CW Opportunties for Fun

I friend of mine recently tested for the Technician-class Amateur Radio license and passed without trouble.  Not that this is surprising given his history in the communications world (fricken helium atom, Sir). What I find neat is his style of operating as a newly licensed ham.  I remember when I received my Technician license all I wanted to do was talk on the local repeaters and meet people that were around town.  This guy I *think* owns an HT but has been sucked down to the bowls of 40 meters ever since receiving his ticket.  The Novice portion of the band never looked better to him.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to meet him up on the air.  It's not for him trying, however.  He noted in a recent message that he is QRV beginning when he walks in the door from work and then again for a couple of hours starting at 8PM.  I, on the other hand, am usually pulling myself out of the office/radio room during those times.  I do plan, however, to make a sched for later this week.

In the mean time I thought I'd send him a couple of resources that he might find useful.  And if he might find it useful then I'm sure others might as well so I'll just post here.

Clubs and Organizations

  • Straight Key Century Club - When I met W8DEA on the radio back in December of 2010 he pointed me to this group.  Free to join and participate, this club encourages folks to get on the air and have fun (using a straight or other manually operated key).  I highly recommend not only joining the group but participating with the group.
  • The International Morse Preservation Society - Also known as FISTS is one of the older groups of Morse enthusiasts that have a presence around the world.  Similar to SKCC, they have contests and other activities getting people on the air using their skills.

Local Nets

  • Carolinas Slow Net - Meeting every night at 8PM (ET) on 3571 kHz, this net is great for those just getting into CW and needing a little help finding their feet.  This net is also a NTS-affiliated net and traffic is passed.
  • Carolinas Net - Early - Meeting every night at 7PM (ET) on 3573 kHz, this net facilitates traffic flowing from North Carolina and South Carolina to the 4RN net.  This net is advertised as running 20 to 22 WPM.
  • Carolinas Net - Late - This net is a partner to the Carolinas Net - Early.  The Late net meets to distribute traffic coming from the EAN and 4RN nets.  The Late net meets at 10PM (ET) on 3573 kHz.
  • Virginia Net Early (VNE) - This net meets at 7PM (ET) on 3578.5 kHz to pass traffic throughout Virginia and to the 4RN net.

Other neat stuff

  • Maritime Radio Historical Society - I'd be holding back if I didn't give some credit to one of the groups that really spurred me on to working on my fist.  The guys (and gals) at KPH/KSM/K6KPH really know how to excite the atmosphere and my receiver.

This is a short list of items I'd pass to a new ham who is hot on the key.  I, for one, will be guarding 7114kHz when I'm in the shack and not on a net working traffic.  Remember to throw your callsign out every so often so that others will know you are there.  If anyone knows of any other good resources please leave a comment and I may just include them.