Deep Purple’s “Into The Fire” is possibly my favourite DP track and is the perfect description for my 1st foray onto 7.032cw!
I’d driven for 1hr30 from Kinlochbervie to the foot of Ben Hope, lugged a bag of radios up a relentless behemoth of hill, been stunned by the views and had a paltry 5 contacts on 60m. 5 contacts! I’d driven 345miles in total for 5 contacts, pah! Phil GM4OBK/p had reported the LF bands were all a bit broken but I knew there was more to be had if I tried harder. I tried 40m SSB but got nowhere other than disrupting Robin’s sked on 7.118, sorry Robin.
That’s when I remembered what Roy G4SSH told me. He said “Andy, just go and call on CW, people wont care if your sending is ropey or if you make silly mistakes, they wont care if you ask them to QRS or repeat. They just want the points.” So I did. I tuned to 7.032 (and a bit) set the keyer to 11wpm and started calling CQ SOTA. What was the worst that could happen? I wouldn’t understand what was being sent and I could just skulk off and pretend the QSB got me
So first out of the bag was OK1KT who went nice and slow for me. Then frequency exploded, funny noises, alternating tones, general deliberate QRM and some other calls. My morse receiving is still terrible, if I miss a character it takes me 4 or 5 to get in sync. However, my prefix (MM0) is very distinctive on the key, so I can recognise that even when sent very, very fast. So I could hear many stations blasting out my call at 20wpm+. But it was the guys in OK1 who understood, if he sends slow, reply slow. So that got me another two OKs in the log followed by HB9AGH. I had to ask for a QRS and HB9AGH obliged nicely, though it took me a while to realise it was HB9 and not SB9 which I though was some special Polish prefix! Last in on the key was G4EPO.
Many thanks to all those who sent nice and slow for me. To everyone else, here’s a hint, if I’m sending at 11wpm don’t call me at 20wpm or faster. The guys who QRS’d got to work NS-020 and the speed demons didn’t. Sorry, you’ll have to wait till I can RX faster.
Let’s see, last week I qualified my 1st summit on 23cms. This week I qualified my 1st summit on CW. Now to get the 3cms gear sorted along with my morse.
Full report on NS-063/NS-020 to follow later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsTblmIAfwA to see DP play the song. My hair was like Ian Gillan’s once. But most of it fell out and the rest went grey.