Great Post Ward. I couldn't agree more.
I also feel this way. CW is its own special unique thing that people need to
see and become interested in positively. I believe that enough can, and will,
if we approach it right to not change the face of CW DXing and Contesting.
Worldwide, a few hundred a year would replace the going silent old timers and
provide a fresh crop of people for contesting. Pretty low bar, really...
I have never cared how many hams there are. I have very little in common with
most of them anyway. I have always used the submitted logs and unique calls
(tough one with all of the miscopies) as my guide to ham radio health in
contesting and the volume of Qs by the mega DXpeditions as my measure of DXing.
Worldwide, very very roughly, there seems to be maybe 15,000 active contesters
of some type and maybe 50,000 DXers of some type. That's it. From the Data.
Will the CW portion of those decline? Quite possibly, if we approach it wrong.
But not if we share why we love it.
Ward's flyfishing was a great example. Add Snowshoeing, bow hunting, and other
"ancient" technologies that are growth interests right now. None of them
growing because we forced the item in someone's hand in order to ski or hunt.
CW...The Sound of Communication (look what hollywood uses for a sound track
when they want a background implication of communication...CW or RTTY...not SSB
Ed N1UR (happily thoroughly enjoying both CW and SSB DXing and Contesting)
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