Sun 23 Nov FISTS Eu Ladder
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Sun 30 Nov FISTS Eu Straight Key Week
Sun 30 Nov FISTS Eu Fifth Sunday
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Sun 14 Dec FISTS Eu 2m
Sun 14 Dec FISTS Eu Ladder
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Welcome to FISTS CW Club

FISTS supports the use, preservation and education of Morse code.  The club is devoted exclusively to CW operators, CW operating and people who are passionate about Morse code.


NYE 320-001 Straight Key from Dennis K6DF's collection.  Click to go to a larger picture We have three straightforward goals:
  • Further the use of CW (Morse Code)
  • Engender friendships among members
  • Encourage newcomers to use CW (Morse Code)

FISTS UK is the Headquarters of the FISTS Club (International Morse Preservation Society).
Bencher BY-1 Paddle from Dennis K6DF's collection.  Click to go to a larger picture
Interested in becoming a member?

Find out more about our history.

Latest News:

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  • 20 Nov 14: The ARTSAT2:DESPATCH spacecraft will be carrying a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz.

    The spacecraft, which is due to be launched on 30th November 2014, will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars.  The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU (an Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km).

    Morse code is being used to transmit housekeeping data at 6 wpm until the spacecraft reaches 180,000 km from Earth.
  • 20 Nov 14: TX factor's Hamfest 2014 video features an interview with FISTS member Mary G0BQV (FISTS #40), who enthuses about CW.  The interview starts at around 18 minutes.

    During an interview with VMARS there are glimpses of Chris G5VZ, Paul M0BMN, and Graham G3ZOD on the FISTS stand.
  • 20 Nov 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 23 November, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 22 Nov. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 23 Nov. 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 29 Nov. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 30 Nov. 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 06 Dec. 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 07 Dec. 0900-1000 UTC.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.
  • 17 Nov 14: The latest version (3.0.8) of the free FISTS Log Converter program is now available.

    A minority of logbook programs do not allow you to record a QSO's end time.  However, QSO end time is needed for the FISTS Rag Chewers Awards and some EuCW Activities.  This new version of FISTS Log Converter allows you to store the QSO end time in your logbook's Comment / Notes / Remarks field by adding "TIMEOFF" followed by a space then the time in UTC as 4 digits (hours and minutes) or 6 digits (hours, minutes, and seconds).  Do not include colons or any other characters - just 4 or 6 digits only.  For example, QSO end times of 09:29:00 UTC and 21:40:30 UTC can be represented using:

    TIMEOFF  0929
    TIMEOFF  214030

    There are also other improvements and bug fixes.  The program is available from the download web page.  Many thanks to Alex PA1FOX, David G4YVM, Peter G4LHI, and Richard G0ILN for helping with the design & testing.
  • 07 Nov 14: A very warm welcome to our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    Chris-#14182 OrlandoKK4SNC#16858 RobertKH6NX#16859
    JoeKK4DZX#16860 WaltK7ZQ#16861 JoeN9XJN#16862
    WarrenAB6YA#16863 JoeM6JNJ#16994 GuyG4DWV#16995
    IanM0CAG#16996 Finningley Amateur Radio Society (FARS)G0GHK#17000
  • 06 Nov 14: The TBSK Straight Key from Steve W1SFR is a whole new thing ... no springs or magnets to mess with.  Just plug it in, adjust the contact travel to your liking and experience one of the quietest and smoothest straight keys you'll ever use.

    All components are made by hand.  All brass parts are mounted to black granite and then mounted to an American Cherry or Walnut base.  Even the knob is hand turned.  Wood base measures 4" x 6" and each key comes with a custom made 3.5mm cable as well as a heavy duty non slip pad which keeps this key in place while in use.  Each key will come with an engraved plate: "TBSK by W1SFR Ser No. XXX".

    First 10 keys ordered will also get an inlayed mother of pearl dot which will be centered on the top of the knob.
  • 06 Nov 14: The results of the FISTS North America / NAQCC Sprint that took place on the 3rd September 2014 are now available.


