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Author Topic: Thank you, QRS'ers!  (Read 3566 times)
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« on: November 27, 2011, 08:31:57 AM »

I worked a few CW contacts in 2003, for new countries, but the log shows the last time I was really active with CW was 1992.  (I'll be active on HF for a few months and then go to other hobbies for a while, I'm not active all the time.)

So recently I felt the urge to try CW again, and I got a great deal on a used set of Bencher paddles.  I made one easy contact with a special event station, then it was the weekend--and the CW weekend of CQ WW 2011.   It seemed nuts to jump back in during a big contest, but late yesterday and again this morning, I've managed 8-10 contacts in the contest.  :-)  I just can NOT copy at 35wpm ... I never COULD.  :-)  But if I listen to a couple of exchanges and get the callsign and zone right, and then call at my pathetic 15wpm, a bunch of the contesters actually come back to me.  :->  THANK you, those contesters who'll slow down for one of the QRS crowd!  :-)  It's a hoot to use CW again after all those years!
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 09:14:58 AM »

I worked a few CW contacts in 2003, for new countries, but the log shows the last time I was really active with CW was 1992.  (I'll be active on HF for a few months and then go to other hobbies for a while, I'm not active all the time.)

So recently I felt the urge to try CW again, and I got a great deal on a used set of Bencher paddles.  I made one easy contact with a special event station, then it was the weekend--and the CW weekend of CQ WW 2011.   It seemed nuts to jump back in during a big contest, but late yesterday and again this morning, I've managed 8-10 contacts in the contest.  :-) 

So takes you 24 to 30 second.

Quote
I just can NOT copy at 35wpm ... I never COULD.  :-) 

The guys you worked probably also not, When they are able to rag chew with 15 wpm they present themselves by their computer as 35 wpm in a contest.

Quote
But if I listen to a couple of exchanges and get the callsign and zone right, and then call at my pathetic 15wpm, a bunch of the contesters actually come back to me.  :-> 

A bunch, and you copied only one by repetitive listening... That needs a sweat shirt.
Question is why? Because they expect to earn a point, or because they like to welcome you?
Probably you will meet them again the next cq ww cw. I expect with the same proficiency at both sides.

73
Bob
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K0OD
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Posts: 2560




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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 10:19:57 AM »

Quote
I just can NOT copy at 35wpm ... I never COULD.  :-)

Quote
The guys you worked probably also not, When they are able to rag chew with 15 wpm they present themselves by their computer as 35 wpm in a contest.

Not true. Most got their Extras by copying one minute solid at 20 wpm years ago as I did. Give the many truly talented CW contest ops credit. Some slow DOWN from the their usual 50 wpm to work the contest at 30-35 wpm.

I doubt any major contest station uses code readers, by the way. (that question comes up all the time)

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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 11:21:26 AM »

Quote
I just can NOT copy at 35wpm ... I never COULD.  :-)

Quote
The guys you worked probably also not, When they are able to rag chew with 15 wpm they present themselves by their computer as 35 wpm in a contest.

Not true. Most got their Extras by copying one minute solid at 20 wpm years ago as I did. Give the many truly talented CW contest ops credit. Some slow DOWN from the their usual 50 wpm to work the contest at 30-35 wpm.

I doubt any major contest station uses code readers, by the way. (that question comes up all the time)




Well, when It are east european guys, I should admit, but ... Look at rufzxp.net to the states representing truly high speed call copy..
Doubt can be resolved by looking at contest stations in action on youtube. Furthermore, because all code is sent by computer those devices work excellent.

And afterall, look at the contest paper http://www.morsecode.nl/KH2DContesting.PDF Grin
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 11:29:02 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
K0OD
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 01:00:15 PM »

Simply bizarre:

"Once your BASE CW SPEED number has been determined, the proper sending speed for you to use during a contest is found using a simple formula:
(BASE CW SPEED) X (2.3) = CONTEST SPEED

Yes, I know you can't SEND that fast MANUALLY, but don't worry, during the contest you will be using ONLY the memories in your automated sending device so nobody will know. Yes, I know you can't COPY that fast either, but don't worry, during a contest there are many tricks to get the other station calling you to slow down, which we will cover later. To be successful at CW contesting, you MUST realize that EVERYBODY in the world copies CW faster than you do, but unless you appear to be as fast as they are, you have no hopes of winning a CW contest."



KH2D wrote that years ago (he refers to W7PHO  long SK) and it probably works much better if you are the only contest station on a dot in the Pacific, Guam. I wonder how serious he is about most of it.


« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 03:31:14 PM by K0OD » Logged
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 02:04:53 PM »


So takes you 24 to 30 second.

... That needs a sweat shirt.
Question is why? Because they expect to

Well, Pa-Blah, I'm not sure what you're gibbering about, but you can have a sweatshirt, too.

All I mean is that 1.)  I enjoyed using CW again after all this time, and 2.) I'm grateful to the contesters who let me work them, even when I was at 15wpm.  And K0OD is right--I did pass the 20wpm CW test, in 1992, to get my extra.  But I haven't used CW in a LONG time, which is why I enjoyed the fun of CW again and the courtesy I was shown by the CQ WW conteters.

