It was in December of 2023 where a need was seen to create a place where South African Morse Code operators could gather and where all would feel comfortable in visiting. There are quite a few ham radio operators in South Africa who are proficient in the use of the Morse Code.
The origins of the club come from years of promotion by Mike ZS6MSW in motivating hams to learn CW. He has offered many classes and has had successes in producing excellent CW operators.
A constitution was written for the club as it gives guidelines within which a club should be managed. Many gave their input and support.
Point 1 and 2 are the most important :
1.1. The Club shall be known as THE COOL CW OPERATORS CLUB.
2. Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the Club shall be:
2.1.1 To further the interests of its members in all aspects of amateur radio, in particular the Morse Code.
2.1.2. To provide an amateur radio communication service to the community when required.
2.1.3. To further the aims of the South African Radio League.
2.1.4. To promote the use of the COOL system and Evaluator.
The club finds its roots within The COOL. Much has been written about The COOL. In fact the PIN registration list is the membership list for the club as it shows not only the activity of club members but their support for The COOL concept as a whole.
Our goals are non political, only to bring old and new Morse Code operators together. We have some really fine CW operators in the country and many come to mind. Not all are presently members of The COOL CW Operators Club but we extend an invitation to join us as we can only find strength in numbers and a common vision for Morse Code in South Africa.
In May 2018, ZS6MSW took a shine to CW right from the beginning, It all began when he attempted his very first SOTA. The late Darryl ZS6DLL had offered his assistance to do CW, knowing full well the outstanding impact the mode would have on South African Hams, especially the outside / outgoing Ham communities like POTA, RaDAR and SOTA..
Michael ZS6MSW took the bull by the horns, was always last in his class, really battled to grasp this code but did so in the end. He also mentioned during his learning phase, that one day he will teach CW and that he certainly did. He has subsequently pushed out many CW classes via Skype with some international hams in attendance, he has done a few semesters with clubs like ZS6TJ, he also was awarded Honorary Life Membership with Long Island CW Club and is an accomplished CW op with the ARRL and a life member there too,
He began the group together with the following hams : ZS6SR who resides now in Italy, Celso ZS1MYG, the rest kind of fell by the wayside due to the busyness of life. The group went through several name changes, as we were trying to sift through who actually ARE CW ops and those who thought they were, this created quite a ripple effect. They say that if you want to see the true hams you must shake the tree, well Michael certainly did that, and still does a shake down to see which hams are producing fruit or not. Mike is the kind of ham that if you are not on the team, playing, you must go sit on the side. He is all in favour of patience and teaching, but takes a no nonsense approach.
After our final shakedown a few months ago, Eddie ZS6BNE came up with the most advanced logging system called THE COOL, we then quickly figured out that since we have had so much success on the system, we unanimously called it THE COOL CW OPERATORS CLUB.
There will be a sub-leg to the CLUB which we call Teachers of CW and is part and parcel of the main CLUB. There Michael mentions clearly he can’t actually teach CW for the lack of a better word but his approach now is to assist in the learning phase. This means that the individual MUST learn the sounds of the letter and protocol, Michael will practice with them via Skype, what they have been practising. ( You must do your homework before dialling into his Skype class) He can’t force people to learn but will assist them. Like a willing seller willing buyer relationship. CW is a two way relationship. If you are interested in learning CW on your own, email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can forward the basic doc’s on how to go about it, together with training aids.
Eddie and Mike are the Founding Members and group leaders of this new Club. They will be recognised as South Africa’s top class CW CLUB because they are not only keyboard Ninjas but actually get on the air and have fun. The operative words are GETTING ON AIR AND LOGGING.