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.)
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 Morse Code is primarily practice, practice, practice…
Layne AE1N (ex-K0SLD)Follow or Contact Us: