eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Are CW Veterans Killing CW?

Frank van Wensveen (PA3GMP) on October 8, 2010
View comments about this article!

Many moons ago, when I was still young and handsome (I'm older now, HI) I spend about six months learning CW. Because I had the privilege to learn from one of the best CW teachers I know (Leen PD0MPL) the CW exam was a breeze and soon I had upgraded my novice license to a full license (for which CW was still a requirement in those days).

Unfortunately I spent most of my ham radio life on locations where I was unable to work HF, due to onerous antenna restrictions and QRM levels high enough to power a toaster. Only for the past year or so I have been able to put up a decent HF antenna and make QSO's on the 'DC' bands. Because I have always rather liked CW, I took the opportunity to try and revive my CW skills, which by now had become decidedly rusty. And immediately I ran into a big problem.

Having learned CW at the required speed of 12 words per minute, I am totally unable to copy any of the CW signals that can be heard on the HF bands these days. The CW enthusiasts that occupy the CW portions of the bands tend to be seasoned veterans, who make their QSO's at machine-gun speeds of 20 to 25 WPM or more, often using electronic keyers. While there is of course nothing wrong with that, this _does_ pose a huge obstacle for the novice CW enthusiast who can copy 12WPM but little more, and is used to a straight key.

Which brings me to a question. Especially now that the CW requirements have been dropped just about everywhere, the novice CW enthusiast has become somewhat of a rare beast. Being one myself, I wonder: how is a novice CW station, limited to the basics of, say, 12WPM and a straight key, going to be able to get into the game these days when other novice CW operators are few and far between, and everyone else is a 20+WPM veteran?

I realize that it is not easy to slow down to 12WPM or so when you're used to much higher speeds. In fact, I am sure that it will be a bit of a pain for the seasoned CW operator to "throttle down" to novice speeds. On the other hand, if CW is to survive as a mode, it might just be very necessary for CW veterans to give some consideration to the novice, and allow their slower brethren the luxury of low-speed CW QSO's. After all, how else will the novice be able to obtain the practice and experience necessary to progress to higher speeds?

So. Are seasoned CW veterans actually killing off CW as a mode because the gap between their experienced QSO's at 20+WPM is too great for novices to get into the game of CW?

Food for thought.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K5ML on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Back in the days when there were novice CW bands on 80, 40 and 15 meters, beginning CW ops were able to converse with other beginners and veterans who were happy to QRS to accommodate them. Perhaps one solution would be to have a gentleman's agreement where certain portions of some CW bands are designated as places where those who wish to send and receive at slower speeds can gather and do so. We already have de-facto designated areas for RTTY, slow-scan and DX chasing in some bands. Why not have a QRS area?
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W8JII on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
First of all------No, I don't think Cw veterans are killing CW. I have never had anyone refuse to QRS when operating CW. My comfort level on CW is actually a little less than 20 WPM so there have been many times I have asked someone to QRS. Actually many hams I have found will adjust to the speed you are sending without you ever asking them to. 73, Ron
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N7MG on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a 10-12WPM CW op and I find that there are often guys that will QRS for me. Not to mention that it wasn't long ago that I was an 8-10WPM op. I ran into KA7PUN is someone I see on the air all the time operating at much higher speeds and he's QRSed for me and spent good amounts of time for a short bit of info to be sent at very slow speeds. Not to mention that if you operate in the old novice area 7.115+/- you'll find many guys that will QRS for you. Also if you hang out around 7.040 (QRP calling freq) many guys will answer slow CQ's there. Then I'm not sure why but I often call on 7.029 and that frequency seems to be a hot bed where there is often a QSO in place...

Being a newish CW op thats still in his 20's I'd have to say no CW veterans are often willing to QRS. Those who won't are few and far between and most of them aren't worth talking to anyway...

~Brett (N7MG)
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NU4B on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
This is an interesting post. We got rid of the novice license and the novice frequencies. We have eliminated the code requirement. But now its the CW veterans killing CW?
WOW!

I am helping another ham with code. He's around 10WPM and says he's been making a QSO a day while trying to build up his speed. So he obviously found some place on the bands where slow CW ops are hanging out.
About once a week we try and make a QSO. Yes its hard to slow down to that speed although I don't mind because I hope there's another successful CW op on board.

On the other hand slow ops shouldn't be looking to make QSO's with someone running 25WPM and expect him to always slow down. I've heard these slow ops call DX pileups where the DX station was at 30 or 35 WPM and somebody calls him at about 15 WPM. Come on.

The reason we had the novice frequencies was to allow ops to build their speed and become efficient CW ops. Somehow all that got lost in our rush to eliminate the code requirement. (But then again the reason we had the novice license was for new ops to learn something, but we didn't want to do that either.)

This is what the no code people wanted - now they got it (that fight is over), but don't blame veteran CW ops that we ended up with a license structure that is anything but well thought out.

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N8NSN on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I still happen upon plenty of QRS ops in the 40 meter band :just under 7125kc... it think? (memory problems) ...the old Novice portion

I never read anything by the OP where it is said, "Other ops "didn't slow down for me"... Has me wondering if the OP is just spinning the dial or plugging in the rocks and just giving up due to "not hearing anyone in QRS code speeds" ?

Suggestion:
Just get on there, don't be shy or intimidated, send out your "CQ..." at WHATEVER speed you're comfortable with. With any patience, at all, eventually someone will answer your call, at 'your speed'.

There are MANY ops on there that send at only 10 or a little more words per minute, due to a physical limitation or any myriad of reasons, BUT they can copy with the best at the 28 to 30 WPM range. I QRS for them, and then they explain what the slow-send is all about and ask me to QRQ.

Keep at it and above all...
HAVE FUN !

N8NSN
Bug Key(s) (25 - 30+WPM)
...and always willing to QRS

BTW... anyone want to slow down their bug key w/o paying the pricey amount for a "Vari-speed" or slipping on extra weights?

Drop in on N8NSN QRZ.com page and see details (FREE DETAILS) on how you can "tame your bug key" for less than 2 dollars in common hardware parts.

again...
HAVE FUN ! ! !

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KG6TT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Be patient. There are many stations operating QRS and many more who will quickly slow down as well. Just be sure to use a speed that you can comfortable communicate at.

If actual QSOs are your preference, I suggest you begin by looking into groups like FISTS and SKCC. Both groups have their own call frequencies on each of the HF bands and their members can often be found +- those frequencies. You might be surprised how a quiet FISTS call frequency comes alive after you send your slower speed CQ! The average speed for these groups can vary, but in my experience it usually from 15 to 20 wpm. These groups also have learning 'buddy' programs and slow speed nets. QRP frequencies are great places to find comfortable slower speed QSOs too.

CW contesting is highly popular on weekends and -- depending on the contest -- can occupy various amounts of spectrum space. Average contest speed is normally 20-35 wpm. QRS opportunities are possible but not common. However, FISTS and QRP groups (SKCC?) have their own 'events' (usually called sprints) found throughout the year and usually during the week. The operating speed during these events would be closer to 15-25 wpm but with great QRS opportunities. In my opinion I wouldn't think contests at any speed afford the same practice opportunities as would a genuine QSO. However contests are not on 30, 17, or 12-meter bands, but lots of 'other' CW ops are.

DXing at slower speed? Very possible. While DX pileups can seem to be equally hectic, they are relatively easy to break through with slower speed. Case in point, I have a friend than can barely do 10 wpm and he gets into every pileup at some point. DXing is not always about pileups either and I've had many an enjoyable DX QSO below 20 wpm (just not in a pileup situation).

Finally, don't forget pushing your speed a bit with daily practice. If you are computer friendly check out programs like G4FON's KOCH CW trainer or NuMorse. And of course practice opportunities abound with W1AW. Check out W1AW's practice and bulletin schedules on www.arrl.net.

73,
Jerry, KG6TT
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N8BOA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Many ops (me included) will sometimes send faster then what you can receive the operator on the other end has no idea that you are have trouble keeping up.
If you ask a question in the qso and the operator does not answer it you might want to QRS
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB2RC on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I rarely operate CW, and when I do, I use a keyboard to send. I still decode by ear, but my rx speed is much lower than my tx speed. I have asked other ops PSE QRS, and they have always done so.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by SM5IUF on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am not sure about your agenda but the CW speed on the HF bands has decreased during the last 20 years to beeing mostly below 30 WPM. I have trouble finding anyone that will converse fluently at speeds above 30 WPM. Even our dear Russian high speed operators have slowed down. You sadly don't hear the 40+ WPM guys anymore.

Anyhow all seasoned hams adjusts to the speed of the calling stations and in allmost all cases I have been listening to but that is of course mostly European and Asian stations. Perhaps it is different in your part of the world but all US stations I hear in Sweden are outstanding operators and adapt their speed to the calling stations. Sometimes we have to go slow due to very weak signals.

It's not like you are listening on the CW bands when there is a test in progress? As you might know, test operators are specialized on copying call sign and the 599 report and nothing else during a CW test but they do it really really fast.

CW is ofcourse my mode of choice but due to the slowdown on the bands I don't get the training I would like. My problem is as you might expect not high speed but the low speed since my short term memory functions better at high speed.

73 de SM5IUF

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KB2DHG on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Being an avid CW operaqtor and having to take and pass the required (at the time) 20 WPM code test I worked VERY hard to get there. To this day I find it very hard to keep and maintain speeds over 13WPM in a long CW QSO. To me 10-18 WPM is a comfortable arm chair copy and sending speed. BUT THAT IS TO ME! However I do NOT mind at all to slow down and operate to a slower speed and in fact I often search for the slower speed operator... I want to encourage Ham's to operate CW and would NEVER want to scare anyone away from it. I know and to this day still experence the operator who when I ask many times to slow down they continue to maintain their speed... Very frustraiting to say the least. I then simply QSY!
I feel your pain and am in full agreement with you... CW is a WONDERFUL mode, Not only a mode, a language and certinaly a craft... USE IT, EMBRACE IT and to you super speed cw hot roders, I kindly ask you to nurture the slower operators and in doing so YOU will be helping the mode to live on!
73 my fellow hams. and remember...IF YOU DON'T KNOW CW YOU DON'T KNOW DIT!
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N4OI on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
My experience (8 years now) has been that there is an abundance of QRS operators around the SKCC calling frequencies and toward the upper ends of the bands. As someone mentioned, the QRP frequencies are also good for QRS activity. But I love to hear the really fast (40+ WPM) QSOs, especially if they are not using computer keying. I am nowhere near that speed but can approach 30 WPM or so in conversations. My goal is to become so fluent in CW so that I can carry on an enjoyable rag chew (and QSK) QSO fast enough to keep the conversation lively. From my view, the CW veterans are essential for keeping this mode alive and kicking in the years and decades to come, as the rest of us progress up the CW ladder.

73 es God Bless U es URS -- Ken N4OI
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K8YZK on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
A quick answer would be NO, they are not.
This could be used as a reason to bring back some form of code requirement for all classes again. The old Noivce license were it was CW only on HF and limited part of the bands to operate, made one, if they truly wanted to upgrade a place to pratice and learn not only cw but working thru QRM and passing messages.
Others have said the same thing, so I will go back to my original answer, NO, us old timers are not killing CW. My suggestion is copy ARRL code pratice sessions at speed you know you can not copy to improve and try to get out of your comfort zone, and soon your comfort zone will be up there with the high speed guys.

Kurt
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AA4PB on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
You are not likely to find experienced ops calling CQ at 10WPM. You either have to call CQ yourself at that speed and wait for someone to answer or you copy the high speed CQ call sign after several tries and then call him at your speed. He should slow down to your speed for the QSO.

Don't send at 25WPM with a keyboard and expect the other station to slow down to 10WPM so you can copy. Normally you send at the speed you can copy and that will signal others as to what sending speed they should use.

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WY3X on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think there should be an agreed-upon frequency for QRS ops to visit where they would be reasonably certain of finding someone to QSO with.

Being the somewhat jovial guy I am, if someone sends back to me too fast, I go back to them with intentional copy errors. Bill becomes Bob, New York becomes New Jersey, etc. and I slow down to a miserably slow speed to let them know they're sending too fast. They usually slow down on the next pass... or disappear. :-)

I got my speed up enough to pass the 13WPM General, but had no aspirations of taking the 20. My copy speed is probably a comfortable 8 to 10WPM.

-WY3X
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N3WT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Check out the SKCC Club.

Straight Key Century Club

see website : http://www.skccgroup.com/

lots of slower speeds with a straight key or a slowed down bug. Along with suggested newer cw operators freqs for very slow wpm only. Also recommended frequenies to find other SKCC members, mostly QRS speeds.

John N3WT
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KA1DBE on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I have never had a problem slowing down for someone or someone slowing down for me. Good CW ops will do that.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NI0C on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The Novice sub bands constituted a community of Morse code learners.

I recall tuning the Novice frequencies shortly after passing my Novice exam, while waiting the six weeks it took to receive my license. At first, I couldn't copy much of anything-- everyone seemed to be going so fast. Almost nobody was sending at the 5-7 wpm level; they were at 10-15 wpm. How could this be?

