To Summer VE5SDH

I have received an e mail from a friend of mine, Summer, VE5SDH, today. She has started CW for only 2 years and a half. She is a visually handicapped person and has been very eager learning CW. For the past couple of years, whenever I met heron the radio, I felt she had made much progress at CW. In each QSO, I have told her this way. Don't to be only a contester but go ahead to the right way to be a real ragchewer. It was a kind of kidding to her knowing she had been pretty active in contests but was still what I wished her to be.

Her mail said like this; 
it's such a beautiful signal and so much history
i don't think i could be just a contester :) they're fun but also sort
 of mindless and also frustrating, and you don't get to learn much abo
ut the people you contact
with CW being such an effective communication mode :) why would people
 not want to use it to get to know each other?

I was sorry if I had forced her to write this to me. But I guess it was what she thought on CW. I replied to her that contesting is a fun but could not occupy all of ham radio. Explaining more fully on this subject, I could tell in this way.

Cppying CW is handled by the center in the brain relevant to reading printed material. I have quoted on the fMRI study on this subject showing this fact in the prior post in this blog. I guess contesting might be handled by the other center in the brain. Copying CW is to communicate and understand the others while contesting is to exchange certain symbols meaningless to our lives. The former gives us life long pleasure itself while the latter is only competition and stimulation, which last only for a moment. The former is like reading a biography of the other highly personal while the latter is like playing an impersonal game.

I fully know how exciting and amusing it is to do contesting. I won't make any infertile debate with contesters here. It is what I have reached in my ham radio career for 53 years.

I am sure Summer is heading to the right way.   


  1. I think Summer is a natural conversationalist on CW. In two years, she has mastered a skill that takes most of us multiple times that level of effort. Equally important, she is a master at her bug, sending flawlessly timed CW. She is quite an asset to the world of CW operators.

    1. Yes, I know, Don. My saying in the beginning of QSO with her is a kind of joke.

      She has grown up a great CW operator now. Always a joy to hear her with the bug.

  2. Summer is always a pleasure to chat with. Now that the time change is done I expect to hear her more often.

    1. The path to Summer is a bit over the north pole here. From now, I may hear her on 40m oftener. Have good chats with her, Bill. She is lucky to have put up that vertical on the apartment roof.