RAC Online Beginner’s CW Course: October 2020RAC Online Beginner’s CW Course: October 2020

In response to the global pandemic, Radio Amateurs of Canada is continuing to offer Amateur Radio online courses so that individuals can obtain their Amateur Radio certification or can upgrade their qualifications while practising social/physical distancing.

We are pleased to offer a Beginner’s CW Course which will be provided by Tony Pattinson, VE2KM, to teach Morse Code to Amateurs and help them get on the air with CW.

As described in the bio provided below, CW has always been a passion for Tony and he is a CW Academy Advisor and a lifetime member of the CW Operator’s Club. He  is giving freely of his time and experience as a Morse Instructor with CW Academy and his professional experience in training. Thank you Tony!

Course Information:

The primary language of instruction will be in Englishmais je peux répondre à vos questions en français.

Objective: To enable any Canadian Radio Amateur of any level to send and receive CW at a speed of at least 5 wpm and to be able to pass the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s 5 wpm Morse Code test.

Start Date: The target date for the start of the course is October 2020. A survey will be sent to applicants to determine the best schedule.

Duration: The course will consist of two, 1-hour, group sessions via Zoom per week for eight weeks.

Class Size: Each class will be limited to a maximum of five students. Multiple classes may also be organized if necessary to accommodate different time zones.

Cost: The course will be offered free of charge to RAC members. Non-members may participate by donating $150 to the RAC Youth Education Program which “provides youth and their leaders with an innovative way of learning by introducing them to the wonderful world of Amateur Radio”.

Course Instruction:

As indicated earlier the course instructor is Tony Pattinson, VE2KM and he provided the following bio. You can find additional information on his QRZ page at: https://www.qrz.com/db/VE2KM

“I was originally licensed as G3YAQ in 1968. On arrival in Canada in 1980, I immediately qualified at the Advanced level and was issued call sign VE2FUP. After a short wait I was pleased to be issued VE2KM. I was inactive for over 30 years but have recently (2018) decided to start up again. I have three other call signs –VA2XDX, VA2KCC and VE0XDX. The latter was obtained so I could operate from a 60-foot schooner that I was helping deliver to the Bahamas in December 2019.

CW has always been a passion with me and I was able to regain my previous operating speed helped in great part by the CW Academy advisors John, AJ1DM, Ted, WA3AER, and Joe, KK5NA. I graduated from Level 2 in May 2019 and from Level 3 in November 2019. I was accepted as a life member of CWOps in January 2020 with #2424.

I am delighted to be teaching CW again (2020) as an Advisor for the CW Academy and also on behalf of RAC and the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). I am a member of FIST and SKCC. I obtained SKCC Centurion and Tribune status in February 2020 and am gradually (but slowly) building towards Senator status. Since being accepted as a CWA Advisor I have taught, and am currently teaching, classes to Amateurs in both the United Kingdom and North America.”

Course Requirements: 

Participants in the RAC Beginner’s CW Course will need to meet all of the following requirements.

Note: If you cannot meet the following requirements please do not apply. You will be wasting your time and potentially denying a place to someone who can.

  • Commitment to 1-hour (4 x 15 or 5 x 12 minute sessions) of practice every day, for the full duration of the course.
  • Commitment to record at least one Character Recognition exercise each week and send it to VE2KM for analysis.
  • A computer with a hard-wired internet connection (no Wi-Fi) and with Zoom installed (the free version is fine).
  • A webcam and microphone.
  • A method of generating CW; either from a rig sidetone or a code practice oscillator using a straight key or paddles with sufficient volume to be picked up by the webcam microphone. Preference will be given to straight key operators.
  • The capability to record CW using the computer and then export the file in MP3 format. There is free software such as Audacity that is available to do this.

If you are sufficiently motivated, willing and able to meet the above requirements, Tony, VE2KM, will be happy to work with you to achieve your goals.

Course Registration:

Unlike previous Amateur Radio courses provided by Radio Amateurs of Canada, the registration for the Beginner’s CW Course will be handled by the instructor Tony Pattinson, VE2KM.

To apply for the course please send an email directly to Tony at VE2KM@YnotSailing.com with “RAC CW Course” as the subject line.

If you need any assistance from Radio Amateurs of Canada please contact the RAC Office at racgm@rac.ca.   

Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
RAC President and Chair