Then it occurred to me that most (if not all) of the operators I was hearing had used their six week waiting period to continue improving their speed. Everyone was anxious to shed the "N" from their call sign and to acquire the additional privileges afforded the General class licensee. I followed their example-- I immediately went to work by listening to W1AW code practice sessions and my LP code records. By the time my license arrived, I could copy almost every signal on the Novice bands.

New CW operators need to keep in mind that even the fastest Morse code is much slower than normal human speech. Very slow code is tedious; that's why everyone wants to go as fast as they can. On the air practice with peers is good. Some operators like to keep schedules with others of similar capabilities. There are also excellent resources for practicing code off the air. DJ1YFK has a superb website called: Learn CW Online: http://lcwo.net/ which is useful for any student of Morse, whether QRS or QRQ.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB1GA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
CW will only die when the number of practitioners drops to below critical mass, and no sooner. As long as people become interested in the mode, use the mode, and strive to improve their proficiency at CW there is surely nothing to worry about.
The article raises the argument that by working CW at their normal capability, the veteran ops are somehow falling short of an obligation. But, in general, ham radio is a HOBBY, a pastime, something you do for fun, and need not have any morally redeeming value. True, the tradition of cameraderie in the hobby makes helping the newcomer a part of normal operations, but there -are- plenty of ops who will slow down when they hear a slow call. So the question becomes: should veteran ops be -expected- to spend some part of their on-air time working slower CW than they normally would? This seems coercive, and my answer would be a resounding "NO!".
I regretted the loss of the CW subbands because it did make things easier for the newcomer to ham radio. Everybody knew that slow CW was spoken there, that operating technique was a bit rough around the edges, etc., and normal people took all of it in stride. Veteran ops with a mind to help out a bit needed only to spin the knob a bit in order to find someone to help along a bit.
Today, with less experienced ops spread out among everyone else, things are tougher, and the only reliable way to find a slow-speed CW op is to hear one on the air. That makes it incumbent on the new op to call CQ. Remember, you can't work who you can't hear.
As in almost all other things, it is up to the following generation to keep the candle lit. CW will thrive as long as there are those who can feel the magic of the mode, and are willing to spend time and effort learning it and getting better at it, becoming veterans in their own right. To improve requires practice, and practice comes from contacts, and to make contacts requires taking the CW pledge on the air, in front of all those present. The pledge is short, easy to remember, and easy to repeat; it goes something like this:

dah-di-dah-dit dah-dah-di-dah

73,
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K2IZ on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I seem to recall something in one of the ARRL's publications about slowing down to the speed of the other operator. If I answer someone calling CQ I will try to do it at the speed they are sending.
The only thing I do is I still use my keyer, I might keep the speed at 20wpm but I space it like I'm sending 10 or 15 wpm. Over the years I've read that the "hump" for copying code is around 10-12 wpm, that is where people go from counting the dits and dahs to recognize a letter to hearing the sound and recognizing the letter.
Our club has been operating a number of "special events stations" and we try to put the station on CW, I usually send around 18-20 wpm, if someone comes back to me at a slower speed I will QRS to make sure we get the QSO.
I've also heard cw operators during field day that send 30-35 wpm and will not QRS for anyone, I'm still trying to figure out what they are trying to prove by doing that.
You have to remember, everyone of us had to learn code, it took a lot of practice and time to get up to 18-20 wpm, yes you will run into those operators that will not QRS, but they, for the most part, are in the minority.
Good Luck and 73 John K2IZ
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AA6DQ on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I work 40 meter cw most every night. There are numerous stations on who send cw at 12 wpm or less. You will find them around 7050 khz and 7110 khz. These are the portions of the band favoured by straight key ops, rag chewers, and slow coders.

You can also try calling CQ at a speed that you can copy. Most ops will answer your CQ at the same speed.
Do not hesitate to ask the other op to QRS - sometimes those of us using straight keys get a little carried away as our fist "warms up" during a qso.

I am happy to talk to anyone and will match their cw speed anywhere from 5 wpm to 30 wpm. Answer one of my CQ's.

Tim AA6DQ

 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N4KZ on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
CW veterans killing CW?

Wow. This is some stretch of the imagination. Nearly all CW ops will adjust their sending speed automatically and if they don't, they will do so when asked.

Next wild-eyed theory, please?

73, N4KZ
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KE4ILG on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I can add that well sent code at any speed is a joy to listen to. So practice sending. Make your dits and dahs uniform. Provide proper spaces between characters and words. When you do this regardless of the speed you send cq someone will want to talk with you.

Also may I suggest when you gain speed spend some time working with the slower ops sending the very best code you can. Then you will be the Elmer. Send well and I will be glad to work you, 73 Mike ke4ilg.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KI4UZI on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Check out the SKCC on the web, they have several frequencies for mentoring and you will find code being sent around those frequencies from 10 to 20 WPM. They also have one Wednesday evening a month set aside for 2 hour sprints at slow speeds. It is fun and it is a learning experance. enjoy
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WX7G on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Get a CW program and learn to copy and send at 20+ WPM. Problem solved.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W2LJ on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
NU4B hit the nail on the head. IMHO, this article is just another effort to stir up controversy, without being constructive.

If you want to increase your code speed, there are plenty of organizations that will be more than happy to help, including FISTS, SKCC and the North Americna QRP CW Club (which now has a European chapter).

Learning code has never been easier than it is today. When I was studying for ny Novice ticket, I sure wish I had programs like G4FON's Koch Trainer and the other programs that are out there. Program one of these to send random code and save it as an MP3 to your MP3 player or burn it to a disc - what could be easier?

Yes, it is a shame that the Novice ticket and subbands have gone away. Very shortsighted on behalf of the FCC. But, if you go above 7.110 on 40 Meters, you will find plenty of straight key and slower stations.

Larry W2LJ
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K0IC on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The thing is for those who use self-completing code electronically anyone under the right conditions can copy with electronic readers. Those who do so with hand keyers and just dash sending electronically you might not be able to use electronic readers. There is not much of an excuse for slow copying as the copying should increase as you read signals sent and received electronically.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WB2WIK on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The way to go faster is by using CW -- a lot.

The more you use it, the faster you'll find yourself going and most don't have the dexterity required to send 20 wpm or faster with a hand key (I know I sure don't), so you end up using a keyer.

I have most of my QSOs at 25 to 40 wpm, and I don't consider that "fast," it's just conversational. But if someone wants to go slower, that's fine with me if I'm just rag chewing and don't care about the clock.

I hear a lot of slower-speed CW higher up in the bands, e.g., above 14.050 on 20m or above 7.050 on 40m, etc. I also hear quite a lot of much slower speed code up above 7.100, up as high as 7.120 or so -- I don't know if you have privileges up there or not, but in the States, everybody does.

 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AG8K on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I personally think it was a mistake for the FCC to eliminate the Novice class license. Why not have a Novice license with only CW and 2 meter phone that could be taken by mail? Let any two adults including none hams supervise the test.

This would encourage the use of CW and allow for more slow speed operators. Let the 5 WPM test be satisfied by a certificate from W1AW. Some people still live in rural areas of the country and may not have ready access to ham classes.

I personally will talk (CW) to slow operators but often don't find any. If the code is sent really slow I have a harder time copying it without writing it all down on paper.

Tom
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KL7CW on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Frank,
Do not give up. Keep answering faster stations, even if you only get part of their call. 90% of them will gladly slow down and have a nice long QSO with you. Often I operate from the UK and have had many fine CW QSO's especially with PA stations on 40 meters operating at all cw speeds. 80, 40, and 30 meters may be more oriented toward the QRS non DX ops. than 20 meters.
Although I usually operate at well over 20 WPM, occasionally when testing a new qrp rig at home or in the field without a keyer, I have answered 40+ WPM CQ's with my hand key at <15 WPM. Nearly 100 % of the time the ops have come back at <15 WPM.
I would like to encourage all experienced CW ops to make some QRS QSO's on a regular basis. Typically after a few QRQ QSO's, I tune around and look for someone calling CQ very slowly. If he does not get an answer after a few tries, I will call him at his speed. Often this results in a 30 to 60 minute QSO. Sometimes this is followed up with a phone call or e mail contact, especially if we did not copy much.
I have been doing this for 56 years, and do not really consider it as a painful duty, but as a very enjoyable part of the greatest hobby on earth. We have a saying that is "take time to smell the roses". Often I operate in contests and rag chew at fast speeds, so it is actually quite enjoyable to relax at a slower speed and help someone trying to improve his CW skills. I am sure most veteran CW ops feel the same.
Rick KL7CW Palmer, Alaska
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N2RRA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Frank,

Not at all! It took me 10 years, but I'm up to 30wpm. I always accomadate every speed I hear. I was taught by common practice if I were calling CQ at 30wpm and I recieve a response at 12wpm through common sense to me I'd reduce my speed to 12wpm. Wheather or not that person can only send at 12wpm, but can recieve much faster is not to be assumed. The way a person sends is the way you will respond and the way you send is the way the other should respond. Unless they send faster than me and I can't interpret I ask for them to "slow dwn".

Note: Common practice is to respond to a CW call the way their sending it.

The only people who are killing CW is the lazy age of operators who felt that CW shouldn't be a requirment because they didn't want to do it. Not that they couldn't learn it! Those with hearing problems, or dexterity problems are far and few in between. The hearing problem I can bite, but how many operators have Parkensons? Not many!

--... ...--!

-.-. .-- , ..-. --- .-. . ...- . .-. !
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N2RRA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
BTW Frank!

I've been a HAM a little over 20 years and loved CW since I was 16yrs old. I have 6 Keys including a Begali and I interchange a lot.

Currently using a straight key by "LLaves Telegraficas Artesanas" which was a gift by EA4ZK a good friend of mine. This straight key is awesome and love sending as fast as I can on it, but enjoy slowing it down between 3wpm - 12wpm.

Keep it up brother and don't get discouraged! We're all here to help and help enjoy the hobby.

73!
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KB3QVX on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
are cw veterans killing c.w NO i feel what is killing c.w. is the computer generated c.w. some of these people think that this computer generated c.w. is the real thing. i have been copying c.w. since "63" when i learned in the u.s. navy..i am comfortable at 10-14 w.p.m. if more faster oprs hear a opr useing a slower speed, they should slow down...not a big thing to do if your a seasoned opr. i was a opr in the sub service (old navy) and if you werent fast you stayed at home....
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9MHZ on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I think the author of this thread never expected this universal of a reaction.

OK, so I'll pile on.....CW people are a different breed...mostly courteous, and ready to slow down when asked. The love of the mode (and I'll admit to being a bit of a CW outsider) binds them. It's almost an art form that they want preserved. While it doesn't personally blow my skirt up, I think CW guys generally hold themselves to a higher operating standard, so I'm all for CW and CW guys.

MHO,

Brad, K9MHZ

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by ZF2RN on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
IMO the use of computers to "copy" CW are a major problem. The operators that can only use a keyboard and monitor to "copy" their CW seem to think that is the end all. Ask them to slow and some don't even know HOW to slow down their computer! ( Yes, I ran into one of them )
There are still a bunch of very nice real operators out there sending their code with keys/keyers and copying by ear that are usually happy to slow down.
Find these true operators and you will have a nice QSO. Find the "appliance operator" that can't actually copy CW without a computer and it is harder.
Just my 2 cents
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W2CSH on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KC2WQW on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The short answer is No, veterans aren't killing CW with their experience gap. I think what's killing CW is the abundance of verbal veterans on the internet who think lowly of No-Code license holders that discourage learning it.

Personally I have other reasons for being discouraged from learning code. I have a difficult time discerning similarly sounding letters in CW and my brain moves faster then my hands in these kinds of things plus I suffer from "Gamers' Cramps" from all those years growing up playing video games. So for the most part I'm stuck playing "Keyboard Cowboy" for anything with ham radio which means PSK31 or CW using software.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WB6RXG on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
We lost the novice/technician bands? When did that happen?

The most recent copy of the Part 97 rules that I can find on the Internet says they still exist.

73,
Stuart
WB6RXG
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K1XT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think W2CSH stated it perfectly: "Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything."

I agree.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NI0C on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
W2CSH and K1XT:

When you purchase our used equipment, be sure to replace all the QSK circuitry , relays, etc. They will be worn out.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N7BAV on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Like the author of this article I passed the General Class code requirement in the late 70's of 13WPM. Once I did, I picked up the microphone and stopped using CW, what a mistake. Then the whole family thing, career, etc and ham radio was in a box in the basement. I came to realize later the most fun I had in ham radio was the 25 states I worked on CW as a Novice. A sudden illness caused me to reflect on life and what I was missing and ham radio assumed a new importance. So after two years of work I am back to an honest 15 WPM and can copy clean fists who are running 20WPM. I found the QRS people around 7.110 mhz. When 17 Meters is open the people in JA land are always happy to slow down even when they are CQing at 20+. Stick with it and have fun.

N7BAV
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KASSY on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think so.

I'm obviously not familiar with where you live. Here in the US, there are many QRP activities. QRP operators seem to like simple everything. Radios with few knobs, blabla. Lots of them use straight keys. If you listen on the QRP frequencies like 7030, I think you will find many sub-8wpm QSOs and people to QSO with.

In the US too, there's this thing called the National Traffic System, and their local nets sure sound slow to me.

