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CW on the satellites

K8KFJ wrote that he disagreed with my statement that there is not a great deal of interest in CW on the HF bands. 

I had my first CW  QSO  56 years ago last week on Oct 9th (1952). My log shows 99 % of my activity is CW until I got back on the satellites. My perspective and observation is a long one when measured in time. I do not know how many QSOs I have had over the years but it certainly exceeds 100,000. I have had 40,000 using my call in the last 20 years based upon my logs. I used to call CQ on Forty Meter CW and get answers within a minute or two. Now I call for 10 minutes or more and get no answers. Oh YES, you are correct Garie (K8KFJ), there are Contests on the weekends on CW. I have held contest records myself and participated in DX contests from both sides of the pile up (on CW of course). Once in awhile I ask one of the contestants a question at the same speed they are using. They struggle or ignore the question. Using a computer to send CQ and a call on CW and to log the station is not CW activity in my opinion. That type of operating is the usual manner in CW contests these days. My comment referred to carrying on a conversation (having a QSO not a contest contact). CW contests on weekends really are no substitute for a CW QSO. 

Garie, I am currently a member of a CW group ( for 38 years) . I have been a member of other CW groups too. I stand by my statement that there is little interest in CW on HF. Years ago when I reached 50 (I am now 70) I started to record the age of the guy on the other end of the QSO in my log. I usually give my age and there is a response in kind. I have continued that habit of recording the age in my paper log (now kept in thick binders). Most of the time (even now) the other person's age is usually more than mine and I am 70. That is some hard evidence in the apathy towards CW.The FCC further maligned the art of CW when they dispensed with even a paucity of CW skill for obtaining a license. 

The ARRL in their annual Field Day activity ( the most popular operating event by their own claim ) had to go to the position of giving twice the amount of points for a CW contact during Field Day.

My experience has been the increased absence of CW QSOs; the inability of those that do operate to use a paddle and converse rather than relying upon a computer ; the FCC's dumbing down of the standards for obtaining a license and finally the ARRL's catalyst of doubling the points for a CW contact during Field Day. In the aggregate, in my opinion, that is pretty good evidence of the lack of interest in the art of CW. Just my two cents. Some may disagree. 

Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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