Thursday, July 3, 2014

CW Success

Well, girls and boys, I finally did it.   I went on the air alone with CW (Morse code) this week.  As you may (or may not) recall, I got my amateur radio license last year and started to learn Morse code after a couple of guys jokingly told me that the perfect woman would know how to use CW.   It's been a lot harder than I expected, and I have had a couple of short conversations with strangers, with an "Elmer" (a mentor or coach) sitting next to me and copying what the other person said because I was too freaked out to do it.   Although they are in my log, I can't count those as real contacts because, tho I knew what I was saying, I had no idea what the other person said in response until my Elmer told me.  But I finally went on the air with it all by myself this week, with no one standing next to me, all alone in my house.   Of course, I wasn't talking to a stranger this time.   I called a friend on the air, he answered, and we had a conversation of sorts.     To the best of my knowledge, leaving out all the call signs and abbreviations we use, it went like this --

Me:  keying his call sign and mine so he'd know I was trying to reach him
Him:  'Wow!  Strong signal here. How are you?'
Me: 'Scared to death.'
Him: 'Try not to be so scared.  Relax and have fun.'
Me:  'Maybe tomorrow.'
Him:  'Wow! First CW with you.  Great signal from saginaw city.'
Me: 'My keyer needs to be adjusted, I'm starting to freak out.'
Him: 'Your keyer can be adjusted later, for now just keep using it.'

Then, from my point of view, it was all 'Blah Blah Blah Blah' (as I'm freaking out and not able to copy anymore, at this point understanding nothing.)

Me: 'OK, total freakout now, need to sign off.  Hugs and kisses' (and then I said my call sign and got off the air.)

The next day I saw a note my friend wrote that said, "by the by, I sure had fun with (me!) yesterday on CW.  Dat gal knows how to Dittybop!"   And here I was worried that he wouldn't respect me after he had his CW way with me (blush).

So perhaps not the most impressive use of Morse code, but this is something that has truly terrified me, something I was not sure I would ever be able to do, and this week I did it.    My virgin voyage, so to speak.  It's been on my list for just over a year, and now the first step is done.   My friend promises me that I will get better and more confident as I use it more, and although I'm not sure it's true, I'm trying to believe because he hasn't lied to me yet.  Except maybe about Morse code being the key to becoming the perfect woman.  


1 comment:

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Way to go Gail! Have a nice 4 of July. xo