How fast is your CW?

N2EST cartoon for Gordon West Extra class study guideHere’s another cartoon I drew for Gordon West’s latest Extra-class license guide, shared for the CW enthusiasts among us.

Maybe 10 percent of my QSOs are CW these days (the rest are PSK31), and I can cruise along at up to 20 wpm as long as copy is good and I don’t have to write everything down. (Tip: You can speed up your CW if you read more in your head and learn to listen as if it were just another person talking.)

I thought I was fast — and compared to a lot of licensees, I suppose I am — but realized just how slow I really was when I worked Field Day with the CW old timers at the Alford Memorial Radio Club. Those guys copy 35-wpm-plus like it was nothing. I tried to help log and was left in the dust every time.

My goal for next year: Work enough CW that I can keep up with the Old Timers. What’s yours?

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YL power!

AB4YL ham radio cartoon QSL by N2ESTAllison, AB4YL, has just about the coolest call ever for a YL. She’s also a friend; my wife Gail, N2ART, and I know her through our home club, the Alford Memorial Radio Club in Stone Mountain, Ga. That’s also where Allison serves as secretary. Being asked to create her QSL was an honor.

The QSL cartoon had to have three things in it: Allison (natch); her olive-green Jeep Wrangler; and her beloved dog, Matsi. I hope I did all three justice. The back of her card has two logos: Alford’s, and the logo of the Young Ladies Radio League. If you’re a YL and don’t yet belong, check it out.

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