CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Sunday: Morse and an amazing mini-speaker

We are still in a period of relative “lockdown”.  This could be a good time for some of you to get your Amateur Radio license.  A while back I mentioned that a couple of obtained their Technician license and had received their call signs.   While you are at home, think about studying for your exam.   It is interesting that the current version of the books I used to prepare for Technician exam were on back order through Amazon.  That suggests to me that quite a few people are giving it a shot.  However, there are other methods and books, which I am sure are very good.  For example,   THIS one.   Be sure to get the materials that cover the question base for 2018-2022.

Also, for the last couple weeks I haven’t done much with ZedNet.   This is a DMR thing.  I’ll get the hotspot and radio fired up this afternoon.

On ZEDNET, more HERE.  To get yourself going, WB0YLE gave me a Bill of Materials: a list of what you need.  HERE  I built a DMR hotspot with a Raspberry Pi and got it working with no problems.   If necessary we can get you some tech help here for programming.

Anyway, if some of you hams out there are into DMR, you might find us.

What are we doing with this?  Not much right now, but who knows.  And it’s fun to make it work.

Also, I got Echolink running on my new computer.  Check out  554286 – WB0YLE-R

Meanwhile, I’ve had a couple of HF contacts with a priest ham, who “activated” a couple of state parks for the POTA (Parks On The Air).


More and more I am thinking of QRP.  Hence, I’m actively working on learning Morse code for CW.   This is, right now, what I am doing.   I have an old iPhone with a Morse code learning app.  The little round thing is an amazing bluetooth mini-speaker I took a chance on.   It has amazing volume!   The phone, by itself, often isn’t enough.  I’ve been turning on the app to beep at me while I putter around.  And I spend a little while each day with this key, which I bought in Akihibara, Tokyo in what seems like an age of the world ago.  It suspect the key is a dreadful thing of which my local Elmer would disapprove.  Don’t tell him.

I’ve also been listening to Morse exchanges on 20m and 40m.   It is a little intimidating, but I figure that if they can do it, I can do it.  Right?   And so what if it is a little hard!

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. CandS says:

    I’d recommend materials and courses on CW here:
    I did the Beginner class Winter 2019, then Intermediate Fall 2019 (I think at the time the Basic class was being marketed as a returning to CW class, rather than as the next level). I got a lot out of Intermediate, but it was too advanced for me (and, being honest, for the amount of time I was putting into practicing), so I went back and did Basic in Winter 2020. I’ll plan to do Intermediate again this fall.

    They have lots of good materials to listen to:
    and the website they use in conjunction with the courses as a CW trainer is excellent…

    I’m a lazy ham who needs elmering, but I’m trying to make a dent in learning CW too.

  2. PostCatholic says:

    I have been using quarantine to learn elementary Portuguese (I have been doing work with Madeirans lately) and some web coding innovations. I doubt I’ll ever move on to Morse code or ham radio, but we’re broadly in the same category of improving communications. Good luck to your efforts.

  3. LeslieJohnson says:

    I’m N2YNK if you would kindly add me to your list, Father Z.

  4. JonPatrick says:

    Also trying to learn CW. Currently using the G4FON Koch trainer at 13 wpm. There are places on the band you can find slow CW. I don’t have the list with me as I am away from home now. Also check out the straight key century club skccgroup.com they have some good stuff there.

  5. JonPatrick says:

    I forgot to mention – a useful resource for anyone wanting to get their license or upgrade (I am currently using it to study for my Extra) is http://dcasler.com/ham-radio/ Dave Casler (KE0OG) is an Elmer from Colorado who has made series of videos for each of the license classes, plus many videos on other subjects of interest such as antennas, radio procedures, etc.

  6. Warren_I says:

    I’m KC3OZD.

  7. Dmwareham says:

    Hi Father Z…
    Though we’ve visited a few times on ZedNet, I realized I’m not included in your “official” list of callings!
    Please include Dennis K0DKL

    Thanks and hope to see you again soon on ZedNet!

Comments are closed.