Are you trying to decide about choosing a Paddle?

There are lots of paddles to choose from and it is a risky business buying one without trying it first. However, this seems to be the only way that is available under the present Covid restrictions. I recently wrote a piece in PW about the paddles made by Valery RA1AOM. They are popular with lots of CW Ops and are very attractive, being manufactured with various stone bases. He uses the latest neodymium magnet technology and can be seen demonstrating one of his paddles here:

Practical Wireless

Great CW practice too! I sent a few PWs to Valery as you see in the picture! There are a whole range of keys that Valery makes, including a very nice straight key too. Take a look on the Internet and you will find lots of pundits that use his keys and also demonstrate them on Utube as well.  He sells all over the world but there is a delay because he does not rush construction!

The NARC CW 80m Net   ( There will not be one this coming Monday due to the RSGB CC CW contest )
Norfolk Amateur Radio Club CW Net.
This is an informal net, to enable people to become familiar with operating in a net, netting properly and being short and to the point overs.
NARC Net: 3545kHz plus or minus QRM.
There will be a rotation of Net Controller togive every attendee a chance of becoming Net Controller. Malcolm will be circualting a rota. This week Roger G3LDI was Net Control and immediately I started I was called by Klaus DL5DKG. His CW was not the best, but I tried to explain we had an NARC Net going on. He eventually signed and we then had a very good Net, all with good signals. Those attending this week were: G3LDI, G3PDH, G4LPP, G4CCX, G0DFC, G3YLA and G3WRJ.
The Net Controller will call CQ at 8.30 p.m. local time on Monday evenings. Call with just your call sign once until he acknowledges you.
1 Keep a note of the order. This will be sent.
2 Net on to the Net Controller to the nearest Hz if you can.
3 Keep overs short with brief comments, no waffling, and pass transmission to the next on the list.
4 There is a 2m discussion after the Net on 145.250MHz.

  There will be a rotation of Net Controller each week to give everybody experience of being Net Controller. This week it was the turn of Roger G3LDI. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I had called for the Net I was called by a DL station who then proceeded to have a full QSO with me, despite me telling him it was a net. However, he finally did get the message and we had a successful net.

The Big P Word.
These are weekly comments from the local tutors regarding learning CW and why the Big P word is so important to becoming a proficient CW operator. Malcolm G3PDH started the ball rolling last week with some worthy comments regarding sending.
This week it is the turn of Jim G3YLA who is conentrating on the actual learning process.
Seeking the ZEN state of CW


I am sure there are many among us and on the bands who are better qualified to speak of such things, but I have been asked to say a few words about how I see the process of learning CW.

Firstly, I want to encourage anyone considering taking up CW, or improving their existing skills, to commit the right level of time to the quest. This is not a half-hearted challenge; those who appear to you as finding it easy because they are lucky, are not lucky! They are cursed with the desire to reach a goal by doing enough practice… it’s as simple as that. You can do this too, but you must allow for the fact that we all learn at different speeds, so don’t compare yourself to others, and do make sure that whatever speed development is right for you only depends upon you and NOT what others are doing.

Secondly, I would like to say a few words about what I think could be 10 productive steps towards reaching that ZEN state…

1) Learn the code and if you get a chance, try doing so at a high character speed, say 25wpm and set big gaps between characters for thinking time. It is the thinking time that improves; you will already be fast enough at 25wpm character speed.

2) Make a commitment to doing regular practice. Remember where you want to be and that whatever you do is moving you towards it.

3) If you start lessons, keep going, it encourages others and is more productive than you think at the beginning.

4) Vary the practice in between lesson to keep it fresh, build in some time on the bands trying to grasp the odd letter or abbreviation. It’s difficult at first, but but it will come if you stick at it.

5) Nobody becomes good at CW by doing just the 1 hour lesson per week.

6) Learn abbreviations since about 70% of a QSO is in some form of CW shorthand.

7) Don’t forget to learn how to send CW and why not use a reader to see if you are forming the characters correctly.

