Friday, August 29, 2008

The Morse Test

The Liver Building - A magnificent structure!

In 1971 however it was a bit mucky. This is where I had to go to take my Morse Test having just passed my RAE (Radio Amateur Examination) Using Georges Tapes (G3ZQS) I finally mastered the CW and was able to send and receive at a speed of around 20wpm (words per minute) and applied for my test in Liverpool.

I can remember the day so well. (I was a nervous wreck!)

My Dad took me to Liverpool and I had to arrange time off work at Telefusion. We travelled down the East Lancs Road into Liverpool, I remember shops having metal shutters, something we never saw in Bolton then! When we arrived my Dad stopped a man near the docks to ask for directions, he told us how he was on strike!

We entered the liver Building and climbed up three flights of stairs to the maritime bit for my test. My Dad waited outside when a man came along and I was taken into a small, long room with a table with three morse keys, one made of solid brass.

"Try them out" the said! When we were ready he sent me morse code groups at 12wpm. I was happy with that, but when it was my turn to send I thought I had fluffed it! The guy laughed and said "You held on a bit there....but have passed!"

Well. you can was like passing my driving test! I was over the moon!

Digital communication, text messaging...what the hell...I can still send and receive morse code after all this time! Whats more...I can send morse code faster than my daughter can text on her phone!
Morse code is not digital, you learn by listening to the 'rhythm' not counting dots and dashes!

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