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News 2014

December 2014

  • 28 Dec 14: N3ZN Keys (USA) has introduced a new straight key for 2015, the ZN-HKR.

    It is an all brass straight key built on a 3 1/2" diameter brass base.  It features 4 ball bearing and silver contact points with a weight of 2 pounds 14 ounces.  The knob is bakelite and available in black only.  The ZN-HKR puts true meaning into "pounding brass".
  • 26 Dec 14: FISTS Europe Weekend activities 27-28 Dec.

    We hope everyone had a very enjoyable Christmas.  Please join us in the final Two Meter & Ladder sessions of the year:

    Sat 17:00-18:00 & Sun 09:00-10:00 UTC:
    Two Metre Activity is around 144.058.  Exchange a minimum of RST, name, 6 character locator, & member number (if applicable).

    Sun 14:00-16:00 & Sun 18:00-20:00 UTC:
    Ladder Activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz.  Exchange a minimum of: name, RST, QTH, & member number (if applicable).

    QSOs are friendly and conversational.  Logs are welcome but not essential - the main objective is to enjoy the QSOs.  Members from all FISTS Chapters are encouraged to join in; QSOs do not have to be with members of FISTS Europe.
  • 21 Dec 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    EdwardK1BDR#16884 JoelW4JBB#16885 ScottN6PG#16886
    HerbK0HEA#16887 MurrayK3BEQ#16888 JohnVA7BY#16889
    IvanKP3IV#16890 BobW9JOP#16891 KevinK3NTD#16892
    JohnK6JRO#16893 ScottN5XTC#16894 RonaldW3TU#16895
    PeteG4NTN#17016 EvanM0TJU#17017 HansPA5FN#17018
  • 13 Dec 14: FISTS CW Club North America offers new Online Subscription

    FISTS CW Club in North America is now offering an Online Subscription for $10 (USD) per year with the KeyNote newsletter available from the website.

    You may join or renew on the website at: http://fistsna.org/howdoi.html#join

    FISTS CW Club promotes the use of Morse Code and is open to anyone with an interest in Morse.
  • 13 Dec 14: Kent Engineers are proud to present their new Morse tutor for smart phones and Androids.  This App is available for free download from Google play store.

    The KENT Morse tutor generates random Morse code in groups of 5, or random length groups of 1 to 10 characters and lesson lengths of up to 250 groups of characters.

    The selectable letters, numbers and punctuations can be played individually or in any combination.

    Code speeds from 5 wpm to 40 wpm can be selected in 1 wpm steps, and an independent delay can be inserted between characters.  This feature allows you to learn each character at the correct speed but allows thinking time between characters.  A you improve, the delay can be reduced.

    The tone can be set between 500Hz and 1750Hz.

    It can be uploaded to smart phones or Android at
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=morse.tutor&hl=en
  • 13 Dec 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    BillW4ZWO#16872 RicKC1CL#16873 ChristopherKG7NFF#16874
    JamesKB1YZ#16875 DonAC7EG#16876 RichardK3VYY#16877
    DavidN1NI#16878 DavidW5MKT#16879 MichaelK4CMT#16880
    JustinKG5DYY#16881 JeffKD9BLO#16882 JamesKI6JD#16883
    Steve2E0GHX#17005 VasekOK2VWB#17006 AlanM0DNU#17007
    JackF5IJO#17008 JanosYO6GZI#17009 NeerajVUSWL24#17011
    TomG4GUY#17012 DickyG0MJP#17013 JuhaOH3NX#17014
    JalmarOZ1JHM#17015
  • 13 Dec 14: FISTS Europe Weekend activities 13-14 Dec.

    Sat 17:00-18:00 & Sun 09:00-10:00 UTC:
    Two Metre Activity is around 144.058.  Exchange a minimum of RST, name, 6 character locator, & member number (if applicable).

    Sun 14:00-16:00 & Sun 18:00-20:00 UTC:
    Ladder Activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz.  Exchange a minimum of: name, RST, QTH, & member number (if applicable).

    QSOs are friendly and conversational.  Logs are welcome but not essential - the main objective is to enjoy the QSOs.  Members from all FISTS Chapters are encouraged to join in; QSOs do not have to be with members of FISTS Europe.
  • 12 Dec 14: The Morse Express (USA) Christmas 2014 Key is now available.

    It is a fully functional miniature telegraph key commissioned by Morse Express and made by GHD Telegraph Key in Sendai City Japan.

    The key is fully adjustable, with precision pin bearings at the trunnion, and it has two miniature binding posts.  Its balance is perfect, and lever tension is provided by a compression spring that is located forward of the trunnion posts.  The contacts are hard-silver and there are three small anti-skid feet on the bottom for stability.  GHD's Toshihiko Ujiie uses both modern and traditional techniques to produce a miniature key that will be equally at home in the radio shack, in the field, or decorating a Christmas tree.

    This year's key features a deep-grained mahogany base with a warm, smooth finish, perfectly proportioned to distribute the weight of the key and the downward keying force, providing a stable platform for comfortable use.

    The 2014 Christmas Key measures 1.25" x 2.25" at the base.  It is 1.5" tall and it weighs just over 1.5 ounces.
  • 12 Dec 14: The November 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like a copy of the December newsletter, please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 10 Dec 14: The latest version (3.1.0) of the free FISTS Log Converter program is now available.

    This version supports all FISTS Europe 2015 Activities.  It also adds a "Find QSOs" feature to the logbook.

    The program is available from the download web page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 03 Dec 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    IanG4MLW#130 Millionaire 5 Million Endorsement
    DaveKA3YNV#3685 Basic Century
    IanZL2AIM#9683 Silver Century
    GaryW4IHI#13344 Millionaire 5 Million Endorsement
    JohnG4LRG#14873 Worked All USA States
    PeteWA6OEF#15666 Spectrum 15m Endorsement and Millionaire 7 Million Endorsement

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.

Older News

November 2014

  • 27 Nov 14: Weekend 29-30 November - no less than five FISTS Europe Activities!
    A single QSO can count for multiple activities - so please enter as many as you can.  QSOs are friendly and conversational.  Logs are welcome but not essential - the main objective is to enjoy the QSOs.  Note: this weekend is the CQ WW CW contest, so narrow filters at the ready!

    Sat 17:00-18:00 UTC: Two Metre Exchange a minimum of RST, name, 6 character locator, & member number (if available).
    One QSO with an operator per day.

    Sun 00:00 - Sat 06 Dec 23:59 UTC: Straight Key Week Exchange a minimum of RST, name, QTH, & member number (if available).
    One QSO with an operator per band per day.
    Entrants must use straight keys or sideswipers (no bug keys, keyers, keyboards etc.)

    Sun 09:00-10:00 UTC: Two Metre Exchange a minimum of RST, name, 6 character locator, & member number (if available).
    One QSO with an operator per day.

    Sun 13:00-17:00 UTC: Fifth Sunday Minimum exchange of RST, name, QTH, & member number (if available).
    One QSO with an operator per band.

    Sun 14:00-17:00 UTC: International Days St Andrew's Day has a minimum exchange of RST, name, QTH, & member number (if available).
    One QSO with an operator.
  • 25 Nov 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    RonWE5O#16864 LeeKF7YRS#16865 DaleW6DGD#16866
    WayneKG4ZQY#16867 LloydVE4AEA#16868 KenNG2H#16869
    LenKY5V#16870 TimmKC3BJW#16871 BjornLB1GB#16997
    StanG4JGV#16998 NormanG4NFS#16999 LeszekSP1RKH#17001
    MarkG4MEM#17002 DavidG0OOG#17003 KlaasPA3ADC#17004
    Fort Purbrook Amateur Radio Club (FPARC)G3CNO#17010
  • 20 Nov 14: The ARTSAT2:DESPATCH spacecraft will be carrying a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz.

    The spacecraft, which is due to be launched on 30th November 2014, will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars.  The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU (an Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km).

    Morse code is being used to transmit housekeeping data at 6 wpm until the spacecraft reaches 180,000 km from Earth.
  • 20 Nov 14: TX factor's Hamfest 2014 video features an interview with FISTS member Mary G0BQV (FISTS #40), who enthuses about CW.  The interview starts at around 18 minutes.

    During an interview with VMARS there are glimpses of Chris G5VZ, Paul M0BMN, and Graham G3ZOD on the FISTS stand.
  • 20 Nov 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 23 November, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 22 Nov. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 23 Nov. 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 29 Nov. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 30 Nov. 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 06 Dec. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 07 Dec. 0900-1000 UTC.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.
  • 17 Nov 14: The latest version (3.0.8) of the free FISTS Log Converter program is now available.

    A minority of logbook programs do not allow you to record a QSO's end time.  However, QSO end time is needed for the FISTS Rag Chewers Awards and some EuCW Activities.  This new version of FISTS Log Converter allows you to store the QSO end time in your logbook's Comment / Notes / Remarks field by adding "TIMEOFF" followed by a space then the time in UTC as 4 digits (hours and minutes) or 6 digits (hours, minutes, and seconds).  Do not include colons or any other characters - just 4 or 6 digits only.  For example, QSO end times of 09:29:00 UTC and 21:40:30 UTC can be represented using:

    TIMEOFF  0929
    TIMEOFF  214030

    There are also other improvements and bug fixes.  The program is available from the download web page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, David G4YVM, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 07 Nov 14: A very warm welcome to our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    Chris-#14182 OrlandoKK4SNC#16858 RobertKH6NX#16859
    JoeKK4DZX#16860 WaltK7ZQ#16861 JoeN9XJN#16862
    WarrenAB6YA#16863 JoeM6JNJ#16994 GuyG4DWV#16995
    IanM0CAG#16996 Finningley Amateur Radio Society (FARS)G0GHK#17000
  • 06 Nov 14: The TBSK Straight Key from Steve W1SFR is a whole new thing ... no springs or magnets to mess with.  Just plug it in, adjust the contact travel to your liking and experience one of the quietest and smoothest straight keys you'll ever use.

    All components are made by hand.  All brass parts are mounted to black granite and then mounted to an American Cherry or Walnut base.  Even the knob is hand turned.  Wood base measures 4" x 6" and each key comes with a custom made 3.5mm cable as well as a heavy duty non slip pad which keeps this key in place while in use.  Each key will come with an engraved plate: "TBSK by W1SFR Ser No. XXX".

    First 10 keys ordered will also get an inlayed mother of pearl dot which will be centered on the top of the knob.
  • 06 Nov 14: The results of the FISTS North America / NAQCC Sprint that took place on the 3rd September 2014 are now available.


     
  • 06 Nov 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 09 November, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 08 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 09 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 15 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 16 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 22 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 23 November 0900-1000 UTC.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.
  • 02 Nov 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    IanG4MLW #130 Spectrum 17m
    MichaelW3QT #13724 Perpetual Prefix and 50, 100, & 150 Endorsements
    MervG4KLE #16273 Millionaire 3 Million Endorsement
    VanniI5ECW #16505 Basic Century, Silver Century, and Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 01 Nov 14: If you haven't already, please submit your logs for the following October 2014 activities:
    Even if you only had one QSO or feel that you can't win, it's really helpful to send in logs so that the organisers and other participants are aware of the levels of activity.  For all FISTS Eu Activities, logs can be submitted using the FISTS Log Converter program or may be in Excel, CSV or Cabrillo format or neatly reproduced on paper; see the Activity Calendar web page for details.

