Monday, May 17, 2004


What the heck is a QCWA?

Well for you young “wiper snappers” out there it is the Quarter Century Wireless Association. It is a group that was formed in 1947 to promote friendship and cooperation among amateur radio operators that have been licensed for at least twenty-five years. They have a presence that you can visit on the World Wide Web. http://www.qcwa.org

Needless to say many of the group chapters are filled with members who served as radio operators during World War II and have many interesting stories to tell. Chapter 6 of the QCWA here in Pittsburgh is one such group and they have a 2-meter net each Sunday morning at 08:30 on the Steel City Amateur Radio Club’s 147.030 repeater. I often listen in on the net while getting ready for church and find some of the conversations interesting.

This morning they were discussing various aircraft that had been used by the Army Air Corp. One interesting item I heard was about having to go for a ride in a Piper Cub where you had to send and receive Morse Code at a speed of at least 16 words per minute to qualify as a radio operator. For those of you who have never flown in a light single engine aircraft is can be a VERY noisy experience and not at all conducive to concentrating on such a task.

Combine that with the fact that for many of these young men it was their first time ever in any type of aircraft along with what they may have had to eat in conjunction and the timing of the flight and you could have a very interesting ride!

So here is yet another interesting listening experience your scanner can bring into your home or car. Of course if you are a ham you should check and say hello to the guys on the net. If you are working on your ticket make sure to check in at least once when you have your license and let them know that you have been listening to them while you earned your way into the hobby.

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