CW cherry

Just had my first ever CW chase with Jonathan (@G4IVV). I need to go and lie down now until my heartrate recovers :wink:. Thanks for being gentle Jonathan!


You let the cat out of the bag when we were on G/TW-002 and you said “there’s an OK1 there” when a few stations called. It was clear you’d been practising and would be trying your skills on air soon. :wink:

It’s get’s worse then starts to get better as you use it more so don’t give up.


I need to wire up some AED paddles to the spare output on my PSU then!

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I’m looking to get your call-sign in my log soon Andy @G6PJZ - no excuse now!


Hey, well done Andy and thanks for the chase! Your CW was great, no problem at all. Keep on with the chasing and you’ll soon get that first CW activation done :+1:

Seriously though, don’t wait to get perfect before getting on the air. Making contacts is the best way to improve, and is much more fun than talking to a computer!

73 & thanks,


We were just heading home after a few days on Exmoor, and the route conveniently took us just past Dunkery Beacon G/SC-001, it’s an easy summit and the weather was really nice. This was the shack Andy:



Thanks again Jonathan. It was a complete for me too, so a win win! For anyone thinking of popping their CW cherry also, my “success” followed the following process:

  1. Wait for the end of the pile up (not for the pile up to ease - the end)
  2. Pray that the activator doesn’t try and engage me in conversation.
  3. Do the biz.
  4. Pray that the activator doesn’t try to engage me in conversation.
  5. Thank God (other Gods are available) that the activator didn’t try to engage me in conversation (if he did I ignored it!).
  6. Log the contact.
  7. Drink a large whisky and celebrate!

@GW4BML Ben you could have been the first but I couldn’t hear anything from you on any mode :slightly_frowning_face:. Pity, I need the GD summits to complete them! My CW callsign (for future reference) is G6QRS :wink:


Well done Andy

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And doing so using CW is much more fun than talking to a microphone. :crazy_face:

I found chasing SOTA activators the best way to practice using CW. There’s a place for programs like Morse Runner but nothing concentrates your mind and gets the heart racing than a QSO with a real person!

Once you are ready, try an activation. I would suggest mid-week if you can and possibly starting on a less popular band like 17m. This will reduce the chance of a massive pile-up which is likely to happen if you start on say 40m or 20m on a Saturday. If this happens, don’t panic (although I did!) and just wait for it to go quiet and if you caught part of a callsign then send “DL6?” or whatever it was.

A CW S2S can be daunting and it took me some time before I managed it and I am certain I had missed attempts from activators during my early days.

For me the best aid is a radio (IC-705 in my case) which records sound. This has proved invaluable a few times when I’ve entered a callsign into QRZ after the activation to discover it wasn’t recognised because it was wrong. Not everyone is on QRZ of course but usually I’ve just not heard the callsign correctly.



Well done Andy on breaking your CW duck. I did, too, earlier this year and endorse not only your fun tips for success but also everyone’s comments about just getting on air and pressing that key or paddle regularly without embarrassment. Learning aids are useful but there’s no substitute for real QSOs. 73 Mike


:thinking: hmmm. Not yet! :grin:

Absolutely! I think my first CW activation will be pre-arranged with some “sympathetic” friends. I certainly won’t be alerting or spotting it and risking even a mild pile up!

Thanks Mike and well done to you too.


And CW chase #2 completed today. Thanks Richard @G4TGJ.

At this rate I reckon I’ll be a CW shack sloth by around 2357 (the year, not the time!). I wonder what the world of amateur radio will look like then? :grinning:


Thanks for the QSO Andy. Keep at it!

73 Richard

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Interesting question. Will CW still be around? Hmm…

My CW learning has very recently branched out into longer (non-SOTA) QSOs where I attempt a sort of conversation with exchange of names, QTH, rig and power. It’s still early days but I’ve found calling CQ from the shack at 14 or 15 wpm does get replies at that speed.

It is helping to overcome “key fright”. :slight_smile:


Very impressive John, well done!

I think we can safely assume that even if we are all communicating by telepathy, there will still be those singing the praises of legacy modes such as CW, data and even voice :wink:


Andy, congrats on your cw chase. Those early ones made me sweat. But it’s still a thrill, just not heart attack thrill.