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Incentives To Get On-the-air With CW

QRP With K3WWP - Column # 78 - Greetings from John, K3WWP. Here is my QRP Column #078. I mentioned in the last column I'd talk about some incentives to get on the ham bands with CW. So.....

Sometimes getting on the bands honestly can get boring especially if you get on and make QSO after QSO just exchanging RST, QTH, Name, Rig, and WX, followed by 73. That does happen a lot of the time, maybe more so for the QRP operator since the other station may have a bit of trouble copying, and doesn't want to make the effort to continue with a longer QSO.

One way to get around that is to make each QSO count for something. Let's talk about some of those somethings now.

I'll start off with examples from our NAQCC activities.

Each month we have a challenge designed to get more activity on the CW bands. Perhaps some may think some of the challenges are a bit silly, and maybe they are. But if they encourage someone to get on CW more often then they are serving their purpose. Personally I enjoy the challenges and they definitely do encourage me to be more active. I look at the premise of the challenge and wonder if I'm a good enough operator to meet and complete the challenge. I love being challenged whether it be working a crossword puzzle, catching a bigger carp, or anything that makes me extend myself a bit physically, mentally, or spiritually. Isn't that what keeps us from simply wasting away waiting to die?

I started to preach a bit there - let me get back on track and describe a couple of the NAQCC challenges. In October we challenged our members to find out if the ham they work has any pets. The idea: keep the QSO's from falling into the rut described above and to help hams to get to know more about each other. This also may lead to a lasting friendship if for example, the two hams find they are both raising and breeding some rare breed of dog or cat.

Some of our challenges involve making a certain number of ragchews of 15 minutes or 30 minutes. This also encourages longer QSO's.

The first part of this column was written some time ago, and just as I am resuming writing it now, we received wonderful news from Nancy, WZ8C. I'll work that into the next paragraph about another NAQCC activitiy.

The NAQCC has an award designed to increase activity on CW. Our Participation Award goes to the one who earns the most points by regularly participating in our sprints and challenges. This year FISTS is donating a free membership or renewal to the Participation winner.

It is wonderful how our two clubs can work together so well. It makes sense that we should, since we both are doing our best to help preserve CW on the ham bands. All of our officers, staff, and members at the NAQCC thank their counterparts at FISTS for this kind gesture. It's a shame all CW clubs can't cooperate as well as our two clubs do.

The NAQCC is currently undergoing a rapid period of growth and in response we are changing things around at the club. Don't worry though, it remains a totally free club with no dues, and will always be that way.

We are expanding our newsletter into an on-line newsletter complete with some added bells and whistles. We think it will be a slick publication as it develops from its infancy at the moment.

In response to a member survey we are adding features to the web site such as CW operating tutorials, CW learning tutorials, and more.

Because of all this, I have been and continue to be very busy. So I am cutting this column a bit short.

If you operate QRP at all, even for a small part of your operating time, check out the NAQCC web site at http://naqcc.info/ and if you like what we are doing, become a member. Since you are a FISTS member, we're sure you will want to double your efforts in promoting CW and become an NAQCC member also. I'll be looking forward to processing your application and sending you a number, certificate, and sprint schedule via email.

Until next column or wherever we meet before then, all the best to you and yours from K3WWP. 73 -30-