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Author Topic: SKCC WES  (Read 7183 times)
AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« on: February 14, 2011, 09:51:32 AM »

Boy was I intimidated with the speed at which folks were operating in the SKCC WES over the weekend.  It was very impressive, to say the least.

Being new to CW I didn't make too many contacts; but I did manage to sneak in a few. I was very impressed at how the hard core speed deamons always, and I mean always without exception, were willing to slow down when I entered the fray.  I heard this with many others as well.  I must say it was a lot of mental work for me and I went to bed mentally exhausted.  I assume it will get easier with practice and I can see how it is a very good activity to help keep one's listening and focus skills sharp. 

I also learned that my mediocre antenna can hear states that I thought it was deaf too. 

It was my very first attempt at a CW contest and I must say it was very addicting and a whole lot of fun trying to copy everything that was going on.  I can tell this is going to take away a lot of my hours as I progress.  I didn't get a lot of the honey do's done this weekend.

I am already looking forward to next month's sprint and will be working hard to get up to speed a little bit so folks don't have to wait on me.

Great job everyone!  Thanks for letting me play in the game.

Tom
AE5QB
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AE4RV
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 10:04:58 AM »

Congrats on first CW contest, Tom. Another fun and casual monthly CW contest is the North American QRP CW Club sprint. Now that my antennas are back up I am looking forward to the next one.

http://naqcc.info/

http://naqcc.info/contests.html


73, Geoff
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KC8LTL
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 03:46:08 PM »

Well, welcome.  I do believe we worked during it and you were fine, but then again, I am hardly that good of a cw "contester" myself.  There are many small contests/events that let you get your feet wet, like the SKCC WES.  Any of the SKCC, NAQCW, or FISTS events should be nice way to get your feet wet.  Most QRP ARCI events too...

But there is a huge difference between these things and the shark tank of the major contests.  One of them is next weekend - the ARRL DX contest.  I do encourage you to make at least a few contacts in it.  Don't expect them to slow down for you, but the exchange doesn't change between contacts (often 5nnk from them) and so you can listen until you get it and send your exchange at a speed you can accurately send.

I know that the first few of those I joined in, I felt like I had been hit by a truck or something, but I learned I COULD do it - even with great difficulty.
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KE7WAV
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 07:58:17 PM »

Hey don't get discouraged when your mentally feeling worn out.  It is great to just get on and build up your speed and meet new ops.  I am doing the same thing each WES too.
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KA1DBE
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 10:58:41 AM »

I was testing a radio this weekend and worked a guy who told ME what my SKCC number was! (I forgot I had one HIHI).  Worked a couple more stations using my Lightening bug.
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NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 10:45:42 PM »

I stumbled into this past weekend's WES, which is kind of how I usually work contests anyway. I hung out for a couple of hours and had a good time.  The monthly WES is way less intense than other contests.

SKCC members are a very inclusive group; very friendly bunch of ops, very patient with code newbies. Anyone can join and it's free! 

Working the monthly WES is a great introduction to contesting.  I personally didn't hear any speed demons, but then again if they're working a straight key it'll keep them down to a reasonable speed (of course, an experienced bug op can rip).

See ya at next month's WES.

Bill in Pasadena
NK6Q


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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 09:50:11 AM »

... I personally didn't hear any speed demons, but then again if they're working a straight key it'll keep them down to a reasonable speed (of course, an experienced bug op can rip)....

Bill in Pasadena
NK6Q

OK, I conceed!  Speed is a relative thing.  At my stage in the game, "ripping" is probably anything over about 15 WPM.  Smiley  They probably weren't going all that fast compared to those who can copy 35-50 WPM in their head - but my ears don't even respond fast enough to pick characters out of those blurps.  But they were still fast.  To me it was like trying to pick an indivual shot out of a burst of A10 Warthog fire.

At any rate, it was fun and very gratifying to make my first 10 CW QSOs. 

Thanks again to all who participated!

73
Tom
AE5QB
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AE4RV
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 10:45:34 AM »

Tom, I'd suggest practicing with a free program called RufzXP before the next causal contest. If you keep at it a bit you'll be ready for the big contests before you know it.

http://www.rufzxp.net/

It drills you with callsigns. Get it right, it increases the WPM by one, get it wrong it decreases the speed. Its aim is to keep pushing you at and beyond your comfort zone. Five minutes a day, five days a week and you will not believe your progress.

It does not help (much) with learning to copy in your head, that is what other methods of practice are for. It will help you master letters and numbers at ever increasing speeds and with ever increasing ease.

73, Geoff
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AB0ES
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 12:39:20 AM »

Tom, I'd suggest practicing with a free program called RufzXP

73, Geoff
Thank you for posting this,I like this program.
Scott
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KF7ATL
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2011, 04:26:43 PM »

Tom,

Congrats on working your first WES. It took me a while to work up the nerve to try one, but I'm glad I did. It was fun and a good learning experience. I have worked 10 of them now and it gets a little easier every time. I still can't copy more than about 15 wpm, but I've never had another op not slow down for me. SKCCers are a great bunch. Welcome, and hope to hear you on the air!

Garth, KF7ATL
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