12 Reasons Why CW is my ” FAV ” mode.

1. Simplicity – If anyone would really take a good look at what Morse Code consists of, they would see that it is truely a very simple system. Basically CW is a “Digital” mode. Being on and off keying. The duration of each tone and combination of long and short tones tells us what letter, number or punctuation is being sent. Could it be possibile that we try to oversimplify it to the extent that it becomes difficult and an unreachable target or goal?

2. Fun – To me this simple language is like a secret code known only to those select few who dare to take time and effort to learn it as a communication tool. It is fun to communicate with others who have become a member of this sort of “Secret Society” Although it is not that secret, there seems to be a calling for other Hams to partake in it.

3. Relaxing – There are times after a long and stressful day, that just sitting down and trying to relax just doesn’t work out. I have found that working CW takes my mind off of things as I try to decipher what my fellow ham is trying to tell me. There is some concentration needed to copy code and there is relaxation in the transposition of these Dots and Dashes.

4. Exciting – The ability to communicate in using a language that only the whole world of CW operators know and use, is exciting. I heard an operator working a contest that was collecting SSB contacts and then for some reason I thought he was talking to himself and as I retuned a little to his signal, I heard the tones from a CW signal. Even though it wasn’t a true 2 way conversation, I was still impressed that he was able to talk to a CW operator as well as a SSB operator.

5. Frustrating – Yes… it is true… CW can be frustrating… There are times when I would like to contact that much needed station, only to not get the return QSO. Then there are times when I get a station that is sending a little faster than I and when I try to match his speed he speeds up even faster, as if I was not allowed to send as fast as he could send and he had to be the faster station. CW is a means of communications NOT a race to see who can send the fastest. More often than not, the operators who try to send faster, make so many mistakes, it would have been better if they just slowed down to start with.

6. Unique – CW is a very unique way to communicate as in, not every Ham throughout the world uses Morse Code but the ones who do are very respectful.

7. Respectful – of each other and the code that we use has become sort of “code”. That is good radio practices, not to step on the other guy as he speaks, and to always treat each other as ladies and gentlemen whichever the case may be.

8. Never reports of enforcements from the FCC. – If you were to look into the FCC enforcements listing on the ARRL web site, you will see actions towards people causing interferance on repeaters, some about RFI, and others about advertising on the Ham air waves, which I believe are against FCC rules. But you will find very few if any actions about Code. As stated above that is where the respect comes into play.

9. CW cuts through propagation – I have read and heard where CW played a large part in saving the lives of people in danger during Katrina.

10. First line of communications – I believe that code was the first form of communications that brought on the rescues early on during this tragedy.

11. Historical – CW was the first means for the Railroad and the Western Union to talk with each other within their infrastructure. It became the grandfather of Ham radio, and the only way to communicate at the beginning of amateur radio.

12. Defeated!!! (Fearfully) – This in not a reason that I enjoy CW but in my opinion, the entry level has become downgraded to where geting a license has become very easy. As more and more operators acquire a license they really don’t want to or value CW. Yes it is old, and yes there are newermore up to date means of digital communications but they require a computer and the internet to run them. If this infrastructure is damaged or challenged in any way communication becomes difficult. It is my hope that the ARRL and FCC will see the value in CW and keep it in the licensing structure.