Welcome to DL1CQ´s CW Page

You´ve noticed it ??? Yes, that´s the big news !!! My new call is DL1CQ now !!! New legislation here in Germany has finally made it possible to apply for another call, provided it is free. I´ve done just that... ;-) So, the old DL4OBN is obsolete as of 19 April 2001.

Yep, that´s me...My name is Thomas, I´m 38 years old and I´m a radioham. Here you see me with two of my BAs or "boatanchors". They´re called boatanchors because they could sure serve as such - being quite heavy at times. These old radios are great fun to operate and a lot easier to take care off than todays modern stuff, receivers and transmitters alike. These days one probably needs a degree in computer science to understand what´s going on in your rig. But then, I´m not a very technical person, so I´ll leave the final judgement on these matters to others... ;-)

Anyway, this page is not supposed to be about boatanchors. Rather, I´d like to get you interested in the use of CW - or Morse telegraphy - on the hambands. Now that Morse is being phased out just about everywhere else, it´s up to us hams to assure it´s survival - and possibly even attract new people to it, thus creating the next generation of Morse enthusiasts !!! To me, radio has always been synonymous with Morse code. There´s nothing greater than the simple beauty of well-sent Morse...

"Hmmm, Morse telegraphy..." you may think, and "Isn´t that a completely outdated mode of communication...???" Well, let me tell you - it´s not !!! Even though it´s one of the oldest ways of communicating by radio, it still is the most reliable mode there is. But, it requires an effort to learn it !!! That means sitting down, preferably with a teacher, and get going. Some just have a natural ability, and have the code down in no time. Others, and that´s probably most of us, have to learn it the hard way - spending hours and hours of learning, frustration and sweat until we finally have our first success, being able to copy an ongoing CW conversation on some frequency or other. And what a success that is, all of a sudden being able to make sense out of these dots and dashes.

Well, "OK then" you may say, "But what makes CW so special ???" Tell you what, it´s the ability to make yourself heard and understood even in very noisy conditions. Very often the HF bands are more noise than anything else and a voice has a very difficult time getting over the din. Unless you´ve spent a lot of money on power amplifiers, huge antennas and stuff, you´ll find it difficult to make yourself heard. A simple whistling tone however has a much bigger chance to be heard. It´s no accident that the prefered mode of QRP´ers (low power enthusiasts) is CW. Hey, I´ve tried some of that myself for a while and worked R1AND in Antarctica one very early August morning on 40 meters with 3 watts !!!

In a recent FISTS newsletter (read about FISTS on the next page) a member has put it very nicely. Hope he doesn´t mind being quoted here:

"When people at work ask me why I use CW, I take them into the workshop and tell them to listen. There is a foreman called Mick who is an incessant whistler. The noise and general hubbub is quite loud. Cranes are moving, saws are sawing, shafts are being balanced and hammers are hammering. ´What do you hear ?´ I ask. ´A lot of noise´ they reply. I point at a fitter and ask ´What is he talking about ?´ They reply ´I don´t know - I cannot hear him for the noise´. ´What tune is Mick whistling ?´ I ask. ´The Dambusters March´ they reply. I smile and simply say ´I rest my case´... Got it ??? ;-)

You don´t mind a little work in order to learn a great skill ??? OK, why don´t you get started right away... It´s easier than you think.