I don't recall when KB9XE/Bill and myself decided to start up the Speed Operators Bunch (SOB) but it was partially a ruse to the FOG thing, as I recall. We had to rack our brain to make SURE nothing about the SOB would ever get into the QST - thus we came up with the SOB name. As I remember, the only way to become a member of the SOB was to QSO either KB9XE or W4BQF in excess of 70 wpm and prove you had a great sense of humor! At max, I think we had around 14 or 15 members and while I thought I kept a list of members, I'm still searching for that list.
Tom - W4BQF
I think Tom remembers one thing wrongly. SOB was in operation long before FOG was organized. Perhaps he is mixing FOG up with FCO or another group. I was active in working the operators that eventually became FOG and it had no acronym at that time. I started working the members of SOB and eventually got my speed up to around 80 wpm and got a number from SOB plus a very nice certificate (my thanks to Tom for all the encouragement and help he gave me in improving). When I told Ken, W9LRV about that he thought it was a good idea to issue numbers and certificates for his group which operated around 60 wpm, in order to encourage more operators to move up in speed. The format followed the one that SOB used and Ken came up with the acronym FOG for Fast Operators' Group. It has never sought or had any notice given it in QST, I did refer to FOG in an article I wrote for the FISTS magazine. I also referred to SOB. Anyone really interested in keeping QRQ CW alive is always trying to encourage people to raise their sights and improve.
Fred Ryan, W3NJZ
Fred was so right with what he said here, especially the last sentence in this paragraph. I have been trying to pick up the torch and run with it, encouraging others to try out QRQ and see if they find it as fun as Fred did. At the same time, I try to provide a good example...not by being the best operator out there, because I'm not...but rather by working hard to improve my skills every day that I am on the air. 73
Brett, KI4DBK (CFO# 1017)
PARTIAL LIST OF MEMBERS OF S.O.B
W4BQF – KB9XE – NU2C – K5LGJ – N8LN – K3TF – W3NJZ – K5TO – K1LKP
please feel free to add to this list
there is supposed to be @13 members
ALSO...if you have some recordings of the SOB group, please let me know via email.
I would like to add some more good recordings to the SOB qrq cw live recordings album !
I think it may be possible that Mike Monger - KT2E was a member of SOB, perhaps one of the latest. I can't remember exactly, but I know he was in FOG (number 12). Mike was a great QRQ operator who lived relatively close to me in the same state. Last year I was able to contact him via email but he said that things in life had taken him away from QRQ and I understood, so I did not bother him further. It would be great if he came back to the hobby someday though. As far as the SOB, I know Mike knew Tom and QSO'd with him up to and over 70 wpm on a few occasions, but I do not remember if he was issued an official number. He was also CFO #929 under his old call of KC4EJT. He claims a copy speed of up to 70 wpm on his QRZ page, but I betcha he could operate in excess of this for conversations with the SOB boys. Mike was a positive influence on me very early in my CW "career" and I am grateful for that. I once sent him an audio practice CD I made which had 5-Star Club, SOB, and George Hart transmissions on it. He sent me a letter thanking me for the CD, which was in his words, "The best practice material he'd ever listened to." I still have that letter tacked up on my shack wall.