If you have been reading this blog you surly know how much I believe in CW. When the CW requirement to get a ham license was removed I really thought it was a mistake. Looking back on what has happened sense the change I have changed my mind. When those who wanted to get their Amateur license operators were forced to learn CW to get their license they did not want to use it once they passed the test. Now hams are learning CW because they want to and listening to the ham bands I really believe more hams are using Morse code today then before.

There are still some hams who do not want to learn Morse code and that’s fine but when I hear them say there is no value to CW today then my feathers get ruffled.

Today I experienced a situation where the value of knowing CW was evidenced.

The 40 meter conditions were not great this morning when the California Rescue Communications Net was on. Some stations were having difficulty checking in and needed to be relayed to check into the net. While trying to hear stations through the foreign broadcast noise and QRN I heard a CW station and was able to copy his call and relay him into the net.

The station was apparently not able to be heard using LSB but he was able to be heard using CW. If there had not been an operator in the net who was able to copy CW then his signal would have fallen on deaf ears.

Okay, you might say, it is just a daily net and it is no big deal if a station is unable to check in just one day. I would agree with that but this is an emergency operation net and what if this had been a real emergency operation? That would change the value of each station wanting to be heard.  Is it not possible that there could have been other station operators that did not know CW who could have checked in if they had known CW?

I am a firm subscriber to the motto of ZUT (An organization composed of former Coast Guard Radiomen), “CW Forever.” (

Key actually used on Coast Guard Cutter McLane

Key actually used on Coast Guard Cutter McLane


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