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Author Topic: Sending CQ at the speed at which you want to converse -v- QRS Etiquitte.  (Read 20807 times)
W7ASA
Member

Posts: 268




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« on: June 30, 2012, 05:40:55 PM »

A general guide in Ham Morse is to call CQ at the speed at which you wish to converse.  
Another general guide is to match the speed of the station who calls you.  However, sometimes this is taken too far.

-...-

We all had to start somewhere in our Morse code journey and it's well known that accuracy & speed are built with time, determination and practice. It's also known that if someone answers a “CQ” but is a little bit slower, the faster CQ station can generally be expected to slow down a little bit, if necessary. However, I do question whether it's polite for a very slow station to answer a much faster CQ, knowing full well that he's unable to keep-up with what he is hearing, yet expecting the fast CQ'ing station to drastically drop back to accommodate this slow pace.

Why does this matter?  There are times that (like others) I REALLY want to have a good, faster-than-average Morse rag-chew and for me "fast" is about 30-35 WPM where I can easily copy & use my favorite bug.  (Though I enjoy head copy in the 40's, I am not comfortable sending at 40+ WPM; my hands are showing signs of age and cannot always get the key to cooperate.)  I find that higher than average speed CW is much more enjoyable, almost exhilarating & I often have great, flowing conversations because it's easier to converse at those speeds. Really, it's rather like anything that you've worked hard to develop: you want to USE it!  

We all know that it's easy to copy a callsign which is sent repeatedly AT SPEEDS WELL ABOVE OUR ABILITY TO CONVERSE. Knowing that I want more speed than most would enjoy, I tune the dial away from the crowds and call CQ at something sane, like 30-33 WPM, yet  over half of the respondents are under 20 WPM, some below 15 WPM.  To me, this is NOT the civility of “QRS” any longer, because the other Op is not asking me to slow down a 'little bit'. He's expecting me to cut my speed in half.  Now folks, that's not polite at all. When I want to QSO at a respectable 15 WPM I call CQ at 15 WPM on my straight key – obviously- and we can move the speed up or down a little bit as needed from there.

This works two ways. I enjoy head-copy of the high speed hams who QSO in the mid-40's WPM , but they are too fast for me to hold a conversation with because I simply cannot send that quickly. Because I know that I am not fast enough on the key, I do not jump in on them, because it would slow them down and that would be rude.


ZUT & 73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 05:52:30 PM by W7ASA » Logged
2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 270




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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 12:23:11 AM »

I'm a beginner Ray, and I tend to do as you suggest. I stay away from the low ends of the CW portion mostly, and if someone is calling pretty fast (say if I cant get thier call after 3 tries!) then I would not respond. I will say I have had it the other way - I was calling CQ and the responding station came back at 30wpm when I send at about 10/12 or so.

Its only a hobby, so I just get on with it.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
W7ASA
Member

Posts: 268




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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 01:19:17 AM »

Oh. I've had that happen too.  I have a great straight key made by G3YUH and enjoy trying to produce as close to machine perfect code as I can while using it. Naturally with a straight key, this is all at slower speeds. Rarely, but occasionaly, after a slower CQ, suddenly, from out of the sun swoops in a fellow who is very much faster on his paddles than I am on a straight key.  It takes time to pull the plug on the long handle straight key and to plug in the Vibroplex, probably adjust weights - and frankly, that's just not a polite way to treat another ham.  I agree -

Like you pointed out, we're doing this for enjoyment and as an alternative to being at work.  If we were paid by the word, I might see a reason to see if the other fellow would move it along a bit faster, or if we were military passing 5 digit cipher text, I could see slowing the other fellow down to the uniform rate approved for the network to ensure uniformity and to get the 99.9% copy for the cryptographers to work with it, but for fun as hams, we have a wide range of speeds. I tend to go slow with the hand key in the QRP segments, to work some of the weak ones especially.

