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DitDit.fm

DitDit.fm is a podcast celebrating morse code, the CW operating mode and amateur radio. The show is hosted by Bruce Pea, N9WKE, and features conversations with interesting CW operators, offers useful CW operating tips, and encourages amateur radio operators at all levels to get on the air, have fun and enjoy operating CW!

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Episode #3 - Sweat Through It!

In Episode #3 we talk with Chris Del Plato, KQ2RP. Chris is a very prolific CW operator and all around good guy. He's very active in numerous online amateur radio groups and posts regularly on his own website. He has accomplished QRP DXCC on 8 bands using simple wire antennas. Chris shares a lot of great insights and advice about learning Morse code and operating CW. Both new and seasoned CW operators will enjoy this conversation! Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.

29mins

25 May 2017

Rank #1

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Episode #5 - CW Immersion

In Episode #5 we talk with Chris Bravo, W4ALF, who was first licensed in 2014. In 2015 he decided to learn Morse code. He pulled out all the stops and took a deep dive approach to learning the code and developing his CW skills. Chris' 'full-immersion' process utilized a comprehensive list of Morse code and CW learning resources he used and later compiled into a free book, "The Road to CW" (links to a free copy are available on the DitDit Resource page). After mastering the code in a relatively short period of time, Chris accomplished some pretty amazing things. Kudos to Chris, W4ALF, for being an excellent example for anyone interested in learning the code and showing us what's possible when you set a goal! Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.

48mins

28 Jun 2017

Rank #2

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Episode #16 - Better Ways To Learn The Code!

There are many ways to learn Morse code. People often take the leap and try learning on their own. That what Roland Simmons, K7FOP, did... until he found a better way! Roland is an avid SOTA activator who had been packing not-so-light gear to peaks in the great northwest. His SOTA partner showed him an LNR Mountain Topper he would be using on the activation they were doing that day. Roland realized he could hold an HF radio, wire antenna, key and battery in one hand, and it was infinity lighter than a pack full of heavy gear! That's when he decided it was time to learn Morse code. Roland began learning the code by himself using computer programs and help from CW operators on Facebook. When he felt he wasn't progressing as fast as he wanted he found other apps that worked better and helped him learn faster. Eventually, he enrolled in a CW Academy course and got on the air. Learning the code on your own can be tough. Roland discovered he didn't have to go it alone. There are many resources you can use that will help you learn the code as quickly as possible. Listen as Roland shares some great advice about learning the code.

27mins

16 Mar 2018

Rank #3

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Episode #17 - Alpha Antenna!

No matter if your operating QRP or QRO, having the right antenna for the job depends on what your target is.  In this episode, Steve Deines, N0TES, owner of Alpha Antenna talks about targeted antenna deployment, getting the best out of your antenna, and learning code in the dark!

55mins

27 Mar 2018

Rank #4

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Episode #4 - Nothing But Net!

In Episode #4 we talk with Henry Koenig, WD8Q. Henry is a CW gentleman. He's exactly the kind of CW operator you would hope to have your first QSO with. Henry became interested in amateur radio back in the 1950s. He discovered CW nets after being away from amateur radio for awhile as an effective way to dust off his CW skills and redevelop speed and technique. Henry went on to graduate from the Maryland Slow Speed Net Training Class where he learned how to handle and manage NTS traffic. He eventually became net manager of the Ohio Slow Speed Net for several years. after which he still remains very active participating in several nets. Henry became interested in amateur radio back in the 1950s. He discovered CW nets after being away from amateur radio for awhile as an effective way to dust off his CW skills and redevelop speed and technique. Henry went on to graduate from the Maryland Slow Speed Net Training Class where he learned how to handle and manage NTS traffic. He eventually became net manager of the Ohio Slow Speed Net for several years. Henry still remains very active and participates regularly in several nets. Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.

26mins

13 Jun 2017

Rank #5

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Episode 15 - Grab Your Gear And Go!

Cabin fever making you crazy... had enough of winter!? Spring is almost here, it's time to check your gear and head out into the fresh air. Find a comfy spot, throw a wire up in a tree and get on the air. Chris Bravo, W4ALF, talks about the joy of going portable. He'll discuss basic considerations, recommended antennas, when you should sign with a /P or /QRP and a few other things that will be handy to know when you're out in the field operating QRP CW. 

48mins

7 Mar 2018

Rank #6

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Episode #8 - Mind Melding With A Morse Code Instructor

Anyone who has ever tried learning Morse code would leap at the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 session with an experienced, highly regarded instructor who has taught scores of successful CW operators. The problem is, they're not that easy to find. And even if you do come across one, your odds of winning the Power Ball or busting a 1000 QRO operator pile up are better than your chances of getting some quality alone time with a highly sought after code instructor. Well, you just won the lottery my friend... !!! Joe Galicic, N3HEE, is a highly regarded and sought after CW Ops Academy advisor and instructor who has helped students succeed far beyond their goals and become highly proficient with the code. He has been a licensed amateur radio operator for over forty years, builds a telegraph key from time-to-time and is just an overall nice guy.

34mins

1 Aug 2017

Rank #7

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Episode #9 - 0 to 20 WPM in Nine Months

Many amateur radio operators share a common experience. They become interested in the hobby, get licensed then, for any number of good reasons, take a break from their radio activities. Sometime later (sometimes years later), amateur radio catches their interest again and they jump back in. More often than not, when people come back to amateur radio they do amazing things... and Richard Carpenter, AA4OO, is a great example of someone doing amazing things! Richard was first licensed in 2000 and currently holds an Amateur Extra license. After taking a break for several years, his interest in Amateur Radio was rekindled and in August 2015 he jumped back in with both feet into Morse code, QRP and CW.  During the next nine months he went from 0 WPM to 20 WPM, made hundreds of QSOs and collected a pile of awards.  Richard writes about his Morse code and QRP experiences on his excellent blog, hamradioqrp.com, which he updates regularly.