     
  • 06 Nov 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 09 November, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 08 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 09 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 15 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 16 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 22 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 23 November 0900-1000 UTC.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.
  • 02 Nov 14: Please join us in congratulating the recent FISTS CW Club Awards winners:

    NameCallsignMemberAwards
    IanG4MLW #130 Spectrum 17m
    MichaelW3QT #13724 Perpetual Prefix and 50, 100, & 150 Endorsements
    MervG4KLE #16273 Millionaire 3 Million Endorsement
    VanniI5ECW #16505 Basic Century, Silver Century, and Millionaire

    For more information about FISTS Awards, available free to paid-up members worldwide, please see the Awards web page.
  • 01 Nov 14: If you haven't already, please submit your logs for the following October 2014 activities:
    Even if you only had one QSO or feel that you can't win, it's really helpful to send in logs so that the organisers and other participants are aware of the levels of activity.  For all FISTS Eu Activities, logs can be submitted using the FISTS Log Converter program or may be in Excel, CSV or Cabrillo format or neatly reproduced on paper; see the Activity Calendar web page for details.

    See the EuCW Snakes & Ladders web page for details on submitting Snakes & Ladders logs.
  • 31 Oct 14: Here is a photograph of the two Begali keys to be awarded to participants in the EuCW Snakes & Ladders activity.

    There is also a second photograph available.

     
  • 30 Oct 14: The RSGB Marconi CW 2m Contest is this coming Weekend, 1st November 1400 UTC - 2nd November 1400 UTC.  It is part of a Europe-wide contest and is the third out of three annual RSGB VHF CW contests (4m, 6m and 2m).

    Unlike HF contests, QSOs are a bit more relaxed and don't expect to get 599 for each QSO!  The exchange is RST, serial number and 6 character locator.  Most activity centres around 144.050, with the primary CW band plan area 144.000-144.110 MHz.

    Note: Both the FISTS CW Club 2m Activity weekend sessions take place within the contest period.  If you are participating in the contest as a 6-hour or 2x3-hour participant and the FISTS sessions occur in your 'off time', note that you must not have QSOs with other contesters during the FISTS sessions.
  • 30 Oct 14: Morse Express (USA) has released a photograph of its Christmas 2014 Key production prototype.

    The base is mahogany, 1-1/4" x 2-1/4" x 1.5" tall (30mm x 50mm x 40mm).  The knob is ebony 3/4" (20mm) diameter.  The weight is 1.5 Oz (45g).

     
  • 30 Oct 14: The October 2014 FISTS Down Under newsletter is now publicly available.

    FISTS Down Under is the Australian & New Zealand Chapter of the FISTS CW Club.  If you are a current FISTS Member and would like to receive the latest newsletter (only available to members), please send an email to FISTS Down Under fists-down-under@ihug.co.nz.
  • 27 Oct 14: It's a pleasure to welcome our latest FISTS CW Club members:

    NameCallNo. NameCallNo. NameCallNo.
    TomKA9NOO#16845 EarlWA7PEA#16846 DaveKC1APK#16847
    LarryWA5LSV#16848 RickW4RP#16849 BarryW4YAT#16850
    RexK2AM#16851 DimaAC2KJ#16852 BobK1RWR#16853
    HalAA2ID#16854 CraigN5LNX#16855 BobK0ALN#16856
    FloydVE7GWN#16857 StigSM5CLF#16983 RuiM0RLM#16984
    JohnG0IJM#16985 PaoloI1HJP#16986 ChrisF6EAZ#16987
    GeoffG4AEI#16988 TonyG0EPZ#16989 RoyGM4VKI#16990
    RichardG0IAX#16991 DavidG4HYY#16992 GiorgioIU1BKT#16993
  • 22 Oct 14: Ham Gadgets (USA) has introduced the Ultra PicoKeyer kit.

