Learning CW - CW Proficiency AE1N

Learning CW is a matter of Practice, Practice, Practice …

In preparation for Nashua Area Radio Club’s our upcoming Morse Code classes, I found some interesting items in my archives. I found my original ARRL Code Proficiency Certificate.

The year was 1958. I was 13 years old and had been a Shortwave Listener (SWL). My dad Bob, who later became K0TFP, told me if I studied hard and got my FCC license, he would set up a ham station for us. Needless to say, the incentive was there. I started listening to and copying W1AW code transmissions and had an easy time learning Morse. (The daunting part was to become learning the Theory.)

Learning CW - Proficiency AE1N

As you can see I passed 15 WPM on September 18, 1958. Then we drove up to the FCC office in Denver to take the exam. Back then one needed 5 WPM to get the Novice exam and 13 WPM to get the General Class exam. I breezed through the code test but failed the written exam. Undaunted, I retook the exam in November 1958 and passed my General Class. (Later, I certified at 20 WPM in April 1959 and 25 WPM in July 1959.)

Later, as I fell in love with CW, I became an ARRL Official Bulletin Station for the Rocky Mountain Division. I would tape the ARRL bulletins and using a transistor detector-keyer would send these bulletins every evening when propagation peaked into the East Coast. I would replay the Bulletins on 14.050 kHz using our KW amplifier and 6 element tri-bander.

Learning CW - Official Bulletin Station

Learning Morse Code is primarily practice, practice, practice…

73 CUL,

Layne AE1N (ex-K0SLD)

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