The Nashua Area Radio Club Morse Code classes will include a mix of classroom training and at-home practice. This class is open to all Nashua Area Radio Club members. We are also planning an on-air practice net to begin after the first few class sessions. Materials you should plan to bring: A Notepad or spiral bound notebook to write on and a couple of ballpoint pens.
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!
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.
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.
As explained in a previous article, we have been working on enhancing our Remote Control Ham Station system. The upgrades include additional remote client options, better remote networking via the Internet, and better integration with our microHAM system.
As part of the fall upgrade plans at our station, we have completed quite a few enhancements to the Remote Operating Gateway and associated client devices in our station. The upgrades include:
- An upgrade to FlexRadio SmartSDR V2 to add improved networking of a FlexRadio SDR radio over the Internet
- The addition of a FlexRadio Maestro Console to make it easier to operate our station remotely and to enable sending CW via paddles.
- A new, simpler VPN solution to allow remote control of antennas, amplifier, and accessories in our station
- Updated Laptop PC VPN and Remote Control Software to allow operation of our DXLab Logging Suite software with the Maestro in SSB Phone and CW modes
- The installation of the latest version of WSJT-X software to add JT9, JT65, FT8, MSK144, and WSPR digital modes to our remote setup
You can read more on our Stationproject Blog about our Remote Control Ham Station Enhancements.
We try to do some station upgrades in the fall of each year to maximize our operating fun during the winter months. We always welcome members who want to join in on our projects as a means to learn about station building. More to come as we make progress with our planned projects.
Special thanks to Dave, K1DLM who has helped us with ideas for several aspects of this project.
I’ve been practicing a lot of CW lately and had ordered a QRP guys iambic paddle from their website qrpguys.com awhile back. I went to the CW class on Saturday morning, which got me in the CW mood. After knocking some items off the honey-do list I was getting a little bored on Saturday night so I headed down to the shack and dug out the iambic key kit I had ordered.
I’ve never done any kit building or anything slightly engineer-y until joining the club. I don’t always understand why things work and building kits (even simple ones help me along). This kit didn’t look too hard, although it has a 4 out of 5-star difficulty rating on their website, so I jumped right in!
I made sure I started by sorting out all the parts in an orderly fashion. I learned this much from working countless hours after Christmas and birthdays on Star Wars lego kits that are made for children, but built by adults after the kids get frustrated 15 minutes after starting!
I then got to the fun part of soldering. This was different than what I’ve done in the past as I started with soldering all the mechanical parts together by applying a small amount of solder and then checking to make sure everything lined up before putting a lot of solder on. I enjoyed this as it was a large area to solder and it didn’t matter so much if my soldering skills aren’t very good! There were only a few electrical components to solder and that part was rather easy, even for my limited skills!
The toughest part of the whole build was assembling the paddles. You can see from the picture there are four nuts (and lock washers) that are to be assembled on the inside of the paddles with very limited space. Tweezers were an absolute necessity – and earplugs for any youth that may be hanging around. After many – and I do mean many – attempts of dropping and picking up nuts and washers I finally got the washers and nuts in place and fastened.
I was thrilled to have succeeded and ran out to the car, where my radio is hooked up at the moment and gave it a quick test run. Below is my not-so-professional video which shows my not-so-professional CW skills.
The paddles work well. The black pads do stick together a little when you push on both paddles at the same time, but I am very happy with my tiny QRP paddles! I am thinking of cutting slots in the sides and attaching a velcro band to attach to my leg to keep the paddle in place in the hopes that I could operate it with one hand. Let me know what you think or if you’ve built this kit before.