    See the EuCW Snakes & Ladders web page for details on submitting Snakes & Ladders logs.

October 2014

  • 31 Oct 14: Here is a photograph of the two Begali keys to be awarded to participants in the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.

    There is also a second photograph available.

     
  • 30 Oct 14: The RSGB Marconi CW 2m Contest is this coming Weekend, 1st November 1400 UTC - 2nd November 1400 UTC.  It is part of a Europe-wide contest and is the third out of three annual RSGB VHF CW contests (4m, 6m and 2m).

    Unlike HF contests, QSOs are a bit more relaxed and don't expect to get 599 for each QSO!  The exchange is RST, serial number and 6 character locator.  Most activity centres around 144.050, with the primary CW band plan area 144.000-144.110 MHz.

    Note: Both the FISTS CW Club 2m Activity weekend sessions take place within the contest period.  If you are participating in the contest as a 6-hour or 2x3-hour participant and the FISTS sessions occur in your 'off time', note that you must not have QSOs with other contesters during the FISTS sessions.
  • 30 Oct 14: Morse Express (USA) has released a photograph of its Christmas 2014 Key production prototype.

    The base is mahogany, 1-1/4" x 2-1/4" x 1.5" tall (30mm x 50mm x 40mm).  The knob is ebony 3/4" (20mm) diameter.  The weight is 1.5 Oz (45g).

     
  • 30 Oct 14: The October 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 27 Oct 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    TomKA9NOO#16845 EarlWA7PEA#16846 DaveKC1APK#16847
    LarryWA5LSV#16848 RickW4RP#16849 BarryW4YAT#16850
    RexK2AM#16851 DimaAC2KJ#16852 BobK1RWR#16853
    HalAA2ID#16854 CraigN5LNX#16855 BobK0ALN#16856
    FloydVE7GWN#16857 StigSM5CLF#16983 RuiM0RLM#16984
    JohnG0IJM#16985 PaoloI1HJP#16986 ChrisF6EAZ#16987
    GeoffG4AEI#16988 TonyG0EPZ#16989 RoyGM4VKI#16990
    RichardG0IAX#16991 DavidG4HYY#16992 GiorgioIU1BKT#16993
  • 22 Oct 14: Ham Gadgets (USA) has introduced the Ultra PicoKeyer kit.

    It has four buttons so it's quicker and easier to send any of the four stored messages.  Message recording and changing settings is simple.  For example, you can hold a button for a couple of seconds to record a message, very similar to what you'd do to set a preset on your car stereo.  And you'll find the setup function easy to use, too.  Use the buttons like arrow keys to scroll through menu settings, all announced in Morse code - either single character "short" announcement for experienced users, or a longer version like "SPEED", "WEIGHT" or "QSO NUM" if you prefer.  You can set up everything (other than recording messages or reversing the paddle inputs) using just the front panel pushbuttons, without even plugging in a paddle.

    This keyer has all of the features of the latest PicoKeyer Plus and then some.  A built-in sidetone audio jack lets you plug in your ear buds, headphones, amplified speaker or just pipe the sidetone audio into your homebrew rig's audio section.  The new firmware builds on previous versions of the PicoKeyer with a number of new features.  It's easier to operate and just as compact.
  • 21 Oct 14: FISTS CW Club will be at the UK GQRP Convention at Rishworth on Saturday 25th October.

    The doors open at 10am and the admission is £3.50.  For more information, please see the Convention's web page.
     
  • 21 Oct 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 26 October, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.
    *UK members:* Don't forget that from 26 October the clocks are back on UTC!

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 25 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 26 October 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 01 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 02 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 08 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 09 November 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • Small Ofcom logo.
    19 Oct 14: UK Ofcom consultation ends on the 20th October!

    I hope that all UK amateurs reading this have responded to Ofcom's consultation, which "ends on the 20th" (presumably meaning that today (Sunday) is the last day for submitting responses).

    The consultation document is here:
    stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/summary/condoc.pdf

    The details for responding (now by email or using the online form) are here:
    stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/howtorespond/?a=0

    The RSGB's notes on some of the topics are here:
    www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/october/rsgb_guidance_for_responding_to_the_ofcom_consultation.htm

    One of the items is Ofcom's enthusiasm for making the link between regional prefixes and the region operating is taking place from optional.  E.g. if they have their way and you were to hear MD0QQQ on the air, the station could be located in England, Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, etc. - there would no longer be a way to be sure.  This makes it very difficult for humans and software to determine DXCC entity (aka DXCC country) / region from callsign.
    For FISTS CW Club, an implication is that the FISTS Log Converter program will have problems scoring QSOs for the purposes of awards and activities since it will no longer be sure of the DXCC entity (country) based on callsigns.  The FISTS Awards Managers and FISTS Activity/Contest managers will have the same problem.
    The same issue will occur with other software and award schemes etc. worldwide.

    73 de Graham G3ZOD
  • 18 Oct 14: The October 2014 edition of the "morsEAsia" newsletter from FISTS East Asia is available.

    This edition includes the Tokyo Ham Fair 2014 and home made transceivers.

    FISTS East Asia was formed in 2004 to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.
  • 17 Oct 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    BruceZL2BCO#14181 DennyW0AKQ#16823 MichaelN5FUR#16824
    TerryVE3NMW#16825 MikeN9DLI#16826 RichardAG5M#16827
    MikeW9MIC#16828 JohnW7SAG#16829 TomKB8J#16830
    VirginiaW0NWH#16831 BillN4HAL#16832 JoeW5ASP#16833
    BillK2ONN#16834 TheodoreKB9SKP#16835 JohnKC7DM#16836
    KevinN1IME#16837 JohnN7ENL#16838 JoeN7JEH#16839
    GlennKA0HKF#16840 DonKW4DON#16841 BobKK4QYN#16842
    SteveKF5RYI#16843 LouVE7CGE#16844 ErichHB9FIH#16938
    KeithG4EQZ#16939 RayM0TRK#16940 KeithG3IGU#16941
    FrankIZ2DQB#16942 IanG0PDZ#16943 AndyM0HLA#16944
    PascalHB9FMC#16945 AlexM0UKR#16946 DaveG4RQI#16947
    TedG4OZG#16948 JimG3OJI#16949 Alan2E0GLD#16950
    DickG3WRJ#16951 ChrisG4CLB#16952 JohnM6FBO#16953
    BrodG4RBP#16954 SteveG8RHQ#16955 AndyG0SFJ#16956
    ChrisG0LQZ#16957 JohnnyM6OAO#16958 JohnM0CQV#16959
    PhilG4UDU#16960 GedG4MYA#16961 MelM5ZZR#16962
    DaveG4OCU#16963 ChrisG4JSP#16964 PhilG4NVR#16965
    StuartG4VMF#16966 HarryGI0JHR#16967 FabrizioIU0AHC#16968
    MarianOM5MI#16969 GaryM0PGH#16970 JackM6FRI#16971
    Paul2I0OTW#16972 KevG0SBE#16973 ChrisG4RSL#16974
    Graham2E0RZM#16975 ChrisDL2MDU#16977 DavidG4NRT#16978
    JoeDL4CF#16979 StuartM0SGV#16980 Gron2W0DFN#16981
    Odd ErlingLB1LF#16982
  • 13 Oct 14: The September 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 11 Oct 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    LorenAE7CG#8599 Silver Century
    RienPA7RA #9819 Millionaire 4 Million Endorsement
    JoaoCU3AA #16928 Basic Century, Silver Century, and Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 10 Oct 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 12 October, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 11 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 12 October 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Saturday 18 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 19 October 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Saturday 25 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 26 October 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 10 Oct 14: The FISTS North America Fall Sprint takes place on Saturday 11th October 1700-2100 UTC.

    Members worldwide are invited to participate.

    The exchange includes: RST, U.S. state or Canadian province or DXCC country, first name, FISTS member number.  Non-members send their power output in Watts instead of a member number.

    For N1MM contest logger users, a User Defined Contest (UDC) file is available.  Go to the N1MM website, choose "FILES" then "User Defined Contests (UDC)" and look for the file G3ZQSmem.zip (can be used for Sprints despite the name).  A FISTS Call History File is also available. Thanks to Les G4OGB for providing the UDC file.
  • 04 Oct 14: The FISTS Eu 100 Yard Dot Dot Dash Activity takes place on Sunday 05 October, 1400-1540 UTC (100 minutes).

    Send your name, member number, WX temperature (C or F), and power (W).
    Receive their name, and for more points, their member number, WX temperature (C or F), and power (W).

    QSOs can be short or chatty; if you want short QSOs, please call 'CQ EE'.  Keep +/- 400 Hz away from FISTS Centre Frequencies.

    The usual bands apply and logs are welcomed but not essential.
  • 03 Oct 14: If you haven't already, please send in your logs for the following September 2014 activities:
    Even if you only had one QSO or feel that you can't win, it's really helpful to send in logs so that the organisers and other participants are aware of the levels of activity.  For all FISTS Eu Activities, logs can be submitted using the FISTS Log Converter program or may be in Excel, CSV or Cabrillo format or neatly reproduced on paper; see the Activity Calendar web page for details.

    See the EuCW Snakes & Ladders web page for details on submitting Snakes & Ladders logs.
  • 02 Oct 14: The FISTS Eu International Day activity, German Unity Day, is on Friday 3rd October, 14:00-17:00 UTC.

    Activity is typically around 7.028 and 14.058 MHz.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members from Germany.  Log submissions are welcomed but not essential.

    European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create log submissions for this, all other European FISTS Activities and the EuCW Snakes & Ladders Activity.

September 2014

  • 22 Sep 14: FISTS CW Club is offering a year and a half's free membership to anyone who passes an RSGB Morse Test at 12 wpm or higher at the National Hamfest (Newark UK, 26/27 September 2014) and who is not currently a member.

    The Morse Tests are themselves free, and can be booked with speeds between 5 wpm - 20 wpm at the Hamfest Information Desk.

    For details of what to expect, see the test details on the RSGB website.
    Note that you can bring your own key / keyer with you for the tests.

    For more information about the National Hamfest, please see http://www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.
    More information about FISTS CW Club is available at http://fists.co.uk.
  • 22 Sep 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 28 September, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 27 September 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 28 September 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Saturday 4 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 5 October 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Saturday 11 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 12 October 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • Small image of Portuguese Flag.
    20 Sep 14: Brian G3KJX, FISTS #8924, writes:

    I will be down in CT1 for most of October.  I will be using a doublet and my trusty FT817.
    Regards, Brian G3KJX
     
  • 12 Sep 14: The new Noble Radio NR-4SC is a simple to use 10 Watt (minimum) 4 meter (70 MHz) SSB/CW transceiver.

    The radio operates USB and CW.  The NR-4SC uses a single conversion design with an IF frequency of 10.7 MHz.  Front end bandpass filters limit out of band signals into the RF Preamp stage.  There are two 8 pole crystal filters following the mixer which are designed for 3.0 kHz and 500 Hz -6dB bandwidths.  The 3 kHz filter allows for good SSB voice fidelity while the 500 Hz filter provides good adjacent channel rejection on CW.  Either filter can be selected in both modes.  The transceiver offers a 10.7MHz IF out on the back panel for connection to an SDR so it may be used with a PC for a spectral display.  Other features of the NR-4SC include RIT and split functions as well as a built-in iambic keyer for CW.  The AGC rate has a fast and slow speed to suit operator preference.
  • 12 Sep 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    William (JC)AA2O#16819 RogerW9YU#16820 LarryKD0NAF#16821
    StephenK1AME#16822 YokyI4OQA#16934 JanOK1TE#16935
    RichardG8SQP#16936 SteveG4HXY#16937
  • 12 Sep 14: N3ZN Keys (USA) has introduced a new iambic paddle, the ZN-9CRB.

