Yes, you read it right. 19 countries on CW since my first CW contact on Monday. Not bad at all. I didn't think it would be that many but Thos EI2JD was here this evening at my QTH and looked it up on my logging software. (I didn't know how to do that, thanks Thos!)
Anyhow, I worked Aruba this evening on 18m CW. Nice. It's an island in the Caribbean. The station was P49V whose name is Carl. He was weak enough with me and it took me five or six attempts but he got it in the end. It's a new country for me in any mode but particularly nice to work it for the first time on CW. I have 77 countries on SSB but only 35 of them are authenticity guaranteed on eQSL.
There were a lot of people calling him, especially from Europe, as you can imagine. But I'm thrilled. Above is a photo of the morse key which I borrowed from Pat EI2HX. It's an old key, World War II vintage, and it's excellent. I am planning to do the morse test at the Coolmine rally on February 14th. I have to receive and send back three minutes worth of text at a speed of 5 words per minute, although that is very slow so I might ask for a quicker speed. Then I have to receive and send back nine strings of five numbers, and finally a string of punctuation marks. There are eight of these in total and I already know six.
If I pass the morse test this will entitle me to apply for a two-letter suffix callsign, and the next ones which are going to be given out are EI7KB, EI8KB, EI9KB, EI2KC, EI3KC etc etc.
Should be easier to send five characters as a callsign than six!! Fingers crossed.