8) If you discover a weak spot, either in your classes or in-between practice, then put extra time into that problem before it becomes an excuse… e.g. “always get 7 and 8 muddled up’

9) Set a target, such as collect DXCC callsigns from CW QSOs, see if you can reach SWL DXCC on CW, then for each band!

10) Try the test files on the NARC website, both MP3 and text versions are there. Use the comprehensive test pieces on the ARRL website if you want to try different speeds.


In my view the place to aim for is the ability to copy CW in your head and be able to have a conversation without worrying about writing it down, unless there is a point to note like name or QTH etc. I would suggest it is easier at higher speeds like 25wpm, since you can retain a whole word at a time, whereas slower speeds often mean that you’ve forgotten the beginning of the text or word before getting to the end.

Whatever you choose to do, its a great journey and you should make it enjoyable by setting a great target and then a pace to get there that suits you. Don’t be the person who always has to come up with a reason for not doing it, ‘ I’ve started, so I’ll finish’ seems to work… its all in your hands.

73 de Jim


The RUFZxP table  week 2   -  April 10th

 Have you tried this yet?  It's only for fun, and should not be seen as being anything other than that.  However, it is not as easy to get to the upper echelons of the leaders, Phil and Chris. I tried to better my score this week and failed miserably!  In fact I had 4 practic runs ALL of which were 43wpm, not as good as last week.  So, keep trying and please let Jim G3YLA have your score by Thursday teatime at the latest.  Here is the table for this week:

Screenshot 2021 04 09 at 14.54.16

congratulationsTo Phil for a fantastic 62 wpm.


Morse Classes for winter 2020 are going well.
Report from G3LDI, the Bad Cop, on the Monday Headcopy session. 145.250MHz 1000 local time.

bad cop
This week, Phil G4LPP, Chris G4CCX, Les G0DFC an Tony G0OOR were on. This week we practised with cut numbers, the new dotty selection using E I and S a lot more and QSO format. There were several different QSO formats this time and it provided a good selection. Getting used to using a mixture of cut numbers and normal numbers is not too easy, but it is surprising how quickly you can adapt.

Join in and see how well you can do. We have a lot of fun and laughs on there, especially with the EISH5 groups!
You will be most welcome. It's rapid fire stuff to keep you mentally alert!
73 de Roger, G3LDI

Report from Jim, the Good Cop, on his 25wpm session. GB3NB repeater 2000 local time Tuesdays

good cop

25wpm Beginners CW Tuesday 6th April 2021


The latest session of 25wpm CW got underway on GB3NB at 8pm on Tuesday 6th April with a brace of Davids in attendance; David, M7BLX and Dave G0ELJ. We covered several sets of abbreviations and followed this with two lengthy chunks of typical QSO segments.

Both have made good progress and the copy was excellent for large portions of the exercises. This shows the value of extra practice, and puts both of them in a place where they can listen on the bands and make sense of they hear.

CW is not easy, but it is achievable! Same time next week for another session on the repeater.

73 de Jim

Morse with Anubis - Tuesdays 1000 on 145.250MHz. Thursdays on GB3NB 1000 local time.



GB2CW Report 08-04-21

There was a good attendance for the two GB2CW classes this week.
On Tuesday we had G4LPP, G0DFC, 2E0FHF, G0OOR, and G4PNF.
On Thursday we had G4LPP, G4TUK, and G4PNF.

This week we sent some examples from the popular CWOPS CWT activity periods. These consist of callsign, name, and membership number. Non members send their country identifier instead.
These activity periods are increasing in popularity and have a fairly lengthy exchange.

Some plain language material was transmitted, but we concentrated on CQ calls, QSO format, and callsign pairs this week.

Depending on the material being sent, speeds varied between 21 to 28 wpm this week.

Also mentioned were various software programs to help with practice during the week. These were CW Player, Morserunner, and RUFZXP. An RUFZXP table can be seen on the NARC website, its a fun program to use, and really good for improving the reading of callsigns.

Great results from everyone on the sessions, why not give it a try?


