Category Archives: CW and QRP

Articles related to CW and QRP (low-power) operating and equipment. Articles related to learning and using Morse Code are also included here.

February Tech Nite – Kit Build

Our February Tech Nite was a kit build.  Our special guest, Steve Elliott, K1EL brought the kits for purchase by members and provided elmering.   Most of us built his PS2B keyer kit.

Completed Keyer

We had close to 20 kit builders and elmers and many of us completed the kit by the end of the evening.  Others completed their kits at home.    We all had a great time at the kit build.  Thanks to our Programs Chair, Scott, NE1RD for organizing a great kit build!

Here are some pictures of the members who built kits during the kit built.

Tech Night Kit Build

WB1ABCW1AKI and W1MSITeam FInchumKC1IMK and KC1IMLK1BRMCompleted KeyerCharlie Girish CharlieAC1BKAB1OCAB1NS and KU1VNieceK1EL

CW Class Starting February 17th

Morse Code
Morse Code

Do you understand the morse code above?    Are you planning to build our February Tech Night Project and want to learn to use it?   Do you want to make more DX contacts?  Even though Morse Code proficiency is no longer required for your Ham Radio license, there is still more CW on the air than Phone and Digital modes combined. You don’t want to miss out on these contacts!

Keys 2
CW Keys

CW Class Starting February 17th

Thanks to our Morse Code Instructors, Mike, K1WVO, and Dennis, K1LGQ, we will be holding another CW Class.  The classes will start on February 17th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and will run for at least 6 weeks.  It will be held at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Nashua.    You will be able to practice copying CW as well as sending CW during the class.  Toward the end of the class, if you practice regularly, you will get on the air via a CW slow net or scheduled QSOs among the students.

Our CW Class Instructors
Our CW Class Instructors

The class will be geared to the needs of those attending, whether you are just learning or if you attended a previous class and hope to build up your speed.

Hope to see you at the class.  Plan to bring a notebook and pen or pencil to copy CW.

Learning Morse Code Results In Qualitative Change In White Matter

[My friend Shin, JA1NUT, writes a very interesting item on his blog. No wonder at age 73, my thinking remains quite sharp!  Posted by Layne AE1N]

“It is interesting that diffusion tensor imaging technique shows the increased integrity and development of neuron fibers in the brain. This study shows learning Morse Code has augmented the fractional anisotropy of the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus whose function is vaguely understood regarding emotion or thoughts. It means learning Morse Code has caused alteration of this structure of white matter, that is, increased connection of centers in occipital, temporal lobe and the other areas.

Reading only this abstract of the paper, I am wondering how they have set the control in the observation of time-dependent change. The other question is if learning Morse Code could be compared to second language acquisition. Since Morse Code system has no grammar, it is not a language itself.

Despite such questions in this study, it still means Learning Morse Code causes a structural change in the white matter, which means the improvement of the skill in Morse Code reception will be done stepwise. Once we obtain its capability, we won’t lose it easily. Morse Code reception could be useful to activate our brain.”


Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Jul 26;11:383. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00383. eCollection 2017.

Learning Morse Code Alters Microstructural Properties in the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus: A DTI Study.

Full article here


Learning relies on neuroplasticity, which has mainly been studied in gray matter (GM). However, there is mounting evidence indicating a critical role of white matter changes involved in learning processes. One of the most important learning processes in human development is language acquisition. However, due to the length of this learning process, it has been notoriously difficult to investigate the underlying neuroplastic changes. Here, we report a novel learning paradigm to assess the role of white matter plasticity for language acquisition. By acoustically presenting Morse Code (MC) using an in-house developed audiobook as a model for language-type learning, we generated a well-controlled learning environment that allows for the detection of subtle white matter changes related to language type learning in a much shorter time frame than usual language acquisition. In total, 12 letters of the MC alphabet were learned within six learning session, which allowed study participants to perform a word recognition MC decoding task. In this study, we found that learning MC was associated with significant microstructural changes in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). The fractional anisotropy (FA) of this associative fiber bundle connecting the occipital and posterior temporal cortex with the temporal pole as well as the hippocampus and amygdala was increased. Furthermore, white matter plasticity was associated with task performance of MC decoding, indicating that the structural changes were related to learning efficiency. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate an important role of white matter neuroplasticity for acquiring a new language skill.

Project Night 2018

Every January Meeting we hold Project Night, where members bring in and share recent homebrew projects that they have built. This year’s Project Night was full of interesting projects built by our members.

Member Projects
Scott NE1RD Kits
Scott NE1RD Kits

Our Programs Chairperson, Scott, NE1RD led it off by showing us some kits he had built, including the K1EL PaddleStick Keyer that we will be building for the February Tech Night.

Bob KB1TEK - QRP Kits
Bob KB1TEK – QRP Kits

Bob, KB1TEK brought some QRP kits that he had built.

Dave K1DHP - VLF Detector
Dave K1DHP – VLF Detector

Dave, K1DHP showed us the VLF Detector that he built.

Hamilton, K1HMS – Antenna Switches

Hamilton, K1HMS brought Antenna Switches that he had built.

Dave K1DLM - Heakthkit
Dave K1DLM – Heakthkit

Dave, K1DLM showed us a Heathkit that he plans to build.


Dennis, K1LGQ had another explosive presentation when he showed us a KX2 stand that he built.

Dennis shows plans for his KX2 Stand
Dennis hows plans for his KX2 Stand


Fred AB1OC - Low-Band Match
Fred AB1OC – Low-Band Match

Fred, AB1OC brought an 80m band matching system that he will install in order to make our 80m delta loop be resonant across the band.  He has programmed our MicroHam system to automatically have the box switch the matching system as we tune through the 80m band.  I’m looking forward to using this to get the last 20 80m contacts for my 5 Band DXCC!

Anita AB1QB - CW Pi
Anita AB1QB – CW Pi

I (AB1QB) demonstrated a Raspberry Pi project that I built over the holidays.  It is called a Morse Code Virtual Radio.  When you hook up a monitor and a straight key to the Raspberry Pi, it will decode what you key in.  This was a big hit with the kids who visited us for ARRL Kids Day.

Mike, AB1YK - Panadapter
Mike, AB1YK – Panadapter

Finally, Mike, AB1YK brought in a number of projects that he has done including a Panadapter and a CW Generator.

Anita AB1QB - CW PiScott NE1RD KitsMike AB1YK - PanadapterMike AB1YK - CW GeneratorHamilton K1HMS - Ant Switches 2Hamilton K1HMS - Ant Switches 1Fred AB1OC - Low-Band MatchFred Ab1OC - Low-Band Match 1Dennis K1LGQ - KX2 Stand 2Dennis K1LGQ - KX2 Stand 1Dave K1DLM - Heakthkit 2Dave K1DLM - Heakthkit 1Dave K1DHP - VLF DetectorBob KB1TEK - QRP Kits 2Bob KB1TEK - QRP Kits 1

Overall it was great to see all of the projects that our members have been working on. The gallery above contains more pictures from Project Night.

Anita, AB1QB