QCX future?


Braden Glett
 

Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Hans Summers
 

Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


jjpurdum
 

Braden:

I don't think it's a rhetorical question at all. I'm one of those old guys who's been licensed continually since 1954. I swore when I got my General I would NEVER use CW again. Yet, after I retired, I built a QRP kit and fell in love with CW again. I've tried to get new (young?) people interested in CW (March, 2016, QST), but it seems to be the same people who build and use the CW rigs. I've offered to teach a CW course and 85 percent of my club members say they want to learn CW. Yet, when I offer dates/times for the course, all of a sudden everyone needs to rearrange their sock drawer. If anyone has a way to move non-CW people off dead center, I'd really love to hear it.

BTW, I had a guy brag that he got his CW DXCC and he said he doesn't know any code other than S, T, O, and E. Should we give the award to him or the computer software?

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:33:28 AM EST, Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:


Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Bob Macklin <macklinbob@...>
 

Without the No-Code License ham radio would have died.
 
I learned CW in 1957. I was in the USAF. I learned it the military way.
 
I'm 85, You will find that as you age you will develop problems with both your hands and legs. I can't send a full CQ anymore. My call id K5MYJ. My typical CQ is "CQ CQ CQ DE K5M??"
 
These days i prefer digital modes. I first operated RTTY in the late 60's.
 
Bob Macklin
K5MYJ
Seattle, Wa.
"Real Radios Glow In The Dark"

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:33 AM
Subject: [QRPLabs] QCX future?

Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Randall Wood
 

Hey Braden,

I’m a super new ham and working on getting on the air with CW. So I’d like to be bold enough to say let’s move that number to 7 QSO’s. Hope to talk to you on the air soon!
Randy KE8JWB 


On Dec 18, 2018, at 9:44 AM, jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:

Braden:

I don't think it's a rhetorical question at all. I'm one of those old guys who's been licensed continually since 1954. I swore when I got my General I would NEVER use CW again. Yet, after I retired, I built a QRP kit and fell in love with CW again. I've tried to get new (young?) people interested in CW (March, 2016, QST), but it seems to be the same people who build and use the CW rigs. I've offered to teach a CW course and 85 percent of my club members say they want to learn CW. Yet, when I offer dates/times for the course, all of a sudden everyone needs to rearrange their sock drawer. If anyone has a way to move non-CW people off dead center, I'd really love to hear it.

BTW, I had a guy brag that he got his CW DXCC and he said he doesn't know any code other than S, T, O, and E. Should we give the award to him or the computer software?

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:33:28 AM EST, Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:


Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


jjpurdum
 

Hans:

I hear ya'. As you know, in my mind (Feb., 2018, CQ), you have produced the best QRP CW rig to come down the pike in...well, forever. A lot of other people agree, as evidenced by your sales of the QCX. Still, despite the wild success of the QCX, only 0.00208 of the ham population are using one. Why aren't more people using one? It sure can't be the price. I guess this is partly a good-news, bad-news story. Multiply that number by a factor of 1000x and you still have a fairly small percentage of the total. The good news (??) is that fewer CW operators means less QRM. The bad news is what Braden alluded to.

My gnashing of teeth on this topic solves nothing and I honestly do wish someone had a viable solution that, somehow, would convey the enjoyment that is derived from operating CW.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:39:55 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Hans Summers
 

Hi Jack

Yes, I know - that many QCX's is a small proportion of the overall ham population, still. But my point is this - only a small proportion of the ham population are CW operators. Within that, a small proportion are QRPers. Within that, a small proportion are kit builders. Even then, look at QCX, a mono-band CW-only QRP rig. It's a really small niche market. There have been other single-band CW transceiver kits before. Has any single-band CW transceiver kit ever sold 6,269 copies? If so, I bet it hasn't happened often. So it seems to indicate a healthy level of interest, even if it's a small proportion of the total ham population. 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:04 PM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hans:

I hear ya'. As you know, in my mind (Feb., 2018, CQ), you have produced the best QRP CW rig to come down the pike in...well, forever. A lot of other people agree, as evidenced by your sales of the QCX. Still, despite the wild success of the QCX, only 0.00208 of the ham population are using one. Why aren't more people using one? It sure can't be the price. I guess this is partly a good-news, bad-news story. Multiply that number by a factor of 1000x and you still have a fairly small percentage of the total. The good news (??) is that fewer CW operators means less QRM. The bad news is what Braden alluded to.

