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Author Topic: Just got my first key  (Read 8642 times)
2E0OZI
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Posts: 267




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« on: February 04, 2012, 08:25:15 AM »

Well it arrived in the post today, only a few days after I send the cheque away! Czech Army key from the 1960s, brand new but 40+ years old!I have been using a very simple code program, and now can recognise the letters and numbers. Next step is to try and recognise practice stuff from probably W1AW or off the LCWO site. Have started to translate everything into morse...... Grin

The goal is a first QSO by 1/3/2012.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 08:59:42 AM »

So, do you mean first QSO in March 1st, 2012?  Or, first QSO on January 3rd, 2012 (which is past history), or maybe first QSO in January 3rd, 2013?  Given the different ordering of date formats for month and day or even year, sometimes it is confusing.
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2E0OZI
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 09:59:55 AM »

Ah yeah, 1st of March 2012  Grin Since I have an injured leg and cant go surfing, walking, mountain biking, or ride my motorcycle, I have a bit of time to put in some practice.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
K7KBN
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Posts: 2754




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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 01:13:16 PM »

Ah - the European system of date/month has tripped up another of us!  On my only trip to Europe (Amsterdam as a stopover en route to Bahrain) I caught myself when I was registering at the hotel and carefully wrote "1-12-2000" (1 December, 2000).  The stunning YL at the desk looked at it carefully, looked up smiling and told me I was the first American all week to get it right the first time!  And it was a Friday!

I've never used one of those Czech army keys but I've heard they're well built.  Possibly going to need to back the tension spring out quite a bit.  Good luck with it and hope to meet you OTA.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 01:15:06 PM by K7KBN » Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 03:16:42 PM »

I work for a big French conglomerate so I get e-mails every day from corporate headquarters in Paris with the European date notation.
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 12:27:25 AM »

You are right about the tension Pat! I need to reduce that a bit for sure, but as I dont have a practice oscillator yet there is no rush.

all the best

Scott (an Aussie in the UK)
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 09:24:18 AM »

Scott, just one piece of well-intended advice:  Once you feel that you can recognize the letters and numbers pretty well, get on the air and make a few contacts using that key.  Practicing is fine, but actually operating will make you a better operator, faster, and you'll have a world of fun doing it!   And nobody (almost nobody) minds repeating things or slowing down, if you need to ask for repeats or have trouble with the speed.  Give it a try!  I bet you'll have fun doing it!  :-)   73  --ken ac4rd
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 12:04:22 PM »

Hi Ken,

yeah I am temped to do that but I am a little way off it as yet - I have tried to listen to QSOs once or twice but apart from catching the odd letter they are a bit fast for me most of them! I'm going to "bed in" my character recognition for the rest of the week and then have another listen, and also try a more sophisticated program. I have not sent a single character yet!!

all the best,

Scott
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2354




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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 09:24:46 PM »

Sending is a lot easier than receiving.  Keep working with LCWO, set the character speed decently high (15 wpm or so) to keep the letters as _one sound_.

Check the Web (try "CW QRS calling frequencies") for the low-speed on-air frequencies.   Most important -- have fun !

           Charles
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 02:00:53 PM »

Hi Charles,

I'm not on LCWO yet - tried it and didn't get on with it quite yet. I think maybe next week will give it a shot as I need to start try and copying more "real" stuff.

And I also need to just start listening to CW on the radio a bit more. And work out some way of practicing some sending...
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
NR0U
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 02:16:15 PM »

Scott,

Check out the SKCC group.  Great bunch that will help you from QRS on up. 
http://www.skccgroup.com/

Super supportive.  There is a live sked page at
http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.php?page=skcc

They do a "Straight Key Sprint-Europe" once a month as well...


Good Luck,
Lance
K0URN
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2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 267




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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 09:11:05 AM »

Lance, I joined SKCC yesterday  Grin on your recommendation. I have a week coming up where my wife and daughter are away so thats a good time to get into it as far as trying to maybe start practicing my sending and setting up a sked. This weekend I'll start trying to get the feel for what the CW parts of the bands are like as well.

all the best,

Scott

PS - one of my ambitions is to own a FT817 and to do backpack/portable CW operation from a campsite, and also to use the same radio when I am motorcycle touring to rig something up and make a few contacts, and I am aware that 5w or 2.5w CW goes a lot further/is more effective than SSB. And its simple - no computer is needed.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2354




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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 10:01:14 AM »

Quote
PS - one of my ambitions is to own a FT817 and to do backpack/portable CW operation from a campsite, and also to use the same radio when I am motorcycle touring to rig something up and make a few contacts, and I am aware that 5w or 2.5w CW goes a lot further/is more effective than SSB. And its simple - no computer is needed.

Then you should know about two Yahoo groups:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FT817         (for the FT-817)

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/hfpack        (for lightweight portable operations)

                  Charles
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W4HLN
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 06:58:14 PM »

I've tried the LCWO about a year ago...Lotsa fun but didnt really need it to learn code....Have been running code since 1989 and getting pretty fair at it by now LOL!


Keep going!! You'll get there!

Ernie / W4HLN
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2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 267




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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 09:55:46 AM »

Things are moving nicely along. My key is hooked up and I have a setting that allows me to use the radio as a practice oscillator (no break in) so I have started practicing my callsign and a few set terms I might use. Also I copied my first call sign off the air a few days ago, and have by passed much of LCWO to concentrate on call sign practice in the "speed" section.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
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