My first QSO (and, yeah, it was with Morse code) was petrifying and…
What’s your story of your first QSO?
73 de NW7US
About 30 years ago, two spankin new ham buddies were co workers at a National labratory and were lucky enough to have a Radio Club and Ham shack on site. The shack had a couple half working old tube radios, yaesu and swan to get on the air with. We thew wire antennas out the windows and worked DX without a clue of what we doing! It was a blast and we must have made a million mistakes. Guys on the other end of our qsos mest have thought we were the biggest CW lids in the world… Today we still are both actively involved in kit building and operating QRP. 72 de Ke2Yk
35 years ago as a newly licenced novice a friend and I decided to practice CW on 10 meters. Tapping away at 5WPM an Italian station broke in to our practice. I got flustered and made many mistakes sending but station was very understanding and we managed to finish the contact
Back in 1979 just received my novice ticket I sat in front of my newly purchased Drake T4XB carefully tuned up on a empty frequency I had written on a piece of paper what I was going to say, my palms were sweating I was very nervous sitting with my straight key for a few minutes but felt like hours I pounded out a CQ with my new call KA2FKI and nervously waited for a comeback. KA0CDP came back sending back at the same 5 WPM it seemed, I went through the note I had written and signed with him I sat back still with sweating palms and took a few deep breaths. I have his card framed and still hanging in my shack. I work today mostly CW and some digital. still have the same straight key and have worked many new hams at the same speed they send to me.
WInter of 1961, set up what I thought was a Windom antenna (turned out I used the wrong coax to feed it properly), fired up the Globe Scout 680A, listening on a Hallicfrafters S40B, and KN3ONO sent out CQ many times with no response. After a couple of hours of sweat and sticky palms, I finally got a loud response from a K-3 rat-a tat tat. Having to ask for repeated call sign I finally figured out what it was.. K3HEI. Whew! Topping it off, he was only a few blocks away. He felt sorry for me and patiently slowed down so I could get his call and report.
Not the end of the story, however. About three weeks later I received three “OO” reports and one pink slip from the FCC.
Remember that issue of the Windom antenna? It performed beautifully on the second harmonic and I was heard coast to coast on the upper end of 6 Mhz!
But, it is still fun. I still occasionally work CW QRP, using different wire antennas.
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