Redundancy, flexibility, and creativity are some of the marks of a well-trained COMMUNICATOR. Over a year ago I made my way through the Radio classes that NCScout teaches, and I have written on this life-changing series (RTO Basic, Advanced, SIGINT) several times. Taking these classes should “get your wheels turning” into new and old areas of COMMS. Some of the information I have learned has stayed in my brain percolating like a campfire coffe-maker.

There was so much info, much of it new, and going into new areas is fun and useful! Sometimes, however, the “old” tech is still very useful. Even before I took the classes I had on my bucket list to learn CW or Morse Code. This was my year. Yesterday I just made my 10th contact. Sure, I am slow at 5 wpm, but I’m communicating nonetheless!! I’m on the East Coast and said contact was with a guy in Kansas and I was running just 25 watts. That’s just about 3x the power of that Baofeng you have in your kit and probably less than the watts you have in the mobile unit in your truck. That is halfway across the FUSA and no problem at all to do!

You can find tons of info on the internet if you are interested. Here are some advantages I have found personally and some tips I’ve learned:

ADVANTAGES:

Signal gets through on very narrow band-width

Most people in the world don’t know what you are saying so it provides one level of security

You probably already have a radio that will do it

Key can be easily made. The photo is the key I made and the only one I have and use

You can “hear” news from all over, and in this fake-news culture I like hearing what’s going on from primary sources

TIPS:

Focus on de-coding and not sending. One of my mentors told me early on, “Sending is easy ‘cause you know what you’re gonna say!” Spend 90% of your time listening and learning to read it by ear, not using devices

Find and use a computer program that you like. I found I really liked a program called Just Learn Morse Code. Your mileage may vary. I learned the letters at a really fast speed (18 wpm) but I have LONG spaces in between. I am working now to decrease those spaces.

Work on it a little every day. All languages that I know of work this way: you have to spend the sheer time on what is called INPUT. That is listening so much that you finally start to pick up patterns, etc.

Anyway this article is for motivation and encouragement for your group. If you don’t have a group, that is a problem of a whole different level.

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DVM

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