- k
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NU4B on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"We lost the novice/technician bands? When did that happen?

The most recent copy of the Part 97 rules that I can find on the Internet says they still exist. "

Technically they do - they just expanded the "novice/tech" CW bands to include the general portion of the 80, 40, and 15 and said those who still have those license classes can operate CW only in those portions of the bands.

But that wasn't the point.

The writer of this article stated "After all, how else will the novice be able to obtain the practice and experience necessary to progress to higher speeds?"

The point was we used to have a place specifically set aside for that, they were called the novice subbands.

But as many people here have written there are many places on the bands to go and practice your code - many great ideas in these replies.

Assuming you buy into the idea CW is dying (which I don't), the idea that its because CW veterans won't slow down for new ops is a little crazy.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K7NNG on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a CW op since 1954 and I can assure you that if I hear a CW OP operating very slow, I do the right thing and slow down for him/her.
WE WERE ALL NOVICES AT ONE TIME.
Anyone who will not slow down for another op is nothing more than a jerk, a moron, and a self centered bastard.
CW TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WA2JJH on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Nuts! Decent hams willo always would QRS(slow down)
to the slower senders speed.

Perhaps the 5WPM or no code extra is the problem.
Many veteran Extras perdicted this problem when the CW requirement was dropped from 20WPM to 13WPM, then 5WPM.

Many veteran extra's wonder why we worked so hard to get the first 25khz of all HF bands.

Perhaps a good solution is to have a seqment for those that want to keep below 7 WPM.
Why 7 WPM? The veteran extra's that dropped CW as soon as they got General, can still do 7WPM. The 5WPM extra should get up to 7WPM in days.
The no code Extra can practice as slow as they want.

It is no wonder the USA is now ranked 21 in most technical area'a. The US used to be #! IN MATH AND ENGINEERING. I could not believe we got as low as 21.


FLAME AWAY!!!!! WE GOT BIGGER PROBLEMS THEN A FEW THAT ARE JEALOUS OF A VIBROPLEX SENDING CW AT 45 WPM.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by G3LBS on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Incentive CW licensing should kill CW like it nearly did to ham radio.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N8AUC on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Good operating practice is to come back to someone at the speed they are sending. Because it is also good practice to only send as fast as you can copy. All the good CW ops I've ever encountered live by those practices.

As a young ham (more years ago than I like to admit), it was explained to me how foolish you appear to be when you call CQ at 25 WPM, then when someone comes back to you at 25 WPM, you ask them to QRS to 5 or 7 WPM.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NK6Q on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Any op who won't slow down when requested to QRS is a lid.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W7ETA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Nice prose,

Your conjecture that skilled CW ops are killing CW??!!!

Keep at it.

I use a free CW practise program to increase, regain my copy speed.

73
Bob
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WB2WIK on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!

>>Personally I have other reasons for being discouraged from learning code. I have a difficult time discerning similarly sounding letters in CW and my brain moves faster then my hands in these kinds of things plus I suffer from "Gamers' Cramps" from all those years growing up playing video games.<<

Except unlike RTTY, PSK and other digital modes (or keyboard CW), you don't need to write anything down to copy code -- and especially not to be really good at copying code. I don't know anybody who can write 50 wpm, but many of us can easily copy that.

The dexterity required to send it is very small motion stuff, but it does take practice. I only move my thumb and middle finger, maybe 0.05" each maximum, to send CW. No other part of my hand, wrist or arm needs to move at all. But it still takes practice.

"Copying" requires moving nothing at all.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB7KT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It is a commonly accepted practice to send at the same speed as the other operator.
On these internet posts, this automatically assumes that the faster op should slow down for the slower op. What seems to get lost in the shuffle is the idea of why YOU didn't call the other op at the same speed as HE was sending. If a guy is calling CQ at 25 wpm, and you can't copy 25 wpm, why are you calling him and expecting him to slow down to your speed ? Why didn't you call him at the speed he was sending ? This makes you the LID.
Now if you are calling CQ at 10 wpm and the guy answers at 25 wpm, HE is the LID.

Point being, if you want to work people at your speed, call CQ at your speed and someone will answer at your speed. This is a much better operating practice than calling a guy at half the speed he is sending then expecting him to slow down.

FWIW: I am not a CW speed demon by any far stretch of the immagination. But, I operate CW nearly every day. I always hear guys calling CQ at speeds way above that which I can copy. And, I don't work them. I don't call them and expect them to slow down for me. I let them enjoy the hobby in their own way and I move on until I find someone sending at a speed I am comfortable with. Or, I call CQ myself at a speed I am comfortable with.
By the same token, I hear people operating at 10 wpm or so every single day: there is no shortage of QRS signals on the air. I WILL try to match my sending speed with whomever I am working. I frequently work people at about 10 wpm. I have no problem at all with it.
Try the old novice band on 40 meters. It is wall to wall signals at roughly 10-13 wpm every evening.
 
It's Alive!  
by K4IQT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a veteran and I run CW, and I'm also a CW veteran, but there are lots of us who are not high-speed ops.

After many years of more off the air than on, I've recently become fairly active on 40/30/20 CW. KM4X referred to me a long time ago as "K 4 I Quit Talkin'" since I took so many vacations from hamming.

As a result, my once stellar copy ability of 50+ wpm is now more like 20 wpm, and at my age I can now receive faster than I can transmit. I usually look for QSO's in the 12-18 wpm range, and there are a LOT of CQ's in that range. Sure, the big guns with their 300 foot towers and CW kilowatts are S9+30 at 30 wpm, but there are a bunch of us a couple of S-units lower and a few thousand dollars cheaper that are not that fast on the old J38.

You don't have to go to the old novice segments to find us, either ... just look between the pileups, and most often within 10 or 20 KHz of the QRP calling frequency.

--K4IQT
 
No, They're Not.  
by N2EY on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The vast majority of CW ops will slow down if asked. Most will respond at the speed of the other station.

That's been my experience for 43 years as a ham.

There are other sides to the story, though. For example, when I was a beginner, there were plenty of stations going way too fast for me. I saw their speed as a challenge; I wanted to be as good as they were.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NS8N on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
As has already been mentioned, the tried and true veteran CW ops will GLADLY AND KINDLY slow down for a CW newbie.

I've only worked a few, what I would call CW "pros". Every one of them---without asking---accommodated MY speed. A few others purposely challenged me by sending just a wee bit faster than my comfort zone and let me know exactly what they were doing.

I am appreciative of all of them. Don't get discouraged. Yes, there are those speed-demons that completely ignore you but I feel that they are not representative of ham radio as a whole.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The notion that a mode can be made extinct by it’s operators becoming good at it, is about as silly as it gets.

Would a mastery of verbal communication render voice operation useless and outmoded?

Do you think contests will eventually be outlawed, when too many operators begin scoring high marks?

There are operators at all speeds, if you tune around. Usually you’ll hear ops (myself included) slow down and call CQ after a couple of unanswered calls at our normal speed. Only a very, very small number of ops won’t slow down when asked. I refuse to believe the bands are so different in PA than in W.

I think this article was probably intended more as just another trolling gouge at CW than as a constructive, legitimate opening of a fruitful discussion. I don't think it's food for thought at all.

Why don’t you give us a reasonable answer to your own post, assuming you can come up with one?

Phil C. Sr.
K4dpk

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KB9CRY on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
No, it's your problem. Lose the key and get a set of paddles and a keyer. They are recent inventions (since you haven't been around lately) and really let your CW take off. Give it a try before you start to whine about the other guy.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD6CPA on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'd say, in listening, about 60% of the transmissions I hear are at 15+ WPM (my copy speed -- while struggling). I'd say the median (half higher, half lower) is about 30WPM.

With some tuning, I can usually hear stuff at 10WPM or less.

That said it's still difficult for newbies to find somebody...
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB2T on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Frank's article reminds me that I should have a straight key and paddles by my rig at all times. I'll have to add the straight key to my off-the-air practice routine.

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NV9X on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Skilled CW Operators ? Do not judge all CW by the fast speeds in major contests. A good portion of it is being done by code readers, memory keyers and sent by computers. A good amount of that portion does not know CW. If their reader or computer breaks down, they're shot.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by G0OTT on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I always try to match the other op, make mistakes to a bit, timming issues I guess with using a paddle.
I must dig out the straight key :)
There are plenty os qrs ops around in europe, FISTS are friendly and accomadating, also qrp so for around europe 80m 3.558 +- 5k 40m 7.028 +-5k
As already suggested above 14.050 especially at the weekends is a good place to look if 20m is open.
Most important of all dont give uo and try and get 1 qso in the log every day, soon your confidence and speed will increase.

regards Darren g0ott FISTS# 14062
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N4OI on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
As evidence that there are a lot of QRS operators waiting to reply to your QRS CQ, I recall my adventure into the world of straight keying. A year or two back, I bought a nice straight key because I thought I may have missed something by learning CW with a paddle and keyer right off. Well, I quickly found out that I stink at straight keying! What's more, I had no motivation to get better because it was so much more work than chatting away on my Begali Signature paddle. But the point is, when I did call CQ at a pitifully slow speed, I almost aways created a virtual pileup of very patient QRS ops to help me along. Please understand -- I have nothing against ops using straight keys out there -- they are a great bunch of hams ready to help newcomers along -- pounding a straight key is just not my cup of tea...
73 de Ken - N4OI
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K1CJS on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
In a word, no. You may find an occasional CW op who won't slow down, but I find that the majority of them will. Those that won't probably aren't interested in what you have to talk about anyway, they're looking for one of their friends who are also fast senders.

This thread seems to be nothing but another try at pushing a wedge between hobbiests. Can't we all just get along--instead of infighting all the time?
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K0EWS on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It was my experience when I got started with CW on the air that if I called CQ at the speed in which I wanted to go, the op who answered me would answer at that speed. Also, if I wanted to work on op who was calling CQ, I had to be prepared to work him at the speed he was calling.
I've been on the air with CW for 10 years now, and NEVER have had a bad experience, (other than 1 guy teasing me for using a keyboard. I then answered him with my best bug fist and then he was OK with it!) Even in contests, if you go slow to answer a person, they'll usually slow down; they want the points! About the only ones I notice who don't slow down are DX guys and that's fine. (usually it's just a 5NN QSO anyway)
There are also organizations like FISTS, and SKCC that do very well in slowing down their code speeds. So, no, I don't think experienced CW ops are hurting CW.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NT2F on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Part of the problem is just being able to copy the call sign of the hi-speed op calling CQ.

- Try responding at your speed with a QRZ? They should slow down to your speed. If not, QRZ again.
- Use CW decoder software to read the call sign. Then reply to the CQ at your speed. Using decoder software, it may take you several times to get the call sign correct (decoder software is never as good as the human ear). You will find yourself picking out some of the characters with you ear. Perhaps even filling in some of the characters the software misses (give it a try). In doing so you learn to recognize the characters at higher speeds. Even if it is only 1 or 2 characters - that's a start!

If they come back too fast just ..__.. (?)

I took my general ~1970 with the 13 wpm code requirement. School and work pushed ham radio down the priority list for a long time. Several years ago I was trolling the CW bands and found an Extra sending CQ at a speed I could copy (< 10 wpm). We had a pleasant QSO and I was so excited over that CW contact I tracked down his phone number and called to thank him for the QSO. Been in and out of the hobby for 40 years and can still get excited about it.

The main thing is to get on the air and spend time. There is no easy way to do this. But there is no funner way to do this.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by OLLIEOXEN27 on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Too many ops only want to work DX stations - high power at high speeds. Best bet is to hang around 14060 and work qrp stations if you like to ragchew at 15 wpm.

oli
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD8OPI on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Asking if CW vets are killing CW is a bit like asking if the NFL kills pee-wee football. Most operators in my limited experience are helpful and will accommodate newbies, just like when a pro quarterback throws a few passes to kids at a charity event. But just like a 12 year-old has no business suiting up and running out on an NFL playing field, CW newbies have no business in CW contesting until they can send/rcv code well at a reasonable speed.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N2RRA on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Why is it always the east coast prefix's the one to come out with immature ,assanine comments.

Your not being cool!!!
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9MRD on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
<<by W2CSH on October 8, 2010

Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything. >>

What a horrible statement and attitude!! I can't believe anyone would make such a post.

Wayne
K9MRD
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WM9V on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Last month I got on CW and tuned up the keyer in the radio and someone called me and I just sat there.
Why?
Because I don't want to get into a long drawn out QSO with someone that could be better effected on PSK31.
Even those people are getting turned off by the "story of my life" macros.
If I really need the QSO for an award,fine I will throw the call out there.
Anyone who has a 20 wpm certificate knows how hard it is to head copy that speed .
The people sending and receiving 15 WPM and up speeds will never get anything else from me but a 59 TU. Or whatever the exchange is.
The code requirement was never much of a priviledge and using the extra code certificate has become even more worthless now that the FCC can't find my commercial elements one and three.
According to the FCC site, I can use the 20wpm amateur certificate and the commercial GROL elements and be granted a Radiotelephone License.
The FCC forgot about me and doesn't know I was ever commercially licensed.
Don't be surprised if the FCC comes in some day and gives your spectrums to megawatt digital broadcasters .
Then you can sit there with your aluminum foil hats while listening to morons on 11 meters.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KG4YMC on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I live in the south, but don't have to tell northerners to slow down there ssb voice hi hi . except mabey when miracle ear hearing aid batteries are getting weak lol. 73 kg4ymc
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WD9FUM on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a ham for 32 years and have always enjoyed CW. I've never worked anyone who wouldn't QRS when I was on the RX side and I will always QRS for anyone who requests it when I am on the TX side.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB7KT on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
WM9V
Bravo Sierra on your whole post. I don't believe a word of it.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB2T on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
@WM9V: This is a very counterproductive attitude that will turn new hams off to CW.

