While strolling through Facebook today, I came across a posting on the POTA page about getting started in POTA CW.
I whole heartedly agree with Bob, more CW ops are needed on POTA. So I clicked on the pdf and this was the opening paragraph:
CW POTA HUNTING / CW CONTESTING WITH MINIMAL OR NO KNOWLEDGE OF MORSE CODE
Bob Lewis – N8GU
Undoubtedly, CW purist operators would probably think that using devices to decode and send Morse Code as being heresy. We use devices to decode digital modes like FT8, RTTY, PSK31, etc. Why not use devices to decode and send CW? I look upon these devices as being the entry point into the fun world of CW and as a stimulus for users to actually learn CW. Operating activities such as POTA (Parks on the Air) have caused a resurgence of interest in CW as well as radio manufacturers creating low power radios and portable antennas that are great for CW transmissions.
I love the idea of people wanting to learn CW. No disrespect intended, my only sticking point is that it seems more than likely to me that if you're going to use a CW decoder and rely on your computer or transceiver to send the CW for you, then this is going to become a crutch and in the long run will actually hinder your ability to learn CW. I'm not saying you won't learn CW this way, but I think it will take you a lot longer and is the scenic route instead of the express. But that's just this writer's humble opinion.
I speak from personal experience. I wanted to become a Ham when I was 16 and in high school. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the code. I gave up. I was a quitter. After college, with some free time on my hands, I buckled down and learned the code the traditional way. Lord knows, if I had CW decoders and a computer or transceiver where I could push a button and have flawless Morse sent for me when I was 16, I may have been in the hobby earlier, but I'm doubting that I would be as proficient with a key as I am today - and I'm by no means "Mr. CW" - just your normal CW op.
I know a lot of folks won't agree with my opinion. Just ask my XYL ...... she'll tell you how often I am wrong!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!