Last Thursday afternoon I was speaking to Paul (M0TZO) who aired the idea of me taking the intermediate exam at the RSGB Convention this October, at first I sort of shrugged at the idea but after 20mins came to the decision of might as well try it and sent an email to the RSGB asking to take the exam.

Yesterday I got a reply and the Candidate Application for Training Course & Examination form attached as a jpeg (would rather a PDF but never mind), today that was put in the post along with a cheque to cover the exam fee. So I’ve now 36 days study and to start/finish the practical elements of the training before the exam!

I started that bit this afternoon a while ago I ordered a Morse code generator kit via the internet, and it’s sat on my bookcase for about 9 months waiting to be made. Today though I sat down in the kitchen with the solder iron and actually built the thing!

First thing I did was solder on the negative lead for the power and the resistors which you can see below at first I was a little nervous never really being a kit builder but soon got the hang of it and started making reasonable progress.

Morse Code Oscillator KitMorse Code Oscillator Kit

Next step was the IC socket I was pretty worried, I’d end up soldering all the little pins together in one big mess but was pleasantly surprised that didn’t happen! The two polyester capacitors were then added just below it.

Morse Code Oscillator KitMorse Code Oscillator Kit

Onwards I moved nearing the end (Yay!) next up was soldering the variable resistor, electrolytic capacitor and the timer IC needed pushed in and speaker wires soldered on.

Morse Code Oscillator KitMorse Code Oscillator Kit

Once this was all done I connected up the battery and Morse key and to my delight everything worked first time when keying it made the right sounds so great hour spent, Only a few more bits to make and get signed off and keep at the training book and mock exams.

Morse Code Oscillator KitThe end Product