    This features a classic round base design on a 7/8" thick x 3" diameter brass base.  It is unique in that it is available in either 3/8" or 5/8" out-to-out spacing of the fingerpieces (OTO).

    The fingerpieces are available in red, blue, or black carbon fiber.
     
  • 11 Sep 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 14 September, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 13 September 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 14 September 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Saturday 20 September 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 21 September 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 11 Sep 14: Over the next two weeks FISTS member Steve W7VI is performing some testing with his OCF Dipole on 30 meters and will be looking for QSOs with the UK and the Channel Islands between 10.122 MHz and 10.125 MHz.  Any help will be appreciated.
     
  • 05 Sep 14: Morse Express (USA) has made its new Fall 2014 General Catalogue available online.

    Morse Express provides a wide variety of Morse keys and Morse-related products.
  • 05 Sep 14: FISTS North America's G3ZQS Memorial Straight Key Contest starts on Friday 5th September 23:00 UTC and runs until Sunday 7th September 23:00 UTC.

    Bands are: 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m.  Call "CQ FS".  The exchange is:
    RST, U.S. state/Canadian province/DXCC country, first name, FISTS number (or power output for non-FISTS)

    Members worldwide are invited to participate.

    For N1MM contest logger users, a User Defined Contest (UDC) file is available.  Go to the N1MM website, choose "FILES" then "User Defined Contests (UDC)" and look for the file G3ZQSmem.zip (can be used for Sprints despite the name).  A FISTS Call History File is also available. Thanks to Les G4OGB for providing the UDC file.
  • 01 Sep 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    JoeGW0WEE#3773 Gold Century, Millionaire 2 Million Endorsement
    ChrisMI0AHH#15984 Basic Century
    PeteG0PNM#16592 Spectrum 40m

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 01 Sep 14: If you haven't already, please send in your logs for the following August activities:
    Even if you only had one QSO or feel that you can't win, it's really helpful to send in logs so that the organisers and other participants are aware of the levels of activity.  For all FISTS Eu Activities, logs can be submitted using the FISTS Log Converter program or may be in Excel, CSV or Cabrillo format or neatly reproduced on paper; see the Activity Calendar web page for details.

    See the EuCW Snakes & Ladders web page for details on submitting Snakes & Ladders logs.
  • 01 Sep 14: The FISTS North America / NAQCC Sprint takes place on the 3rd September 0000-0300.  Bands are 160m-10m.  Call 'CQ FN'.

    The exchange is: NANCY / USA state or Canadian Province or DX Country / B if you are both a FISTS and NAQCC member, F if only FISTS, N if only NAQCC.  For example, K3WWP has a QSO with MM0QNH:
    • K3WWP sends: MM0QNH NANCY PA B
    • MM0QNH sends: K3WWP NANCY SCOTLAND F
    The full rules are available at http://naqcc.info/nancy.html
  • 01 Sep 14: Essex (UK) Morse Classes

    The UK Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be starting weekly Morse classes on Thursday, September 4 at 7pm in the Danbury Village Hall.

    If you are complete beginner, do not worry, we will soon have you on the bands.  Instruction from square one is given by Andrew, G0IBN.
    For the more competent operator, tuition is given by Colin, M1OCN, who will give instruction on the correct procedures for QSOs and how to show "good manners" on the bands.  Paddle and straight key instruction is also given.

    If you are interested in learning morse code - or improving your present skills - you will be made very welcome.

    Those interested in learning Morse code or wanting to increase their Morse skills should contact: Andrew, G0IBN, on 01621 868347.  Email: g0ibn at kersey1.freeserve.co.uk

August 2014

  • 31 Aug 14: The August 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 30 Aug 14: The Palm Single is a new, mini single lever paddle key from Palm Radio.  It is equipped with galvanized gold contacts that ensure maximum contact safety and reliability.  For maximum transportation safety, it can be retracted into its robust housing, just as known from all Palm Radio keys.  The standard housing consists of aluminium; the new ABS housing is optional.

    The lever incorporates a clever mechanism which automatically centers it in the middle position - no adjustments to be made!  You can select either the normal "single paddle mode" or the "sideswiper mode".  The switching between these modes is done directly at the lever by use of the supplied hex key, which is also used for the adjustment of the set screws.  The hex key can be stored in the base plate of the key ("QuickMount").

    Two different set screws per lever side allow precise and individual adjustment of the contact gap and the spring pressure.
  • 29 Aug 14: A very warm welcome to our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    TomKJ9P#16804 JamesNL7AA#16805 JimNV5S#16806
    JimAG6EF#16807 TomKC2THO#16808 EvansKF5DNI#16809
    LowellKA6LJT#16810 JustinK0JZS#16811 JohnVE1OU#16812
    TonyKC1CHM#16813 StevenWD0HVS#16814 BillWM3X#16815
    MichaelN0MH#16816 DaveW0VX#16817 BrianWB4IT#16818
    StephenGMSWL23#16926 GregG4EBY#16927 JoaoCU3AA#16928
    BobG8UED#16929 TomEI9KJ#16930 JohnMI0AHI#16931
    CliveG0KAL#16932 KaiDL1AH#16933
  • 28 Aug 14: The document "Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur" ('EOPRA') contains misunderstandings related to some aspects of CW procedure in conversational (non-contest) QSOs.  Fortunately the vast majority of CW operators know the correct procedures and have ignored the misunderstandings, but some are now using erroneous procedures on-air.  For a more detailed discussion of the issues, see http://fists.co.uk/docs/iaru/VA14C340Support.pdf.

    The paper VA14_C3_40 (copy available at http://fists.co.uk/docs/iaru/VA14C340.pdf ), written by the Icelandic Radio Amateurs Association, is being put forward at the September IARU Region 1 Conference in Bulgaria so that the IARU can endorse the correct procedures, as used and documented in amateur radio books (such as the RSGB and ARRL Handbooks) for a period of over 70 years.  Prior to this and over a period of 6 months, the Icelandic Association was not successful in persuading the authors of 'EOPRA' to correct the text.  The IARU also confirmed to the Icelandic Association that in endorsing 'EOPRA', it had not been intended to try and change operating procedure and the errors had been inadvertently overlooked.

    The procedures concerned may seem trivial, but are important because of the confusion caused when all operators are not "on the same page", particularly in relation to the end of transmissions.

    Over the weekend of 17/18 August 2014, the Nordic Amateur Radio Union (NARU) agreed to endorse the paper.

    Please help the Icelandic Association by requesting that radio clubs and societies that you are a member of support the paper and also that any that are present at the conference do so there. For more information, see the Association's analysis at http://bit.ly/MGrcRj and share this link with others.
  • 28 Aug 14: New to FISTS CW Club sales is the FISTS Europe Key Note Collection on CD, which contains all available European Key Notes between October 1987 and July 2014.

    The files are in PDF format.  Key Notes prior to February 2000 are in the form of facsimiles.

    The prices, including delivery, are £2.50 UK, £3.00 Europe, & £3.50 DX.  For ordering, please see the club sales web page.
     
  • 28 Aug 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The third FISTS Eu Fifth Sunday Activity of the year is on 31 August, 13:00-17:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 30 August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 31 August 0900-1000 UTC,
    - Saturday 06 September 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 07 September 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

    In the Fifth Sunday, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.
    Note: you can contact the same station more than once provided it is on different bands.

    In the Two Metre Activity, exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.
  • 22 Aug 14: Gordon Crowhurst, G4ZPY, is now a Silent Key.

    Gordon, who was FISTS member number 2278, was well-known for his range of superb paddle and other key types.  He retired from key making in 2010.
     
     
     
     
  • 22 Aug 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 24 August, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 23 August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 24 August 0900-1000 UTC,
    - Saturday 30 August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 31 August 0900-1000 UTC,
    - Saturday 06 September 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 07 September 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 22 Aug 14: The FISTS North America The KeyNote 2014 Issue 1, 2014 (15 MB) is now available to all FISTS members.

    Please visit this link to get your copy:
    https://fists.co.uk/members/docs/keynotesna/keynote-1-2014.pdf

    Any problems with passwords etc., PLEASE send an email to Graham G3ZOD

    Items in this issue include:
    • In Memory of Nancy Kott, WZ8C, #379
    • CQ CQ CQ de KB1DSB
    • My 30 Meter Challenges
    • The TEN-TEC Rebel (Model 506)
    • Honoring Nancy Month
    • FISTS Awards
    ... and more.
  • 18 Aug 14: The latest version (3.0.6) of the free FISTS Log Converter program:
    • Makes the difference between the FISTS Ladder and EuCW Snakes & Ladder clearer.
    • Includes a new option for the default date and time when logging a batch of QSOs in the Logbook.
    There are also other improvements and bug fixes.

    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 17 Aug 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    SamuelVK2AFA#14180 DavidW4DDM#16788 PaulWR1X#16789
    MikeKC0SM#16790 JamesK4YZG#16791 Daniel-#16792
    TomAD5QA#16793 KenKB3LLA#16794 DavidKD0DK#16795
    KenKC8Y#16796 WesAE6ZM#16797 NickKL3OK#16798
    TimothyKD0OIA#16799 BrianK5WLW#16800 JamesKI6ZSK#16801
    BillKM5VZ#16802 DaveWA6JSR#16803 BobG0AGO#16917
    DaphneG7ENA#16918 MikeG4GHT#16919 LaciHA7WI#16920
    PeteM3KXZ#16921 PhilM0HIW#16922 BobG4PVB#16923
    Terry2E0CWP#16924 AlI5SKK#16925
  • 09 Aug 14: Tom Withers G3HGE, well known in the past for TW Electronics (1958-2000) and in more recent years his range of keys, has now retired from key-making.

    His keys were the TW MagPad (dual lever paddle), TWanger (sideswiper), TW eZKe (single lever paddle), and TW Olympic (semi-automatic key).
     
  • 08 Aug 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 10th August, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Saturday 9th August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 10th August 0900-1000 UTC,
    - Saturday 16th August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 17th August 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • Small photograph of Ray G0EML's N2DAN Mercury paddle key.
    08 Aug 14: Ray G0EML is creating a catalogue of N2DAN Mercury paddle keys.  He will be grateful if any current owners of this outstanding key can supply him with the serial number and finish (i.e. chrome, brass lacquered, or gold), and if not the first owner, tell him who the previous owner of the key was (if known).

    Ray can be contacted via email: link text

     
  • 08 Aug 14: Please send in July Logs for the FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity - the last date for receiving them has been extended to 15th August.

    If you had at least one QSO during the sessions, please do send your log to Chris G5VZ, Activities Manager, .  This helps us to judge the level of activity and encourages others to join in.

    The log requirements are given in the Activity Calendar's Two Meter section.
  • 02 Aug 14: The Spring 2014 Key Note is now available to all FISTS members.

