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!
OK, so saying “DCP Paddle” is redundant. “DCP” stands for “Dirt Cheap Paddle.” While this paddle is inexpensive compared to a lot of morse/CW paddles out there, I would definitely not call it “cheap.” It is exquisitely designed and expertly machined by Doug W6AME of American Morse Equipment. I don’t remember where I first heard about his paddles and keys, but I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw it. The DCP is the least expensive paddle he makes (hence the name) but doesn’t lack quality. I have a pretty tight budget for my ham activities and equipment, so I was holding off on getting one until I really needed it.
It sounded quite dandy to go ahead and jump into the CW Academy materials and start practicing that way. But I just haven’t done it. Without the accountability of weekly class meetings, it just hasn’t been enough of a priority. But the need and desire to learn is still there! I see all of these SOTA and POTA spots popping up on CW and badly wish I could join in. So an idea popped into my head.