K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities
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Report by David, KE4QLH

My name is David Ziskind. I am 15 years old (will be 16 as of January 27). I started "hamming" in August 1994 when I passed my Technician exam. Since then, I upgraded to Tech-Plus in 1996, and passed my General exam in November of 1997. I also hold a CSCE for 20wpm code. I became interested in amateur radio because my scoutmaster was head of one of the local branches of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and used amateur radio in training exercises. He gave me a copy of Now You're Talking! in June of 1994, and by August I passed my Technician exam. I enjoy public service work on 2 meters. I got my feet wet in 2 meter contesting during the January 1997 VHF Contest, and received first place in the southeastern QRP-portable division. Just recently I have started becoming more active in CW on HF, however school work has not been working in my favor. I run a local youth net on 2 meters in the Atlanta area with my brother Steven, KF4KUO, and a friend Devon, KF4NBZ. We occasionally have code practice, but have trouble finding youth who are interested!

I like CW because it is a fun and effective operating mode. Once you are "fluent" in CW, copying a transmission becomes second nature. You can work far-away stations using only a fraction of a watt, so amplifiers and expensive equipment aren't needed. CW operators tend to be friendly and courteous. Most of all, CW IS FUN! There is a nice "rhythm to the code" which makes it easy to learn. You can buy code tapes for $20.00 or less, and they'll take you from 0-20wpm, sometimes faster. I used "High Speed Code" by Jerry Ziliak, KB6MT. There are also a lot of shareware and freeware programs that make learning the code easy and fun. The best way to learn code is to listen to others on the air, maybe even asking an Elmer to let you operate under their call. I must admit, I am not 100% CW. I try and experiment with different modes, and I certainly work my share of SSB. That is why ham radio is such a great hobby: There are people from all walks of life, all races, and all ages. Some prefer one mode over the other, some like each mode equally. Like it or not, CW is how amateur radio first started, so it should be a source of pride and desire to learn for most hams.

I have not received any CW wallpaper yet; just a FISTS certificate (#3387). My first CW QSO was with a guy in California, KF6OMA, while I was operating under my brother's call. I enjoyed our QSO, but when I went to look up his call, I discovered it wasn't in the database! Still, I have made a fair number of CW QSOs on my own. My "best" one to date was with a guy in Honolulu, HI; I have yet to receive a QSL, though.

Unlike most things in this world, ham radio does not discriminate based on age, sex, religion, or race. CW is just one of the many facets of amateur radio. I believe every ham, whether they are 9 or 99, should at least know the code. Give CW a try!

Report written in 1997 when David was 15.

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