    Please visit this link to get your copy:
    https://fists.co.uk/members/knspring.aspx

    Any problems with passwords etc., PLEASE send an email to Graham G3ZOD

    Items in this issue include:
    • VA14_C3_40 Corrects Operational Errors
    • Australian Gems: Leo Cohen and the Simplex Auto
    • Tribute to Bill G4KKI, Silent Key
    • New FISTS Two Metre and Dot Dot Dash activities!
    • Review: UNIHAM UNI-715 Iambic Key
    • QTR?
    ... and more.
  • 01 Aug 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    JohnGM0EPO #209 Basic Century
    DerekM0DRK #8344 Millionaire
    DavidKB9MLE #13933 Platinum
    JohnG4LRG #14873 Perpetual Prefix 150 Endorsement
    PeteWA6OEF #15666 Millionaire 6 Million Endorsement
    PeteG0PNM #16592 Millionaire
    PhilF5IYJ#16622 Basic Century

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 01 Aug 14: The next sessions of the new FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity are on:
    Saturday 2nd August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 3rd August 0900-1000 UTC,
    Saturday 9th August 1700-1800 UTC, Sunday 10th August 0900-1000 UTC.

    Exchange a minimum of:
    RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

July 2014

  • 31 Jul 14: The July 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 30 Jul 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    MackyJO2JIW#15152 GuyN8MUT#16779 Hands On MuseumWA2HOM#16780
    DaveKK4PNS#16781 DanW6RSO#16782 NathanKK4EAF#16783
    GrantKT6L#16784 RichardWX2H#16785 RoyKK4CCL#16786
    JohnWS0G#16787 JohnG7KYH#16906 AlfV31CR#16907
    Scott2E0CSW#16908 MartinG0PJO#16909 JohnG3YOU#16910
    DaveMI0VKO#16911 MikeG4YME#16912 KenMM6EBJ#16913
    PhilG0JSP#16914 AndyM0ITM#16915 ShirleyM0WXG#16916
  • 29 Jul 14: The latest version (3.0.4) of the free FISTS Log Converter program: There are also other improvements and bug fixes.

    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 25 Jul 14: Elecraft has ceased production of its four band K1-4 QRP CW transceiver and the four additional band plugin KFL1-4 kits due to lack of component availability.  However, the two band K1-2 transceiver and the two additional band plug in KFL1-2 kits are continued.

    Elecraft's Wayne Burdick N6KR writes:
    The 4-band module requires extremely low-temperature-coefficient trimmer capacitors because of its narrow-band pre-mix and RF band-pass filters.  The last source for these exotic trimmers dried up recently.  A redesign using higher-TC trimmers might be possible, but the filters would end up being triple-tuned, which would force the use of SMD components throughout, and tuning the filters would then be very difficult without a spectrum analyzer.

    Sales volume for the K1 has decreased in recent years due to the KX1 (which is smaller and has a DDS VFO), and the KX3 (which covers all bands, all modes, with up to 12 W output and has a much more capable auto tuner, nicer user interface, etc.).  So the cost of a redesign wouldn't be recovered.

    That said, for the time being we're continuing to offer the two-band version and the other options (KAT1 ATU, KBT1 battery pack, etc.).  The K1 is one of our "full" kits, and has a bit of a fan club of its own.
  • 25 Jul 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 27th July, 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 (& other FISTS Europe Activities) with European stations also count for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.  Ensure you look up each station's Locator and include it in your electronic log.
  • 25 Jul 14: The next sessions of the new FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity are on Saturday evening 26th July 1700-1800 UTC followed on the Sunday morning with a session at 0900-1000 UTC.

    Exchange a minimum of:
    RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 25 Jul 14: FISTS CW Club North America Reduces Dues for Ages 65-80:

    FISTS CW Club in North America has reduced its dues for members aged 65-80 from $15 to $10.  The new rates are:
    1. Under 18 years of age - free
    2. 80 years of age and older - free
    3. Joint HandiHam/FISTS membership - free
    4. Family membership (with one member of family as active member) - free
    5. College Student - $10.00 per year
    6. 65-80 years of age - $10.00 per year
    7. Regular membership - $15.00 per year

    For the following: under 18, 65-80 and the 80 and older groups, you must supply your birth date when you join or renew.

    HandiHams must forward your current Membership Certificate in the HandiHam program, either life or annual, as per our agreement with them to qualify.
    This can be attached to an email or by mail.
    If you are a current active (dues paying) member of our chapter and qualify for a lower dues rate, contact me by email link text.  I will prorate an extension of your expiration date.

    This is being done on the honor system.  No verification of age is required.
    However, the chapter does reserve the right to require hard copy verification if it is perceived that abuse is taking place.

    You may now join or renew with the above rates on our website by going to:
    http://fistsna.org/howdoi.html#join.  You may pay by PayPal or you may pay by check or money order per instructions on the same page.  Free family memberships should download the application form and annotate the active member's call and FISTS number on the application of the family member.

    73's Karl, KB1DSB link text
    FISTS, NA Chapter, President
  • 20 Jul 14: Message to FISTS North America Members:

    One of the things that active FISTS members look forward to is receiving our NA Chapter KeyNote.  With the transition since Nancy, WZ8C became a SK, this has been one area of concern.  How does the KeyNote get put together, laid out, sent to the printer and then mailed out.  Some of the moving parts to the process were just a matter of setting things in place.

    Thanks to Dan, KB6NU, we now have someone who has a great deal of experience serving as our KeyNote Editor.  Dan is a consummate professional and will not just throw something together and rush it off to the printer and call it done.  Dan is a volunteer, like all who serve the NA Chapter.  He does, however, have to share his time with earning a living and other obligations.

    This upcoming issue for which you all have been waiting is in the works.  It is a special one as it will be a memorial to Nancy, WZ8C, our founding NA chapter president, as well as a reference issue.  The reference section includes the things our chapter has to offer its members which Nancy, along with others brought to fruition, among other pertinent things.

    I can only ask your patience as this issue is completed and moved to printing.

    One final note, the NA Chapter will sometime in the future offer the KeyNote in a format which can be downloaded by active members from our web site.
    This, too, requires some logistics to accomplish.  Print issues will continue to be mailed out to all active members, as many have expressed the desire for them in that format as well.

    73's Karl, KB1DSB
    FISTS, NA Chapter, president
  • 18 Jul 14: The next sessions of the new FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity are on Saturday evening 19th July 1700-1800 UTC followed on the Sunday morning with a session at 0900-1000 UTC.

    Exchange a minimum of:
    RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 17 Jul 14: Gregg WB8LZG has resumed making wooden finger pieces for keys.  (Note: please ignore the "crossing-out" on his website; this is a technical issue; Gregg really is supplying finger pieces again.)  He writes:

    I will be taking orders for a Limited run of replacement finger pieces from now until Sept 15, 2014.  I can make them for Vibroplex, Bencher, P2, Black Widow and a few others.  Here are the woods available:
    • African Padouc, dark red, nice grain
    • Tulipwood, red with nice grain
    • Purple Heart, dark purple with nice curling
    • Canarywood, yellow with nice figure
    • Great Western Curly Maple, light yellowish, very nice "tiger" curling
    • Mohogany, light brown
    • Northern Mich curly Maple, Birdseye Maple, light yellowish
    • Spalted Beech, light wood, nice spallting
    • Brazilian Satinwood, yellow with very nice figure
    • African Sapele, Brown es nice grain
    • Zebra wood, light brown with superior figure
    • Chate Cok, red with nice figure

    Cost is $25 (USD) per set postpaid, $40 (USD) fer 2 sets postpaid.  I can make them for other keys besides Vibroplex, Benchers, P2's, Black Widows es Schurrs but custom pieces are $40 (USD) a set, and I need an EXACT tracing to show size and hole placement.  Vibroplex single lever paddles get 2 finger pieces es nylon spacers with mounting screws.

    All pieces get made in 3 shapes.  Vibroplex ovals, Bencher triangles, and a Generic "rounded off triangle" (for P2s es similar).  Anything other than these 3 shapes is a custom order.

    Orders are expected to be filled by mid November - early December 2014.

    This is what I need to do your order:
    • State how many sets.
    • For what kind of key.
    • State a choice of wood. ( 1st es 2nd choice please)
    • Enclose check or M.O. for the order to my QRZ.com address.
    • Your correct return shipping address.

    Any Questions?  Contact me for information at link text
    73 Gregg WB8LZG
  • 17 Jul 14: Pete G0PNM has a Facebook Group for FISTS CW Club that club members may enjoy joining.

    FISTS CW Club (Europe) News items are available from the official Facebook Page for FISTS CW Club.
  • 17 Jul 14: The July 2014 edition of the "morsEAsia" newsletter from FISTS East Asia is available.

    This edition is packed with interesting articles, including details of a homebrew bug key.

    FISTS East Asia was formed in 2004 to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.
  • 13 Jul 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest members:

    JudW9IAL#16775 BarryK4BLB#16776 Long Family GroupAA9BL#16777
    ScottN0HOT#16778 KeithG0CXP#16903 BernardG8EWF#16904
    MikeG1KOT#16905
  • 11 Jul 14: The FISTS Eu International Day Bastille Day activity is on Monday 14th July, 14:00-17:00 UTC (15:00-18:00 BST).  Activity is typically around 7.028 and 14.058 MHz.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members from France.  Log submissions are welcomed but not essential.

    QSOs that take place during the overlap between the Bastille Day and Ladder activities can be submitted in logs for both.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create log submissions for this and all other European FISTS Activities.
  • 11 Jul 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 13th July, 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 also count for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.  Ensure you look up each station's Locator and include it in your electronic log.
  • 11 Jul 14: The next sessions of the new FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity are on Saturday evening 12th July 1700-1800 UTC followed on the Sunday morning with a session at 0900-1000 UTC.

    Exchange a minimum of:
    RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.

    Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 08 Jul 14: New from Begali is the 60th Anniversary Key, a special edition of their aclaimed Sculpture key, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the company.  Only 214 will ever be made.

    There are two further new keys for 2014:

    Callsigns can be engraved on these keys for an additional fee.
  • 08 Jul 14: The FISTS North America Summer Sprint takes place on Saturday 12th July 0000-0400 UTC.  Members worldwide are invited to participate.

    Bands are 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz.  Work stations only once per band.

    The exchange includes: RST, U.S. state or Canadian province or DXCC country, first name, FISTS member number.
    Non-members send their power output in Watts instead of a member number.  Call 'CQ FS'.
  • 08 Jul 14: CW operators urgently needed in Wiltshire, UK

    From RSGB RSS: Over the weekend 26-27 July, the village of Codford - near Warminster in Wiltshire - will be commemorating the centenary of the start of WW1.

    This event will fill the village hall and its adjacent recreation field with a rich mixture of memorabilia and other exhibits from the time, including a full-scale section of a front-line trench.

    In the trench dugout will be an earth-mode telegraph station, which will communicate with a similar station on the far side of the field.

    Reproduction telegraph equipment is being constructed by members of the Trowbridge and District ARC, but there is a critical shortage of CW operators to demonstrate the stations.

    Any willing volunteers would be most welcome.  Please contact G0GRI via the Trowbridge and District ARC website or G4ZUP who is QTHR or G3ZXX via the GB3JB repeater or its website.