So, you passed the 20 wpm? I did and thousands of active American hams have. I, and many others, passed the test as a teenager. In the cosmic scheme of things, passing the 20 is hardly the Nobel Prize.

Frank's article and the previous article by Ron W2RS highlight the necessity of on-the-air CW Elmering. This means going as slow as possible, for however long as possible, until new ops build their speed. The end of formal morse testing in many countries necessitates the maintenance of structures that formerly prepared new hams for the code exams. For Americans, this includes respect for the Novice/Technician bands, a commitment to QRS sending capability, and an end to elitist attitudes that push potential and struggling CW ops away.

73, Jordan
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!

> Posted By AB2T (in quotes)
"........ This means going as slow as possible, for however long as possible, until new ops build their speed."

K4DPK: It absolutely does not! It means the slow operator should either
look for slower ops, or ask the faster ops to QRS.

While the great majority of operators will slow down, no-one is bound to by anything other than courtesy. Most of us do.

But requiring ops to slow down would be similar to requiring ops always to communicate in English. See how silly?

AB2T: "For Americans, this includes respect for the Novice/Technician bands, a commitment to QRS sending > "

K4DPK: Are you advocating limits on code speed in certain frequency ranges? Do you also think it's ok to limit CW speed to over 20 wpm in the extra
portion?

None of this make sense, beginning with the article itself.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
To W2CSH:

Careful, OM. There are many on here who are likely to misunderstand, and take your sarcasm seriously.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Some on here have implied they typically send faster than they receive.

Why in the world would you do that? It's begging for trouble. You trying to impress someone at the expense of accuracy?

You should always send at your own comfortable copying pace, or at a slower rate if asked. Usually the other op believes that's what you are doing, and does likewise.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk

 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB2T on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
@K4DPK: You captured my sentiments better than I could. I was only encouraging more experienced hams to be patient with new operators as they build their speed. There's no obligation at all in amateur radio outside of courteous operation.

"Respect" for the Novice bands entails nothing more than recognition that these sub-bands are for slow-speed skills building. I define "slow-speed" as CW operation up to and including 15 WPM. That's a completely subjective metric. There's no need to define acceptable speeds for the Novice band. There's also nothing holding hams back from 30 WPM contacts in the Novice band. No one should criticize hams for doing so, as there is no "speed limit" anywhere in the amateur radio spectrum. Still, I would make the effort to send 15 WPM or less when in these sub-bands. That's my personal choice and standard. I apologize for phrasing this choice as an obligation or rule.

73, Jordan
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WD8A on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I doubt that older CW operators are killing this mode. When I first started to study for my Novice license I was forced to learn cw, my thought was learn it just to get through the test and then upgrade to General asap. I never would have imagined how much fun cw would be, everyone I have worked over the years has always been willing to work at my speed
and all of the operators have been very courteous. I have been inactive for an extended period and am just starting to get back on the hf bands and as such am hoping for a show of patience again while I try to regain what cw skills I had. As we operate we just naturally get faster as we become more familiar with the sounds, a contact a day can make a world of difference.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W4UDX on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am a QRS guy when I copy code the old fashion way (paper and pencil) and send with a straight key or keyer. When I contest I use a software CW decoder (like Hamscope) and send with a RS-232 homebrew com port keyer cable. I can send and receive at 40 WPM no problem... There are ways around this obstacle, you just need to be flexible....
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KR2C on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't had anybody refuse to slow down yet. I have had guys slowly speed up as the QSO goes on. I'm not sure if the was on purpose or not or maybe they were trying to push me a bit. either way, it's OK with me.

The worst thing that ever happened to me was when somebody told me to take my slow CW up the band. I was just above the Extra portion on the 20 meter band. I didn't mind that either as there were lost more guys at my speed up the band.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3ES on October 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
One commenter said something to the effect that he (or she) had never had a request to QRS refused.

While that may be true, I would suggest that the lack of slower speeds on a regular basis is an issue. When I was first licensed in the mid-70s, one could count on the Novice bands for some nice CW operating around 10-15 wpm. I operated strictly with a straight key on 40m, made thousands of QSOs, worked all states and had a lot of fun. There were many 'regulars' and I enjoyed sitting back listening to many interesting QSOs. Unfortunately, for a couple of decades or so, for whatever reason, I ended up wasting my life away hanging out on the 2m repeaters listening and talking with a plethora of lids, kids and space cadets. In the last decade or so I have returned to the HF bands and have noted the lack of nice slow speed CW which I guess is due to the lack of the Novice bands.

So back to the question, "are CW Veterans Killing CW?"??? I would strongly suggest NO, they are not. Nor is CW dead or dying. What has happened is the loss of the Novice bands and thus the Novice license in general.

Bring back the Novice license!!!

Better yet, take the 100 khz from say 7.0 to 6.95 megacycles(!) and authorize a USA-only CW band, running at a maximum of say 10 watts xmit power into a non-directional antenna. That would make for an excellent breeding ground for a future generation of CW ops. Get Industry Canada to authorize this as well and some nice Can-Am cross-border QSOs. No contests, limited awards (Worked All Can-Am for example) and it would be a relaxed easy band and mode to operate on.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KF4HR on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Are CW Veterans Killing CW? Certainly not, although most of us that have been in the hobby for more than 15 years should have seen this question coming!

While there are those who have honed their CW skills operate at higher speeds, slower operators still populate the bands too. And I have yet to have anyone not QRS when asked.

Folks, let's not dummy-down the hobby one step further. It's high time we start heading in the opposite direction and start thinking quality rather than quantity, exclusively for numbers sake.

US Amateurs, here's some real food for thought...

As another poster mentioned bring back the Novice license (YES!) but we need much more than that. Let's propose to the ARRL and FCC that they make the following changes:

* Raise the number of questions on the written tests to:

- Novice 25
- Technician 50
- General 100
- Extra 150

* General and Extra Tests now include fold out schematics that several of the technical questions refer to.

* To provide a bit more incentive for the Extra Class License, drop the HF maximum power level for General Licensees to 500 watts output. Only Extra Class licensees would be permitted to operate at the 1500 watt level.

* All amateur test would include a segment of questions pertaining to on-the-air Etiquette. (Let's get the CB mentality folks back on their 40 channels.)

* In order to operate in the CW sub-bands, amateurs would need a "CW Endorsement" stamped on their license. No, you wouldn't need a CW Test to become a ham, but you would need to pass the test to operate CW! Yep, a CW Test to prove you're at least minimally qualified to use CW on the air. And while we're at it, a "Digital Endorsement" too. This should help the digital newbee's from splattering wide digital signals. No endorsements? -> Sorry, Phone operation only regardless of License Class.

* Drop all HF operations for Tech's. 50Mhz and above only, unless they have CW and/or digital endorsements.

* And most importantly, NO MORE POSTING OF THE EXACT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS so people can memorize a string of the appropriate words to pass the tests. I've seen way to much evidence that people pass the tests and still don't have the foggiest clue what their doing. Instead a few text books would become "recommended reading" and the 3 key words for success would be study, study, study. Study classes, Study Courses, etc.

Granted, with the above changes we may not see our numbers increasing quite a fast as they are now and a few less QST magazines may not get sold, but IMO we'd be finally start moving this hobby in the right direction. And what a nice change that would be!

KF4HR
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K8XF on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
What a strange question. Most guys will slow down when asked and frankly slow ops should seek their own part of the band to work each other. I have heard too many slow ops banging away on a hand key calling CQ over and over again resulting in no replies. Did you ever think your poor sending was the problem? Dont blame great cw ops for your problem. Get on the air daily and work with this mode and you will make progress. I have been a ham for 40 years and it took work to become a fast op.

73
Mike K8XF

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N9TA on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?

Good grief....NO. I've been doing cw for something like 16 years now....and while you can find a few jerks everywhere, it is VERY rare to find someone who wont QRS. But thanks to this IGNORANT article, thousands of people who surf the Eham web site now think they won't be made welcome on the CW bands! I would say the author of this piece has done more to squash CW than any jerks you'll likely find on the bands.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N8NSN on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
<<by W2CSH on October 8, 2010

Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything. >>


This is just the kind of person EVERYONE avoids.
Whether it was intended as to be "funny" who knows. What an out right crass statement, in any intent.

With only 893 or so lookups on QRZ... obviously Carl is NOT much on the air, or perhaps is only the "Internet- radio" user type.

Maybe when Carl dies some day, which we all do "that" at some point, perhaps his offspring will sell his radio gear for a penny on a dollar and use the money to go get loaded and have a leak on "Dad's" grave afterwards.

How about that "Carl". Isn't my statement "pleasant"?



 
Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by WA4D on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
<<Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything.>>

I got a chuckle out of this one. Though to the point. He's right. In 20 years there will be a dearth of competent (+20wpm) CW ops. Why? Because the new generation of hams is like the original poster.

There is a larger sub theme to the topic. American kids are largely losers. 75% of American Youth (18-24)are considered "unfit" for military service [obesity, drug use, criminal conduct, physical inability] and Urban High School drop out rates are at or near 50% in the largest American Cities. Fewer than 50% of American Adults read books for pleasure. Numbers like these do not portend an "achievement" oriented society. And the demise of CW is a peripheral consequence of such a breakdown.

Welcome to the future Gentlemen.
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by K1CJS on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
WA4D--Bingo. You've got that one right. The same thing will happen to those of us who enjoy working with rigs, rebuilding them and making our own equipment. Those too, are a dying breed. You've got to wonder where our educational system is taking us!
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K1DA on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think the "government" neeeds to step in and come up with a regulation to equalize things, after all it isn't FAIR!
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by KD8OPI on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Humanity advanced before Morse code was invented in 1837, and has/will continue to do so as this 170-year old digital mode bites the dust. American kids aren't stupid because they don't want to waste their time learning something a computer can do any more than they're stupid for not learning how to use a typewriter. One could make a more compelling argument on why its stupid to learn Morse Code, and the FCC apparently agrees with that outlook.
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by NO6L on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
by WA4D on October 10, 2010
"...Because the new generation of hams is like the original poster..."

I have to concur. I can't see one reason why a veteran CW op would refuse to QRS. It would be counterproductive to the survival of CW. It seems to me they'd bend over backwards to accommodate a newcomer to CW, even if it meant switching to a straight key to "handicap down". Either the author has not asked to QRS, was intimidated or is trying to stir up trouble.

by WA4D on October 10, 2010
"...Fewer than 50% of American Adults read books for pleasure. Numbers like these do not portend an "achievement" oriented society. And the demise of CW is a peripheral consequence of such a breakdown..."

And that is the big difference between the US and other nations. True, there has been an upsurge of CW activity in the US like other nations due to CW being made an "option", but not in the same quantity. The reason is simple, mediocrity is viewed as "cool" in the US. Children who read or show interest in real science rather than the global warming/cooling/climate change junk science pap found in Social Studies, are named "geek" or "nerd". Sites like Urban Dictionary encourage offensive and migraine inducing language skills. As an aside, the last guy that called me a "computer geek" to my face will remember never to do that again. But I digress, CW may be somewhat doomed in the US, for now, because reading the "evening paper" has been supplanted by watching the "evening game" because that's cool, but I don't have to participate. And when some "Couch Jock" makes a comment about it, I throw back at them, "You got a problem with that, pal?". That usually shuts them up.

73

/end of line
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by W8JI on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think the lowering of testing and learning standards and ease of stealing information on the Internet is killing us.

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KB2DHG on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
OK enough with this topic. So in closing I put it to all CW operators to be kind and QRS! Have fun, relax and enjoy the hobby!
Remember, IF YOU DON'T KNOW CW YOU DON'T KNOW DIT
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by KB2DHG on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! Lower the standards and we get a lower standard of participant... IN EVERYTHING WE DO!
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by KD8OPI on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I still don't understand the ridiculous assertion people are making that fluency in Morse code has a direct correlation with the advancement of civilization. I guarantee you that the $0.50/hr quasi-slave laborers in China propelling their economy don't know Morse Code, nor was a sudden lack of code fluency the reason the Soviet Union collapsed, nor did a high level of post-WWII fluency keep the British from losing their empire.

Lets not get too carried away with ourselves, shall we? Can we state for the record that some people enjoy working CW, others do not; and that those who are learning are usually accommodated by experienced operators? Wait, I just did!

Enjoy Columbus Day tomorrow everyone (he didn't Morse code either)!

73's


 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WJ2L on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
qrs area is a good idea. u hve my vote. 73 wJ2L
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N8AUC on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
NK6Q said, "Any op who won't slow down when requested to QRS is a lid. "

I could not agree more.