My gnashing of teeth on this topic solves nothing and I honestly do wish someone had a viable solution that, somehow, would convey the enjoyment that is derived from operating CW.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:39:55 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


D. Daniel McGlothin KB3MUN
 

I'm your age, I'll share several recent experiences:

a. CW has always (at least for the last decade or so I've been a ham) been a strong youth draw at our field day events.

b. I know 2 young ladies (age less than 15 years) that are both CW operators; one prefers SSB though.

c. I know 2 young boys (scouts) who is less than 24 hours learned CW to achieve a 4.9 WPM transmit and receive when striving for a Morse Code Interpreter stripe for their uniform.

All of these mentioned seem to be normal well-adjusted youth, not even particularity nerds (or whatever the current slang is).

For myself, CW remains on my list of ham things to do, right up there with "get to a Dayton hamvention" sometime. ;)

Daniel KB3MUN

On 12/18/2018 09:33, Braden Glett wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op?
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Peter GM0EUL
 

Hi
I'm a member of CWops and a CW Academy advisor, we're seeing a lot of people coming through the CWA and a resurgence of enthusiasm for CW.  There are waiting lists for places and we even have a youth academy now organised by Rob, K6RB.  In spite of no-code licenses and various digital modes I think that for a lot of people HF CW still epitomises ham radio.  I suspect it will remain relevant for a long time to come.

I'm also a new member of this forum so hello everybody.  I have just ordered my first 40m QCX, hoping it arrives before Christmas!

73, 
Peter, GM0EUL
 


jjpurdum
 

Hi Hans:

I'm not disagreeing with you at all, nor am I down-playing the success of the QCX...indeed, I said just the opposite. What I really want, however, is for someone to tell me how we get others to invest the effort in learning and using CW. Daniel's post about young people learning CW is great and perhaps coattailing the Merit Badge is one avenue to pursue. The digital modes don't seem to be the answer I'm looking for, since it does little to augment interest in CW. SSB rules and it's where most hams sit in the spectrum. Your wave of sales of the QCX are impressive, but I think you're going to see a tsunami when the QSX is released. You think the Turkish postal authorities were curious before...

We all realize where the bulk of the market is...you wouldn't have spent the time and effort on the QSX if you weren't aware of the potential and I think all of us out here hope it's twice as successful as you expect. Still, I do want to expand the non-CW hams' horizon so they, too, can enjoy it. I just don't know how...

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 10:15:16 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Jack

Yes, I know - that many QCX's is a small proportion of the overall ham population, still. But my point is this - only a small proportion of the ham population are CW operators. Within that, a small proportion are QRPers. Within that, a small proportion are kit builders. Even then, look at QCX, a mono-band CW-only QRP rig. It's a really small niche market. There have been other single-band CW transceiver kits before. Has any single-band CW transceiver kit ever sold 6,269 copies? If so, I bet it hasn't happened often. So it seems to indicate a healthy level of interest, even if it's a small proportion of the total ham population. 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:04 PM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hans:

I hear ya'. As you know, in my mind (Feb., 2018, CQ), you have produced the best QRP CW rig to come down the pike in...well, forever. A lot of other people agree, as evidenced by your sales of the QCX. Still, despite the wild success of the QCX, only 0.00208 of the ham population are using one. Why aren't more people using one? It sure can't be the price. I guess this is partly a good-news, bad-news story. Multiply that number by a factor of 1000x and you still have a fairly small percentage of the total. The good news (??) is that fewer CW operators means less QRM. The bad news is what Braden alluded to.

My gnashing of teeth on this topic solves nothing and I honestly do wish someone had a viable solution that, somehow, would convey the enjoyment that is derived from operating CW.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:39:55 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


jjpurdum
 

Hi Peter:

One of my club members is currently taking your course and absolutely loves it! In fact, he is giving a presentation to our club in February telling us about the experience. Obviously, I hope his enthusiasm spreads!

