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Author Topic: Mores Speed for CW?  (Read 9067 times)

Posts: 461

« on: November 30, 2011, 10:28:40 AM »

What do you find is the best code speed for QRP ?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 10:46:04 AM by N5RWJ » Logged

Posts: 23

« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 11:08:56 AM »

The best speed?  Whatever speed people will talk to you at.  Grin

I can head-copy fairly consistently around 20wpm so I usually aim for that but at the same time I would never drop below 10wpm, regardless of how I'm operating.  Anything slower than 10wpm, especially 5wpm, just..... drags..... on...... and the mind tends to wander between dits and dahs.

You can always grab a pen and paper so your ears and writing hand can outrun your brain or ask the other end to QRS.

I used to think you needed an elaborate setup to work DX, then I made a QSO 3,000 miles away using a dipole 8ft off the ground in the middle of a forest.

Posts: 1003

« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 01:06:46 PM »

listen on the QRP frequencies, and see what speeds you hear ! it won't always be straight key, but it's never be hugely fast, because the signals are just above the noise level, and if the sending is really fast, and there are fades, too much info gets lost.
More important for QRP, get the best antenna you can - if not a beam, a wire dipole, even if it's only 10 or so off the ground. Using a mobile antenna like a hamstick with QRP will get you no contacts - not efficient, so not much signal radiated, you won't be heard much beyond line of sight.  also, with a horizontal antenna, you get a good bit of vertical radiation, so you get better local coverage out a few hundred miles through NVIS

Posts: 461

« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 04:14:29 PM »

Well, for QRP, I find slow speed around 10 wpm the best for TX RX copy, try Japan or others.
   PS/ Most of the CW Tx, in Japan is 10 wpm now?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 04:18:30 PM by N5RWJ » Logged

Posts: 172

« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 10:04:18 AM »

Not sure what the "best speed" is but it's a good question. Listening to 14.060 daily for a long time now: 20 WPM is scarce as hen teeth, 15 WPM is pretty common and there are more than a few guys who say they are getting into QRP who are not regular CW ops and stick to whats comfortable for them, down around 10-13 WPM. My personal preference is to stay near 18 WPM if I can, slowing down to whatever the other guy is comfortable with, and keep the initial data exchange to a minimum. If I'm running one of my Rockies at 700mW I figure if the band sneezes contact may be lost so at least get the basic stuff exchanged, then after that often enough it turns into a "regular" QSO.

This week I got a new internal battery for the FT-817 and was experimenting, so started cruising 10 meters. Worked several DX stations, (ok, none of them rare) who were banging out reports at 25 WPM and greater. I kept my keyer at 20, which is comfortable for me, and worked CA, SA and EU. So really, as the one fellow said, it's whatever speed they'll talk to me.


Posts: 461

« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 02:40:00 PM »

And band conditions.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 02:36:33 PM by N5RWJ » Logged

Posts: 186

« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 02:18:14 AM »

Just to echo a couple of earlier comments. QRP, by its very nature, is Weak Signal Work. So band conditions determine cw speed. Because an operator can send and receive at 30 WPM doesn't mean that he/she should on 14.060 at 5 watts or less. I even use less abbreviations, preferring to spell out some words that would ordinarily be shortened. Again, a deep fade can entirely eliminate that three-character abbreviation. Actually QRP can help improve sloppy sending since good character formation and spacing is particularly important at QRP levels.


Posts: 128


« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 07:54:04 PM »

I prefer sending and receiving faster than most QRPers seem to.  25-30 wpm or so.  Sometimes a little faster in contests or calling DX.

I would rather a station send quickly so that more info is possibly received on QSB peaks.  Too slow and fast QSB results in little if any info exchange.   That's also why it's often better to send info once rather than twice.  But it's all propagation dependent...I think you can learn when it's better to send fast and when it's better to drop the speed a notch or two.

Or that may just be me.

73 de Lee
Lee Hiers, AA4GA


Posts: 2

« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2011, 04:02:15 PM »

20-25 wpm seems to work well for me. Slower speeds are sometimes better especially if the other guy is a slower op of coarse. The one thing that will hurt while operating slower speeds is if you do weak signal work on 80m and especially 160m QRP. You have to be aware of the "QSB Wave"; in other words, if the QSB on the signals is very slow and long, it helps to QRQ when the signals come up before they fade into the next QSB dip. Again, 160m QRP is where this happens alot. Sometimes the QSB dip can be easily a few minutes long before the signal comes back up where you can start to copy it again.


Posts: 2490

« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 04:34:06 AM »

I like around 20 WPM for a ragchew, but I'll always try to match the other station if they are sending slower. For me its whatever the other station is comfortable with and band conditions play a part.

In the QRP contests there are stations at different speeds but many are below 20WPM which is really helpful on a band like 80 meters where the noise and QSB can make difficult copy.

In a DX contest if other stations are hearing me well I will go up to 30WPM. (unless, of course, the other station is substantially slower)

Although,I learned early not to send faster than I can copy.   Grin
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