Welcome to FISTS CW Club

FISTS supports the use, preservation and education of Morse code.  The club is devoted exclusively to CW operators, CW operating and people who are passionate about Morse code.

NYE 320-001 Straight Key from Dennis K6DF's collection.  Click to go to a larger picture We have three straightforward goals:
  • Further the use of CW (Morse Code)
  • Engender friendships among members
  • Encourage newcomers to use CW (Morse Code)

FISTS UK is the Headquarters of the FISTS Club (International Morse Preservation Society).
Bencher BY-1 Paddle from Dennis K6DF's collection.  Click to go to a larger picture
Interested in becoming a member?

Find out more about our history.

Latest News:

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  • 20 Apr 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest members:

    LenVK4FIAA#14174 MichaelVK3CMV#14175 BobK6DDX#16497
    ThomasAB0UN#16498 IanKA7SOL#16499 DeanM0HGA#16651
    PaoloIZ1POZ#16652 AdrianG4JGH#16653 BryanM0OIC#16654
    TedM6JRN#16655 MarioDF6CM#16656 DavidZ63MED#16657
    GilesG0AJC#16658 AndyDK7OG#16659 The Radio ClubM0WYC#16660
    SteveKK4VZA#16700 JimKC5ENZ#16701 JamesWA6DIJ#16702
    RichardKB5FLA#16703 MikeWI5H#16705 RobertKG7JGG#16706
  • 19 Apr 14: Walford Electronics (Tim G3PCJ) has introduced The Minster, a CW/SSB 5 Watt QRP transceiver kit.

    It starts life as a basic single band phone and CW 5W superhet transceiver for any single band in the 20 - 80m group.  To this can be added the optional RF Extras kit - this adds another single additional band in the same 20 - 80m group, plus a plug-in Card band position for any band 10 - 160m.
    It can be used initially without any card fitted as a two band rig, but when fully fitted gives single switch choice between the two 'fixed' bands and whatever is plugged into the Card position.

    Owing to its complexities, you do need to be a pretty experienced constructor!
  • 19 Apr 14: Dave G0DJA, FISTS #1372, has started a Yahoo Group for the Begali CW Machine, an iambic keyer with a key pad and internal logbook, that can also be connected to a PS/2 keyboard.

  • 13 Apr 14: This year's MRD (Maritime Radio Day) takes place between April 14, 12 GMT and April 15, 22 GMT in order to remember the era of wireless maritime radio operation.

    All radio amateurs are invited to join this CW-only event:
  • 11 Apr 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 13th April, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The Ladder involves relaxed, conversational QSOs and is a good opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and QSOs must include at a minimum exchange of name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    Note: QSOs in the Ladder with European stations that are at least 5 minutes long also count for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.
    Ensure you look up their Locator and include it in your electronic log.  Submit at least 9 out of the 12 monthly logs for Snakes & Ladders to enter a draw to win a Begali key!
  • 05 Apr 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest members:

    GaryN1ZAX#16484 LarryN5FSN#16485 MattAB7YO#16486
    SteveNO1R#16487 CarlKQ8G#16488 HomerK6OQS#16489
    KimWB5NIN#16490 ScottKD4EE#16491 BobKD8HSV#16492
    MichaelKK4UGD#16493 JohnW3BNO#16494 BillK5WDB#16495
    AnthonyKD9AOZ#16496 MickG4OPE#16645 BobGM0LQY#16646
    PhilGSWL20#16647 John5B4AHK#16648 MickMI0HOZ#16649
  • 03 Apr 14: QRPme (Rex W1REX) is now offering enclosures for the Rockmite ][ QRPP CW transceiver.

    These are LMB Crown Royal CR-425 enclosures which are small and perfectly sized to provide ample room for the Rockmite ][ board and I/O connectors.

    All required holes for mounting the off-board parts are already machined along with the hardware for mounting the printed circuit board AND 4 clear rubber feet.  All you have to do is start mounting the parts.

    They are available in the stock blue/gray or in several in-house powder coated colors.
  • 02 Apr 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    RichardG0ILN#398 1 X QRP
    PeterG4LHI#2219 Spectrum 40m
    PeteM5ABN#6423 Millionaire
    RienPA7RA#9819 Millionaire 3 Million Sticker
    GeneW5GXV#11347 Millionaire 21 Million Sticker
    CodyKC2LSD#11793 Gold Century, Millionaire 5 Million Sticker
    JohnG4LRG#14873 Silver Century
    AeilkoPA3GBK#16226 Basic Century
    TonyG6GLP#16262 Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 31 Mar 14: EuCW has now embarked on a new activity.

    Unlike almost every other club activity you might hear about, ours truly is a game.  It rewards those with operating skills and there is a premium for consistency, encouraging participation every month.  There are bonuses for seeking out contacts in rare locator squares.  But it is also a game of chance.  Just like the board game of Snakes and Ladders, our activity can earn you extra points by landing on certain locator squares... but you can be bitten by a snake and your points disappear!

    The activity is a game and not a contest.  It will encourage activity on every band - including the WARC bands - and will also promote polite, skillful operation and friendly QSOs.  The full rules for the activity are available on the EuCW web site at www.eucw.org/sl.htm.

    We also offer user guides in many other languages, thanks to the wonderful hard work done by our ECMs.

    The activity runs for a whole year and along the way you might be lucky enough to receive one of two Begali keys.  That's right! Pietro Begali, I2RTF is offering two of his precision keys to participants in EuCW Snakes and Ladders.

    Snakes and Ladders
    Starts 1. April 2014 until 31. March 2015
  • FISTS pentangle logo containing 'CW TUESDAY FISTS'.
    31 Mar 14: CW FISTS Tuesday Activity Day

    Starting Tuesday April 1, CW FISTS will be having a weekly Activity Day.  Time will run from 0001 until 2400 GMT every Tuesday.  No problem if you start a little early or run over.  Not a contest, no need to submit your log, just get on the air and make some contacts!

    One, two, several or a hundred QSOs it doesn't matter, just get on the air and make some QSOs.  We have invited the International FISTS Community to participate also so you may be able to work some new FISTS and new FISTS countries.

    So dust off the key and get on the air and have some fun!

    73 es CU on the bands!
    Ed, N2ED, FISTS NA Activities
  • 29 Mar 14: The first FISTS Eu Fifth Sunday activity of the year is on 30th March, 13:00-17:00 UTC.

    The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number. 
    Activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and QSOs must include exchange of RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.
    Note: you can contact the same station more than once provided it is on different bands.

    European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  Logs are welcomed but not essential.
  • 27 Mar 14: Steve Weber, KD1JV, will be producing a run of MTR (Mountain Top Radio) CW transceiver kits very soon.  The MTR fits in an Altoids tin or an optional custom case and is based on SMD components.  It provides VFO control and 5 Watts output with a 12V supply and 2.5 Watts with 9V supply.

    New features include 3 bands, frequency display after stopping tuning, low battery indication, a beacon mode, and an on/off slide switch.

    To purchase a kit, it is necessary to monitor the AT_Sprint Yahoo Group.  Kits are usually sold out in less than 24 hours!
  • 27 Mar 14: On Wednesday, April 23, the Royal Union of Belgian Radio Amateurs (UBA), in collaboration with ETWIE, are holding an meeting to think about the future of the Morse code.

    All interested parties are welcome on Wednesday, April 23 at 19h at the Congress and Heritage Lamot (Van Beethoven 8-10, 2800 Mechelen).  Please confirm your presence through this link (because there is a snack and a drink provided).
  • 25 Mar 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest members:

    StanAE7UT#16478 JerryK5KFK#16479 EdK6UYL#16480
    RobertKE5WZK#16481 MikeK4LJG#16482 GlennKC5E#16483
    PieroIW2ESL#16634 FrancoIK2NJV#16635 JonG4LJW#16636
    PaoloIZ2ZPH#16637 SteveG4RQG#16638 CliveG4OMG#16639
    SalvoIT9CLU#16640 CarlMM0HJX#16641 LexPA1AAT#16642
    AlexM0HCL#16643 LucLX2GT#16644
  • 24 Mar 14: Tom Desaulniers, K4VIZ, has announced that his key-making business, VIZKEY, is now closed.  He writes on his website:
    "Yes, well, I'm turning 70 in a few weeks.  I've had a great run the last 9 years and 900 units and the key business has grown such that I was working 3 to 5 hours a day.  VIZKEY caught on and turned into a nearly full time job instead of a part time hobby.  I'm getting tired (plus some health issues) and am supposed to be RE-tired!!  I really appreciate the support I've gotten over the years and do hope my products have brought joy and fun to my customers.  I've always tried my best to offer quality keys and the very best customer service.  I will continue to warranty my keys for as long as my health allows me to play in my shop."
  • 22 Mar 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 23rd March, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The Ladder involves relaxed, conversational QSOs and is a good opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and QSOs must include at a minimum exchange of name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  Members from all FISTS 'Chapters' are encouraged to join in.

Please visit the News page for a full list of recent and older news items.

Interested in becoming a member?

FISTS HQ welcomes new members who have a passion for Morse Code.

1990 Vibroplex from Dennis K6DF's collection. Click to go to a larger picture Benefits of membership include:
  • Our popular Quarterly A5 News Booklet
  • Free use of the FISTS QSL Bureau
  • Access to our members-only area
  • Help and support from like minded people
The FISTS Club is one of amateur radio's fastest growing organisations.  It's an unique club, founded and maintained on solid principles using radio's oldest and yet most reliable communications mode - CW!  Why not join us?

FISTS History

The FISTS Club, (International Morse Preservation Society) was founded in 1987 by the late George "Geo" Longden G3ZQS of Darwen, Lancashire England, after recognising a need for a club in which veteran operators would help newcomers and less-experienced operators learn and improve CW proficiency.  During the first year, membership reached 300, most of whom were in Great Britain and Europe.  The original Introduction to FISTS by Geo holds as true today as it did when he wrote it.  Geo also explains how he chose the name FISTS.

Sideswiper ('cootie') Key Number 9 made by Bill NT9K.  Click for a large picture.

The North American Chapter was formed in 1990 to assist 11 members in the USA receive the newsletter and as a banking convenience.  Nancy Kott WZ8C of Hadley, Michigan was named US representative, a position she held until sadly she became a Silent Key in 2014.

The Down Under Chapter (New Zealand / Australia) was formed in 1998 to provide a similar service to Australasian members, with Ralph Sutton ZL2AOH as the VK/ZL representative.  From a VK/ZL membership of four, there are now over 100 members "Down Under", principally in New Zealand. The New Zealand membership is the largest in any country outside England, Wales and North America.

The East Asia Chapter was formed in 2004 by a few Taiwanese and Japanese members to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.

Why not join us?

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dennis K6DF, Bill NT9K and Billy AB4RH for permission to use photographs from their key collections.

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