Jack, W8TEE


On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 10:35:17 AM EST, Peter GM0EUL <gm0eul@...> wrote:


Hi
I'm a member of CWops and a CW Academy advisor, we're seeing a lot of people coming through the CWA and a resurgence of enthusiasm for CW.  There are waiting lists for places and we even have a youth academy now organised by Rob, K6RB.  In spite of no-code licenses and various digital modes I think that for a lot of people HF CW still epitomises ham radio.  I suspect it will remain relevant for a long time to come.

I'm also a new member of this forum so hello everybody.  I have just ordered my first 40m QCX, hoping it arrives before Christmas!

73, 
Peter, GM0EUL
 


Michael N6MST
 

I'm starting CW Academy Level 2 in a couple weeks. Level 1 was great. I am halfway through building a 20 meter QCX although I already own a IC-7300 and a KX2. I also have an OHR 100A to build for 30 meters, as well as a Wilderness Norcal 40A AND my qrp-tech 40A boards to build. The other box of parts I have had since March of 2016 contains an eBay Forty-9er, an Arduino Nano, a red DDS VFO board, and some other parts. I swear it will get built someday, Jack! There is also a thread on eHam by W7QQQ about a single tube transmitter that I want to try, not QRP, but still, real homebrew.

I'm 37. And I think there are a lot of folks like me out there.

Michael N6MST


dave.n8cm@...
 

Hey there,

New to the group, I've been licensed since 1988, when CW as required for the novice license. I learned enough to pass and put CW on the back burner after that. Fast forward 30 years and now I am regretting that decision, and at 57 trying to relearn CW, to say the least been a large hurdle to get over. I signed up for the next CWA starting in a few weeks and looking forward to it very much.  

I follow a few people on Twitter who are my age, some younger or older, but CW is their main mode of communication.  One gentleman is a big fan of SOTA operators, another use CW to communicate with family members in other countries.  A few were like me, put CW on the shelf for a long while only to want to relearn it now.  

Someone mentioned he was willing to host CW classes for his club, but when time came to schedule the class, he got no participation.  I'm finding if its not something that can bring instant gratification to some, they want nothing to do with it.  

Presenting CW to new comers is troublesome, I think it needs to be presented in such a way that it makes it exciting, and not just another way to communicate with others.  Explain what SOTA is, have a day trying to snag DX or a rare DXEpedition.  Take a group out to a field and setup a small station and chase QSO's in the field, or activate a summit. There are lots of ways of putting CW in a different light to others.   It's just finding those willing to put forth the effort.

That's my 2 cents.

73
Dave N8CM





On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 10:20 AM D. Daniel McGlothin KB3MUN <kb3mun@...> wrote:
I'm your age, I'll share several recent experiences:

a. CW has always (at least for the last decade or so I've been a ham)
been a strong youth draw at our field day events.

b. I know 2 young ladies (age less than 15 years) that are both CW
operators; one prefers SSB though.

c. I know 2 young boys (scouts) who is less than 24 hours learned CW to
achieve a 4.9 WPM transmit and receive when striving for a Morse Code
Interpreter stripe for their uniform.

All of these mentioned seem to be normal well-adjusted youth, not even
particularity nerds (or whatever the current slang is).

For myself, CW remains on my list of ham things to do, right up there
with "get to a Dayton hamvention" sometime. ;)

Daniel KB3MUN

On 12/18/2018 09:33, Braden Glett wrote:
> Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't
> help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and
> I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in
> their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
> I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the
> same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking.
> So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field
> Day, or the occasional SOTA op?
> Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses"
> powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
> Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject
> much appreciated!




Jess Gypin <ontarget1911@...>
 

With CW keyboards and decoders, for brief contacts it it just one more “digital” mode. The original 1’s and 0’s. 

Jess AE0CW<————

On Dec 18, 2018, at 7:44 AM, jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:

Braden:

I don't think it's a rhetorical question at all. I'm one of those old guys who's been licensed continually since 1954. I swore when I got my General I would NEVER use CW again. Yet, after I retired, I built a QRP kit and fell in love with CW again. I've tried to get new (young?) people interested in CW (March, 2016, QST), but it seems to be the same people who build and use the CW rigs. I've offered to teach a CW course and 85 percent of my club members say they want to learn CW. Yet, when I offer dates/times for the course, all of a sudden everyone needs to rearrange their sock drawer. If anyone has a way to move non-CW people off dead center, I'd really love to hear it.

BTW, I had a guy brag that he got his CW DXCC and he said he doesn't know any code other than S, T, O, and E. Should we give the award to him or the computer software?

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:33:28 AM EST, Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:


Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Pedro Henrique Kopper
 

My two cents

I'm a recently licensed 18 years old ham. I discovered this hobby through the hacker community and have never participated in a club. 

The QCX is my first rig and I loved building and operating it. There are few things as good as spending hours assembling a kit and watching it spring to life in the end.

One of the things that made me choose the QCX as my first rig was its hackability. Although the firmware is closed source, the hardware is not and this has enabled me to understand what's going on and modify the radio to my linking.

I believe ham radio is becoming less about communicating and more about experimenting. The internet is already reliable enough for most uses and civil defense units already have their own infrastructure. The fun for me is in building my own equipment and developing new stuff. Hopefully the QCX will allow me to achieve my goals.

Best regards,
Pedro 

On Tue, 18 Dec 2018 at 13:48 jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Peter:

One of my club members is currently taking your course and absolutely loves it! In fact, he is giving a presentation to our club in February telling us about the experience. Obviously, I hope his enthusiasm spreads!

Jack, W8TEE


On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 10:35:17 AM EST, Peter GM0EUL <gm0eul@...> wrote:


Hi
I'm a member of CWops and a CW Academy advisor, we're seeing a lot of people coming through the CWA and a resurgence of enthusiasm for CW.  There are waiting lists for places and we even have a youth academy now organised by Rob, K6RB.  In spite of no-code licenses and various digital modes I think that for a lot of people HF CW still epitomises ham radio.  I suspect it will remain relevant for a long time to come.

I'm also a new member of this forum so hello everybody.  I have just ordered my first 40m QCX, hoping it arrives before Christmas!

73, 
Peter, GM0EUL
 

--
Att Pedro H. Kopper


V Zecchinelli <n1vin@...>
 

Hans and Jack,

I am a new ham, only 5 years licensed.  And 70 years of age.  I would love to learn CW again (learned in Scouts back in the 1950's) and I am sure there are many others out there struggling as well.  I have tried Gordon West CDs and the Zilak Method CDs.  There has to be a better way.  Once these guys get going I can't even tell the difference between dits and dahs.  I have even tried my own method of assigning a different letter to learn every day.  If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears.

73 Vince  N1VIN


On 12/18/2018 10:37 AM, jjpurdum via Groups.Io wrote:
Hi Hans:

I'm not disagreeing with you at all, nor am I down-playing the success of the QCX...indeed, I said just the opposite. What I really want, however, is for someone to tell me how we get others to invest the effort in learning and using CW. Daniel's post about young people learning CW is great and perhaps coattailing the Merit Badge is one avenue to pursue. The digital modes don't seem to be the answer I'm looking for, since it does little to augment interest in CW. SSB rules and it's where most hams sit in the spectrum. Your wave of sales of the QCX are impressive, but I think you're going to see a tsunami when the QSX is released. You think the Turkish postal authorities were curious before...

We all realize where the bulk of the market is...you wouldn't have spent the time and effort on the QSX if you weren't aware of the potential and I think all of us out here hope it's twice as successful as you expect. Still, I do want to expand the non-CW hams' horizon so they, too, can enjoy it. I just don't know how...

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 10:15:16 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Jack

Yes, I know - that many QCX's is a small proportion of the overall ham population, still. But my point is this - only a small proportion of the ham population are CW operators. Within that, a small proportion are QRPers. Within that, a small proportion are kit builders. Even then, look at QCX, a mono-band CW-only QRP rig. It's a really small niche market. There have been other single-band CW transceiver kits before. Has any single-band CW transceiver kit ever sold 6,269 copies? If so, I bet it hasn't happened often. So it seems to indicate a healthy level of interest, even if it's a small proportion of the total ham population. 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:04 PM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hans:

I hear ya'. As you know, in my mind (Feb., 2018, CQ), you have produced the best QRP CW rig to come down the pike in...well, forever. A lot of other people agree, as evidenced by your sales of the QCX. Still, despite the wild success of the QCX, only 0.00208 of the ham population are using one. Why aren't more people using one? It sure can't be the price. I guess this is partly a good-news, bad-news story. Multiply that number by a factor of 1000x and you still have a fairly small percentage of the total. The good news (??) is that fewer CW operators means less QRM. The bad news is what Braden alluded to.

