It all started with a tweet. Whilst idly tuning up and down the bands, I wondered if there was a way to know if any other LIDS were on air, and then the germ of an idea formed. So like a fool, I tweeted it...
Well, that was it. I was committed now (or should have been). Searching around for ways to pick up spots, I looked at the Reverse Beacon Network, DX clusters, and eventually found the very excellent HamAlert which does all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace for you. You give it a list of call-signs, it compares incoming spots from RBN, clusters, sotawatch and pskreporter. If a spot matches your criteria (in this case, a list of currently 270 call-signs) it can do several things with the information.
Getting the information onto twitter wasn't the easiest, but a web service was found which will turn emails into tweets. So the spots get formatted by HamAlert, sent by email to the WebApp which turns them into tweets, and the LidsCW Spotter is the result.
The only downside of the system as it stands, is the membership list of call-signs needs to be manually updated; no great shakes though as @lids_cw tweets every time a new member is added!
All in all, an interesting exercise, which seems to have produced a useful resource. And if it gets more LidsCW members firing dots and dashes at each other across the airwaves, well, that makes it all worthwhile.
73, Chris G0JPS
CW Pong is a Morse challenge for two operators and has been developed by LIDS members as an aid to learning Morse code and improving on-air CW copy, as well as being a bit of fun.
An added benefit of our new lidscw.org web site is that we are now able to offer firstname.lastname@example.org forwarding email addresses as a free service to LIDS members.
If you would like a LIDS email address, DM @lids_cw with your forwarding email address and we will get that set up for you.
LIDS is all about trying new things and learning from each other, and there’s a great community on Twitter who are prepared to share their knowledge. We would like to add a page to our site with hints and tips on learning Morse Code, written by our members, to share their experiences with those who are still learning or only just considering it.
So why not put pen to paper (does anyone do that any more?) and let us know your Morse story. What advice would you give to someone just starting out? Which methods worked for you, and which didn’t? Any pitfalls to avoid? Best ways to practise? Software you’d recommend?
We will publish all submissions in their entirety and won’t be editing them at all. We are not trying to write the ‘definitive’ guide to learning Morse – there are plenty of those out there already. These are your stories and your experiences, and what works for one person may not work for another. So we will publish them all, even if they contradict. You don’t need to be an experienced CW op to send us your story either; we want everyone’s views.
Please email your submission to email@example.com. There’s no closing date because we are happy to keep adding and adding to this font of knowledge (and that includes editing something you’ve already sent in if you subsequently want to change it).