35mins

14 Aug 2017

Rank #8

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Episode #19 - The Straight Key Century Club

There are several organizations that promote Morse code and the CW operating mode. One of the very best is the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). The organization officially began on January 2, 2006 and currently has over 18,800+ members worldwide. The SKCC offers one of the broadest assortments of awards, contests and activities available from any organization for every level of CW operator to participate in. Ted Rachwal, K8AQM, is a member of the SKCC board and editor of the "Rag Chew", the official newsletter of the Straight Key Century Club. We spent a little time talking with Ted about the SKCC, the resources and benefits the club has to offer, and why it's no surprise that many of the nicest people you'll ever meet in the CW bands are SKCC members!

34mins

22 Jun 2018

Rank #9

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Episode #14 - The Other Side Of The Mountain

It takes two hands to clap... to wings to fly... two to tangle... and two amateur radio ops to make a QSO!  It's fun to read about field operations and look at images of hams doing amazing things in amazing places (like driving your Jeep down the side of a mountain). It's also fun to daydream about hauling your gear to some never-before activated mountain peak and bringing back the image of you holding your SOTA flag high above your head and a log full of QSOs. We all enjoy reading those reports and listening to those stories. For every successful SOTA activation, it takes a SOTA Activator who's willing to face the elements and haul gear to the top of a mountain and a radio op someplace else to complete the exchange. More often than not, the other radio op is a SOTA Chaser who completes the QSO and participates in a successful activation. And it turns out that being a SOTA Chaser is a super easy way for new and seasoned CW ops to have a lot of fun, participate in an exciting and interesting activity and develop their CW skills. Kent Olsen, NC6B, was first licensed in 1998 and currently holds an Amateur Extra license. Kent has been a very active SOTA chaser and recently achieved the coveted SOTA Sloth award. He explains what SOTA Chasing is all about and just how easy it is to get involved in this fun and challenging activity.

31mins

25 Oct 2017

Rank #10

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Episode #25 - A Conversation With N9EP

Ed Picha, N9EP, is a CW operator who enjoys talking about CW and loves training and mentoring new CW ops. He’s been teaching code classes for 40+ years, while helping and encouraging a whole new generation of CW operators. Over the years Ed has garnered a lot of insight and practical advice about learning the code and operating CW. Listen as Ed shares his experience and ideas on teaching, learning the code, and operating CW!

44mins

8 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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Episode #13 - A 112 Year HAM Legacy!

There probably is no other piece of HAM equipment more ubiquitous than the Vibroplex key. For more than a 100 years, hundreds of thousands of Vibroplex keys have been produced and used on ships at sea, by railroads across continents, militaries and countless amateur radio operators. The most well known Vibroplex key being an odd-looking contraption called a 'bug'!  Scott Robbins bought Vibroplex in 2009 and spent the past eight years breathing new life into the company while continuing to manufacture the time-tested and much-loved keys that have been produced since 1945.

40mins

11 Oct 2017

Rank #12

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Jitters, Anxiety, and your first QSO

‘Key Fright’ - The feeling of anxiety, nervousness, and excessive worry about making mistakes sending and receiving Morse code. Most often afflicting new CW operators immediately before attempting their first QSO. Every CW operator remembers their first on air QSO. Sitting in front of your radio, hoping you’d be able to copy code… and praying the other operator sends it slow enough for you to handle. It was really stressful and really exciting all at the same time! And those feelings of relief, joy, and pride you felt swelling in your chest afterward have rarely been matched since. The anxiety and uncertainty we feel doing something new for the first time is a very common experience. It’s part of what makes us human. It isn’t unique to any particular group of people, nation, or continent… we all get anxious and nervous from time to time. In this episode, I talk with five CW operators spanning three continents about the jitters, anxiety, being nervous and their first CW QSO experience.

31mins

22 Nov 2018

Rank #13

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CW Ragchewing 101

CW ragchewing… the idea makes some CW operators weak in the knees. The good news is it’s a lot easier than most CW operators think it is. Gary Stone, N5PHT, would like you to go beyond the basic QSO and start having more CW conversations. Gary has 170,000 QSOs, 150,000 of those are CW QSOs, and at least 4,000 of those CW QSOs have been ragchews. A CW ragchew is just a conversation or, as Gary likes to say, you’re just sharing a little more of yourself. After exchanging the basic QSO information, instead of saying 73 ask a simple question, “What do you do?”, “Are you retired?” Put your feet up and spend a little time talking. Learning to ragchew adds a whole new level of enjoyment to operating CW!

41mins

3 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Episode #6 - Bedsprings and QSOs

Stan Levandowski, WB2LQF, was first licensed in the early 1960s and currently holds both an Amateur Extra license and Commercial Second Class Radiotelegraph Certificate. He has been doing more with less for over 50 years. He is a dedicated low power enthusiast who operates 100% CW using only simple wire antennas.   Besides publishing articles in QST, QRP Quarterly and a number of club and amateur radio organization publications, Stan has a popular Youtube Channel where he provides many helpful and instructive videos on Amateur Radio topics. Hosted by Bruce Pea N9WKE.

36mins

7 Jul 2017

Rank #15