Slow Code…Sometimes It Is Important

This from Brian KB9BVN via the mailing list:

This afternoon I have been sitting at my desk doing book work for a couple of classes I am taking, so I fired up the K2 and turned it to my favorite 40m frequency and heard nothing…so I left it there while I was working. About a half hour ago I heard a very slow CQ come across a couple of times, at first I thought nothing of it, but on the third try I decided this op really needed to have a QSO, so I answered him turned down to about 13 WPM.

Turns out he lives about 5 miles from me (the band was VERY short) , he’s 64 years old, and has been battling brain cancer. He’s using a borrowed K1 and he’s struggling a bit with the code but he’s definitely workable. We had just short of a 30 minute conversation, and he told me he wasn’t used to QSOing for that long, and needed to QRT. He’s an Extra class amateur, and has enjoyed CW for a long time.

So if you hear N9SM out there, consider slowing down and give him a call.

73 de KB9BVN


  1. Slow Down? Maybe he would like to help some of the new hams and giving them code practice. If we’re going to try to encourage folks to learn morse code, then we need to have folks out there doing code at less then 30 or 40 wpm. The new guys (and gals) can’t quite copy it yet. Take it from one who’s trying to listen to the bands for practice. The slow qso’s are very few. Well, back to code practice. 73, Marsha N8FE

  2. All code is good and even the fastest op will match his contact’s speed. One thought on that is if the other guy is too fast then ask him to slow down a bit. I am so glad my wife and I took the time to learn good code and we owe a boat load of thanx to our silent key elmer, Tony Passarelli WA2PUR. He found my wife on 7142 one weekday morning. She was using a hand key and doing a passible job, but Tony had plans for her…. They met on a regular basis and I joined in on the weekends. He sent us a Bencher paddle and an MFJ keyer on loan. He had a practice sheet with words like “bakery buns” and “bunkerbeans” and he stressed rhythmic code sending. I would like to pass on Tony’s efforts to anyone who would like to meet on the weekends or evenings to practice. Just email me and we can set up a schedule. QTH is NE Ohio and call is AA8IB and XYL is Eileen KF8TZ. 73’s and Happy New Year. Email:rohara1″at” replace “at” with “@”

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