    There is more information on this project at http://earthmodetelegraph.webnode.com.
  • 08 Jul 14: Mike NT8O and Fred N8BX are now producing K8RA keys (Jerry K8RA became a Silent Key in January).

    For more information, see the K8RA website.
     
  • 07 Jul 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    MilanS58MU#8905 Basic Century Award
    PhilN1DN#14602 Basic Century Award
    JohnG4LRG #14873 Perpetual Prefix 50 & 100 Endorsements
    PeteG0PNM #16592 Basic Century Award

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 07 Jul 14: Want to know the connection between the BBC Sports reporter 'Wimble Dot' and FISTS CW Club?  Listen to this BBC iPlayer recording at 54 minutes 30 seconds in Friday's Radio 4 'PM' programme.

    Note: the recording expires in a few days time, so don't delay.  With thanks to Chris GU3TUX for bringing this to our attention.
  • 06 Jul 14: The fifth FISTS International Day activity, Tynwald Day, is on Monday 7th July, 14:00-17:00 UTC (15:00-18:00 BST).  Activity is typically around 7.028 and 14.058 MHz.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members from the Isle of Man.  Log submissions are welcomed but not essential.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create log submissions for all European FISTS Activities, EuCW Snakes & Ladders and EuCW QRS Week Activities.
  • 04 Jul 14: FISTS Member Pete G0PNM has recorded a video demonstrating and comparing his Czech, HiMound HK708, and Kent straight keys.
     
     
     
  • 03 Jul 14: The very first session of the new, weekly FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity is on Saturday evening 5th July 1700-1800 UTC followed on Sunday morning with a session at 0900-1000 UTC.

    Exchange a minimum of:
    RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.

    Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.
  • 01 Jul 14: The TBKII (Torsion Bar Key) is a new single lever key from Steve Roberts W1SFR.

    You can use it as a standard paddle, a sideswiper, or as a straight key.

    The contact system uses stainless steel tabs that make contact with the contact screws.  The contact is virtually silent and the slight cushioning effect creates a very smooth action.  This system of contact makes this key an excellent sideswiper as well.
  • 01 Jul 14: The June 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 01 Jul 14: A very warm welcome to our latest members:

    SteveM0GNG#16692 IanG4DPF#16694 AndrewM6APP#16695
    JohnG4PBN#16696 TonyGSWL22#16697 MarcoIZ4ISK#16698
    MikeM1BVA#16699 BillKB1WJK#16768 PatrickKM4CGV#16769
    TimothyAD2WB#16770 JuliaKT4JR#16771 LarryK4MWE#16772
    JohnWP3ZP#16773 JohnWP3ZP#16773 MarshallKF0UV#16774
    GrahamG4NMD#16900 PaulIK1JPW#16901 ChrisG0VUT#16902

June 2014

  • 26 Jun 14: The second FISTS Eu Fifth Sunday activity of the year is on 29th June, 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.
  • 26 Jun 14: UK amateurs: The third annual RSGB 6m CW contest is Sunday 29th June, 0900-1200 UTC.

    This should be interesting with the added likelihood of sporadic E.  The exchange is RST, serial number and 6 character locator, with most European CW activity between 50.080-50.100 MHz.  Unlike HF contests, though, don't expect to get 599 for each QSO!
  • 25 Jun 14: GT3ZME/P FISTS Club member #15554 Telford and District Amateur Society (UK) will be visiting the Isle Of Man June 26-30 and will be operating on:

    HF 160 Meters to 10 Meters.
    VHF 50MHz 70MHz 144MHz UHF 1.3GHz.
    SHF 2.3GHz 3.4GHz 5.7GHz 10GHz 24GHz.

    Please look out for us - I will be calling CQ FISTS on HF and 2m.
    On 2 meters at 19.00 GMT beaming to the south moving to north as I call.

    Cheers, Paul M0PNN.
  • 20 Jun 14: Hendricks QRP has introduced the MDBC (Multi-band, Direct Conversion) QRP CW transceiver kit.  Designed by Steve Weber, KD1JV, it is designed primarily, and furnished, for operation on the 160 and 80 meter ham bands, with details on how to change the two bands to any of the 40m, 30m, 20m, and 17m bands.  The wide tuning range of the DDS VFO also allows for general coverage tuning of 100 kHz to 21.5 MHz and the Direct Conversion receiver allows for the reception of all modes.

    It features a DDS VFO with knob tuning, 2x16 LCD display, internal speaker, and has 20 frequency memories and an Iambic B mode keyer with message memories and beacon mode.  Transmit power is 5.5 Watts on 160m and 80m.

    Three receiver audio bandwidths are available and are selected with a push button on the front panel.  AGC and independent volume control prevents ear shattering volume levels with very strong stations.
  • 20 Jun 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 22nd June, 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 also count for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.  Ensure you look up each station's Locator and include it in your electronic log.
    To enter a draw to win a Begali key you must send in at least 10 monthly logs, so if you haven't sent any logs yet, you must start now and submit a log for each month June 2014 to March 2015 inclusive!
  • 20 Jun 14: The EUCW Straight Key Day takes place this Saturday 21st June, 08:00-22:00 UTC.

    Logs must contain at least 5 QSOs, and each QSO must include a grade (0-5) for your QSO partner's 'fist'.  Frequencies are 3540-3580, 7020-7040, 10105-10125, and 14050-14070.  For more information and a list of recommended frequencies, please see the EUCW Straight Key Day web page.  FISTS in Europe is a member of the EUCW, so please support this event.
     
  • 17 Jun 14: Kanga Products (Dennis G6YBC) is now supplying the QRPme 'Texas Topper' 40m amplifier kit that can provide 5 Watts output when driven from QRP/QRPp CW transmitters such as the Rockmite.  The amplifier provides transmit / receive switching.

    PCBs and all board-mounted components are included.  The builder supplies an enclosure and external components.

    Dennis will be also be providing 80m, 30m, and 20m versions in due course.
  • 17 Jun 14: For the third year in succession, FISTS CW Club is the leading club in EuCW QRS Week.  Contributing to this were: Ray G0EML, Peter G4LHI, Merv G4KLE, Phil 2E0DPH, Derek M0DRK, Richard G0ILN, Ben DH0DK, Dean M0DAG, and Graham G3ZOD.

    In the individual QRO category, Ray G0EML, Peter G4LHI, and Derek M0DRK achieved awards.

    In the individual QRP category, Merv G4KLE achieved an award.

    Ray G0EML also achieved an award for "Most Readable Morse".

    The full results are available at eucw.org/euqrs14.html.  Thank you to all who took part, and please join in again next year.
  • 16 Jun 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest members:

    BradVK4BJS#14178 TonyZL1AHJ#14179 GeneBX8AAD#15151
    BrunoF6HHK#16685 MattM6RFP#16686 PeterG4ADP#16687
    JohnG3RXA#16688 AlanG4GNX#16689 KrisG4UDG#16690
    RoyG4ZCW#16691 JackieN4MJG#16755 BrianKM4BPE#16756
    MikeN4MHO#16757 JuanXE2MXZ#16758 ButchKC5ONZ#16759
    JohnKC2WRG#16760 ChuckN9OVI#16761 ScottWA0CW#16762
    FrankW4FLN#16763 DaveW7UUU#16764 JamesKK4LCR#16765
    RayK5EJF#16766 MikeK2CDX#16767
  • Small photograph of FISTS Logbooks from David G4YVM.
    16 Jun 14: The FISTS Log Book from David G4YVM link text is still available.  It is printed on high quality heavy gloss card for the cover in full colour.  The pages are on heavy white paper and the back is card to aid leaning on when mobile or /P.  The lot is then protected with a sheet of clear acetate to keep those pesky coffee mug rings well away and it is then spiral bound to assist lay-flat operation.

    But apart from being beautiful it is also a fully functional logbook: inside you have a page of FISTS history, including an introduction quoted from Geo, G3ZQS, then the schedule of FISTS activity frequencies.  The next few pages outline the awards and events FISTS run and then, to help you gain the awards, there are separate collation logs for the Century, Platinum, Nightmare Alphanumeric and a 'dupe' sheet.  Finally, you get almost 50 actual log book pages together containing around 2000 entries!  No lightweight logbook this!

    Even if you never use the logbook for its intended purpose, you can be assured that it will be a conversation piece if left out on the coffee table!  For more information, please contact David G4YVM, link text
  • 15 Jun 14: The new Code Practice Oscillator kit from Breadboard Radio is 2.5 by 2.5 inches and has a built-in key and external key jack.

    The 9 volt battery clips on and is mounted on the board.  It has a 1.5 inch speaker and plenty of volume and uses a Twin Tee oscillator circuit that produces a pure sine wave that sounds better than most sawtooth oscillators like those using a 555 timer chip.
     
     
  • 14 Jun 14: SOTAbeams (Richard G3CWI) has extended its range of "Flight Decks" to include the HB1B Flight Deck and KX1 Flight Deck.

    The Flight Decks provide a firm and durable operating environment.  Made of cast acrylic, they are designed to take your radio, a notepad and Palm Pico Paddle or Palm Mini Paddle.  The radio etc. are held in place using a specially designed quick-release system; this makes it easy to remove the radio, paddle etc for transport.

    The Flight Decks make using your radio in the field so much easier with everything to-hand.  They sit comfortably on your knee.

    For added convenience, they include an area to write summit references etc. using a permanent marker.  This can be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol.

    The Flight Decks include the base plate, rubber bands, lined pad, pencil, and Hi Viz Cord.
  • 13 Jun 14: The latest version (3.0.0) of the free FISTS Log Converter program for Windows includes support for the new FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity that starts in July.

    Other highlights include:
    • Entries for all FISTS Eu Activities can be submitted much more quickly and easily.
    • For FISTS Awards, there is a "QSOs Needed" button.  This will display a box with a summary of what codes, prefixes, states (etc.) are needed to complete an award.
    • Users of the program's internal Logbook can now enter QSOs using a "page" that resembles a paper logbook, making it faster and more convenient to transcribe QSOs from paper.  The new "page" can be configured to correspond to the G4YVM FISTS Logbook, or any other, layout.
    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 13 Jun 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    RichardG0ILN#398 Spectrum 40m
    PeterG4LHI#2219 Perpetual Prefix 150 Endorsement
    Barry5B4AHO#10851 Basic Century
    John2E0JCY#13253 Silver Century
    JohnG4LRG#14873 Spectrum 40m and Perpetual Prefix
    PeteWA6OEF#15666 Spectrum 20m
    DavidG4DXX#15919 Silver Century
    TonyG6GLP#16262 Basic Century

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 07 Jun 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 8th June, 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 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!
  • 04 Jun 14: Breadboard radio has introduced the Splinter II Kit, a new version of their QRPp Receiver / Transmitter.  Features include:
    • 40 meter DC receiver with improved audio.
    • Sidetone volume is now variable.
    • Higher RF output with cool running final (500-650 mW).
    • New switching transistor allows use of electronic keyers.
    • Great new VXO is easy to use and pulls HC-49 >crystals 5 to 7 kHz!
    • Spot switch for zero beating.
    • Reliable send/receive switch.
    • Built-in key and external key jack.
    • Builder finished wooden base.
    • Easy Alignment
    • RX tunes about 100KHz...user selectable
    • 7030 kHz crystal included
    • Easy to build...even more fun to use!
    This kit is mounted on a wooden breadboard painted as you like before mounting the double-sided, solder-masked and screen-printed circuit board
  • 04 Jun 14: The Xtal Set Society offer a Passive CW filter kit (no power supply required).

