My main ham radio interests include CW, building wire antennas, and being active in CW clubs. Since joining GRC and helping Chris 2E0KJC run North West Morse, I’ve also had great fun chairing regular CW training nets and contributing articles for the website and gazette.  But where did my interest in CW  begin? Well for me, building my CW skills has been a long and windy road. My ham radio interests started about 8 years ago.

Back then, I joined a club called North West ARC based near Wigan; now defunct. They were a great bunch and I got my Foundation and Intermediate licenses there, and was soon active with 2m FM and SSB on the HF bands. One evening I noticed the club was running a beginners morse code class – I joined in, and that’s how it all started, quite by chance.

I subsequently got my Full license through Bolton ARC, with the Bath Based Distance Learning course (https://badarc.webs.com/bath-training )– what an excellent course that was.

I didn’t really do much with my fledging CW skills until about three years ago, when I signed up for a beginner’s course with CW Ops ( https://cwops.org  ). The course was on Zoom, and that got me to the stage of being able to copy and send all the letters, numbers, and some abbreviations in morse code. But I struggled to decode more than just a few letters and very short words at a time, and had low confidence in live QSOs. I really wanted some help with practice and live CW experience.

Again by chance I came across the daily afternoon CW sessions run by Stockport Radio Society (SRS), and joined up. Wow that was a great experience. The ops were very supportive and encouraging, with regular on air CW exercises and live short practice QSOs at varying CW speeds.

So when Gilmore Radio Club started, I noticed that several of the ops I had got to know on the afternoon CW sessions were in this new friendly club, so it was a natural step to join. I’m very pleased to help with North West Morse and that has given me great experience in chairing CW training nets, as well as organising and writing various articles for the club website and gazette.

By the way my work background is an IT Trainer – now retired. That’s why I really enjoy going on training courses. Right now I’m attending the CW Ops Advanced CW course on Zoom – and that’s another great experience in furthering my CW skills. This should help me in developing conversational level CW and help my contributions to North West Morse.

So for any members interested in starting or developing skills in CW, my message is that anyone can do it – it can be learned – it needs lots and lots of practice – and then some more practice – and it can be very rewarding. I’ve made lots of new friends through CW and many have helped me with my CW skills, even though I’ve never met most of them. Amateur Radio is a great hobby and for me CW  has been a great experience so far.

For any further information on North West Morse, please email northwestmorse@m0juw.co.uk.

73 David M0WDD, May 2022