Update on my CW Journey: First QSO!

I’ve been doing CW Academy for about 4 weeks now—I’m officially at the half-way point. We’ve got most of the letters/numbers, and we’re starting to move into prosigns and typical QSO lingo.  Having recently gotten my end-fed antenna back up at my house, I saw a SOTA spot on 40 meters last night, Keith KR7RK on CW.  I figured I’d give it a shot!

I’m so glad I tried. There was a lot going on in my house at the time, but I went ahead and turned on the rig and tuned to the spotted frequency.  I thought I heard a faint signal, so I closed the door and switch my SOTABeams filter to “narrow.” Then I was able to hear Keith’s signal pretty well!  I listened to him call CQ, had a QSO with someone, then I heard him call CQ again.


It was a bit tough to hear him since I have a fair amount of noise at my location.  Hearing him call CQ again, I was able to verify his callsign.  I cranked my CW speed down to 13 WPM and sent my callsign.  He sent back “MT?” — the last part of my callsign.  So I sent it again.  Again, he sent back “MT?”  OK, I figured I should send it again, twice.  This time he got it!  He sent back my full callsign, and I didn’t pick up some of it but then heard “TU” and “559 559” which I knew was my signal report!  I got so excited I almost forgot what to do.  Since I’m doing CWOps CW Academy, I fell back on sending “BK UR RST 559 559 K.”  I think that’s about all I sent—no “TU” or other niceties, but it did the trick.  He sent back “TU dit-dit,” I sent “dit-dit” and that was it!

I wrote down the details to put in the log and tried to keep myself from shouting out loud.  I still had to do the dishes and help get the kiddos to bed.  But I gotta say, this really made my night!  I can’t wait to get the next contact, and keep going!