    The kit includes parts for a 250 Hertz bandwidth and one of the following center frequencies: 500, 600, 700 Hz.  It is available with and without a case.  A bypass switch allows for bypass and in-line reception comparison.  The unit installs between your receiver's headphone jack and headphones or speaker.
  • 04 Jun 14: The RSGB (UK National Radio Society) is consulting over changes for the 2015 contest rules.

    Their web page includes details of the white paper containing the changes and invites comments by email.
  • 04 Jun 14: FISTS Member Norman G4LQF has provided a video about his new home-designed and made Morse straight key, completed after 18 months.

    (See the end of the video for a preview of Norman's latest project!)
     
  • 04 Jun 14: The following FISTS Down Under newsletters are available:

    May 2014
    April 2014

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under .
  • 01 Jun 14: The MTR Flight Deck by SOTAbeams, designed for the popular Mountain Topper radios by Steve Weber KD1JV, provides a firm and durable operating environment.  Made of cast acrylic the Flight Deck is designed to take an MTR, A5 (or similar) pad, LiPO battery (mounts underneath where key is mounted) and Palm Pico Paddle.  The MTR Flight Deck is also engraved with a few of the MTR instructions - in case you can't recall them!  It makes using the MTR in the field so much easier with everything to-hand.  The MTR Flight Deck sits comfortably on your knee.

    The Flight Deck includes the base plate, rubber bands and pencil, attached using our Hi Viz Cord.  The MTR and notepad are attached by elastic bands (supplied).  The Pico Paddle can be attached by elastic bands (supplied) or by using the optional Pico Plate (not included).  MTR, LiPO, Pico Paddle and notepad are not included.  The production version will be made in Hi Viz orange.  Lefthanded?  No problem.  Turn the Flight Deck over and mount the gear on the other side.  Don't use a Palm Key?  No problem, the MTR Flight Deck will suit most keys!
  • 01 Jun 14: New, improved plug / connector lead for Palm Radio Mini Paddles.

    We have redesigned the connecting cable of the Mini Paddle ("MP-CC") completely.

    The new cable is about 70 cm (27 inch) long, thin, highly flexible and provides increased reliability compared to the previously used solution.  We have now created our own plug, consisting of a two-part plastic housing for the 3 PIN connector of the Mini Paddle.  It has an integrated strain relief, is designed for cables up to about 2.3 mm diameter and bears the Palm Radio logo on top.

    The 3,5mm stereo phone plug on the other cable end is gold plated to ensure a reliable connection to the rig.

    All Mini Paddles that we ship from now on will come with the new, improved cable.

    The new 3 PIN connector can also be obtained individually as the new Connector kit "MP-Plug".

May 2014

  • 31 May 14: YouKits has issued a warning about fake HB1B Mk II transceivers:
    "Please be cautious that a ebay seller who is not a authorized vendor of YouKits is again selling and advertising the HB1B MKII as a YouKits radio.  These are counterfeit units. ...

    All these counterfeit units showing "Youkits 2013" when power up because they copied our older version.  If you purchase any HB1B in brand new recently from our store or distributors, then it must be showing "Youkits 2014" when power up.

    We have tested this fake and find that it only has 1-2w output and 2nd harmonic is far under FCC standard  Please only purchase Youkits product from our distributors and Youkits web page or ebay store.  Please ask for original purchase invoice when you get anything used."
  • 31 May 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest members:

    KarstenDL3HRT#16680 RayG3JRE#16681 PeterG3ESY#16682
    David2E0EML#16683 AlanM1TAP#16684 JimW8AP#16728
    HarryKK4ZBA#16729 MelWA3RVD#16730 RichW3RKT#16731
    DavidKA8ZGE#16732 DaveK8CMO#16733 WoodyN3WB#16734
    JerryN0GC#16735 TimWA8LHB#16736 DaveVE3UZ#16737
    TomN8DGD#16738 TimW0TJT#16739 JimN8RFT#16740
    PaulKE8NN#16741 DaveWV8P#16742 DonWA2EZ#16743
    AldenAG5S#16744 JoanN1NUA#16745 TigheNK4I#16746
    CraigW9OD#16747 SteveW8TOW#16748 PatrickAC0SR#16749
    JoseK2MVR#16750 PaulAF5BV#16751 RickW7HBP#16752
    ChuckW8PT#16753 SamuelK6SJH#16754
  • 31 May 14: 'CW On The Air' - training course (Portugal).

    With the aim of attracting new hams for CW operation, Carlos Mourato CT4RK will broadcast the first lesson of the 'CW ON THE AIR' Morse code training course next Tuesday, June 3rd.

    This course will be broadcast during regular transmissions, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, on the 80m band at 3743 kHz +/- 10 kHz, at around 20:26 UTC.

    Each transmission, from a total of 54, will focus on a particular set of characters that will be sent with progressively diminishing character spacings, at a constant speed of 10 WPM

    The course transcripts are available at the following address:
    http://tinyurl.com/ARLAcourse.

    The "CW ON THE AIR" course is supported and promoted by 4 amateur radio associations:
    ARLA - Associacao de Radioamadores do Litoral Alentejano;
    NRA - Nucleo de Radioamadores da Armada;
    ARVM - Associacaode Radioamadores da Vila de Moscavide
    and
    REP - Rede dos Emissores Portugueses.

    Best Regards from Portugal, Antonio Vilela CT1JHQ
  • 31 May 14: The new Jackson Harbor Press (Chuck WB9KZY) Bug Descratcher III kit is the third version of a circuit from the September 1992 issue of QST by WX7G, Dave Cuthbert.

    The Bug Descratcher III removes the "scratchiness" encountered with semi-automatic keys (bugs) due to contact bounce.  It can also be used with straight keys.
  • 31 May 14: The latest version (2.7.12) of the free FISTS Log Converter implements changes requested for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders Activity (April 2014 - March 2015).
    • QSOs that are shorter than 5 minutes are now included, but a comment is made about them.  This allows you to leave them as included, or explicitly exclude them if you wish using EUCWSL  EXCLUDE (see below).
    • When calculating the length of a QSO, seconds are now ignored.  For example, a QSO that starts at 15:00:59 and ends at 15:05:00 is now considered to be 5 minutes long.  (This is to account for some logbook programs that record QSO start and end times as hours, minutes, and seconds, but only show the user times in hours and minutes, i.e. they "hide" the seconds.)  Note however that QSO length is no longer used as a reason for excluding a QSO - see above.
    • If you want to remove a QSO from being considered for Snakes & Ladders, you can now add the following to your logbook's Comments, Notes, (or equivalent), field:
      EUCWSL  EXCLUDE
    If you've already submitted your May entry, you can install the new version of the program and re-submit it.

    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with testing.
  • 23 May 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 25th May, 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 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!
  • 18 May 14: Those within traveling distance of Chelmsford in Essex (UK) who have an interest in learning or improving their Morse Code may care to attend the free Amateur Radio Skills Night which is being held in Danbury near Chelmsford on Monday, May 19.

    Members of the Essex CW Club will be running a station from the event and will be able to provide details of the Morse classes that are held on Thursday evenings.

    Further details at http://www.hamskills.co.uk/cars.

    72 Trevor M5AKA
  • 18 May 14: LNR Precision has launched a new Morse key, available as two models: "The Patriot" and the "SKCC Member" Key.
    • Designed to professional standards for effortless sending.
    • Featuring a wide base for solid stability under the heaviest brass pounding.
    • Wide range of tension settings via a coil spring from "feather light" to "pounder's delight".
    • Skirted knob lends itself to American or European sending styles.
    • Ball Bearings for smooth effortless action of the lever arm.
    • Anodized base and blocks for protection.
    • Solid feel of a heavy pump key in a smaller lighter desk model.
    • Gap ranges from zero to 1/4".
    • Binding post connections for solid electrical continuity.
  • 18 May 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest members:

    JockVK3BAA#14177 PaulM0PCF#16679 PaulKA1BWG#16719
    JoeKD2AEF#16720 PeterKC2EKX#16721 ArtN4AWP#16722
    BobWD0G#16723 DanielKK4MRN#16724 JayKE5KOV#16725
    DavidN4JGD#16726 TuckerKK4UNZ#16727
  • Nancy Kott WZ8C.
    18 May 14: Nancy Kott WZ8C (SK), CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

    Nancy has been inducted to the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.  Her citation reads: "Nancy Kott, WZ8C (SK), former Editor of WorldRadio and WorldRadio Online and tireless promoter of Morse code as US coordinator of the FISTS CW Club."

    The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors individuals, whether licensed or not, who have made significant contributions to Amateur Radio as well as radio amateurs who have made significant contributions to Amateur Radio, to their professions, or to some other aspect of life on our planet.  Several of this year's inductees are being honored posthumously.
  • 15 May 14: FISTS Europe's Exchange Your Age Week 2014 (EYAW) starts this coming Saturday 17th May 00:01 UTC and runs continuously for 7 days.  FISTS members worldwide are welcome to join in.

    QSOs are very relaxed with (at a minimum) an exchange of name, QTH, member number (if applicable) and age.  They can be with members and non-members on any band except for 12m, 17m, 30m, 60m and wavelengths higher than 500m; keep an ear out on and around the FISTS Frequencies.

    It's not necessary to submit a log afterwards, but they are very much appreciated.  Even if you're not competitive, it's an excellent opportunity to come on the air and meet old friends and make new ones.
  • 15 May 14: New FISTS QSL Bureau sub-manager for G3 callsigns:

    Further to my earlier message requesting interested parties to contact me regarding the position of G3 QSL sub manager, I'm pleased to announce that Jim Steel, M0ZAK is now appointed to the post.
    Jim, as many will know, already looks after the G4 series of cards on behalf of the society.
    So I ask all G3 members to post forthcoming SAE's to him.
    His address is correct in the current Key Note and QSL Bureau web page.

    My thanks to all who expressed an interest in the position; you are on file, so you haven't got away with anything just yet :-)

    73 M0BPT, QSL Bureau Manager for FISTS in Europe
  • 12 May 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    RichardG0ILN#398 Millionaire 2 Million Endorsement
    MilanOK1KW#4827 Millionaire 8, 9, & 10 Million Endorsements
    GeorgeK4GM#10323 Silver Century, Millionaire, Perpetual Prefix, Perpetual Prefix 50 & 100 Endorsements
    MervG4KLE#16273 Silver Century, 1 X QRP, Millionaire 2 Million Endorsement
    FredG3YJQ#16276 Silver Century
    UriaIZ4ZBN#16562 Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 12 May 14: I recently had the chance to review a hand made Morse key made by hand in Birmingham by Mr. John Wellings.  The fit and finish of the key was excellent.  John intends building other designs like the Swedish style and possibly some paddles too.  He is a retired engineer.

