Amateur Radio News

CW Operators Club Overview

Amateur Radio didn’t begin with long-distance ragchews around the globe. Instead, initial radio communications used continuous wave (CW) communication—a method not using voice at all—for reliable long-distance contacts.

Commonly referred to as Morse code, CW uses sounds made by key clicks and the silence of spaces to transmit messages. It originated in 1844 and lives on in the Amateur Radio community with organizations like the CW Operators Club (CWops) more than 170 years later.

Committed to carrying on the tradition of all things Morse code, CWops is an activities-based club that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in January. As part of the festivities, CWops is holding a special operating event from January 1-31 open to all Amateur Radio operators.

Categories include Special Call Operations, CWops Member High Power (100W+), CWops Member Low Power (6 to 100W), CWops Member QRP (0 to 5W), Non-member High Power (100W+), Non-member Low Power (6 to 100W), and Non-member QRP (0 to 5W).

While operators of all abilities are encouraged to compete, the CW Operators Club isn’t for novices. Membership applicants must be capable of sending and receiving Morse code at no less than 25 words per minute and are required to be able to carry on a conversation in English using CW.

Potential members must be nominated by a current member and sponsored by three additional members—all who have worked the applicant at least twice in the last 12 months. The nomination process times out within a five-month period, so interested Hams need to hustle to ensure acceptance.

Ready to join but need some gear? DX Engineering carries old-school instruments like standard telegraph keys, paddles, and bugs from leading manufacturers (Vibroplex, Kent, N3ZN, HA8KF and Bencher), plus Unified Microsystems XT-4 Memory KeyerMFJ 464 CW Keyer/Reader Unit, and computer interfaces like the RigExpert TI-8 Digital Mode and Radio Control Interface.

For more information on rules to join CWops, visit the CWops bylaws page, or to connect with current members check out the following frequencies: 1818, 3528, 7028, 10118, 14028, 18078, 21028, 24908, and 28028 kHz, plus or minus QRM. Can’t get through? Try others ending in 8, like 3518, 7038, and more.

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