K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities
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Report by Mike, KD7UUB

My name is Mike, KD7UUB. I am 12 years old. I got my General license last year. I've made a few two-meter contacts, and occasionally check into a local 10-meter SSB net, but other than that, all of my contacts are on CW.

My Dad showed me your web page last year, just before I got my license. I read where you make a CW contact every day. I thought that was cool, so I decided to do the same thing. I did it for over 180 days. Then my G5RV wire antenna came down out of the tree. I can't climb the pine tree in winter because the branches won't hold me, and I have power lines that run through the trees, so I can't throw a line over the top of the tree to pull it back up. I tied it to another tree - but it was only about six feet off the ground. I still could make contacts on it, but then we had heavy snow and another tree fell on the antenna (I think the trees have something against my antenna!)

That kept me off the air for a while, so you don't have to worry about me breaking your record ;-) The good news is that because I had done a contact every day, my CW speed is about 20 words per minute. I didn't even think of it as practice, it was a thing that I did every day.

My dad (WU7F) helped me learn the code by making it fun. He would send the characters to me, then when I got tired of copying the letters, he would let me send stuff to him. I had more fun using the paddles and sending. He wouldn't let me send until we had practiced receiving first. He also made sure I learned by the sound - so I never looked at a chart that showed dots and dashes. The character speed was about 18-20 wpm right from the start. At first, I could not tell a dit from a dah... but that did not matter, because I could still hear the difference between a 'm' and a 'k', or whatever character. I think that helped me to avoid counting the dits and dahs (except I would still count a little on the numbers)

Here is what I recommend for anyone who is thinking about learning CW:


I got bored in a hurry with just talking on a microphone. CW is a lot more fun. Just do it EVERY day. It doesn't take much time from your day, and it will not take that long to get going fast enough so it won't feel like much work. When you are slow at first, that is the hardest part. It gets easier as you go.

The thing I like to do the most with CW is to ragchew. I like finding out what the other person's hobbies are in addition to radio. I play soccer, tennis, racquetball, and I love to go snowboarding. I also like to go camping, fishing (if the fish are biting), and playing the bass. I've talked to lots of people who share some of these interests, and I learn about other things that I have never been exposed to.

I have met some great hams. One of them is K8RA - Jerry. I actually never met him, but he learned that I just got my license and that I love CW. He also learned that my birthday was coming up. He sent me one of his paddles that he makes for people. I have the prototype of the R3. I love that paddle, but more importantly, each time I use it, I am reminded of the kindness of a ham operator who believed in me. You can see a picture of it on my website at http://www.qsl.net/kd7uub/.

I wish there were more young people that would get on CW. I have talked to one 18 year-old, one person in their late 20's, a few people in their 30's, and all the rest are older. I think some of the newer or younger hams will miss out on lots of fun because they are not exposed to CW like the others that have been in the amateur service longer.

You (K3WWP) have already told people that they can get on the air with simple equipment and use a wire for an antenna. You already have stories from other people that confirm what you are telling them. All I can say is just


73 de KD7UUB, Mike in Centerville, UT

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