So--that takes you from 23 to 31 seconds, old Pa-Blah sweatshirt!
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WB0FDJ
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Posts: 147




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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 04:03:54 PM »

AC4RD

Hey, good for you man. Wading out into the deeper waters of a contest is to be commended. Just this summer, after 40 yrs of hamming, I started working on my speed (contests are a great place for immersion) and now I can copy 20 wpm solid from W1AW. So I fired up my FT-817 today, plugged in the Vibroplex paddles and started listening to the contest and I thought my hair might catch on fire. Holy smokes!. Theres some real speed out there. Heck no one was running 20 wpm.

We're in the same boat. And I do the same thing you do, listen for a little bit, get the calls right, then reply. It works.

One of my Elmers always said the most important part of the radio for copying CW was the nut between the headphones....

73 DOC
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KG6IRW
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 07:06:29 PM »

I'd like to also thank one of the contesters this weekend who slowed waaaay down for me and worked my little 3w Elecraft KX1 at 10wpm on 20m this afternoon.  Not only did they respond to a QRP station, they slowed down for me, too. 

I agree, I just couldn't keep up with all that blistering speed - sort of like trying to ride a tricycle down the Washington, DC, Interstate at rush hour.  Since they were all going so fast, I decided not to even try to respond to anyone unless I could manually copy their call and understand what region they were reporting.  Yes, it took me a few times to get their whole call sign and info copied but, heck, they were ripping along at 30+wpm and I'm pushed hard to copy 13wpm right now.

This short, small gesture from a clearly seasoned CW op serves to reinforce for me that learning CW has been and will continue to be a fun exercise.

Oh, and for the record, I am an Extra but got in 10 years ago with only the 5wpm code test required for General back then.  So, I've gone from a no-code Extra to a some-code Extra!

Cheers,

David
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2397




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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2011, 02:14:36 AM »

One of the nice features of the Winkeyer is a speed knob.   I used it a lot over the weekend.   I was happy to slow down to the sender's speed.   I remember when my only tools where a paddle and my ears, and the frustration of:

. . . "He's too fast for me to copy!"

I _do_ use a code reader, and it's nice for the strong, fast stations.  It's not worth much for the weak ones -- for those, it's "listen, listen, listen", for me.

I don't understand why stations run at 40 wpm when there's multi-path smearing.  If they were at 20 wpm, I could copy them; at 40 wpm, no chance.   The problem was worst with European stations across the pole from me.  I suppose I have to improve my skills to handle smeared Morse.

I hope it was lots of fun for everybody, slow or fast.

           Charles
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AC4RD
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2011, 02:53:22 AM »

I'd like to also thank one of the contesters this weekend who slowed waaaay down for me and worked my little 3w Elecraft KX1 at 10wpm on 20m this afternoon. .... serves to reinforce for me that learning CW has been and will continue to be a fun exercise.

Exactly how I feel!  I was nervous about trying to get back into CW during one of the biggest contests of the year, but most of the contesters were very helpful!    And yes, Charles, I DID have fun!  I had forgotten how much fun CW can be!   :-) 
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2011, 03:31:28 AM »

What really only is required is copy a call sign in a contest.

When you are a contest adept, and plan to do better next year, I may ask your attention for www.rufzxp.net

You can exercise taking callsigns and when you score a personal high, you can email it and your name is listed on the website.
Refreshed each Monday. When you exercise  on a daily base one set of 50 calls, you, as I estimate, will double your speed to 40 wpm within a year.

Concerning QRS: It is general courtesy to go QRS and match the speed of the slowest station in a QSO.
In general guys working with straight keys, and there are a lot of them, work between 15 and 20 wpm on the average.
However K7QO, I suppose the fastest CW rag chewer in the US, tells on his website, that as youngster, he was trying to QSO a QRQ station, thar refuses to go QRS. That was his motivation to exercise with goal to be the fastest.

NI0C also has the determination to copy every station, his personal best is over 70 wpm with plan text as far as I know.

General QSO text is easier to copy than plain English text, so when you have a QSO and start rag chewing, it turns out you have to go QRS from the QSO speed, in order to keep in touch.

Furthermore the yield of exercising QRQ above 40 wpm is low, the faster you are able to copy plain text, the smaller the number of possible QSO partners meeting your speed is.

73 es mni tks fr the sweatshirt wit PA-BLAH imprinted.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 03:43:57 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2011, 04:11:32 AM »

KH2D wrote that years ago (he refers to W7PHO  long SK) and it probably works much better if you are the only contest station on a dot in the Pacific, Guam. I wonder how serious he is about most of it.

I used to talk to Jim, KH2D, now and then on the old Fidonet echo for ham radio talk.  Nice guy with a great sense of humor, and a bunch of interesting stuff on his website, in later years.  I always thought some of the things he said were intended to promote discussion or thought--though maybe they WERE just his straight-out opinions.   Anyway, nice guy.
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N2EY
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2011, 04:25:51 AM »

Quote
I just can NOT copy at 35wpm ... I never COULD.  :-)

That doesn't mean you never will. It just means you're not there yet.

Quote
The guys you worked probably also not, When they are able to rag chew with 15 wpm they present themselves by their computer as 35 wpm in a contest.

Not true. Most got their Extras by copying one minute solid at 20 wpm years ago as I did. Give the many truly talented CW contest ops credit. Some slow DOWN from the their usual 50 wpm to work the contest at 30-35 wpm.

I agree 100%. And the old test was just the starting point.

What really matters isn't raw speed but effective sped. It someone is sending 40 wpm but has to repeat everything three times to get the message across, their effective speed is about 13 wpm. Matching speed to conditions is one of the marks of the really skilled op.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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