And I would also add, anyone who sends faster than they can copy, is also a lid.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NI0C on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
NT2F wrote:
"Part of the problem is just being able to copy the call sign of the hi-speed op calling CQ.

- Try responding at your speed with a QRZ? They should slow down to your speed. If not, QRZ again.
- Use CW decoder software to read the call sign. Then reply to the CQ at your speed. Using decoder software, it may take you several times to get the call sign correct (decoder software is never as good as the human ear). You will find yourself picking out some of the characters with you ear. Perhaps even filling in some of the characters the software misses (give it a try). In doing so you learn to recognize the characters at higher speeds. Even if it is only 1 or 2 characters - that's a start!

If they come back too fast just ..__.. (?) "


This is really poor advice for new CW operators.
You have no business transmitting anything in response to a person's CQ unless you are calling him/her and can copy them well enough to have a QSO. The Q signal QRZ means "who is calling me," not who is calling CQ.

Likewise, sending question marks is lid behavior. It conveys nothing. There are too many people who are transmitting when they ought to be listening.

If you want to have a QRS contact, find a clear frequency and call CQ at a speed you can handle, or find someone who is operating at your speed.

73
Chuck NI0C
 
Hallmarks of the Amateur Spirit  
by AI2IA on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"You have no business transmitting anything in response to a person's CQ unless you are calling him/her and can copy them well enough to have a QSO. The Q signal QRZ means "who is calling me," not who is calling CQ.

Likewise, sending question marks is lid behavior. It conveys nothing. There are too many people who are transmitting when they ought to be listening.

If you want to have a QRS contact, find a clear frequency and call CQ at a speed you can handle, or find someone who is operating at your speed.

73
Chuck NI0C "

Ease up, Chuck. Think of the future, not yours, but the future for Morse Operating. Paul segal, W9EEA, 1928: FRIENDLY ... slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

Sometimes it is hard to go slowly. It bends the mind. Encourage new hams for the sake of the future. They are unsure of themselves and take things to heart too easily. We don't have to give them a baby bottle, but we don't have to hit them in the face with a brick, either.

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KC2WI on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I passed Novice 5 WPM, then General 13 WPM, and did some CW for a while at about 12~15 WPM but within a year I moved into an apartment and then for many years had no HF capability at all so that was the end of my CW proficiency. Never made it to 20 WPM. I've been back on HF for a long time but never found the time to work on my CW. Maybe later this fall. If I do start to work CW again, it would be nice to have Novice bands where I know I would find other slow speed ops.

I have to agree with other posts lamenting the demise of the Novice bands. Besides being a place where learners could communicate and practice, there were power limits. That is one thing I like about 60M.

Band realignment was a good thing because more space was needed for phone, but the FCC should have designated some new equivalent of the Novice bands where there were power limits, and these segments would have also been the places where slower operators would be working. Too bad there could not be some kind of "gentlemen's agreement" designating some small segment of the CW sub-bands as slow-speed CW.

I also don't really see the point in computer-generated CW. Seems like there are better modes for computer to computer transmissions.
 
RE: Hallmarks of the Amateur Spirit  
by NI0C on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
AI2IA:

Ray, you distorted what I said-- maybe you read too much into it.

My comments had nothing to do with a willingness to slow down; rather I was correcting some rather bad advice that was given above.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AI2IA on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Chuck, maybe I did read too much into it.

The pendulum keeps swinging past the center.

The difficulty is to try to be patient and understanding to encourage more participation, while at the same time encouraging newcomers to put more muscle into it. It is hard to strike a happy medium, but in any case, a kind word here or there goes a long way to investing in the future. - Ray, AI2IA
 
RE: Hallmarks of the Amateur Spirit  
by AB7KT on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Before one can argue that someone or something is killing CW we have to first decide that CW is being killed.
I personally don't think it is. When I tune across the CW bands, which I do nearly every day, the bands that are open are full of CW signals. In the evenings they are packed to the point that you have to look for a place to call CQ. On the weekends it is worse. I pretty much only operate CW and am never not able to work contacts until I am tired of it. And I might add, none of these people I am working are operating at high speed.
When I read on the internet how CW is being killed or the CW bands are dead, or nobody wants to learn CW anymore...........I realize immediately that I am dealing with a person who doesn't ever tune the CW portions of the bands. Otherwise they wouldn't be making these obviously ridiculous statements. Put another way, they don't know what they are talking about (to put it in a nice way).
 
RE: Are College Graduates Killing Education?  
by AB2T on October 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
@KD8OPI: Your argument that the code is anachronistic and irrelevant compared to modern communications media has been advanced by many before and after the elimination of the code requirements.

Many content that certain artistic media are culturally anachronistic. Nevertheless, people still pursue these archaic media, now called "the fine arts", with ardent zeal. The arts of musical performance and drama often depict antique cultures that arguably carry little import in "modern" society. Modern Japanese, for example, pack theater houses to hear kabuki. This medieval drama is performed in a often incomprehensible classical dialect of their language. Ditto "western" opera, which is often performed according to 17th and 18th century conventions. I know many young adults that have scrounged up their pennies and quarters to go to the opera or orchestra. Not all young people are artistically or culturally illiterate.

CW is ham radio kabuki. It's a ancient drama of two pulses, short and long, that can be infinitely varied to express both the mundane and the extraordinary. Anyone can pick up a mic, but it takes dedication and skill to play a bug with expression and clarity.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KX2S on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE:]"Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything."[END QUOTE]

Truly the statement of a real jerk. Since your call now is a vanity call you should move to England and have it changed to "M0RON"
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KX2S on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE:]W2CSH "Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything."[END QUOTE]

Truly the statement of a real jerk. Since your call now is a vanity call you should move to England and have it changed to "M0RON"
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WB4M on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
CW veterans are keeping CW alive, not killing it. It was the whiners who wanted CW killed off so they could be handed license.
Check out the SKCC group, also the FISTS CW club. There are quite a large number of CW enthusiasts to QSO with you at your speed. They will also help you increase your speed. One day, you just might be asked to QRS!
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WB4M on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves..."

Hardly so. The contesters will take over!
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KX8N on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The only thing killing anything in amateur radio is all the hate between fellow operators. It has zero to do with mode used/ability/whatever, and everything to do with attitude and tolerance.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W4KVU on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE:]W2CSH "Luckily most of these CW veterans will be dead in a few years. Then us senders of moderate speeds will have the bands all to ourselves and will be able to pick up some nice used equipment at SK estate sales. There's always an upside to everything."[END QUOTE]

Truly the statement of a real jerk. Since your call now is a vanity call you should move to England and have it changed to "M0RON"

Ditto.............
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K5BOI on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It most cases an amateur will always answer you in the speed that you are sending. I was a radio operator in the Navy, back when it was all CW and our platform was 28wpm. I could always slow my sending speed down to 20wpm or whatever, and 99 percent of the time the receiving station would answer at that speed. It still works today. Try it sometime.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KB4MB on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think people are reading way too much into this "article"... and like most articles, you need a hook usually to convice people to read. People are taking that sensationalism out of context.

Also, most of the responses are from US ops - we have a few slow speed areas, mostly on 80 and 40m, but they aren't terribly big... however in the Netherlands (and most of Europe), it might be a different situation... I have never heard a slow Italian op yet :)

I don't hear tons of QRS code, but that is my encouragement to get faster - however, I do hear SOME, and that is good - I even had QSO's with some new techs who want to learn, and that is great! And if I don't hear anybody sending at my speed, I CQ and never have a problem drumming up a QSO (10-13wpm). I will get better in time - but I never begrudge a CW veteran - who would want to slow down if you can make QSO's at a faster rate? The fact that some do at all to help out newbies is fantastic.

And I can't think I have ever heard slow sending DX... I'm sure most would QRS, but I don't think it is right to ask them to drop down to my snail pace, so I don't bother with CW DX yet.

However, things might be totally different in another part of the world...

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KL7AJ on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think the bands are better for CW than ever. I hear more HIGH QUALITY CW now than I ever have. I'm sure some if it is due to machine generated code, but not all of it. Hams do CW now because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to, and the ones who do it are dedicated to the art. I have had a blast on SKCC, as well as the QRP nets on 40 meters, particularly.

I don't know many hams who won't slow down for newcomers, except if they're in a contest...(and if you don't, shame on you!)

But I haven't heard many complaints about too much QRQ.

Eric
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by G3VGR on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I would also recommend the author of the article practices at improving his speed instead of whining. There are a few freeware morse programs readily available on the web to assist in this. I was QRT for over 20 years (work, travel, raising a family) and had to practise to get back up to speed when I got back on the air. I've not been able to attain my previous 35+ wpm, probably due to getting old, but after some effort, manage OK at around 25wpm for ragchews and 40wpm for reading callsigns in contests.
The biggest frustration I experience nowadays are due to hearing many hams, not on dxpeditions or in rare locations, who's only interest is sending 599, then doing the same to the next contact(s). I really don't understand what enjoyment they can possibly get from the hobby.
Oh yes, I will also QRS when required. I used to enjoy working US novices at 5wpm on 15 metres years ago
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD7YVV on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to take this Winter to learn more CW.
I had to learn CW when I upgraded from Technician
to General. Then I let it lapse, and lost the numbers.
I can still copy most of the letters, but as with any
skill, it must be used and maintained.

I still have the first CW QSL card I got.
The gentleman was very nice and was honored that he
was my first CW contact. I have yet to make a second
one. I'd like to start practicing again, but am wondering
if I should learn at 20 wpm, and just keep plugging at
it until it all sticks or not.

--KD7YVV
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W3DCB on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I have NEVER EVER encountered someone on CW who would not QRS when asked. Most CW operators are only too happy to help out a new comer or even a rusty older operator (like me) to improve their skills. -- Daniel
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9CTB on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Good question. LOTS of opinions!!!

Hmmm....I'd have to think about it. I guess the really (expletive deleted) CW operators *could* ruin CW for the rest of us, but there are too many other courteous operators out there who are more than happy to work a new (read: slow) guy as well as the 40 WPM people. All ya gotta do is spin the dial.

There *are* however, some purists who won't work a guy with a CW keyboard, but that's hearsay. I've never been cussed out for using a CW keyboard (yet). I just wish I was as good with a paddle as my cw keyboard is at about 20 wpm. I'll bet I have the record for the most "E"s sent in a single QSO! Oh well, I'll keep working!! heh.

I would offer however, that it sure is getting difficult to find a guy on CW who will ragchew with a stranger. So a lot of clubs and local areas have little CW get-togethers on like 10 meters, etc. It's a lot of fun and a guy can ragchew all he wants - and improve his speed at the same time!

Great article.

73,
K9CTB
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N0AH on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe your feelings are a sign you should stay clear of DX'ally for a bit and quit being a QRS pain duing contests and inside DX windows which people use to earn to be there in the first place- - Like others have said, their are novice band segments all over and people willing to help-

 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WM9V on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
WM9V response.....

by AB2T on October 9, 2010
Jordan is the OP.
Hi Jordan and all you other Know Coders

@WM9V: This is a very counterproductive attitude that will turn new hams off to CW.
*Its not their attitudes I want to turn off.

So, you passed the 20 wpm? I did and thousands of active American hams have. I, and many others, passed the test as a teenager.
In the cosmic scheme of things, passing the 20 is hardly the Nobel Prize.

*Your're right ...it IS an Obamanation.

Frank's article and the previous article by Ron W2RS highlight the necessity of on-the-air CW Elmering.

*No one ever elmered me , I bought a MFJ tnc and put it on random CW generate and listened unitl I passed the 20 WPM.
That was 20 years ago.

This means going as slow as possible, for however long as possible, until new ops build their speed. The end of formal morse testing in many countries necessitates the maintenance of structures that formerly prepared new hams for the code exams.
*The morse code element for amateur radio ended how many years ago?

For Americans, this includes respect for the Novice/Technician bands, a commitment to QRS sending capability,
and an end to elitist attitudes that push potential and struggling CW ops away.

*You're right , ham radio is an emergency form of communication.
Along with the demise of the CW certificate came a rush to HF, just so people could just talk to each other..

AO7 still works
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WM9V on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?

AB7KT wrote:

by AB7KT on October 9, 2010
SUBJECT... Are CW Veterans Killing CW?

Bravo Sierra on your whole post. I don't believe a word of it.

RE: you mean the part about airplanes flying into buildings?

Why don't you get a commercial radiotelegraph license ?
You really should sit down and take the 5, 15 and 20 WPM code tests .
All you need is a pencil . God, I miss my german shepherd.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KL7AJ on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I think it goes without saying that if you ride your tricycle out onto the Indy 500 oval, you're going to get creamed. This doesn't mean the Indy 500 is biased against tricycles...its just not the place to ask people to slow down. Same with contesting. As several others mentioned, there are LOTS of places you can do slow code, But contests, and to a certain degree DXing REQUIRE high speed...especially up here when DX openings are few, far between and VERY SHORT.

Eric
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9MHZ on October 11, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Now you're talking (writing), Eric!

73,

Brad, K9MHZ
Indy

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Not too long ago, I was calling CQ in CW... I am slow because it's not something I do often... maybe 8-10m not after a reading of War and Peace, just some contacts and some live practice.