Speeds and accuracy are increasing all the time, but remember that speeds will be adjusted to suit those present, so please join in if you can.


Class times for Morse with Anubis are

Tuesday 10am - 11am 145.250 mhz FM simplex
Thursday 10am - 11am GB3NB repeater

73 de Chris G4CCX


Morse with Doctor Phil.

Report from GB2CW beginners class, Friday evenings at 8pm on 145.250MHz.

This Friday saw Week 23 of the Friday evening beginners CW class.

The 3 Daves reported in once more although 2e0dbs was mobile and only able to listen.

Exercises included various Yaesu rigs with year of introduction. (courtesy Chris G4CCX), Abbreviations, Old computers and consoles (also from Chris!), short qso format pieces and numbers with punctuation.

Results were very promising showing good practice continues to be done.

As this class is meant for raw beginners I will happily slow speeds and use suitable formats to accommodate them if they call in so don’t be put off by the speeds the others have currently reached!


The next class will be on 145.250MHz at 8pm on Friday April 9th followed immediately afterwards by the contest net at 9pm on the same frequency.


73 and hope to hear you there, Phil G4LPP / GB2CW.



73, Phil

Phil's email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Email him if you wish to join in.
By the way, Phil is a GOOD cop, so you will be treated kindly!

Report from the Executive Club, Malcolm G3PDH - Thursdays GB3NB 2000 local time.

The Ultimate aim for all CW OPS

On Thursday night, 8th April, the session was joined by Paul M1AFQ, Les G0DFC and Chris G4CCX. Presumably Phil G4LPP was busy representing NARC in the 6m UKAC contest. Passages of plain language, 5 letter groups, short QSO format, location names and figures were sent at speeds from 25 to 30 wpm. Methods of copy by the above varied between writing it all down, keyboard copy and head copy of the subject with jottings of salient points and numbers.
The use of 5 letter groups has been a long term training method for Morse code over many years. To establish the wpm of a text passage the number of characters was usually divided by 5 on the basis that an average word comprised 5 letters. Receiving 5 letter groups was also deemed slightly more challenging as there was no way to guess the letters as in plain language, therefore it was a true measure of receive capability. The use of such groups also found its way into commercial traffic with groups substituting for a longer set of words such as instructions and notifications according to respective company coding books.. This enabled message lengths to be kept shorter and also to maintain some privacy when such traffic was being sent over open radio circuits. It also kept the message word count lower, and the subsequent cost, when using paid radio circuits such as in civil maritime operations.

Malcolm G3PDH


Malcolm G3PDH


.cw ops logo

The CWOPS CWT activity periods are still as popular as ever.
With the time change for BST, the CWT periods are now 1 hour later than we have been used to over the winter. The 1300 session had poor propagation but there were 10 locals taking part. the 1900 hour saw 11 locals with some of us watching NARC at the same time. The 0300 session was understandably down with just six stations.

If you aspire to join CW OPS, prove your worth with a few >20wpm QSOs, chatty ones, and you can get in! It is a lot of fun operating in the CWTs, and terrific practice too.
The link below is to FAV22. THis is a military station on 3881.00kHz and runs at varying speeds with groups of letters, numbers, punctuation and procedural signals. It is on 24/7 so take a look It is well worth the practice.
Another freq to check is 6.825MHz.
If you look up this link in Google Chrome, it will translate into English for you.
Harking back to the suggestion from Ray G3XLG, another input from Phil G4LPP:




Email me with input, queries, keys, paddles, classes and so on. Hopefully I can help or know a man that can!
73 de Roger, G3LDI GB2CW Coordinator. May the Morse be with you.





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Training is very important to NARC because we realise this is how new people come into the hobby and attain their Foundation, Intermediate and Advance Amateur Radio licenses.
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During the current Covid-19 pandemic when the club cannot physically meet, the club now broadcasts its own magazine show NARC Live! every Wednesday with news, features and guests.
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The club meets virtually every Wednesday throughout the year in the sixth form centre of the City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, NR4 6PP from 1900-2130.

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