Posts tagged cw

European Slow Morse Activity Week – 25th to 29th April

CW fists-cw-logo

Richard, eucwflagG0ILN, sends through a heads up on the forthcoming and very exciting  European Slow Morse Activity Week – EuCW/AGCW QRS Activity Week 2016.  The EuCW will take place this coming week Monday 25 April 00:00 – Friday 29 April 23:59 UTC.

The maximum speed is 14 wpm and any band can be used.  QSOs must be at least 5 minutes long.

The EuCW Week has a history dating back to 2001 when it was introduced by FISTS. The EuCW thanks FISTS for having this excellent idea and for doing all the work for an entire decade. Since 2012 the EuCW QRS work is organized by AGCW. Recognitions for the most active participants are issued,

For more information and a list of recommended frequencies visit the EuCW website.

HERC becomes an associate member of FISTS

fists-cw-logoWe are pleased to announce that HERC has just been kindly been granted free associate membership of  the FISTS CW Club  , the International Morse Preservation Society which has over 18k members worldwide.

Some HERC members are already members of FISTS, including Richard G0ILN, Phil G3MGQ, Jakey G3JKY and Steve 2E0GHX. The club aims to improve awareness of CW through its membership to FISTS and offer training and advice for those both old and new to the mode. The FISTS official site can be found at Perhaps it is about time to dust off your key and take part in Mike Hedges G0JHK Slow Morse (QRS) net on 80m!? (Around 3.570 MHz Mondays at 8pm local.)

More to follow on our affiliation with FISTS soon.


Celebration of Morse by Richard Putnam G0ILN

Richard (G0ILN) is well known in the club for being a bit handy with Morse and much like Jakey (G3JKY) and others in the club, were quite keen to hear Richards’s presentation about the historical and fascinating subject.

Part 1 of the evening got underway just past 7.30pm and Richard began with a background on Samuel Morse himself who at the age of just 14 was already developing an interest in electronics around time of the Battle of Trafalgar and the industrial revolution. As was shown in various images displayed through the evening, one sketch represented the civil war 1861-1865 where telegraph poles were being installed by engineers amidst a foreground full of combatants which was taking place around the time of the railroad boom. At this time, signalling was a much needed requirement.

Morse needed help with the development of Morse Code and started talking to a wealthy and knowledgeable entrepreneur and engineer, Alfred Vail, and together they set up a company to develop the system further along with the help of Leonard Vale and Joseph Henry.

Initially Samuel Morse used a numbered system with a fairly complex looking machine.
It was not long before the device was replace by a simple key called a strap key (or as Vail named it The Correspondent), a key which was often used by early telegraph engineers who had to have a lightweight and practical way of sending Morse while in what must have been less than perfect working conditions. While practical, better keys were needed and the result was the  ‘Lever Correspondent’ which were more durable, the latter of which had a basic level of adjustment available.

The first Morse Code demonstration was given in 1838, and the message sent “Patient waiter is no loser” was sent over a distance of 2 miles. Just four years later in 1842, Samuel Morse’s demonstration to congress resulted in a substantial £30,000 award for his efforts.
1844 saw the message “What hath God wrought”, send from Washington to Mont Clare in Ohio which in more recent times became a railway museum.

As one might be able to imagine, the advent of Morse code became as powerful as the Internet is to us today by providing a fast and reliable communication method which garnered the attention of over 70 different companies who were all doing their best to come up with something similar to Morse’s communication system. In the end, Western Union bought most of them out Morse continued to earn money from franchise and patent rights.

One company, Cooke and Wheatstone in England developed a communication system to compete with Morse Code though it was reliant on a 5-cable system which proved to be unreliable and resulted in breakdowns. Over the years C&W’s system was reduced to 2 cables, then one cable to be able to compete and was used until the 1860’s after which in 1869 the whole of thwe telegraph system in UK was taken over by the GPO.

Richard pointed out that there were over 1000 telegraph offices and 2000 train stations in the U.K. using Morse Code by the late 1800’s resulting in huge annual profits with 7000 telegrams being sent in the first year alone earning the GPO £70000?

