between aerospace and computers, the local geek quotient is pretty high, and you can hardly turn around without having someone wish you "73"...)

  3. 50W, on or about 7030.9, from 2237 to 2255 EDT, Turk.

    D.W., I held a Novice for years and years; after we had a fire at work that destroyed some equipment and just missed trapping me in the building by an hour or so, I decided I'd better upgrade if I was ever going to. It was long enough ago (and I was working alone in the building where the fire had been) that I just tuned in shore stations on a big old communications receiver at work and let it play. Before I knew it, I was picking letters, words and finally sentences out of the sounds. (I can't recommend this enough for working with code: immerse yourself in it in addition to formal practice. It really helps).

    Surprised myself when I went in to take the code test; knew I was solid at 13 wpm but I took and passed the 20 wpm exam. Plus, going for the General, I passed the Advanced writtens. Still need to upgrade to Extra!

  4. 20 wpm is faster than most people can (comfortably) print, so you did good, Sparks!

    Above 25 requires either a typewriter or a good memory.

    Some of the stations I hear below 7025 have gotta be nudging 50 wpm.

    And reaching the coast with just 50 watts is excellent.

  5. Very cool. I *need* to learn code. If nothing else, it would let me operate while Things 1&2 dominate the living room (where my station is located).

    BTW, have any of you code types read The Victorian Internet?