    It has four buttons so it's quicker and easier to send any of the four stored messages.  Message recording and changing settings is simple.  For example, you can hold a button for a couple of seconds to record a message, very similar to what you'd do to set a preset on your car stereo.  And you'll find the setup function easy to use, too.  Use the buttons like arrow keys to scroll through menu settings, all announced in Morse code - either single character "short" announcement for experienced users, or a longer version like "SPEED", "WEIGHT" or "QSO NUM" if you prefer.  You can set up everything (other than recording messages or reversing the paddle inputs) using just the front panel pushbuttons, without even plugging in a paddle.

    This keyer has all of the features of the latest PicoKeyer Plus and then some.  A built-in sidetone audio jack lets you plug in your ear buds, headphones, amplified speaker or just pipe the sidetone audio into your homebrew rig's audio section.  The new firmware builds on previous versions of the PicoKeyer with a number of new features.  It's easier to operate and just as compact.
  • 21 Oct 14: FISTS CW Club will be at the UK GQRP Convention at Rishworth on Saturday 25th October.

    The doors open at 10am and the admission is £3.50.  For more information, please see the Convention's web page.
     
  • 21 Oct 14: FISTS CW Club Eu Weekend Activities: The next FISTS Eu Ladder sessions are on Sunday 26 October, 14:00-16:00 & 18:00-20:00 UTC.
    *UK members:* Don't forget that from 26 October the clocks are back on UTC!

    The next FISTS Eu Two Metre Activity sessions are:
    - Sat. 25 October 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 26 October 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 01 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 02 November 0900-1000 UTC.
    - Sat. 08 November 1700-1800 UTC, Sun. 09 November 0900-1000 UTC.

    FISTS Eu Activities include relaxed, conversational QSOs and are an opportunity to meet up with other members.  Call CQ or call other people at a speed of your own choosing.  Members from other FISTS Chapters are invited to join in; contacts do not have to be with members of FISTS Eu.

    In the Ladder, activity is typically around 14.058, 7.028 and 3.558 MHz, and exchange a minimum of: name, RST received, QTH and (if applicable) FISTS member number.

    In the Two Metre Activity exchange a minimum of: RST, Name, 6 character Locator, and (if applicable) FISTS member number.  A calling frequency of 144.058 MHz can be used to establish contacts.  Logs are welcomed and QSOs count towards FISTS Awards.

Please visit the News page for a full list of recent and older news items.

Interested in becoming a member?

FISTS HQ welcomes new members who have a passion for Morse Code.

1990 Vibroplex from Dennis K6DF's collection. Click to go to a larger picture Benefits of membership include:
  • Our popular Quarterly A5 News Booklet
  • Free use of the FISTS QSL Bureau
  • Access to our members-only area
  • Help and support from like minded people
The FISTS Club is one of amateur radio's fastest growing organisations.  It's an unique club, founded and maintained on solid principles using radio's oldest and yet most reliable communications mode - CW!  Why not join us?

FISTS History

The FISTS Club, (International Morse Preservation Society) was founded in 1987 by the late George "Geo" Longden G3ZQS of Darwen, Lancashire England, after recognising a need for a club in which veteran operators would help newcomers and less-experienced operators learn and improve CW proficiency.  During the first year, membership reached 300, most of whom were in Great Britain and Europe.  The original Introduction to FISTS by Geo holds as true today as it did when he wrote it.  Geo also explains how he chose the name FISTS.

Sideswiper ('cootie') Key Number 9 made by Bill NT9K.  Click for a large picture.

The North American Chapter was formed in 1990 to assist 11 members in the USA receive the newsletter and as a banking convenience.  Nancy Kott WZ8C of Hadley, Michigan was named US representative, a position she held until sadly she became a Silent Key in 2014.

The Down Under Chapter (New Zealand / Australia) was formed in 1998 to provide a similar service to Australasian members, with Ralph Sutton ZL2AOH as the VK/ZL representative.  From a VK/ZL membership of four, there are now over 100 members "Down Under", principally in New Zealand. The New Zealand membership is the largest in any country outside England, Wales and North America.

The East Asia Chapter was formed in 2004 by a few Taiwanese and Japanese members to provide East Asian members with various services in their native languages.

Why not join us?


Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dennis K6DF, Bill NT9K and Billy AB4RH for permission to use photographs from their key collections.

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