Some winner decided it was important to show off his uber CW skills by sending, at 5ish WPM "TOO SLOW GET OFF THE BAND", with no callsign, of course.

And people wonder why newer amateurs are turned off of CW.

I can't imagine going in the PSK slice and complaining to people that they're too slow because they can't keep up to my 100 WPM typing. How much of an (exit orifice of digestive system) do you have to be to do that "TOO SLOW" thing? I know my code is slow, but what better way to learn than to use it in a real setting?

What if I had been demonstrating CW to visitors to the Canada Science Museum demonstration station? That would have left a great impression of morse code operators and amateurs in general. There's a lot of operators out there that I am forced to imagine having a unibrow and a sloping forehead, banging away on rocks, grunting angrily at people with uppity modern inventions... like fire and the wheel.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I should add, because it's not clear: I do operate a demonstration station one day a week, and amateur operator behaviour is on display to the visiting public.

Removing code from the licence requirements is not harming morse code at all. I know a lot more no-code licencees who do morse code than people licenced when code was a requirement who do code.

What is killing code is the combination of it being no longer required AND the fact that there are far, far too many CW operators who look down their noses at anyone who doesn't love CW as much as they do.

At the demo station, I get asked the question at least twice a week: "Do people still do morse code?" and I take the opportunity to explain the advantages and disadvantages of morse code and other modes.

Young people looking at a radio station generally aren't interested in Morse at first... they want to see modern communications. Once they're amateurs, they'll pick up the code if they see it as valuable. But they definitely won't pick up the code if a bunch of dinosaurs ridicule them for not osmotically learning the code by putting a picture of Sam Morse under their pillow before arrogantly demanding a licence to operate modern radio equipment in a digital age.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
And to the operators here that say they slow down to accommodate slower operators, I thank you. Would that your patience and understanding of the spirit of amateur radio rubs off on so many who desperately need it.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W5HTW on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Are CW Veterans Killing CW? Reply
by AB2RC on October 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I rarely operate CW, and when I do, I use a keyboard to send. I still decode by ear, but my rx speed is much lower than my tx speed. I have asked other ops PSE QRS, and they have always done so.


I can type faster than I can copy code, too. There were times when I was younger that I could hit in short bursts the 100 wpm limit on the old ASR28 Teletypes. I could could type steadily on the RTTY keyboards, 60 wpm. I still can hit 65 wpm on the computer keyboard, but can't keep it up for long. Spent years typing on an old manual upright at home. I used to be a really good typist, but age has slowed me down now.

Age has also slowed my Morse speed down a bit. Today I am most comfortable around 18 wpm, but can do a bit more if pressed.


Ed
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
>>I rarely operate CW, and when I do, I use a keyboard
>>to send. I still decode by ear, but my rx speed is
>>much lower than my tx speed

CW is far from my most common operating mode, but I do it on occasion. There are two ways I operate CW:

1. To get those DXpeditions who absolutely, positively must run 30+ WPM or God kills a kitten, I use the computer to send. Oddly enough, I can actually copy callsigns pretty reliably at that speed, and I can certainly copy the 5NN TU that they all send. So all I really need there is the computer to barf up a burst of 30 WPM code that says 5NN 5NN in OTTAWA 73 ES TNX. If there's more that needs to be copied, the computer can usually get it for me.

2. When I actually want to practice with live QSOs. Then I'm limited to a max send speed of about 15 WPM and a copy speed of about 8 WPM, and I send by hand. It has come up. There was a time when I was 5 WPM tops. In any case, I don't have long windbag rag chews... you just can't below about 15-20 WPM and even then.

Learned to type on an Olympia manual over 30 years ago. Made extra cash typing in essays for arts students in university. Lots of fun when I plod along at the glacial pace PSK31 or zip along in PSK63 and up.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB3KI on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Thinking outside of the box (I usually do) let me suggest this.
I think it would be "legal" to use CW on 11 meters, as long as the power limit of 5 watts is kept.
Anyone could use 11 meters in this way, without a license.
Pick a chanel, say chanel 40, and meet there with the modified (with a bfo and straight key) CB rigs.
With only one channel, there should always be a qso going.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WD9FUM on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Like VE3OIJ, I also leaned to type on a manual typewriter (ours were Olympia, too). I was 'banging away' on my computer keyboard in the office one day when one of my co-workers asked me if I'd learned to type on a manual typewriter. I replied, "Yes." He said that he could tell that I had because I was so heavy handed on the computer keyboard. Never thought about that one before. I still like to copy CW with the headphones on and 'type' the copy on my PC.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 12, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
hehe... yeah, I used to be pretty hard on keyboards too, but i've eased up over the years. Like you, I've had that comment about it being obvious I learned on a manual.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by STEVEQ on October 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Good question, as a former Navy Intelligence person who ran at the speed of 24 wpm, I have no problem with CW. What I do find now is the numnber of, how do I say this in a nice way, of operators who hammer the code.

That means what should be a smooth flow of code is choppy hence my frustration ........... I cut my CW teeth on Russian operators while in Navy signal intercept.......

I like taking code from the slower senders, its fun. I have to agree that CW is not what it used to be... neither are my Drake receivers.

CW veterans are not killing CW, it will die on its own accord one day. Well it will not completely die but when the old gizzers like me pass on, the new hams will be too attracted to memory buttons and not turning the dial ....... (Oh how I do remember those Collins R-390A boxes) Not sad, it is the way this hobby is travelling.......... at once time there were no Pre-selectors, know what I mean?

All the best

Steve Q



 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by ZS6RJ on October 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
On another tack, I'm embarrassed to say that when I QRS and send at say 12-15wpm as opposed to my 35+ regular xmit rate, I find I make many sending errors.

In fact, I make more errors training offline sending at 12wpm than I do pushing the envelope to increase my speed at 45wpm.

This was an eye-opener for me (fluent at 35 and a lid at 12, hi) and I'm making a deliberate effort to QRS during my practice sessions and retrain my fist to find its rythmn at slower speeds again as well. I use a paddle and keyer. I find I start off okay at QRS, then unintentionally try to speed up, with my fingers "overtaking" the keyer speed. Anyone else struggle with this?

73, Roger, ZS6RJ
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by SM5IUF on October 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I have read the other comments and are really stunned by the fact that many hams believe that you have to copy CW on paper with pencil or typewriter.

This is what military CW operators do when copying krypto telegrams but not for hams conversating via CW. If you speak to someone you don't write down every letter and why should you do it in CW? Just write down the essentials as a support for your memory.

Reading CW in the head is the key to fluent conversation and very very high speed. The short term memory of 10 seconds is important since you get more letters and words in these 10 seconds the faster CW goes.
It's just to get yous ears adjusted to the different sound that high speed CW sounds like.

I myself can write down CW in high speed but it isn't an enjoyable and relaxed experince. It's much more enjoyable to read it in my head.

Reading CW in the head seems to many to be somekind of cheating but that is far from the truth. This kind of misconception is spread by old/slow CW teachers with a military background.


73 de SM5IUF

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N7JI on October 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
If I feel like having a chat, and I hear a CQ, I will answer at the other station's sending speed. One thing that I find interesting is that, as I usually run 25+ wpm via keyer, if I slow down to 12-15 wpm, I start making mistakes by letting go of the paddle just before the final element has been generated. This is not a problem at higher speeds, as the time base causes the last element to be generated...but alas, at lower speeds, the time base is slower, and I often end up not sending that final element, and thus end up sending an incorrect letter.

My apologies in advance to the other station.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD7ZD on October 14, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The last time, until recently, I used CW was when I was flying as a crew member in the Navy. I regularly sent and received messages at 20-25 wpm. That was a long time ago, 1964.

Recently I developed a desire to get back to my roots, so to speak. I started with CW back in 1957 and thought I'd get up to speed again. I practiced copying at 15 wpm for a few weeks, bought a touch keyer, and am now back on the air with CW and having a ball.

My best speed right now is about 12-15 wpm. I have no problem finding ops willing to chat at that speed. Especially around 7050 Khz. I have my keyer set at about 12 wpm.

While getting myself back up to speed, I mentored a new Ham as he practiced CW. He is now on the air, also having a ball.

I would say that CW on the Ham bands is alive and well. As I write his I hear K7ROH calling CQ at about 13 wpm on 7062 khz so there's another slow speed QSO about to happen.

Phil
KD7ZD
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by NT2F on October 14, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
It seems that I have made a serious faux pas in my poor advice not be shy and get on the air and work CW.

I understand now - "If you can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch."

Funny how at the end of the contest the big dogs will to condescend to slow down for the little slow pups. Obviously such behavior should not be tolerated – it only encourages the lids.

My apologies for the bad advice.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AJ4RW on October 15, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Tnx K7MG for your input into this topic. I've been wondering where would be a good place to get back into CW. It's truly an art. I used to do 20 wpm+ when younger and now getting back into ham radio, I definitely would like to get back into CW. This helps me overcome the difficulty of trying to compete with faster CW ops, now I can go to a freq and feel comfortable working amateurs with the idea of having fun and sharpening their CW skills at slower speeds.
Thanks Randy AJ4RW
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K7NNG on October 16, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, copying in the head and writing only essentials is the proper way.
I taught code classes for two years in the US NAVY,
and I found over the years, the navy way is the only way to learn.
But, as a ham, you can expand on the learning.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KR6DJ on October 16, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I had a guy ask me to QRS just the other night, and I did. That's all one has to do. :-)
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD8IFJ on October 16, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
answer no , if its to hot in the kitchen ??? just jump in or call c.q.,,,its good practice to try and copy faster ops anyway ,what is killing c.w. is the newcomers are not there ,,they are on computers or cell phones lol ,,, they should reinstate the code test to get on ham bands and go back to havin the fcc give out license's ,,get rid of the v.e. ...,,,
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KF6VCI on October 16, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Well, for the last hgour or so, I have been hunting for some WAG Contest CQ callers. Not to be impolite, but how about getting the job done by QRSing their CQ? Have you noticed the need to repeat a call or some ? It takes very little to make a TEST QSO. Handle + both numbers. Alas, some people thrive on elitist superiority and one station made either QSY or QRT rather than sending the necessary information in half a minute. OK, am still eager to award # 003. OK, I'm a lid. But this ain't fun and with all respect (I have nil contest experience and am the last person to talk about CW) getting it right might be key to contest success.

Heard some fine DX SSB op. Even voice, not hurried, getting the job done first time around! But hey, some memory is calling CQ and to be "cool" it's got to be confusing and short. How about KISS and repeat the call sign a few times rather than the silly TEST? One TEST is really truly enough, don't you think?

It's 01:37 local time and time to end this rant. Very disappointed here in DL. 73 de Chris KF6VCI
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KF8ZR on October 18, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Well, for the last hgour, did you copy at CW on there?
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VE3OIJ on October 18, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
KD8IFJ wrote:
>> they should reinstate the code test to get on ham
>>bands and go back to havin the fcc give out license's
>>,,get rid of the v.e

I agree, let's get a test back on. In fact, let's make it required to maintain your current licence level, so all current licence holders would have to go pass the test or be reverted back to a no-test basic licence.

Indeed, a modern skill test that is relevant to amateur radio, relevant to modern communication, and looks forward for the decades to come is a fair bar to set.

So let's get a typing test as a licence requirement. For the lowest level of access to HF, it should probably be something simple... 30 words per minute, no more than two errors per 100 words. That's about the level of a high-school level typing class, and would be the equivalent of the old 5 WPM morse test. For general access to HF, it would have to be a level that demonstrates some proficiency beyond the basic level. In ye olde morse days, that was 13 WPM, so I'm thinking 50 WPM for typing. That's a moderate level of skill that can easily be obtained through practice.

For Extra level, the old 20 WPM code test could be replaced with a 70 WPM typing test. That's easy enough to get if you work at it, and anyone who can type 70 WPM is truly worthy of the recognition and extra privileges that would go with passing such a test. It's not as fast as a very skilled typist, but 20 WPM morse wasn't as fast as the best telegraph ops either.

So, KD8IFJ: are you willing to bring in a modern skill test and bet your licence on it, or do you really want amateur radio stuck in a 150 year old past?

Best of all, a typing test can be done by blind or deaf operators.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by AB8O on October 18, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Keep in mind some QSOs are automated in that they are keyboard to keyboard and just use CW as the medium...at least I THINK that's what's going on because the rate seems to be beyond human processing in some cases.

It seems to me that the closer to the bottom edge of any band, the faster is the speed of code. I often hear QRS QSOs up band a bit...just below or above the digital areas.

I'm very happy that CW still holds interest. To me it's always been the most rewarding.

73

John
AB8O
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by PA3GMP on October 20, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Well, that was certainly a pile-up worth of comments! I have deliberately waited a while to respond, so I could lump it all together. (Time spent at the 'puter is time not spent on the air, HI!)

Firstly, thanks to all who responded. It proves that CW is far from dead, which is heartening. Now let me first get a possible misunderstanding out of the way: I do not claim that CW veterans are killing CW, nor am I making any accusations. I am merely wondering (out loud) if today's CW novices have as easy an introduction into on-the-air CW as in the days when this was the regular way of getting on the air.

