Morse code training update 1

It’s 3 weeks since i started the course and, now that i’m writing this, i’m impressed with what i achieved so far. Nothing is perfect yet, but i can say that i have made more progress in this attempt than in my previous two. We are a group of 3 students and our trainer WB4RFQ Daniel is doing a great job.

We are learning everything in 20wpm and are practicing copying and sending which makes it more fun than just learning to copy and later, once you get that under your skin, start sending.

I am practicing now for session 7 and by Monday we should know the following letters, numbers and signs: A,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T,U,W,Y,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,/ AND ? Impressive, isn’t it? 😉

I also notice now that the key i had makes me make many mistakes. It gets stuck, i make iambic errors by not letting go the paddles, it makes a lot of noise which takes away my concentration. Excuses? Maybe, but since next week is my birthday i still thought i’d buy myself a nice present. According to what i read these paddles are cheap, work good and look awesome! Ah, and yes, a single lever paddle. Since i’m not using iambic keying anyway (well, i am for the F and the C, but i keep telling myself i don’t) i am hoping i will make less mistakes with a single lever than with a dual lever. Let’s see how it works out.

Also since this week i added a new tool to the learning toolbox, Morse Runner. As you might or might not know, this is a contest simulator and i use it to practice callsigns.

So far learning CW isn’t as hard as in the previous two attempts i did. I remember to be frustrated and tense when i practiced the last time. That was mainly what made me stop. I have enough frustrations in my life, i don’t need more. But this time it’s fun. And that’s what it’s all about. Fun. I hope this doesn’t change.

To be continued.

 

Morse code – The third attempt

Today i will have my introductory session with Dan Brock WB4RFQ of CWOps. This is going to be my third attempt to learn and use the Morse Code on the air.

My first attempt was self-study using the audio tapes from Chuck Adams K7QO. I learned the alphabet and the numbers, but i failed when the speed was picking up. I think Chuck starts too slow because i learned to count the dits and dahs.

My second attempt was with the Spanish CW group Los Tortugas. This were online live sessions where two teachers walked us through the 20wpm exercises on LCWO.net. After lesson 3 my head exploded and i was not able to get the practice sessions done.

This time it’s with CW Academy. They are using an online tool built by Stephen C Phillips. I will do my utmost best to get it done this time.

To be continued.

Aaaaaannd, we’re back! At the end just two extra radiators.

So, the reason why my previous setup broke was because we tend to have a lot of wind in the afternoon here. I live in a valley and many times the wind takes the valley as a tunnel through which it wants to multiply its wind force. So first the plexiglass supports broke and at the end the wires gave up as well. So i had to find something sturdier.

What i came up with is to make the supports from PVC pipe. This is what i did:


At the DIY store I bought 4m PVC pipe 20x2mm which I cut up in 25cm long pieces. These supports are 12-14cm wider than the ones i had before, just to avoid interaction between the wires. So the idea is to somehow mount these supports to the antenna and guide the extra wires for 10 and 20m through them. At the end of the spacer i drilled a hole to guide the wire through. But how am i going to mount the spacers to the antenna?

At the end of the spacer i cut out a “half moon” to prevent the spacer to turn and to make sure that the hole i drilled in the end is always aligned with the antenna, so the wires are guided properly.

To mount the spacers to the antenna i just drilled another hole, a bit bigger (5mm), i used a tie-wrap to fix the spacer to the antenna. I can assure you, this won’t move. Here’s another detail on how i did this. The tie-wraps on the wire is to prevent the wire from moving through the spacer and from the spacer to bend downwards and fold in case there is a lot of wind. Yes, it can be windy here.

The rest is history, just adjust SWR for the frequencies it needs to work on and lastly put it up in its final location.

 

 

This is what SWR looks like right now. Pretty cool, eh? 😉

 

 

 

Here’s the antenna in its final location. Let’s see how long this setup lasts this time.