The W6FSM Bug Roundup!

It's time to dust-off that precious old Vibroplex, or any other type of bug, and give it a work out! The W6FSM Bug Roundup will take place on Saturday, May 16th at 1400Z through 1400Z (Sunday). This is 0700 PDT to 1900 PDST ... a full 12 hours of old-time CW delight.

Sponsoring the event is the Samuel F. Morse Amateur Radio Club (W6SFM) of Sacramento, CA. Detailed information may be found at their website, located here.

The club page describes the event as :

"a special time to bring bug operators together on the air. In the same spirit as ARRL's Straight Key Night, participants are encouraged to make simple, conversational, “chewing-the-fat” QSOs using their bug type key. This is an opportunity to exercise, share and exhibit your personalized fist. This is NOT a contest. Call "CQ BR" so folks know you are a Bug Roundup Participant."

You may have guessed by now that I love CW and always have, since learning the 'code' as an eleven-year old in Scouts! Our Scoutmaster had procured several sets of beautiful boxed Aldis signalling lamps, the same as shown below:

Image Courtesy:
As it turned out, I was the only one in the group that stuck it out long enough to learn any code and was thusly appointed the 'chief operator' of the lamp. Unfortunately, learning the code visually with flashcards, made it even harder to later learn CW by sound as, for many months, I had to convert the sound of the CW back to the picture of it in my head, before identifying the letter...thankfully my brain was still empty enough at the time, that I was able to overcome the unintended curve-ball.

Our leader worked in the Marine Building, the tallest building at the time, in downtown Vancouver.

Marine Building circa 1947. Courtesy:
The extra sets were distributed to several of the other local troops and numerous evenings were spent, at the very top of the building, working all of the other stations. It was usually cold and windy and most of the guys just wanted to go home but I loved it and could have stayed all seems that there was little hope for me, even at that age! When it came to CW I was hooked and even today, almost 100% of my operating is on CW.

It's nice to see events like this and the ARRL's "Straight Key Night" along with clubs like the, "SKCC" , "FISTS", "FOC" and "The CW Operators' Club", all doing their best to keep CW alive. 

Hopefully you will have some time to play in the coming "BR".
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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