I am encouraged by all the reports of operators who will happily QRS. Perhaps I have just been unlucky so far. Possibly my QTH has something to do with that: although I am still registered at eHam with my Dutch PA3 call, I live in South Africa these days (operating as ZS6TMV) where, after one has obtained the WAN certificate (Worked All Neighbours) pretty much every QSO is either with rarely-heard stations on the African continent (which are relatively few and far between compared with Europe and the US) or is a DX QSO. Which is one of my reasons for being interested in CW in the first place, but it's a bit hard to get into the game when 99% of the CW stations I manage to pick up here use speeds at which the CW novice (such as your's truly) struggles to even decode the call.

Believe me, I have tried. Again, perhaps I have just been unlucky. One commenter here suggested that I "Get a CW program and learn to copy and send at 20+ WPM. Problem solved." Possibly I have tried to work this OM and failed. :-)

I am not personally in favor of computer-aided CW (i.e. using the keyboard to TX and the screen to RX). There's nothing wrong with it and if you like doing it by all means do so en enjoy it! It's just that personally I prefer to do it the "old fashoned" (I hesitate to use the word "proper") way. (I also feel that there's no way for a 'puter to decode weak and noisy signals as well as the human ear and brain can, but that's another matter.)

So. On the whole I am encouraged to keep trying. I will continue calling CQ and trying to respond to CQ's with a 'PSE QRS' and take it from there. CW is too nice a mode to give up, so I won't.

73!

Frank ZS6TMV / PA3GMP
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WD5IYT on October 20, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
As a long time CW operator, I would like to add my two cents to this conversation by saying that I always attempt to match the sending speed of the other operator. I converse at 23-25 WPM, and can copy 30 if I really concentrate, but I've never encountered even a single operator in 32 years of hamming that wouldn't QRS to my speed regardless of what speed I was sending.

I think the FISTS and NAQCC groups do a great job bringing new folks in by encouraging their members to operate slow for folks that are learning the code or increasing their speed.

I use a straight key for NAQCC events and SKN, and my top speed on the straight key is about 20 WPM. I can copy faster, but have never had anyone outsend me when I was using the straight key.

My experience has been everyone is extremely courteous and adjusts to the sender's speed.

Jim WD5IYT
Austin, TX
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W5UXH on October 20, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
John,

I'm glad you qualified your comment with "I THINK", since many people do not admit this when they make comments of this nature about QRQ. Keep in mind that the bell curve has extremes, so speeds like 60 WPM perhaps seem impossible to some, but in fact there are CW operators who copy normal conversation in their heads at 60 WPM and some at even much higher speeds.

I have never in my 50 years on the air heard a qrq qso where I had any reason to believe the two ops were using decoders. This includes qso's between guys running 80 wpm, where I can only catch the occasional word but no content at all. I would say that 80 wpm is pretty much the highest speed you are ever likely to hear on the air these days and that is limited to a very small number of ops. There are more folks running in the 50 to 70 wpm range, but the numbers are still very small.

73,

Chuck, W5UXH

AB8O commented:

"Keep in mind some QSOs are automated in that they are keyboard to keyboard and just use CW as the medium...at least I THINK that's what's going on because the rate seems to be beyond human processing in some cases."
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by VA3API on October 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I'm 45 years of age and I operate almost exclusively cw. I have no problems slowing down.


I would say this...

I have yet to have a qso in the past two years with a ham that was wasn't at least in his 60s. I'm not saying they don't exist any more but I just see very few these days. I have been asked to QRS and have had to tell the other operators to QRS mostly in contest situations.. no problems ever most are just happy to have the contact.

So very often I find myself having a qso with someone who has been a ham for well over 20 years. I've had no problems with the veterans ever.

I host a facebook group called "HamsUnder 40" where I try and encourage the younger operators. I sometimes try to get the kids on the air and we have very slow cw qso's

I might also suggest that most of the guys doing cw now are using Ham Radio Deluxe and other software for sending and receving especially during contests.

You might want to have some kind of a receiving program on in the background while your learning to pick up your speed.

If the mode of cw was gone I would quit ham radio.


 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K2PHD on October 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
recently acquired a QRP rig and have spent some time searching the bands for CW activity. I have found several spots on the 40, 20, and 15 meter bands where CW activity in the 7 to 13 WPM ranges are transmitted. I believe that it depends on the time of day and day of the week a lot as to who is on the bands.

So be patient and listen around the novice portions of the bands and in general. There are a lot of folks and as has been said before I do not believe that anyone (well almost everyone) will refuse a QRS? signal.

I am an old Coast Guard radioman and I love to work those just learning or looking to improve their CW skills.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K5PSH on October 21, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Veteran CW ops are not killing CW--here we must speak in generalities--there are always isolated problem people--having said that, one must note that the vast majority of veteran CW ops want CW to be preserved--they will QRS--that is common sense--

the killing of CW commenced with groups who wanted to eliminate CW, totally with no other option--they succeeded--theirs may have been a feeling of inadequacy--

"our" ARRL did not help in any way to preserve it--their actions were based purely on economics i believe--economics and the desire to please a group of "good old boys"-

if you want slow CW, go to 7114khz. and tune either side of that freq--you will find slower CW--people there WANT to work slow CW--for that reason were the freqs between 7100 to 7125khz. proposed by members of SKCC--

if you are expecting DX and Contest ops to QRS for you; well good luck--it's just not going to happen--

if you hear K5PSH anywhere, call me--i will QRS--
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K5PSH on October 22, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
will attempt a second try--first reply didn't get accepted--

no, veteran CW ops aren't killing code on the bands--i would say that just the opposite is true--there are exceptions, but they are just that, 'exceptions'--

go to 7.114Mhz. and tune either side--7.1 to 7.125 is an area that is loaded with slow morse--it was used that way in the past, and still is today being used for that purpose--the ops in that portion of the band welcome slow code--

if you are expecting contest or dx-pedition ops to QRS, that may be an unreasonable expectation--it USUALLY just won't happen--they have their agenda and will normally stick to it--

73

jerry---k5psh
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9SQG on October 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I have found that the FISTS organization is friendly and open to CW enthusiasts at any speed. Great group of hams!
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W5LXG on October 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Ouch! Frank, "Veterans killing CW" hurt. I was immediately irritated at that accusation, being a CW veteran of 53 years on the air. But I got over it and feel now I can offer some positive comments. We all started off a zero WPM. Only by PRACTICE did we accomplish "High speed" ability. I used W1AW and hope it is audible at your QTH. I also LISTENED to QSOs at speeds slightly above my then current ablility. Make sure you attempt to copy in your head. Don't try to write down high speed code, very few people can. Others have suggested tuning into the FISTs calling frequencies and snagging a slow speed sender. Call a station slightly above your ability and ask for a QRS if needed. Then work your way up to other CQers sending slightly above your ability and step your way to high speed. Sadly, I am convinced that "some people get it-some people don't". Perhaps your brain isn't wired for CW, no shame in that. Please don't discouraged. It would seem practice is the answer, not blaming CW veterans. Sincere 73 Steve
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KI6YN on October 24, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I operate 100% CW and have always matched the speed of the other side. I respond to a CQ with the same speed that the was used in making the contact. When I call CQ, I usually call at about 20 wpm but will QRS when the otherside sends slower. This is not a game of speed; it is a means to communicate and it is not now nor should ever be a contest. I am amazed at all the high speed CW I hear when there is a contest.....most of them are using keyboards. When I do get the occassional insecure ham that speeds things up using a keyboard, it is easy to tell, I just switch to a straight key and I know his computer has a problem copying that! I purposely move the timing around to get him/her to go back to a reasonable speed or I just end the QSO with "sorry, if I want to QSO with a high speed computer, I don't need a radio to do it" and I sign. This happens extremely rarely, we are in it for the fun of the conversation and the joy of CW. Let's keep it that way.
Fred KI6YN
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N5QVF on October 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Frank, to answer your question. No
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K0XV on October 25, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Frank:
I'm more than delighted to QRS for a novice CW op and did so when QRV from KG4 several years ago.
My only caution is to be aware of an operator's speed if/when answering a CQ. To reply to an op sending 25-30 WPM at half that speed is inviting frustration and could be viewed as imposing on the calling stations desire for a high speed QSO.
There are several sites on the Web dedicated to teaching and reinforcing CW skills.
I highly recommend LCWO.net. You can tailor your CW training specific to your present proficiency and you will be encouraged to see how fast you will increase in your speed.
Try Morse Runner contest simulation software (freeware, too!) to create a "live" contest environment. Even if you're not interested in contesting it will help you to copy callsigns and digits extremely well.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4YZ on October 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!


A couple of comments in reference to your item, Frank...

First of all, I don't think it's "the CW veterans" who are making it difficult for the relatively new CW op to find slow QSO's. There are several causes to this phenomenon/dilemma.

First of all, this problem was generated by "organizations" like "No Code International" that mandated the devolvement of CW testing, both here in the Colonies and now across the world. With the regulatory mandate in place to permit access to HF without Morse proficiency, there was no longer a mandate to preserve "novice" bands for those who are just now learning to pound the brass.

Predictably, NCI got their way, then left subsequent new generations of potential CW operators out-in-the-cold, your lament vis-a-vis QRS operators as witness. Such is the scar left upon Amateur Radio by those selfish few who were the most vocal of NCI's ranters. I am sure they are proud of their accomplishments.

This termination of 'forced' knowledge of Morse Code has necessarily created a sunset for Morse use, therefore those old "Novices" who were never going to use Morse past passing the test but subsequently found out just how fun and effective it really was (ie: Me!) are now graying and will eventually dwindle to a trickle. Then the rest of the computer-program using Morse "operators" will be all that's left.

As we have grayed and matured, our own speeds have increased to where we are comfortable at the 15-30WPM range. However like many others who have commented here already, I for one am always ready to slow down and let the 'new guy' practice on me.

Lastly, I concur with others in this thread that have suggested a "gentleman's agreement" is a viable option for the gathering of slower operators. Trying to remain in the traditional "Novice" bands, at least as far as here in the States goes, isn't viable since those allocations are being realigned to voice sub-bands or digital modes.

73

Steve, K4YZ
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K9CTB on October 26, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
"SteveQ" said:


"...... (Oh how I do remember those Collins R-390A boxes) Not sad, it is the way this hobby is travelling.......... at once time there were no Pre-selectors, know what I mean?"

Um, Collins didn't manufacture the "R-390A"

And back in the day, those of us who really worked with them loathed them. Ask around. Or maybe this "gizzer" will probably pass on before you do. And CW will still be on the bands.

Not to change the thread, but those "R-390s" are a lot like Harley-Davidsons were in the 1980s. Once the yuppies got a hold of them it was almost as if they "discovered" something new. We knew they were there all along ... welcome to the adult world, Clem. Now go out and buy yourself a razor ..... that peach fuzz looks ridiculous.

 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KK7SS on October 28, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
To NU4B...
Sir, and with respect and as a Ham for over 45 years:-
I fail to see why a 5wpm, or 7wpm, or 10wpm (as examples) should not call a DX station... !!
A Ham is courteous... and it's a Hobby!

And before you ask,"No, I am not a hard core CW man" -- just a Ham..

Dave KK7SS
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD8MJR on October 29, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
The Ability to Read before responding seems to be dead today.

Many of you lashed out at the OP and never took the time to read what he actually said!

Basically he is saying that it's difficult for new CW operators to learn/improve/ be interested in CW because they cannot listen in on most conversations because most conversations are happening at speeds beyond a novices range.

He is not talking about people not wanting to QSR or there not being nets etc.

I sympathize with the OP because my own brother who was an avid CW Fan lost interest in CW for that same reason.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WM9V on October 30, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Tryin' to come up with some silkscreens for hats and shirts and bumper stickers....

Know coders are sheople too

No coders are beepin stupid

Hang up the key and drive

I'm the ARRL and I vote

Here's a lawn sign...

Where's the 20 word per minute certificate ?

 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KW7F on November 1, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Um, 20-25 wpm isn't "machine gun speed". In fact, I have difficulty copying code slower than 15 wpm. It's not that I'm some CW genius. Rather, it's like learning to speak. Once you learn your letters and numbers (e.g., the basis of language), you want to take off using them to communicate. Since CW is already limited in that it sends only letters, the natural conclusion is to send it more quickly in order to communicate faster. If you think 20 wpm is machine-gun, then you should hear to former Navy Comm men who send at 50+ wpm. Now THAT speed makes my head spin...
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WA2JJH on November 1, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
THE SHORT ANSWER...NO!!!!!!
MANY OF US THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND KNOW THEN SELLOUT DEAL.

Most hams are SSB/CW types. We all tried wide SSB. Yet another style of enjoying the hobby.

I like to run my TX EQ as 250 to 2600khz. Only role off to over 2.9khz. Decent audio.

I use ONLY a J-38 brass pounder. Good for sending up to 20WPM.

10 WPM is a nice slow speed. Perhaps volunteer tu run 100W max. 3 WPM-5WPM folk, can use the Novice space first.
All sending over 13WPM must QSY out of Novice subsegment.
The old Novice segments werre small.
The Novice was limited from 75W and xtal TX. Yet we still made many contacts. Worked 3000mile hops to on 15m.
Made 90% of QSO's with 100W CW and SSB DX could be heard Q-5.
WhAT KILLS me...iDuring QSB fiiled 10M FM QSO's. A 3000+ hop was all or nothing. FM is of cheap design and no DSP on FM
Some left FM out of their low end rigs.
WHAT IS A CW VETERAN!!!!!! YRS RQD....test FCC or NCI vec
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KD8MJR on November 1, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
As I said Before:

"The Ability to Read before responding seems to be dead today.