My gnashing of teeth on this topic solves nothing and I honestly do wish someone had a viable solution that, somehow, would convey the enjoyment that is derived from operating CW.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:39:55 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!


Jess Gypin <ontarget1911@...>
 

And good point. It could be part of the popular “old is new” movement. People are paying $50000 for a refurbed 60’s and 70’s travel trailers. And I have met no cw people love old mechanical bugs.

On Dec 18, 2018, at 8:31 AM, Peter GM0EUL <gm0eul@...> wrote:

Hi
I'm a member of CWops and a CW Academy advisor, we're seeing a lot of people coming through the CWA and a resurgence of enthusiasm for CW.  There are waiting lists for places and we even have a youth academy now organised by Rob, K6RB.  In spite of no-code licenses and various digital modes I think that for a lot of people HF CW still epitomises ham radio.  I suspect it will remain relevant for a long time to come.

I'm also a new member of this forum so hello everybody.  I have just ordered my first 40m QCX, hoping it arrives before Christmas!

73, 
Peter, GM0EUL
 


jjpurdum
 

Michael:

Glad to hear this! I just sold my Forty-9er:


as I'm running out of room for all my QRP rigs. The "red DDS VFO board" could well be the same one that's in my Forty-9er. Right now, I have 5 QRP kits waiting to be built, which I hope to get to this winter when JackAl is put to bed. I just hope I have enough time to use every one of them. (I have shoes older than you.)

Jack, W8TEE



On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 11:04:55 AM EST, Michael Thompson via Groups.Io <mst72481@...> wrote:


I'm starting CW Academy Level 2 in a couple weeks. Level 1 was great. I am halfway through building a 20 meter QCX although I already own a IC-7300 and a KX2. I also have an OHR 100A to build for 30 meters, as well as a Wilderness Norcal 40A AND my qrp-tech 40A boards to build. The other box of parts I have had since March of 2016 contains an eBay Forty-9er, an Arduino Nano, a red DDS VFO board, and some other parts. I swear it will get built someday, Jack! There is also a thread on eHam by W7QQQ about a single tube transmitter that I want to try, not QRP, but still, real homebrew.

I'm 37. And I think there are a lot of folks like me out there.

Michael N6MST


Michael N6MST
 

Jack,
It's the kit from Farrukh, I'm still holding onto the 3/2016 QST as well. I actually saw the article online before the print edition got mailed and I beat the rush on ordering the VFO kit. As my daughter was born 11/2015 it seems as I've had no time to play much, but as the kids get older and more independent I am finding more hours in the day for radio. Who knows, maybe I can get all these radios built by the time they head off to college. Then I might have time to dive into your book that has barely been cracked since I bought it last year :)

Michael N6MST


jjpurdum
 

Hi Vince:

Good for you! As I said earlier, I swore I would never use Morse again after I got my General, but here I am 63 years later really enjoying it. Have you tried Just Learn Morse Code? It's a program that you can download:



I like it because it has a "smarter" way to learn (or improve) Morse code. You need to read the instructions to learn all of its features, but the one I like most is that you can set the "target" and "sending" speeds separately. For example, I want to get to 35wpm. Suppose I don't know code at all. There are lessons that start at that point. However, I can set the sending speed to 2wpm but set the target speed for 35wpm. Doing this causes each letter to be sent at the target speed (e.g., 35wpm), but the spacing between letters is at 2 wpm. What I like about this approach is you get away from the "counting" dits and dahs and move to the rhythm of the characters. Eventually, the rhythm of words becomes evident. (Is there a more rhythmic sequence than "best" or "been"?) All of this is trying to move you away from "paper" copy to just closing your eyes and listening to the QSO unfold. The president of my club used to be able to copy 45wpm and feels badly because he's "dropped" to only 35-40wpm. Really?

The key to all of this is practice and the key to practice is enjoying the practice.The old adage "Practice makes perfect" is sometimes amended to "Only perfect practice makes perfect". True, but with CW, any kind of practice really helps and I think the program above can be very helpful in getting that practice.

