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September 4th, 2008

CW on 20 meters

My CW is improving thanks to regularly scheduled evening meetings on 14.053 MHz.

It definitely feels easier to do and apparently it sounds better, too. I went for a little while tonight without making any mistakes, and those that I did make, I corrected more cleanly. But towards the end as I got kind of drowsy, I missed something important that I was trying to copy and got a bit flustered. I don't send or receive code well at all when I am nervous. I kind of freeze up - looking at my copied notes, then at the key, then at the notes... But as long as I am sitting back enjoying myself, it comes just fine, HI (laugh).

CW is really very enjoyable. All that time I spent studying and practicing the code was worth it. I guess I can now honestly call myself a CW operator :) I'm just a beginner, but I am working CW! I had no idea it would go this well. I've only been on the air four times, but I think I am doing much better than I was on Sunday.

It also helps to run the CW filter and adjust some of the receiver settings. I got the Collins filter on Tuesday and installed it myself. That's quite a feat considering how tiny and fragile the inside of the radio is. You should see the schematic diagrams... They are fold-out pages that are the size of posters and the symbols are so tiny you can hardly see them. Really, though, all I had to do was pop the filter down into place on the circuit board much the same way as one would insert additional RAM into a computer. It was just a whole lot smaller than a RAM stick for a computer.

I love my little Yaesu rig.

I'm starting to get the hang of the menu, but I don't have it down quite yet... Earlier today I went to activate the filter but I was in the wrong menu and accidentally told the internal keyer to activate instead. The radio beeped at me till I hit the button to stop! They external keyer was already connected and running - lol, whoops. Guess I will get the hang of all the bells and whistles with a little more time and patience.

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