Many of you lashed out at the OP and never took the time to read what he actually said!

Basically he is saying that it's difficult for new CW operators to learn/improve/ be interested in CW because they cannot listen in on most conversations because most conversations are happening at speeds beyond a novices range.

He is not talking about people not wanting to QSR or there not being nets etc.

I sympathize with the OP because my own brother who was an avid CW Fan lost interest in CW for that same reason"

JUST TO ADD TO THIS:

The OP might be right, it's a circle of death for CW!
Very few new Hams that know CW means less people in the Newbie arena which means the people who are new can't esily find low speed conversations to listen in on. As the age Gap grows it will become harder and harder to find casual converstions at 10 wpm.

Listening in on QSO's is the most interesting way to learn code, without low speed QSO's newbies lose interest fast.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by GM4XQJ on November 2, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
A good cw operator will always be prepared to drop his speed as required and encourage new amateurs to the great art of cw.
What I now find annoying is the number of folk who send via a keyboard at stupid high speeds but cannot read cw without a computer / screen. There is no art in that! If you cannot read by ear then dont sent it.

73 de Brian GM4XQJ
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on November 2, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
KD8MJR said: "Basically he is saying that it's difficult for new CW operators to learn/improve/ be interested in CW because they cannot listen in on most conversations because most conversations are happening at speeds beyond a novices range."

And...

"I sympathize..."

************

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my ability to read and determine what you are saying.

You're not satisfied with operators who just QRS when asked. You want EVERYONE to send slower, whether asked or not, so eavesdropping newbies can copy what's being said, thereby sustaining and fueling their interest.

This thread is getting sillier and sillier.

Knowing what's being said didn't whet my interest half as much as NOT knowing what was being said. IOW, the reason I learned CW in the first place was to discover what was being said. I suspect that is true in most cases.

All that is being inferred by the OP is that it was a mistake to do away with CW as a requirement, then eliminate the Novice License and by extension, the Novice Band.

I agree with that, but these silly proposals having to do with limiting CW speed are an idiotic way of rectifying the original error. Haven't we learned by now not to pile silly proposals and mistakes on top of each other?

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk



 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by GM0ELP on November 3, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
No.
There is a well known protocol to follow.

For an every day non-contest QSO, simply wait your turn then when replied (at too great a speed) reply with "pse QRS". If the other operator doesn't comply then simply spin the VFO to the next station.

During contests you should not expect a running station to QRS (he probably won't), instead listen till you get his callsign correct and also the next expected serial number and then call in at your own speed.

CW is like skiing, it's no fun going slow and the more slowly you go the harder it is to keep your balance. The only reason you struggle on is because you can see how much fun everyone else is having.

Everyone else has been through this learning curve, why not you?
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW? Townhall Meeting  
by WM9V on November 5, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Time for a townhall meeting.
Invite the FCC and some league officials.
Invite some prominent hams.
Get all the know coders on one side of the street with
their signs and all the CBers on the corner with bullhorns.
Pass out yard signs and bumper stickers.
" Where's the 20 Word Per minute Certificate ? "
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by N6CIC on November 5, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting topic. I send and receive about 14-15 wpm fairly comfortably, and I just listen for CQ's at that speed or slower. If I hear a very fast operator, I just don't reply, but if I do reply to say an 18-20 wpm operator, they almost always slow down. BTW-the SKCC sprints are usually in the range of 15-20 wpm and are always on a straight key. The SKCC sprints are a great way to increase your speed and have fun at the same time.

A few years ago, when living in England, I used to hear the Russian CW ops at sizzling speeds. Really I think we have to admire the CW ops who keep this wonderful practice alive-no matter what the speed!
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by W5UXH on November 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am always curious when I read comments like this. If you hear a keyboard qso running at 60 wpm, how do you tell if the ops are copying in their head or not? And at what point does high speed become "stupid high speed"?

I have mentioned previously that I have never heard a qrq qso where I suspected the ops could not copy in their heads, in 50 years on the air and 30 years running qrq.

I hear very few qso's at higher speeds such as 60 and up, and in those that I do hear, I nearly always know the ops and know they are copying in their heads.

My qrq skeds often experience intentional qrm and my best guess is the rude (and unidentified) ops creating the interference either assume we use computers to copy or just "don't like" keyboard use. In case anyone wonders how I can tell if the interference is intentional, it is clear because the offenders either send "qrs" or "lid" or similar targeted "communications" over and over on top of us, or more commonly they set a keyer to 60 wpm or so and just slap the paddles sending garbage.

I still don't have a clue why some folks think others should only use qrs or straight keys etc. A CW qso is a CW qso and great fun. Why does it make any difference: straight key, bug, keyer, keyboard, qrs, qrq?

The bands are wide enough for all types of CW, even computer to computer if that is what someone wants to do. How does it hurt anyone else. Admittedly, I suspect that would be just as boring to me as a digital qso or a SSB qso would be.

73,

Chuck, W5UXH


Brian commented:

What I now find annoying is the number of folk who send via a keyboard at stupid high speeds but cannot read cw without a computer / screen. There is no art in that! If you cannot read by ear then dont sent it.

73 de Brian GM4XQJ
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KV4HF on November 8, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
In my view, here is the problem. People do not adhere to the what was the original etiquette of basic CW and ham radio operating. For those old timers out there, the correct etiquette was that you always returned calls at what ever the speed that the slowest operator sent at. Period. There is no etiquette any longer, People talk over the top of you when making a QSO, They hear someone that they want to talk to, and tune up right on the frequency being used, They will try to rag chew with a Rare DX contact instead of giving their name and RST and getting out of the way so that other ops may make a contact also. I was out of the hobby for many years due to having to raise a family etc. I am now in a position to be able to get back on the air, and what I hear disturbs me greatly. Nowadays, if you want to upgrade to a higher license class, all you have to do is memorize a bunch of questions from a "Test manual" and La La, you are now an extra. The removal of the code requirement has degraded the hobby.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K4DPK on November 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Brian, GM4XQJ and Chuck, W5UXH, made some very interesting comments having to do with the difference between “real” and “artificial” CW.

A while back, I had similar thoughts, but they led in the direction of how computers and CW readers affect the value of some of our long-cherished certificate programs. For instance, almost anyone nowadays can “earn” a 50 WPM proficiency award. It’s also a snap to work, and receive credit for, DX on modes in which the operator isn’t actually proficient.

What does this do to all the certificates already issued?

I was thinking that, with the advent of programs like CQ 100, and EchoLink, and others, it’s possible with the computer to work hams in other countries, and then obtain QSL cards without ever a radio being touched by either operator.

Couple years ago, I dropped an e-mail to one of the officials of a well-known ham magazine, and asked about this. His answer? “We have no evidence this is happening”.

How would they know, short of sworn affidavits? My point here is that computers, and the new modes stemming from their use, while very nice in many respects and no doubt beneficial in terms of communications efficiency, have rendered some our work and history, valueless.

Times, they are a’changing….Dylan

Phil C. Sr.
K4dpk
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by OK1RR on November 9, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I agree completely with W2LJ and others who find this article as just another effort to stir up controversy, without being constructive.

Indeed, learning code has never been easier than it is today. I would recommend G4FON's Koch Trainer and for more experienced op the Morse Runner by VE3NEA or QRQ by DJ1YFK (Linux). A nice addition is, of course, the almost forgotten SWL activity.

Don't expect to be a good operator in 2 weeks. It needs time. Lack of patience is not a good option for the beginner. The CW knowledge is a basanite of any future good operator. Remember to look for the problem at YOUR END FIRST rather in the reluctant CW veterans.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WD4SCZ on November 10, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
There are plenty of QRS QSO's around the SKCC frequencies. See http://www.skccgroup.com/ for more info.

Hit the old 40 meter Novice band around 7.114 and you'll here plenty of ops who will be glad to slow down for a new CW op and enough whizzes on a bug to make even keyboard cowboys send QRS if you like speed. But mostly there will guys who like CW and like to promote the use of code made "by hand."

Emil WD4SCZ SKCC #556T
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WA2JJH on November 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Us CW vets took nuch abuse from groups like No Code International.

I bet many remember the ultra mass caustic lambastic folk, that claimed..........CW prevented me from being a ham for years.

So glad to see new hams trying CW. Seems they get hooked real fast.
FWIW, when I was a Novice, I never had a contact that would not slow down to 5-10WPM for me. That was 30 years ago.
Heck...my very first QSO, I had 2 other Hams sitting next to me.
They helped me out and made darn sure I got my first QSL card for the contact.
I recommend having a CW vet "ride shotgun" for the 1-2 hours it takes to do 5 WPM solo. In a week, many new CW ops are up to 7-10WPM solo. Now, you are FB!
Not to mention the mountains of QSL cards local and DX new CW fans have always received. (In the past and now)

FOR THE RECORD.......CW VETS ARE AN ASSET, NOT CW KILLERS!!!!!
This shows KARMA exists....hi, hi,
73 de JJH
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K2PI on November 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think CW "veterans" are killing CW. The people who despised CW right from the get-go as a requirement for the license did that very well, thank you.

I do think crutches like CW skimmer and other software-assisted CW copying is certainly killing the ability of the new CW ops to get their speeds up.
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by KA4JNB on November 13, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I am almost exclusively a DX country chaser, and still novice speed with a straight key. I am finding that Dx operators calling cq in the 20-30 word range are usually kind enough to QRS long enough to affirm my callsign and signal, so long as they can hear me. Oh, and I operate barefoot, now that my amp is sick, so I am certain my good antenna is highly responsible for these successful contacts.
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by K7LRB on November 14, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
I realize this thread is getting a little "long in the tooth" but I would like to add a couple of comments.

I noticed this statement from NY7Q: "Anyone who will not slow down for another op is nothing more than a jerk, a moron, and a self centered bastard." His sentiments seem to be more or less reflected in many of the replies, albeit to varying degrees.

Most talk about how "inconsiderate" it is of an experienced operator who will NOT slow down to accommodate a slower op. If one hears a CQ at, say, 30 WPM, why is it not considered to be "inconsiderate" of another operator to answer at 10 WPM? Yes, the vast majority of experienced operators will QRS, including me, but what is the "obligation" to do so? If you send a CQ at 30 WPM it generally means you wish to have a QSO at that speed. If you CHOOSE to slow down to accommodate a slower operator it is purely out of the goodness of your heart. Why would you be a "bastard" if you choose not to slow down?

If you come up behind a driver who is driving at 30 MPH on a road with a speed limit of 65 MPH, are you a "bastard" for passing him?

NY7Q's post is just another example of, "If you don't agree with MY opinion, you're a bastard." Nice.

Have fun on CW and 73,
de Larry
 
Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by PG00023016 on November 15, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,
Our radio club used to have "on air" CW practice sessions. I would send practice code to a few members on 10 meters. The 10 meter band was not open at the time. We did it one night a week for about an hour. It was really alot of fun! We often met on our club repeater and went from there. Maybe that would be an option.
73's Kevin WW0JD
 
RE: Are CW Veterans Killing CW?  
by WA2JJH on November 15, 2010 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I think the point has been made. This thread did set the record straight for most. New,veteran,and those that do not like to be classified as to what type or caliber of ham they perceive them selfs to be.

To the general public, we are "chopped liver" Many think ham, CB,FRS and GMRS just merged together as one group.

Many non hams in ingnorance think the Cellphone and freebanders killed ham radio.

I explain to people that a Ham radio op is a fine gourmet of communication. Slow cooking. Lots of herbs and spices.
CW is the hot sauce. SSB is the gravy. 2M and 440 are the precurser to the cellphone. Every type of mode has it's niche or application specific app.

This post is very long as others point out. HOWEVER...if you were an e-ham member say 2 years ago. We all saw how UGLY things got. Anti-CW folk were loud and proud.
There were countless of anti-CW articals posted. The insults were way over the top.

However, perhaps we all are on the same page today. Ham radio will not die and turn into a 3-30 MHZ multimode CB.

BTW to the fellow ham that said........All you old CW vets will die off. Then he said the upside would be the mass estate sales.
He could get our rigs cheap.
Like dude....we heard that one hundreds of times. No estate sale feeding frenzy will happen.
We will all get extreme top dollar on ebay for our vintage rigs. The money will go to our loved ones. You will pay almost list price.

SRI FER U. SRI LID. TNX FER CALL out...QSL?
I think we are at the beating a dead horse now.
Notice how polite most here were. The Estate sale comment only reminds all, of a few bitter folk will never get many fringe benefits of being a happy ham. Not an internet spam ham G. liddy.(no insult intended to Gordon Liddy)

73 DE MIKE WA2JJH
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
QSO Today -- Jim Kinter K5KTF -- Ham Mesh:
ARNewsline Report 1946 -- Nov. 28 2014:
Amateur Radio Emergency Exercise Held:
New Amateur Radio Course Pilot:
Ham College 'The Pilot' Episode: