Thursday, 5 October 2017

CW and beyond..

Val and I haven’t been on any hills or mountains lately.  One of the main reasons is that I’ve been saving our local ones for ‘Winter Bonus’  time which is rapidly approaching. 

Nevertheless, I have been chasing SOTA summits with both SSB and CW modes!!  It’s been some 30 years since I used morse code and the learning curve to get the receive side up to speed again has been tough and still very much ‘work in progress’. Koch Morse Trainer Pro on my phone has been  a great learning aid. Thankfully I never lost my ability to send morse so it’s been fun playing around with various keys to get me up and running.

Having bought a Palm-mini-paddle many years ago I thought it was time to start looking at using it in on the main rig in the house.  As the Palm has two magnets underneath I made a mild steel base, sprayed it with some silver paint and stuck rubber feet underneath it…I was ready to play.
Mild steel base with rubber feet attached
Palm mini-paddle on the base
As I have always enjoyed building kits I had also purchased a Porta Paddle (as used by Pete G4ISJ) from the USA with the intention of eventually using this on the hills  ( ) .  This was quickly built and attached to a walnut base with magnets glued into it so that I could use my mild steel base.

Porta Paddle with Walnut base sitting on my mild steel base
Magnets glued into Walnut base
I have also purchased a cheap circuit board from an onlineshop, assembled it then boxed it so that I could practice without having to use a radio. Investigating an Arduino based Iambic keyer at the moment.
Circuit board now boxed up and ready to go
As I said ‘work in progress’ , great fun and thanks to all the activators who have responded to my calls…log is filling up slowly with more and more cw contacts. Looking forward to that first cw s2s…quite a few of my friends wanting to be the first …you know who you are :)

73 de Allan GW4VPX