DitDit.fm is a podcast celebrating morse code, the CW operating mode and amateur radio. The show is hosted by Bruce Pea, N9WKE, and features conversations with interesting CW operators, offers useful CW operating tips, and encourages amateur radio operators at all levels to get on the air, have fun and enjoy operating CW!
Episode #35 - Mark Tyler, K5GQ
There are a lot of great advisors and instructors who teach Morse Code and CW. I think Mark Tyler, K5GQ, is one of the greatest CW teachers there has ever been! If you ever get the opportunity to take Mark’s class, don’t pass it up! You will become a much better CW operator and the joy you will get from your CW will be compounded beyond your wildest dreams.
07/10/2022 • 48 minutes 20 seconds
QRQ, When You Want To Go Fast!
Terry Jackson spent eight to ten hours a day head copying Morse code at 50 words-per-minute... and got paid to do it! His job as a Naval Communications Officer was to intercept coded messages being sent from Russian ships during the Cold War. Today, Terry teaches Amateur Radio operators how to send and receive high speed Morse code, or QRQ as it's called by Morse code operators. But what is QRQ? The idea of high speed is relative to each of us. High speed operating can mean 70 words-per-minute to one person, and be 30 words-per-minute to another. No matter what your definition of high speed QRQ operating is, going fast is a lot of fun and can be done by virtually anyone. We invite you to enjoy this very interesting conversation with Terry Jackson, WB0JRH.
27/06/2022 • 29 minutes 39 seconds
A Conversation With KB6NU
Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is a well known CW operator that is not only active on the air, but has been active with numerous organizations and Amateur Radio events over the years. He is the author of a popular series of Amateur Radio license exam study guides and other Amateur Radio and Morse code related books. Dan teaches a popular one-day license exam preparation course, made ten-of-thousands of QSOs, and is a regular speaker at the annual Dayton Hamvention. Join us as we listen to Dan discuss a wide range of Amateur Radio and CW topics.
10/06/2022 • 38 minutes 23 seconds
The Long Island CW Club
We first heard about the Long Island CW Club back in the fall of 2018. After talking with the club’s founders, Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE and Rich Collins, K2UPS, we featured the club in Episode #23 in January 2019. The club (actually it’s a community of CW operators) is so unique and different in their approach to teaching Morse code and CW we thought we’d check in a year or so later to see what they’ve been up to. In this follow-up episode, we welcome back Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE and two of the club’s former students, Jim Crites, W6JIM and Stan Ferris, K7SBF, who are now teaching Morse code and CW to new club students. The club has grown tremendously in the past year and now offers some of the most unique and interesting CW courses not offered anywhere else. Join us as Howard, Jim, and Stan update us on all that’s been happening with the Long Island CW Club!
27/06/2020 • 1 hour 30 seconds
CW Traffic Nets
CW traffic nets have been around for a long time. They operate every day, 365 days a year by dedicated amateur radio volunteers. In spite of today’s digital technologies, CW traffic nets continue to be a highly survivable, efficient, and reliable part of the National Traffic System. CW operators using simple equipment and compromise antennas restore communications to areas devastated during disasters and in other times of great need. Listen as Carl Davis, W8WZ, explains the National Traffic System, how it works with other networks, and why you need to participate as a traffic handler. This is an interesting and fascinating discussion. Carl shares his unique insight, experience, and information on CW traffic nets you won’t want to miss!
20/05/2020 • 50 minutes 57 seconds
Episode #30 - The Key Maker
There is a long tradition of amateur radio operators experimenting and building gear. Recently I built my own cootie key using an old saw blade and some discarded metal parts I had tossed in a junk box. It fell apart the first time I used it on the air. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun making it and the whole experience gave me a greater appreciation for the folks who design and build keys and paddles for the rest of us. Steve Roberts, W1SFR, is a key maker in Vermont who produces a unique torsion bar key/paddle. His keys are a delight to the eye and a joy to use. Join us as Steve talks about where the idea came from, making keys, how they are unique, and thoughts about customer service.
24/04/2020 • 30 minutes 26 seconds
Morse Code Ninja
Kurt Zoglmann, AD0WE, created Morse Code Ninja, a very comprehensive Morse code/CW training program using learning theory and techniques not used in other programs until now. There are more than 979 Youtube videos and over 2000 hours of Morse code teaching content available in Kurt’s course. There is something for everyone in this course. If you are brand new to learning the code this is an excellent place to start. The course will take you from 0 to 15 words-per-minute at your own pace. If you already know the code and are proficient at some level, this is a great program to develop your Morse code/CW skills even further. It will help you increase your speed, get better at head copying, or improve your rag chewing abilities. You could even use it to supplement another program you may be participating in. Morse Code Ninja is free and available to anyone with an interest in Morse code and CW.
19/03/2020 • 48 minutes 23 seconds
The Ship's Radio Officer
Episode #27 was about the great coastal maritime radio stations that communicated with all the ships around the world at sea. In this episode we hear what it was like to be the ship’s radio officer who depended on and communicated with those coastal maritime radio stations. For decades, ships cruised the great seas using Morse code and a key to stay safe and move cargo from one port to another. Denis O’Brien, N2JJF, served as the ship’s radio officer in the Merchant Marines for fourteen years. Listen as Denis shares his experience of his time at sea, a ship in distress, and the storm he wasn’t sure the ship would survive!
24/02/2020 • 30 minutes 34 seconds
Coastal Maritime Station KPH
There was a time when the airways bristled with Morse Code. There were commercial radio stations all around the world whose business was sending and receiving Morse Code messages to ships at sea. Coast station KPH, located at Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco, is one of those stations. Richard Dillman was there in 1997 when KPH sent it’s last message and closed it’s doors. It was the end of the line for the men and women who had spent their careers sending Morse Code to ships at sea. There was nowhere else for them to go… <p cl
21/01/2020 • 32 minutes 49 seconds
CW Ragchewing 101
CW ragchewing… the idea makes some CW operators weak in the knees. The good news is it’s a lot easier than most CW operators think it is. Gary Stone, N5PHT, would like you to go beyond the basic QSO and start having more CW conversations. Gary has 170,000 QSOs, 150,000 of those are CW QSOs, and at least 4,000 of those CW QSOs have been ragchews. A CW ragchew is just a conversation or, as Gary likes to say, you’re just sharing a little more of yourself. After exchanging the basic QSO information, inst
03/01/2020 • 41 minutes 29 seconds
Episode #25 - A Conversation With N9EP
Ed Picha, N9EP, is a CW operator who enjoys talking about CW and loves training and mentoring new CW ops. He’s been teaching code classes for 40+ years, while helping and encouraging a whole new generation of CW operators. Over the years Ed has garnered a lot of insight and practical advice about learning the code and operating CW. Listen as Ed shares his experience and ideas on teaching, learning the code, and operating CW!
08/12/2019 • 44 minutes 9 seconds
World Wide Flora and Fauna
Fresh Air… Nature… and CW… what could be better!?! If you have ever considered grabbing your gear and heading to the great outdoors, then check out the World Wide Flora and Fauna program. In 2016 the ARRL held a year long event called ‘National Parks On The Air’. Amateur radio operators operated from parks all across America for certificates and awards. The event was a huge success. However many HAM operators weren’t aware of another ‘parks’ program they could participate in. The World Wide Flora and Fauna program is the oldest and original parks program. It was started in 2010 and currently has 53 countries participating in the program. According to their website; “The WWFF program wants to draw attention to the importance of protecting nature, flora and fauna. In this spirit amateur radio operators set up and operate their radio stations from designated nature parks and protected nature areas – generating attention for the
09/04/2019 • 33 minutes 34 seconds
The New Elmers
Many HAM operators never had the benefit of an Elmer. Most of us figured it out, but there were other times, like the time we were wondering why nobody ever answered our CQs because we didn’t know our code sending was so atrocious. It would have been nice to have someone sit next to us and show us how to send better code… Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE and Rich Collins, K2UPS - the New Elmers - are changing that with the Long Island CW Club. Their method of teaching Morse code and CW is casual and fun. It is a unique experience that has already appealed to more than a hundred students wanting a less structured and more relaxed approach to learning the code. In this episode, Howard and Rich explain how the club got started, their unique way of teaching, and the classes available to anyone wanting to learn the code and have fun.
26/01/2019 • 25 minutes 7 seconds
Jitters, Anxiety, and your first QSO
‘Key Fright’ - The feeling of anxiety, nervousness, and excessive worry about making mistakes sending and receiving Morse code. Most often afflicting new CW operators immediately before attempting their first QSO. Every CW operator remembers their first on air QSO. Sitting in front of your radio, hoping you’d be able to copy code… and praying the other operator sends it slow enough for you to handle. It was really stressful and really exciting all at the same time! And those feelings of relief, joy, and pride you felt swelling in your chest afterward have rarely been matched since. The anxiety and uncertainty we feel doing something new for the first time is a very common experience. It’s part of what makes us human. It isn’t unique to any particular group of people, nation, or continent… we all get anxious and nervous from time to time. In this episode, I talk with five CW operators spanning three continents about the jitters, anxiety,
22/11/2018 • 31 minutes 4 seconds
Episode #21 - The North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC)
The North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) is the world’s largest organization of it’s kind with thousands of members in over 140 countries around the globe. All of the organization’s events are operated QRP and CW mode. Paul Huff, N8XMS, the NAQCC president talks about the club, it’s many activities, events, free membership, and the wide variety of of challenging and fun awards it has to offer. Spend a little time with Paul and discover all the great things this club has to offer!
27/09/2018 • 26 minutes 4 seconds
Episode #20 - Pay It Forward
Amateur radio has a long tradition of giving back and Elmering new radio operators. Anyone who has ever received the generous and patient attention from an Elmer is ever so thankful and appreciative for that help. John Merkel, AJ1DM, is a shining example of the spirit of giving back and paying it forward. His volunteer activities include teaching tech classes, being a Volunteer Examiner, actively participating in fox hunts and special events, and donating time to introduce kids on Indian reservations to the fun and excitement of Morse code and CW. Amateur radio has much to offer and can be a source of great personal enrichment and fulfillment that can come from giving a little of ourselves to the next generation of amateur radio operators. John Merkel is an inspiration to all amateur radio operators!
19/07/2018 • 40 minutes 18 seconds
Episode #19 - The Straight Key Century Club
There are several organizations that promote Morse code and the CW operating mode. One of the very best is the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). The organization officially began on January 2, 2006 and currently has over 18,800+ members worldwide. The SKCC offers one of the broadest assortments of awards, contests and activities available from any organization for every level of CW operator to participate in. Ted Rachwal, K8AQM, is a member of the SKCC board and editor of the "Rag Chew", the official newsletter of the Straight Key Century Club. We spent a little time talking with Ted about the SKCC, the resources and benefits the club has to offer, and why it's no surprise that many of the nicest people you'll ever meet in the CW bands are SKCC members!
22/06/2018 • 34 minutes 4 seconds
Episode #18 - Gettin' Schooled!
Tom Parish, KB5RF, had the rare opportunity to take all three CW Academy courses in a twelve-month period. He began his Level 1 course hardly knowing anything about Morse code and completed the advanced Level 3 course twelve months later as a skilled CW operator capable of sending and receiving Morse code at 20+ word-per-minute. Listen as Tom shares helpful insights and experiences as a CW Academy student and follow him along on his unusual and intense journey to learn Morse code!
25/04/2018 • 55 minutes 4 seconds
Episode #17 - Alpha Antenna!
No matter if your operating QRP or QRO, having the right antenna for the job depends on what your target is. In this episode, Steve Deines, N0TES, owner of Alpha Antenna talks about targeted antenna deployment, getting the best out of your antenna, and learning code in the dark!
27/03/2018 • 55 minutes 22 seconds
Episode #16 - Better Ways To Learn The Code!
There are many ways to learn Morse code. People often take the leap and try learning on their own. That what Roland Simmons, K7FOP, did... until he found a better way! Roland is an avid SOTA activator who had been packing not-so-light gear to peaks in the great northwest. His SOTA partner showed him an LNR Mountain Topper he would be using on the activation they were doing that day. Roland realized he could hold an HF radio, wire antenna, key and battery in one hand, and it was infinity lighter than a pack full of heavy gear! That's when he decided it was time to learn Morse code. Roland began learning the code by himself using computer programs and help from CW operators on Facebook. When he felt he wasn't progressing as fast as he wanted he found other apps that worked better and helped him learn faster. Eventually, he enrolled in a CW Academy course and got on the air. Learning the code on your own can be tough. Roland discovered
16/03/2018 • 27 minutes 7 seconds
Episode 15 - Grab Your Gear And Go!
Cabin fever making you crazy... had enough of winter!? Spring is almost here, it's time to check your gear and head out into the fresh air. Find a comfy spot, throw a wire up in a tree and get on the air. Chris Bravo, W4ALF, talks about the joy of going portable. He'll discuss basic considerations, recommended antennas, when you should sign with a /P or /QRP and a few other things that will be handy to know when you're out in the field operating QRP CW.
07/03/2018 • 48 minutes 30 seconds
Episode #14 - The Other Side Of The Mountain
It takes two hands to clap... to wings to fly... two to tangle... and two amateur radio ops to make a QSO! It's fun to read about field operations and look at images of hams doing amazing things in amazing places (like driving your Jeep down the side of a mountain). It's also fun to daydream about hauling your gear to some never-before activated mountain peak and bringing back the image of you holding your SOTA flag high above your head and a log full of QSOs. We all enjoy reading those reports and listening to those stories. For every successful SOTA activation, it takes a SOTA Activator who's willing to face the elements and haul gear to the top of a mountain and a radio op someplace else to complete the exchange. More often than not, the other radio op is a SOTA Chaser who completes the QSO and participates in a successful activation. And it turns out that being a SOTA Chaser is a super easy way for new and seasoned CW ops to have a l
25/10/2017 • 31 minutes 12 seconds
Episode #13 - A 112 Year HAM Legacy!
There probably is no other piece of HAM equipment more ubiquitous than the Vibroplex key. For more than a 100 years, hundreds of thousands of Vibroplex keys have been produced and used on ships at sea, by railroads across continents, militaries and countless amateur radio operators. The most well known Vibroplex key being an odd-looking contraption called a 'bug'! Scott Robbins bought Vibroplex in 2009 and spent the past eight years breathing new life into the company while continuing to manufacture the time-tested and much-loved keys that have been produced since 1945.
11/10/2017 • 40 minutes 18 seconds
Episode #12 - The CW Op's Guide To Contesting 101
If you're a CW op looking for something new to do, contesting maybe just what you are looking for. There are literally hundreds of contests each year. Some are big and some are small. Either way, contests are a great way ops can take their CW skills to the next level and have a ton of fun at the same time. Anthony Luscre, K8ZT, holds an Amateur Extra license and is one of the best QRP contest ops on the air today. He was first licensed in 1983 as KA8NRC and has been a QRP operator from his very first QSO. Anthony has consistently finished in the top ten of a variety of major contests. He has finished first in the US multiple times in both the CQ Worldwide Phone and CW QRP categories. He has made more than 60,000+ QRP contacts and his QRP DXCC total recently topped the 320 mark. Anthony lives with his wife Linda, KA8ODP near Akron, Ohio. His station is definitely not a super contest station. His small suburban lot is cramped with a
25/09/2017 • 31 minutes 28 seconds
Episode #11 - Point The Beam... Crank It Up... Let It Fly!
Cody Codianni, KC2LSD, holds an Amateur Extra license, is a FISTS North America Board Member and manager of the FISTS North America club call, KN0WCW. He has achieved DXCC on numerous bands, including the very challenging 160M DXCC in 2017. Not only has Cody chased DX and accumulated a large collection of awards, he has also been the DX operator, operating occasionally from South America. Cody is a very experienced CW operator with a unique perspective about operating in the continuous wave mode. And he's a super nice guy too!
11/09/2017 • 32 minutes
Episode #10 - Fox Hunts and Metronomes
All of us have most certainly began our CW adventure with the basic QSO. But after you have mastered the QSO, you're ready for another challenge. If you're a little competitive, like developing your operating skills, and just want to see if you've 'got game', a QRP Fox Hunt is just the event you are looking for! Oh... and it's also a total blast!!
28/08/2017 • 39 minutes 43 seconds
Episode #9 - 0 to 20 WPM in Nine Months
Many amateur radio operators share a common experience. They become interested in the hobby, get licensed then, for any number of good reasons, take a break from their radio activities. Sometime later (sometimes years later), amateur radio catches their interest again and they jump back in. More often than not, when people come back to amateur radio they do amazing things... and Richard Carpenter, AA4OO, is a great example of someone doing amazing things! Richard was first licensed in 2000 and currently holds an Amateur Extra license. After taking a break for several years, his interest in Amateur Radio was rekindled and in August 2015 he jumped back in with both feet into Morse code, QRP and CW. During the next nine months he went from 0 WPM to 20 WPM, made hundreds of QSOs and collected a pile of awards. Richard writes about his Morse code and QRP experiences on his excellent blog, hamradioqrp.com, which he updates regula
14/08/2017 • 35 minutes 58 seconds
Episode #8 - Mind Melding With A Morse Code Instructor
Anyone who has ever tried learning Morse code would leap at the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 session with an experienced, highly regarded instructor who has taught scores of successful CW operators. The problem is, they're not that easy to find. And even if you do come across one, your odds of winning the Power Ball or busting a 1000 QRO operator pile up are better than your chances of getting some quality alone time with a highly sought after code instructor. Well, you just won the lottery my friend... !!! Joe Galicic, N3HEE, is a highly regarded and sought after CW Ops Academy advisor and instructor who has helped students succeed far beyond their goals and become highly proficient with the code. He has been a licensed amateur radio operator for over forty years, builds a telegraph key from time-to-time and is just an overall nice guy.
01/08/2017 • 34 minutes 17 seconds
Episode #7 - "The Bedtime Story Net" & Statue of Liberty
Emily Saldana, KB3VVE, was first licensed in 2011 and currently holds an Amateur Extra license. She is both a SOTA activator and chaser, actively participates in National Parks On The Air where she has achieved 53 national parks so far, was a member of the second team ever allowed to activate the Statute of Liberty and has soloed and operated from the Appalachian Trail numerous times. Emily is a member of a Search and Rescue Team (Cumberland County SAR Team 400, Carlisle PA) where she holds the position of Radio Communications and Assist Chief. She is also a paramedic supervisor at a rural fire company run ambulance company. Emily began learning Morse code in 2016.
20/07/2017 • 35 minutes 13 seconds
Episode #6 - Bedsprings and QSOs
Stan Levandowski, WB2LQF, was first licensed in the early 1960s and currently holds both an Amateur Extra license and Commercial Second Class Radiotelegraph Certificate. He has been doing more with less for over 50 years. He is a dedicated low power enthusiast who operates 100% CW using only simple wire antennas. Besides publishing articles in QST, QRP Quarterly and a number of club and amateur radio organization publications, Stan has a popular Youtube Channel where he provides many helpful and instructive videos on Amateur Radio topics. Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.
07/07/2017 • 36 minutes 12 seconds
Episode #5 - CW Immersion
In Episode #5 we talk with Chris Bravo, W4ALF, who was first licensed in 2014. In 2015 he decided to learn Morse code. He pulled out all the stops and took a deep dive approach to learning the code and developing his CW skills. Chris' 'full-immersion' process utilized a comprehensive list of Morse code and CW learning resources he used and later compiled into a free book, "The Road to CW" (links to a free copy are available on the DitDit Resource page). After mastering the code in a relatively short period of time, Chris accomplished some pretty amazing things. Kudos to Chris, W4ALF, for being an excellent example for anyone interested in learning the code and showing us what's possible when you set a goal! Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.
28/06/2017 • 48 minutes 52 seconds
Episode #4 - Nothing But Net!
In Episode #4 we talk with Henry Koenig, WD8Q. Henry is a CW gentleman. He's exactly the kind of CW operator you would hope to have your first QSO with. Henry became interested in amateur radio back in the 1950s. He discovered CW nets after being away from amateur radio for awhile as an effective way to dust off his CW skills and redevelop speed and technique. Henry went on to graduate from the Maryland Slow Speed Net Training Class where he learned how to handle and manage NTS traffic. He eventually became net manager of the Ohio Slow Speed Net for several years. after which he still remains very active participating in several nets. Henry became interested in amateur radio back in the 1950s. He discovered CW nets after being away from amateur radio for awhile as an effective way to dust off his CW skills and redevelop speed and technique. Henry went on to graduate from the Maryland Slow Speed Net Training Class where he learned how to handle and manage NTS traffic. He event
13/06/2017 • 26 minutes 21 seconds
Episode #3 - Sweat Through It!
In Episode #3 we talk with Chris Del Plato, KQ2RP. Chris is a very prolific CW operator and all around good guy. He's very active in numerous online amateur radio groups and posts regularly on his own website. He has accomplished QRP DXCC on 8 bands using simple wire antennas. Chris shares a lot of great insights and advice about learning Morse code and operating CW. Both new and seasoned CW operators will enjoy this conversation! Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.
25/05/2017 • 29 minutes 9 seconds
Episode #2 - CW From The Mountain Tops
In Episode #2 we talk with Steve Galchutt, WG0AT, who has been a licensed amateur radio operator for more than fifty years. He is a well known CW operator and popular SOTA activator. Steve shares some thoughts about learning morse code, operating CW and sitting on mountain tops with a radio. Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.
22/05/2017 • 26 minutes 38 seconds
Episode #1 - DitDit... What's This All About?
DitDit.fm is a podcast for Morse code and CW operators. Episode #1 explains the idea behind DitDit and what it's all about. Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE