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CW on the satellites





Hello Jim and other CW addicts,

I too, have been a CW junkie all of my ham radio years.  I was first
licensed in June of 1960.  I can't claim being a total CW operator but
that is certainly my operating mode of choice.  I did a quick scan of my
last five log pages.  (I keep a hard copy but I also enter my QSOs into
log-EQF so I have a double logging system.)  I found only 10 fone
contacts out of about 125 total Qs.  When we had AO-40 up and running
quite well I gave up on HF and devoted all my efforts to chasing DX on
that bird.  I did actually make nearly 1000 Qs but I will sadly admit
that about 90% of them were on fone.  It's not that I wanted to work fone
but there was very, very little everyday CW operation on the bird. 
Several expeditions made good use of their time by operating both CW and
SSB.  Since I was chasing hard for satellite DXCC I worked whatever DX I
could hear on whatever mode they were using.  My first satellite QSOs
were via RS-12 and they were on CW!  My first QSOs on AO-10 and AO-13
were also on CW.  (Wish I could have been interested in the birds when 13
was in it's prime.) I too, operate , just for the fun of it, in some DX
contests but generally have much more fun doing the CW versions.  I often
wonder if those high speed contesters I work can really copy as fast as
they send.  I can because I still log on paper first and then e-log
later.  I too, work Field Day whenever possible but make the stipulation
that I get to do the CW operating.  No one has ever challenged me for
that.   
Jim, I too am 70 years old and I'm seriously wondering if I'll live long
enough to see another HEO bird in orbit.  At the current rate of putting
such birds into orbit the chances of my living long enough to chase DX on
a satellite again seem, as the saying goes, slim and none!!  I love
chasing DX but the challenge of doing it via ordinary HF is certainly
less satisfying than working Cocos Keeling Island with less than five
degrees of elevation at both ends and doing so through a hole in an Elm
tree across the street from my satellite antennas.
BTW, I need only North Korea to have them all on HF but I have only about
120 worked via satellite so the challenge remains for me via satellite
but without an HEO bird it's only a vague dream.  
I favor, at the moment, 30 meters only because there is no fone allowed
on this band.  I hear quite a few 'struggling" CW operators there but I
have to give them due credit for trying.  I don't currently operate 40
meters but I too have often called CQ on 30 without any answer
whatsoever.
Interest in CW is waning and doing so at a fast pace.  Jim, let me know
if you'd like a sked for a CW QSO.  Seems we have much in common.  Please
promise not to send faster than 25/30 WPM.  That's OK in a contest or for
a DXpedition but 20 WPM makes for a much more enjoyable rag chew!!  
Long live CW both on HF and satellite but us old "die hards" can't
continue for much longer.  Admittedly, we need help.  Right, Jim?
73 to all.  Frank, KØBLT
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