With Morse being fairly well established in the U.K., heavy marine cables were laid made from standard rubber materials which quickly broken down and failed and these were superseded by cabling constructed using Gutta-Percha, a much harder plastic/rubber compound and proved to be much more durable than the early, failure-prone cables.

The first commercial transatlantic marine cable was laid in 1865 from Ireland to Newfoundland. The main entry point for cables into Britain is Porthcurno in Cornwall and run to all corners of the globe.

Marconi the pioneer of radio transmission sent his first transatlantic message using Morse code from Poldhu in Cornwall a distance of 2200 miles on 900kc in 1901, and finally, long distance Morse communications became a practical reality.

The club took a brief break and was followed in the second half by Richard presented a large Morse key collection which contained various keys including ex-Mod keys, an interesting plastic bodied Czech key which is apparently available through a member of the FISTS CW club in “as new” condition, Navy keys and a Vibroplex ‘Bug’ key amongst others. All of them quite fascinating and each with their own unique story.

Afterwards Richard answered questions given by members and offered friendly and helpful advice for anyone who might be interested in returning to their keys, or like some of us, to start using one. He also offered some suggested reading to those present, and “The Art and Skill of Morse Code” was recommended as being a very good place to start. He also recommended membership to the FISTS CW Club for anyone who is remotely interested in Morse Code.  The FISTS are an excellent and well recognised organisation with annual membership and monthly magazine costing just a few pounds a year.
I would like to thank Richard for bringing the history of Morse to life and presenting it in an entertaining and educational way. It was a very enjoyable evening indeed.


FISTS CW Club: Fists CW U.K.


Richard Putnam G0ILN explaining the operation and story behind one of the many Morse keys he presented during the evening.


A large and very well maintained collection of Morse keys. Which ones can you identify?


Richard captured the imaginations and interest of everyone at the Taplin Centre. It is quite likely that he may have ‘sparked’ some interest in the members and may have accidentally encouraged them to pick up their keys again!

Samuel Morse – Born on 27th April 1791

Historical image of Samuel Morse (Samuel Finley Breese Morse), co inventor of the morse code.

Historical image of Samuel Morse (Samuel Finley Breese Morse), co inventor of the morse code.

Today marks the birthday of the inventor of CW, Samuel Morse, who was born on 27th April 1791. Today marks the birthday of the inventor of CW, Samuel Morse, who was born on 27th April 1791.

Recently, Richard G0ILN a HERC club member gave a fascinating and insightful talk on Samuel Morse and the history of the development of Morse code at the Taplin Centre.

The talk was widely appreciated by club members and it seems only fitting to mention the name of the great man himself, whose system even today is as widely used as SSB voice in Amateur Radio.

There are several avid  CW operators in the club including Jakey (G3JKY), Richard (G0ILN) including new learners Phil (G3MGQ) and Steve (2E0GHX). Although Morse appears to be a minority showing when you first mix in Amateur Radio circles it soon becomes apparent when you delve a bit further just how popular Morse Code operating remains today.

The CW Fists U.K. are part of a World-Wide non-profit organisation for CW operators, whose goals are to further the use of CW (Morse Code), engender friendships among members and encourage newcomers to use CW (Morse Code).

If you have ever had an interest in learning Morse Code, or taking your Amateur Radio Licence why not get in touch with the Club Secretary, and we will be more than happy to advise.



Talk on “In celebration of Morse” by Richard Putnam G0LIN


Richard G0ILN presenting his home made Morse keys and speaker resonator at the 2014 Construction Evening.

Coming up later this month is Richard’s talk on “The Celebration of Morse” which will take place at the Taplin Center on Wednesday 25th March.

Richard is an experienced Morse operator and will no doubt give a fine talk on the subject, which is being looked forward to by many.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

Why not join one of the largest and most established Radio clubs in the South East of England? Very low joining cost, and free for a year to new licencees.

Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa