Morse Code: Copying CW by Ear

Last night – and this morning, 160M sounds great. I listened to a propagation report in the W1AW Bulletin by ear, and am starting to get a lot better copying CW by ear. I’m starting to “listen ahead”, which helps me hear full words rather than single letters – which is the case when I copy using pen and paper.

I always did well on my CW tests at the FCC office, when I failed the written General class exam twice in NYC on Varick Street in 1975, and then passed it that same year in Seattle while on a West Coast vacation (I guess my Father was actually on a job interview with Lockheed but did not decide to make the big move until 1979). And yes, I sat for the test with Finkelstein!

So, listening to the W1AW Bulletin nightly now – when there is nothing for me to work gives me purpose to stay in the shack. It just clicked (bad pun intended) on how I should listen to the code. Anticipate the word being completed is the trick, and also know where you are in a full sentence. Its a “stretching out of the brain” so to speak.

CW is the coolest. I seriously doubt I would have gotten back into the hobby without CW – its a timeless skill, and I feel like its a very unique skill that is steeped in “living history”.

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