I recently enjoyed a new CW event on the air. The "CW Fun Event" established by Dick, K2RFP. You can find information about this recurring event on the event website CWFUN.ORG. The basic premis is, each registered participant receives a unique set of over 200 ramdom 5 letter 'words'. Using manual telegraphy (straight key, bug, cootie/sideswiper), you exchange these 'words' with other participants. You also get points for copying down the words of participants who you are not in contact with. In addition, you get points for those who have copied your 'words'. As a result, emphasis is placed on accuracy in both sending and receiving. It's much better than the standard 5NN type contest exchange. Above all, it's meant as a fun, casual event, so some pleasantries are also exchanged in addition to the offical exchange. You can work a station more than once on a band if you've each worked at least one other registered participant since the last contact. Those are the basics. The one draw back is to fully participate, you need to register on the website before the event starts. If you don't make it in time, you can still participate by collecting 'words' and submitting them. You just won't be able to fully take advantage of getting sending points. The official CQ for this event is 'CQ FE' for Fun Event. So if you hear someone calling 'CQ FE', now you know what it is. If you are interested, be sure to register NOW for the next event. Don't wait until it starts. Registration is good for multiple events... you use the same set of random 'words'. So, that's it in a nut shell. CW Fun Event. Another great on-air CW activity. I highly recommend it!
My Key Collection! (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Here is my latest addition to the collection. A home made KOB dating from the 1890s. Consists of an early Bunnell steel lever key with terminals mounted on top of the frame with screws, and an equally early Bunnell sounder with spring post. I cleaned the mechanisms, polished the wood and realigned everything for proper operation since receiving this KOB. It was received in very dusty, unused condition with original wire connected. You can see the homebrew driver I use under the Kenwood to convert the received audio to drive the sounder. If you're interested in this simple circuit, you can go HERE, or HERE to see the schematic. 4/19/09, just completed the first two QSOs on this setup with Randy, KC9KHG and Rick, K0KEX both members of the SKCC club. One wonders how long it's been since this setup was last used. Judging from it's received condition, I'd say well over a half century.
My QSL Card
Just a few of my straight keys
1878 Bunnell Camelback KOB set that I use on the air (unrestored condition)