    Here is a link to a video showing the key: tinyurl.com/JWKeyReview

    Thanks in advance for watching.  John Wellings' web site can be found here: www.johnwellingsmorsekeys.weebly.com

    Sandy G0VQW
  • 12 May 14: A very warm welcome to our latest members:

    TrevorVK5ATQ#14176 HiroJI2GZC#15148 KazuJA1GQC#15149
    TakJS1QIZ#15150 JohnG8PJC#16646 VladUNSWL21#16661
    MartinG0DHL#16662 EdA65BT#16663 PatrickON4CDJ#16664
    DaveM0IKE#16665 SteveG3EJS#16666 BarryG4RKO#16667
    ColinM1BUU#16668 JeanON7AMI#16669 ThorLA2LI#16670
    BertDJ0MEW#16671 DiegoIW2MXE#16672 KevinG0PHP#16673
    RayGM3PIL#16674 MartinM0WZM#16675 GaryM1FGS#16676
    WillyDF3EH#16677 MarshallM6DXL#16678 TerryWF7D#16708
    JimNQ6Y#16709 SteveKE7RTV#16710 KenKD5DFW#16711
    MarinVE3OAT#16712 RobertKB1VIN#16713 BobWX2I#16714
    BernhardKE5AKG#16715 NilsN1LS#16716 RickW0FG#16717
    LouN2CYY#16718
  • 09 May 14: FISTS Europe QSL Bureau sub-manager needed:

    I'm looking to appoint a new member of the FISTS Europe QSL Bureau team in the capacity of sub manager for the G3 prefixes.

    This is due to the retirement of the present manager Grant G0UQF, who has done a good job on behalf of the society over the past years.

    Should anyone be interested in taking on this role on behalf of the society, then contact me for more information.

    73 M0BPT
  • 09 May 14: This weekend (10/11 May 2014) has lots of opportunities for FISTS members.  Activities include:

    Sat, 17-21 UTC: FISTS North America Spring Sprint
    Sun, 14-16 UTC: FISTS Europe Ladder
    Sun, 18-20 UTC: FISTS Europe Ladder

    For UK VHF CW enthusiasts, it's also the annual RSGB 4m (70 MHz) CW Contest on Sunday:

    Sun, 09-12 UTC: RSGB 4m CW Contest
  • 09 May 14: The fourth FISTS Europe International Day activity, Europa Day, is Friday 9th May, 14:00-17:00 UTC (15:00-18:00 BST).  Activity is typically around 7.028 and 14.058 MHz.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members outside England, France, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.  Log submissions are welcomed but not essential.

    European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create log submissions for this and all other European FISTS Activities.

April 2014

  • 28 Apr 14: The Winter 2013/2014 Key Note is now available to all FISTS members.

    Please visit this link to get your copy:
    https://fists.co.uk/members/knwinter.aspx

    Any problems with passwords etc., PLEASE send an email to Graham G3ZOD

    Items in this issue include:
    • Tribute to Nancy WZ8C, SK
    • FISTS East Asia Awards
    • FISTS Logbook by G4YVM
    • Australian Gems: Pendograph
    • A Responsive Touch Paddle
    • A Pretty Good Callsign: VS9AP
    • Double Key Remembered
    • Marconi SWB8 Revisited
    ... and much more.
  • 26 Apr 14: The EUCW QRS Activity Week takes place this coming week Monday 28th April 00:00 - Friday 2nd May 23:59 UTC.  The maximum speed is 14 wpm and any band can be used.  QSOs must be at least 5 minutes long.  For more information and a list of recommended frequencies, please see the EUCW QRS Activity Week web page.

    The FISTS Log Converter program for Windows supports creating log submissions for the QRS Activity Week.

    Note: QSOs in this activity with European stations may 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!
  • 26 Apr 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 27th 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!
  • 22 Apr 14: The third FISTS Eu International Day activity, St. George's Day, is Wednesday 23rd April, 14:00-17:00 UTC (15:00-18:00 BST).  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members in England.  Logs are welcomed but not essential.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create an entry for this and all other European FISTS Activities.
  • 21 Apr 14: The April 2014 edition of the "morsEAsia" newsletter from FISTS East Asia is available.

    This edition includes an investigation by Nao JO3HPM into how FISTS CW Club's name(s) evolved in the early years.

    FISTS East Asia was formed in 2004 to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.
  • 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
    JimNO0B#16707
  • 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:
    http://www.doese-apprt.de/mrd
  • 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 PhilGSWL20#16647
    John5B4AHK#16648 MickMI0HOZ#16649 JohnG4TGE#16650
  • 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.

March 2014

  • 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, skilful 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
    www.eucw.org/sl.htm
  • FISTS pentagon 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.
  • 17 Mar 14: Announcement from Edinburgh Morse kits (Carl MM0HJX):

    We make Morse keys in kit form ready for you to build and enjoy!  Our kits come fully machined and finished to a high standard.  Assembly manuals will be available on our website for you to download and read.

    The launch of the website is expected to be late April 2014.  Please subscribe by sending a blank email and you'll be the first you know when the site goes live.

    Subscriber give away!  10 people chosen by random will receive a free EMK-1 twin paddle iambic key for subscribing!!
    For more information, please see http://edinburghmorsekits.com.
  • 15 Mar 14: The second FISTS Eu International Day activity, St. Patrick's Day, is on Monday 17th March, 14:00-17:00 UTC.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members in Ireland.  Logs are welcomed but not essential.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create an entry for this and all other European FISTS Activities.
  • Small image of Portuguese Flag.
    09 Mar 14: Brian G3KJX, FISTS #8924, writes:

    I will be driving down to Portugal this week.
    I will be there until well into April.  Taking my trusty FT-817 and on most of the QRP and FISTS frequencies as conditions allow and various times through the day.
    I have a doublet and vertical aerials available.
  • 08 Mar 14: A very warm welcome to our latest members:

    PaulaK7PAX#16474 TomK1TA#16475 ChrisWB9G#16476
    RonaldK8CLV#16477 RayG3SCZ#16627 GeoffG4FXM#16628
    SteveG4PSS#16629 BrianG3MDD#16630 DavidG0KQY#16631
    RolfDK6IT#16632 BobG3UBZ#16633
  • 07 Mar 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 9th 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.
  • Nancy Kott WZ8C.
    06 Mar 14: To all,

    Received this from Tim, Nancy WZ8C's husband for dissemination to FISTS.   Please distribute as widely as possible . . .

    73, Dennis K6DF
    ===============

    My wife Nancy passed away Sunday March 2, 2014.  She endured many years of medical challenges and is now resting peacefully.  She is leaving a empty spot in my heart as I'm sure it is the same for all of you.  Thank you for the outpouring of sympathy that I have already received.  She has touched so many people around the world.

    I am enclosing a link to her brief obit.  There are no services planned at this time.  She is being cremated at this time per her wishes.

    Please forward this message to anyone that might like to know.

    http://tinyurl.com/nancywz8c

    Tim Lange
  • Nancy Kott WZ8C.
    03 Mar 14: To All FISTS Members:

    Early this afternoon I received a phone call from Tim, Nancy's husband.  I am very sad to report that Nancy WZ8C, is now a silent key.

    Nancy passed away last night and will be missed very much by all FISTS members worldwide.

    If you wish to send condolences to her family, please send them to the following address:

    Tim Lange and Family
    P.O. Box 47
    Hadley, MI
    48440

    Please send this notice to any and all FISTS groups and members to disseminate this information as much as possible.

    I sadly send 73, God's Speed Nancy, 88's . . .
    Dennis Franklin K6DF
    FISTS Awards Mgr / Webmaster
  • 01 Mar 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    SelwynG3JRY#3761 Rag Chewers
    MauroHB9FBG#16260 Millionaire 2 Million Endorsement
    MervG4KLE#16273 Spectrum 40m
    FredG3YJQ#16276 Perpetual Prefix 100 and 150 Endorsements

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.

February 2014

  • 28 Feb 14: The FISTS Down Under March 2014 Newsletter is now available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.
  • 28 Feb 14: The first FISTS Eu International Day activity of the year, St. David's Day, is on Saturday 1st March, 14:00-17:00 UTC.  The minimum exchange is RST, name, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  European FISTS Activities are relaxed events with sociable QSOs and everyone, from those relatively new to CW to experts, is encouraged to join in.  The scoring provides most points for contacting members and non-members in Wales.  Logs are welcomed but not essential.

    The free FISTS Log Converter program can be used to create an entry for this and all other European FISTS Activities.
  • 27 Feb 14: To All FISTS North America members,

    I was contacted today by Nancy's husband Tim and asked to forward the following to as many FISTS Club members as possible . . . please feel free to pass this e-mail along to other FISTS members who may not be on this list . . .

    ==========

    "Nancy is currently facing some health challenges and is not able to respond to everyone like they would like her to.  Please be patient and bear with us.  When she is back to 100%, she will be working on the new member applications as well as getting out FISTS store items for those that have been ordered.  Thank you, Tim."

    ==========

    In the mean time . . . please feel free to send any questions or inquires to me ( Dennis K6DF link text ) and I will try to do my best to answer or pass them along.  If you have sent a new member application that is waiting for processing, please contact me at the above e-mail address.  I will respond to any and all e-mails as soon as possible.

    Thank You,
    73, Dennis Franklin K6DF
    FISTS Awards Mgr. / USA Webmaster
  • 22 Feb 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 23rd February, 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.
  • 22 Feb 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest members:

    BenVK3FTRV#14173 VicGI4ONL#16619 DougG3ZLJ#16621
    PhilF5IYJ#16622 DeanM0DAG#16623 UliDF9DU#16624
    JamesG0GJM#16625 PeterG3XQZ#16626
  • 18 Feb 14: Palm Radio now provide the "Tone Tube" code practice oscillator.  Matching the PPK (manual key) and the mini-paddle with Code Cube, the Tone Tube can also be used with any hand key or keyer.

    A built-in small speaker produces a side tone which is adjustable in frequency and volume.  This speaker is automatically turned off when you plug in a stereo headphone.  Operating time (using a replaceable CR2032) with speaker at maximum volume is about 20 hours CW, and with headphones about 200 hours CW.  Key input and headphone output are via 3.5 mm stereo jacks and there is optical indication of keying by LED.
  • 17 Feb 14: Kanga Products (UK) now has the new Rockmite ][ Kit available for 80m, 40m, 30m or 20m.

    The Rockmite ][ is the new QRPme version of K1SWL's classic QRPP CW transceiver with built-in keyer.  It incorporates enhanced output filtering and a new customized PicoKeyer-RM Iambic keyer chip from Ham Gadgets, 5-40 WPM, enabling a pot to be used to control speed.  It's also available in the USA from QRPme.
  • 15 Feb 14: LNR are providing a final limited run of the Key Concepts Pro Pump NT9K "Standard" Version.  After this they will be shifting their focus to other models.
  • 14 Feb 14: Satoshi JI0VWL has produced a new version, 1.01, of his callsign trainer CW Freq.NET.  This version now runs on all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 through to Windows 8.1.
  • 08 Feb 14: Ladder Sunday: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 9th February, 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.
  • 07 Feb 14: Saturday 8th February 17:00-21:00 UTC is the FISTS North America Winter Sprint.  Members worldwide are invited to participate.

    The exchange includes: RST, U.S. state or Canadian province or DXCC country, first name, FISTS member number.  Non-members send their power output in Watts instead of a member number.
  • 04 Feb 14: The latest version (2.7.9) of the free FISTS Log Converter program for Windows implements a recent refinement to the rules for the EuCW Snakes & Ladders Activity (April 2014 - March 2015).

    Logged QSOs must include QTH and a 4-character (or longer) Maidenhead Locator.  The Locator can be added after the QSO; it does not have to be received over the air.

