The bands were very dead for DXCC's so I turned the radio off and decided to just do some web surfing and that soon became same old same old. I then had a brain storm that it has been just way to long since I had a good old fashioned QSO. Most of my time has been hunting for counties that I need for my ARRL Jubilee award. This meant for the past few weeks and maybe a month or so I have been just working the CW key with "599 73 TU" and that's it. I turned the K3 on and it just happen to be on 14.060 and KM4CU was calling CQ. I came back to him and the QRP to QRP conversation began..........so I thought!! Tom's code was great from Florida........my code..... not so much. I was absolutely embarrassed. I kept messing up his call, I could not even get passed "nice to meet you" it was like my mind went BLANK I was not able to figure out what to say and how to translate it to code!!! Tom was very fast to send his 73's to me (it was like I was an ugly date). Once again I just struggled with the ending and once done ( which seemed like for ever) Tom was just gone........it was like a Morse code blind date that just went south very fast.......very embarrassing!!!! Tom if you read this blog I am very sorry for the code train wreak. LESSON LEARNED
Mike, I had the exact same thing happen to me last month – and have no explanation for it1 While I’m glad I’m not alone, I’m sorry it happened to you. It takes a lot of guts to ‘fess up! (You really had me laughing with the “bad date”!)
73, Bill W1WH
Mike,I used to think when I was first learning Cw that it was like riding a bike and once I learned it I’d never forget, but boy was I ever wrong! I found out the hard way with a situation similar to yours that “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” What a disappointment that was and so now I try and get on the air for a ragchew QSO at least twice per week and one thing that’s helped me out is signing up as a elmer for the SKCC group. Currently I have a sked with W4CUX Bill on Mondays and one with W4LEB Larry on Thursdays. Having a regular sked for a weekly ragchew has helped me tremendously so you may want to try setting up a weekly sked with someone so you can use it and not lose it!
Cliff – KU4GW
Good evening Bill, I’m glad the post put a smile on your face….welcome to my life on ham radio these days. It’s good to know I am not alone.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Good to hear from you Cliff, that’s great advice and it’s true if you don’t use it you do loose it. I had my code speed up to a good contest level and then lost it. Just to make it clear I consider contest code and conversation code two different animals. There sure is no substitute for on air practice and I have to get a move on in that dept for sure. The elmer buddy system sounds like a great way to get me back on the track again.
Thanks for the feedback and great ideas.