Learning Morse Code is not easy. Becoming proficient at it takes time, practice, determination, in short: work. And in my experience so far, getting on the air in live QSOs seems to be the surest way to improve skills. But often when I have some spare time for radio, it’s easier to go for digital modes or phone, and it didn’t take long before my modest CW skills are rusty.
So I invented a little challenge for myself that I’m calling Morse-tober. Feel free to join in if you like. Initially, I thought I would restrict myself exclusively to CW for the month of October. But let’s be honest: the most likely result of that is that I’d simply stay off the air. Instead, I thought I’d set the goal of completing at least one CW QSO for each phone or digital mode contact. (And I’m only counting HF work. I’m not counting 2m repeater chats.)
Today is 2 October, so I’m two days in, and already in the hole. Yesterday I flipped on the radio and heard the California QSO Party on 15m SSB. I really like 15m, so when it’s open, it’s hard to pass up. I rattled off eight contacts in about 20 minutes. I did manage one CW QSO on 30m immediately after. Today I thought I’d try to work off the remaining six. I made up a little ground with two this morning. I need four more to balance my ledger.
Happy Morse-tober to you and yours. Let me know if you decide to play along. I’m happy to help you bank a contact or two.