Jack, W8TEE



On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 11:18:19 AM EST, V Zecchinelli <n1vin@...> wrote:


Hans and Jack,

I am a new ham, only 5 years licensed.  And 70 years of age.  I would love to learn CW again (learned in Scouts back in the 1950's) and I am sure there are many others out there struggling as well.  I have tried Gordon West CDs and the Zilak Method CDs.  There has to be a better way.  Once these guys get going I can't even tell the difference between dits and dahs.  I have even tried my own method of assigning a different letter to learn every day.  If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears.

73 Vince  N1VIN


On 12/18/2018 10:37 AM, jjpurdum via Groups.Io wrote:
Hi Hans:

I'm not disagreeing with you at all, nor am I down-playing the success of the QCX...indeed, I said just the opposite. What I really want, however, is for someone to tell me how we get others to invest the effort in learning and using CW. Daniel's post about young people learning CW is great and perhaps coattailing the Merit Badge is one avenue to pursue. The digital modes don't seem to be the answer I'm looking for, since it does little to augment interest in CW. SSB rules and it's where most hams sit in the spectrum. Your wave of sales of the QCX are impressive, but I think you're going to see a tsunami when the QSX is released. You think the Turkish postal authorities were curious before...

We all realize where the bulk of the market is...you wouldn't have spent the time and effort on the QSX if you weren't aware of the potential and I think all of us out here hope it's twice as successful as you expect. Still, I do want to expand the non-CW hams' horizon so they, too, can enjoy it. I just don't know how...

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 10:15:16 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Jack

Yes, I know - that many QCX's is a small proportion of the overall ham population, still. But my point is this - only a small proportion of the ham population are CW operators. Within that, a small proportion are QRPers. Within that, a small proportion are kit builders. Even then, look at QCX, a mono-band CW-only QRP rig. It's a really small niche market. There have been other single-band CW transceiver kits before. Has any single-band CW transceiver kit ever sold 6,269 copies? If so, I bet it hasn't happened often. So it seems to indicate a healthy level of interest, even if it's a small proportion of the total ham population. 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:04 PM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hans:

I hear ya'. As you know, in my mind (Feb., 2018, CQ), you have produced the best QRP CW rig to come down the pike in...well, forever. A lot of other people agree, as evidenced by your sales of the QCX. Still, despite the wild success of the QCX, only 0.00208 of the ham population are using one. Why aren't more people using one? It sure can't be the price. I guess this is partly a good-news, bad-news story. Multiply that number by a factor of 1000x and you still have a fairly small percentage of the total. The good news (??) is that fewer CW operators means less QRM. The bad news is what Braden alluded to.

My gnashing of teeth on this topic solves nothing and I honestly do wish someone had a viable solution that, somehow, would convey the enjoyment that is derived from operating CW.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:39:55 AM EST, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Braden

Given that QRP Labs has shipped 6,269 QCX kits in the last 16 months since launch (21-Aug-2017), I would say that indicates there is still quite a healthy interest in CW. Or perhaps even a resurgent interest. 

Furthermore - people have been saying that ham radio is dying out, for decades. As well as CW dying out. But neither have come true. I got my first license (G0UPL) aged 23 in 1994. I know 1994 is nothing, compared to some of the people here. But even then, everyone was saying "CW is dead", "all amateurs have grey or white hair and it's dying out". In any historic ham magazine you can read for the last 50 years or more, you can find the occasional concerned editorials about the aging ham population. Doom and gloom. Hasn't happened... 

Anyway even if it does... I'll be one of those 6 for you to QSO with Ok? 

73 Hans G0UPL

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 5:33 PM Braden Glett <bradenglett@...> wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but as I work CW using the QCX or other rig, I can't help but notice that nearly everyone I QSO with is older than I am, and I'm no spring chicken (59). Most are in their 70s and a fair number in their 80s, a few are in their 60s still.
I'm really wondering if in a few years I'm going to have to QSO with the same 6 people over and over again, assuming I'm still alive and kicking. So will a CW-only rig even be relevant except in a contest or on Field Day, or the occasional SOTA op? 
Please, none of the "they never should have given out no-code licenses" powerless griping - that ship has sailed and it's not coming back to port.
Rhetorical question. Any original or encouraging thoughts on the subject much appreciated!