I think that the freshly new SYLRA Contest is a great opportunity for us to warm up for the really "big one" CQWWSSB: check propagation, play around and mostly have fun out there !
Hopefully I will be on and work u girls !
The feature that I personally find even more fun and attractive with SYLRA Contest, is that it encourages you to play all-around modes (phone, CW and digi) and bands to pick mults.
So here's an awesome chance for the no-code YLs to make their ham radio life even more exciting: Why not to hook with CW and get nifty multipliers in your log ?!
After all, CW will be a real boost for your DXCC progress if you like DXing.
If you think that you're just old to learn CW or that CW is not for everybody to learn, then you got it all wrong.
And actually if you never learnt a single dit, that's great news !! Because then you have serious chances to learn CW the right way, without struggling (please trash/burn any papers/books you have with the alphabet with dots and dashes. Treat yourself by not learning the code optically).
..So you like it and want to learn it ! Awesome !!!
How am I gonna do it ? There are excellent options for you out there for free:
First of all download this free e-book http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/ZART_r20101008m.pdf
It will be a great companion all along the way !
- If you have online facilities, then www.lcwo.net is a great option. Just make the quickie free registration and let LCWO guide you and learn it.
- Otherwise, I like www.justlearnmorsecode.com program very much. It's very lightweight too and has all the essential features for learning it the right way.
- G4FON Koch Trainer www.g4fon.net is also very nice, with even more specialized training features.
A great starting point is to set your program at 16wpm character speed and 5wpm spacing. With these speeds, code feels so nice and so natural. Whatever you decide to do, just don't start with any character speed below 12wpm. This will force you to analyze each character and thus learn it the wrong way.
Later on, when you'll have built up your CW perception, you can add the two top-notch programs Morse Runner (contest qso's simulation) and RUFZxp (callsign training+speed improvement) to sharpen your skills even more further on and have even more fun then !!
Remember that CW it's easy, it's fun and absolutely everybody can learn it up to a certain speed. Talent, exceptional skills and performance come into discussion when ultra-high speeds are taken into consideration.
But it's essential for you to know also, that CW it's not something that you can learn overnight or within one week. It will take at least one month in the best case scenario, until you start to play with it with confidence.
So be consistent with your training and you'll be excited with the results of your efforts, sooner than you think !
After all, YLOTA hosts some GREAT YL CW ops that I look up to ! You could be one of them !