    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with testing.
  • 02 Feb 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    PeterG4LHI#2219 Millionaire 7 Million Endorsement
    JoeGW0WEE#3773 Millionaire, Silver Century, Spectrum 40m
    DavidG4YVM#15868 Millionaire
    MauroHB9FBG#16260 Millionaire, Basic Century, Silver Century, Perpetual Prefix and 50, 100, & 150 Endorsements
    FredG3YJQ#16276 Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 01 Feb 14: The latest version (2.7.8) of the free FISTS Log Converter program for Windows allows entries for the upcoming EuCW Snakes & Ladders Activity (April 2014 - March 2015) to be prepared and then submitted with the click of a button.  It will read ADIF files exported from all good logbook programs, or its own internal logbook can be used by anyone who does not currently have a logbook program.

    Additionally, this version includes improved support for the EuCW QRS Week Activity (28th April - 2nd May 2014), also allowing an entry to be submitted at the click of a button.

    The program is available from the download page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, Martin IK2RMZ, Peter G4LHI, Richard G0ILN, and Robert DM4RW for helping with testing.
  • 01 Feb 14: The FISTS Down Under February 2014 Newsletter is now available.  This includes a feature "Hoarders and Collectors" by David VK3DBD/G3SCD.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.
     
  • Small photograph of Jerry Pittenger, K8RA.
    01 Feb 14: Sadly, USA maker of single and dual lever paddles Jerry Pittenger, K8RA, became a Silent Key in early January 2014.

    Licensed in 1960 at age 13, Jerry was a CW enthusiast and a published author in the ARRL's QST magazine.  It has been reported that his friends Mike Freeman, NT8O, and Fred Freeman, N8BX, will be continuing production of his line of keys.
     

January 2014

  • FISTS Logo.
    31 Jan 14: The FISTS European website fists.co.uk is now fully operational again.

    The maintenance work took longer than expected; apologies for the inconvenience.
     
  • 31 Jan 14: We're delighted to welcome our latest members:

    AkiJL1GEL#15147 KevinN1KL#16455 KentW7VZ#16456
    SteveKA0OBI#16457 RonWA9ADT#16458 PeteK4PHS#16459
    GardiKA1BTK#16460 CarlKF4OCX#16461 RandyWB9LUR#16462
    DuaneNL7X#16463 LouisW0TQ#16464 DuaneVA7RFP#16465
    BarryK2MF#16466 AndrewN4RCE#16467 TonyKK4CTN#16468
    BrettKB1HYR#16469 RandyKJ6TLB#16470 AndrewNC4AG#16471
    AlK3AAR#16472 LloydKA4BQQ#16473 AndyM0NOX#16612
    DaveEI0DB#16613 PeneEISWL19#16614 AndyG4PZE#16615
    WilliamG4KUU#16616 HannesDL9SCO#16617 ThorTF4M#16618
    Associazione Radioamatori Lugano (ARL)HB9LUG#16620
  • 24 Jan 14: Ladder Sunday: The second 2014 FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 26th January, 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.
  • FISTS Logo.
    23 Jan 14: The FISTS European website fists.co.uk will be unavailable for a while - possibly several days - starting on Monday 27th January 2014.  Apologies in advance for the inconvenience.

    This is due to the existing hosting package being replaced with a new one, which means the website has to be re-created.
  • 22 Jan 14: SOTA Beams (UK) is offering two new radio stands.  The FT-817 High Flier Stand is designed for the real portable operator.  It holds your FT-817 at just the right angle for the portable operator.

    The lovely KX3 Low-rider Stand has been designed for KX3 owners who don't have the Elecraft paddle and want a lower stand.  The stand makes your Elecraft KX3 the centre of attraction in your shack or in the field.  It looks great and works well!
  • 22 Jan 14: Pico Paddle Silver Edition (PP-SE)

    As a limited special edition, Palm Radio are offering the "Pico Paddle Silver Edition".  The small key appears simply "noble" in this silver powder coated housing (aluminium).  The coating is durable and scratch resistant.  While stocks last!
  • 22 Jan 14: New for 2014, the ZN ULTIMATE iambic paddle was a concept of Tony Baleno, N3ZN, and put into production by the team at VIBROPLEX.  Our best iambic paddle offered to date!

    The ZN ULTIMATE uses a combination of oppositional magnet tensioning and a set of 6 miniature ball bearings to give the operator a good range of adjustment of the key and overall a very light touch for sending high speed CW.
  • 16 Jan 14: Scottish members: Ofcom has announced that it will once again help licensed radio amateurs based in Scotland take part in Homecoming Scotland by allowing the inclusion of a special Regional Secondary Locator 'A' for Alba in their call signs instead of 'M'.

    Amateur radio licensees whose main station address is in Scotland may apply for a variation to their licence by visiting the RSGB website rsgb.org/homescotland.

    The NoV is valid from from Burn's Night (25 January 2014) to St Andrew's Day (30 November 2014).
  • 16 Jan 14: We're very pleased to welcome our latest members:

    SlimG4IPZ#16606 UlfLA8SU#16607 EddieSA7CCQ#16608
    Jim2E0CXN#16609 BillG0KDL#16610 GeorgeG3TQX#16611
  • 16 Jan 14: Four State QRP Group is very pleased to continue the availability of Dave Benson K1SWL's famous Freq-Mite frequency counter.

    The Freq-Mite provides audio frequency annunciation in Morse code, and is intended to be installed as a frequency counter inside a rig, thus providing an inexpensive alternative to an LCD display for small rigs.
  • 12 Jan 14: Ladder Sunday: The first 2014 FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are today, Sunday 12th January, 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 exchange of name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  Members worldwide are encouraged to join in.
  • 08 Jan 14: The latest version (2.7.3) of the free FISTS Log Converter program for Windows includes support for the 2014 FISTS East Asia 10th Anniversary Awards.
    The program is available from the download page.

    FISTS Log Converter can be used to track and apply for central FISTS Awards, FISTS Down Under Awards, FISTS Asia Awards, and create submissions for FISTS European on-air activities.  It can either read ADIF files created by logbook programs, or its own internal logbook can be used.  Many thanks to Peter G4LHI and Richard G0ILN for helping with testing this new version.
  • 07 Jan 14: In 2014, FISTS East Asia will be 10 years old.

    To celebrate, three new Anniversary Awards are being offered for contacts with FEA members during 2014.  For more information, please see the awards web page.

    (Note: a new version of 'FISTS Log Converter' will be available soon that includes the new awards.)
  • 07 Jan 14: The January 2014 edition of the "morsEAsia" newsletter from FISTS East Asia is available.

    FISTS East Asia was formed in 2004 to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.
  • 06 Jan 14: A very warm welcome to our latest members:

    GraemeZL2APV#14172 MattJA8RSW#15145 RickJA1001SWL#15146
    JuanK4LCD#16444 BruceN4TGZ#16445 FrankKD8VVM#16446
    JamesRoss#VE3DCX GhostKB0CAQ#16448 VernKC1AJZ#16449
    DaveW5SWL#16450 BenKV4RH#16451 JohnW1JPA#16452
    VicAF5JL#16453 PatrickKK4AOY#16454 JohnGM0FSV#16594
    TrevorMW6TRK#16595 MikeG4GOC#16596 DaveG0VPS#16597
    AndyGM0NWI#16598 TomDF5JL#16599 Nick2E0FGQ#16600
    JoOE6PJD#16601 WayneM0WRM#16602 AidanEI7JC#16603
    MikeDF2OK#16604 Iain2E0ZMR#16605
  • 06 Jan 14: Darren G0OTT is the first FISTS member worldwide to achieve the FISTS Spectrum Award.  Please join us in congratulating Darren and all the recent FISTS Awards winners:

    GeneW5GXV#11347 Perpetual Prefix
    DarrenG0OTT#14062 2 X QRP, Millionaire 3 Million Endorsement, Perpetual Prefix 100 Sticker, Spectrum 40m
    JohnG4LRG#14873 Millionaire
    DavidG4YVM#15868 Basic Century
    ReaganKB3FTE#16151 Basic Century
    MervG4KLE#16273 Basic Century, Millionaire
    FredG3YJQ#16276 Basic Century, Perpetual Prefix, Perpetual Prefix 50 Sticker

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 06 Jan 14: N3ZN Keys (US) has introduced a new iambic paddle, the ZN-MiniMITE.  This is a high performance easily adjustable iambic mini paddle with the same features as the ZN-Series of paddles: 3 ball bearing per lever arm, magnetic return, silver contact points, 56TPI stainless steel adjustment screws, carbon fiber fingerpieces and adjust on the fly-no tools required.

    It is a standalone paddle with 4 feet.  An 8-32 tapped blind hole in the bottom of the base allows for custom mounting applications.  The paddle comes with a short chord to a 1/8" stereo jack for easy packing and travel.  A 6 foot cord with 1/8" stereo male plug to 1/8" stereo male plug is available for an additional charge.

    The ZN-MiniMITE is on a 1/8" thick x 1 3/4" W x 1 3/4" D base and weighs 13 ounces.
  • 06 Jan 14: Kanga Products (UK, Dennis G6YBC) has a new K14 Keyer kit.  It is an inexpensive single I. C. Morse Code Keyer/Processor which can be used either in contesting or casual use.

    It is based on the very popular K14 I. C. developed by Steve Elliot K1EL who has kindly allowed Kanga Products to produce their own PCB.

    The K14 Keyer has many original features, and with a PCB measuring 38 mm x 35 mm it is small enough to fit inside a transceiver.

    Note: K14 keyer kits are also available from Hamcrafters (USA).
  • 06 Jan 14: Hamcrafters (US, Steve K1EL) latest keyer is the K14 and it is available now.  Kits include the K14 chip, PCB, and board mounted parts as shown.

    The K14-BAT Kit is for standalone applications where external power is not available.

    The K14-EXT Kit is the same as a K14-BAT except it is set up to operate with an external power supply. An on board regulator is included.

    The K14-EMB Kit is designed to mount on the front panel of a radio enclosure by the paddle jack. Sidetone audio output is provided to directly drive a speaker.

    Note: A K14-based keyer kit is also available from Kanga Products (UK).
  • 06 Jan 14: Jackson Harbor Press (USA) is now providing SMT kit versions of his keyers: PK-4 keyer kit (without the SSR), the Norcal and Pacificon keyers, the MegaPK-II, MegaPK-game, and the PK-Basic keyer kit.

    The SMT Keyers share the same basic hardware (with a few exceptions) between all of those mentioned 8 pin keyers.  The user picks the keyer chip that they want.  It features:
    • pot or paddle speed control (pot not supplied)
    • board size: .7 x 1.0 inches
    • low standby power (about 1 ua with regulator)
  • 03 Jan 14: The ON5ME-EuCW 160m CW party takes place this Saturday 4th January 2000-2300 UTC and Sunday 5th January 0400-0700 UTC on 1810 to 1840 kHz.

    For the full rules, please see the ON5ME-EuCW 160m CW party web page.  FISTS in Europe is a member of the EuCW, so please support this event.
     

Archive of News

Other news items are available on the following pages:

FISTS News 2017
FISTS News 2016
FISTS News 2015
FISTS News 2014
FISTS News 2013
FISTS News 2012
FISTS News 2011
FISTS News 2010
FISTS News 2009
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