K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities
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Mark - WU7F (ex-AC7XR,KA7EGQ)

John, You've got a GREAT site! You've inspired me to put away my microphone.
I was an active HAM from the time I got my license (age 15) until I got married (age 24). Then moving from apartment to apartment and too many other distractions kept me from my hobby. That was 16 years ago.
I recently purchased a Kenwood TS-570D and put up a G5RV. I have power lines on three sides of my property, and live on the side of a mountain that blocks my signal to the east. I figured I'd probably only get to operate any decent HF when I go camping, or come up with some mobile installation. I searched the Internet to look for other peoples' experiences. That's when I found your site!
Not only do you use wire antennas, like I do, but you even have the same rig, AND YOU RUN QRP!!
CW is the right answer for me. However, CW is NOT like riding a bike! Well, at least not for me. My code speed, while never very fast was now less about 10 WPM on receive. I put the microphone away and started listening to CW. I've made several CW contacts during the last week (the last two were QRP), and tried to copy other QSO's that were much faster. It's been one week, and I'm about 15 WPM, but I'm starting to pick-up bits and pieces of 18-20 WPM already. It's coming back!!!
Now the real exciting news! As I've looked at more sites on the Internet that address CW and QRP, I've decided that I want to build a Kit. My 11 year-old son wants to get his ticket, and I think building a portable transceiver will be a great project for us both (I travel frequently, so I could use this to stay in touch with him while away)
The kit that I believe will best address our needs will be the Elecraft E1 with 4-bands. It will really be his rig, and he has already started saving money from his paper route. I'll help him with the money after he gets his ticket. He is already getting 65% on the on-line testing at QRZ.com.
John, THANK YOU! Your website is an inspiration to me, and has already touched the life of my son. Who knows how many others will be positively influenced just by him? Add that to the thousands of people you have already influenced, and you begin to see the difference you are making in so many people's lives!
I sure hope to work you the air soon. I am going to join FISTS, and be "radio active" again. I'm giving QRP a real try, too. Because of my job, I have to live in Denver part of the time, and I have an apartment there. I can't put up external antennas, but I figure if I run QRP, then there won't be much harm in running a random wire inside the apartment!
My son told me that if you are still looking for teenage hams to contribute their stories to your website, he will add his... although he's not quite a teenager yet.
Mike (my son) has 15 letters, and all the numbers learned at this point. I'm sure he'll do great at CW! I can hardly wait to work him on the air!!!

And here's an addendum from Mark - I have to work in Denver, while my son is at home in Utah. We were practicing code over the phone the other day. I was amazed at the retention my son shows. He was remembering all the characters we went over when I was at home five weeks ago. After a quick refresh of the last group of five that he learned, he had recall of the entire alphabet!
I don't learn that fast (I don't think I ever did), but if it has anything to do with age, then we owe it to these young minds to expose them to CW at an early age when they seem to assimilate it even easier (that's a dangerous presupposition, however, because older people can use that as an excuse to not learn CW because of their age... which we both know is not a true limitation)

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