Jon M. 'Jack' Bravis
Fridley, MN

QCWA # 36625
Chapter 8
WØEKS - Jon M. Bravis

International Morse Preservation Society - FISTS # 10581
Straight Key Century Club - SKCC # 1662

Hello, I go by the name Jack -- it's the nickname I was given in childhood. Only strangers call me Jon. As a matter of precedence, take note that the family of John F. Kennedy also called him Jack.

I am privileged to be licensed in amateur radio since July 1983, first as novice KAØRFR, then later AAØDI, and now the current 'vanity' callsign. My first endeavor in ham radio was to learn enough code (13 wpm) to earn phone privileges, and not mess with the key again. Had I not been forced to learn morse, I might have never found out that it was enjoyable in itself. It did not come so easily for me as it did for some. On my first novice QSO, I got so frustrated trying to copy the other guy's fist that I shut the rig off in mid-QSO. But the bug persisted. It took me 2-1/2 years of brass-pounding to go from 5 to 20 wpm. Frankly, I have not exceeded that speed by much since, and I can't send cleanly at 25 wpm or higher anyway. But my goal is the enjoyment, so it really doesn't matter. I always extend the courtesy of QRS-ing to the other op's speed, recalling how tough it was for me when I was in the same situation.

I'm not averse to other modes. My most enjoyable phone contacts have been on FM-VHF -- 2M and 1-1/4M (220 MHz), mostly during the early '90s. An appearance on HF-SSB is not too common, but the Heil headsets sure make it more pleasurable -- for me and the other op. I can also be found in the logs of some RTTY op's in the mid-to-late '80s, thanks to a Commodore 64 and the likes of AEA and MicroLog. I haven't run RTTY in over 15 years though, even though I now have a decent PC. I guess the bug just has to bite me first.

My latest endeavor is to master my new Vibroplex bug. I had always considered bugs impossible to send cleanly with, until I read the excellent guide written by Brian Murphy, VE2AGO. With a little more practice, there may be hope. If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth it.

WØEKS - Jon M. Bravis
John and his son Jon, both WØEKS

November 15, 2014