Best of success with your Morse code!  As you know, it's enjoyable and very effective.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

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PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 01:59:00 AM »

Rarely, but occasionaly, after a slower CQ, suddenly, from out of the sun swoops in a fellow who is very much faster on his paddles than I am on a straight key.  It takes time to pull the plug on the long handle straight key and to plug in the Vibroplex, probably adjust weights - and frankly, that's just not a polite way to treat another ham.  I agree -


Ray, why not keeping your bug in parallel with your straight key? You immediately can switch always by just replacing your hand.

I work with a home brew keyer, the output is a reed relay, so I can key everything, in tube and solid state, and so  with an electronic dual paddle Iambic can immediately switch from paddles to straight key.

Most rag chew around 40 wpm (I  cannot sent faster) is done with well known calls hanging around on known frequencies, so as a matter of fact it looks like some walk-in social club.
Realise that, according to my estimation only1% of the CW hams (which in turn are  1% of the ham population) are able to do that and enjoy it .

It is cutting edge behavior Ray. So...

Look in the VHSC and EHSC member list on www.morsecode.nl under the link "complete memberlist" and you find the calls of members, in order to invite via email for a sked.

Bob
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 02:12:22 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
W7ASA
Member

Posts: 268




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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 10:43:43 AM »

Hi Bob,


Yes, I really should just make a parallel connection for keys.  That will make my switch from straight key to speed-key instant & easy - good point.

---

Thank you for the link. This is an interesting cooincidence, because I read for the first time about the VHSC and EHSC clubs in "Zen and the Art of Radio Telegraphy" by IK0YGJ. It was a very enjoyable .pdf "book" and he also spoke highly of those two specific clubs that you recommend.  Now you gave me the links to those two clubs, so it's time for me to take action and to get involved! I will look into this.  It is more good motivation to continue to increase my enjoyment of Morse code.


Thank You,

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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HA7AP
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 12:16:41 PM »

A general guide in Ham Morse is to call CQ at the speed at which you wish to converse.  
Another general guide is to match the speed of the station who calls you.  However, sometimes this is taken too far.

-...-

We all had to start somewhere in our Morse code journey and it's well known that accuracy & speed are built with time, determination and practice. It's also known that if someone answers a “CQ” but is a little bit slower, the faster CQ station can generally be expected to slow down a little bit, if necessary. However, I do question whether it's polite for a very slow station to answer a much faster CQ, knowing full well that he's unable to keep-up with what he is hearing, yet expecting the fast CQ'ing station to drastically drop back to accommodate this slow pace.

Why does this matter?  There are times that (like others) I REALLY want to have a good, faster-than-average Morse rag-chew and for me "fast" is about 30-35 WPM where I can easily copy & use my favorite bug.  (Though I enjoy head copy in the 40's, I am not comfortable sending at 40+ WPM; my hands are showing signs of age and cannot always get the key to cooperate.)  I find that higher than average speed CW is much more enjoyable, almost exhilarating & I often have great, flowing conversations because it's easier to converse at those speeds. Really, it's rather like anything that you've worked hard to develop: you want to USE it!  

We all know that it's easy to copy a callsign which is sent repeatedly AT SPEEDS WELL ABOVE OUR ABILITY TO CONVERSE. Knowing that I want more speed than most would enjoy, I tune the dial away from the crowds and call CQ at something sane, like 30-33 WPM, yet  over half of the respondents are under 20 WPM, some below 15 WPM.  To me, this is NOT the civility of “QRS” any longer, because the other Op is not asking me to slow down a 'little bit'. He's expecting me to cut my speed in half.  Now folks, that's not polite at all. When I want to QSO at a respectable 15 WPM I call CQ at 15 WPM on my straight key – obviously- and we can move the speed up or down a little bit as needed from there.

This works two ways. I enjoy head-copy of the high speed hams who QSO in the mid-40's WPM , but they are too fast for me to hold a conversation with because I simply cannot send that quickly. Because I know that I am not fast enough on the key, I do not jump in on them, because it would slow them down and that would be rude.


ZUT & 73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Hi Ray!
Most of the time, I send CQ at 25 to 30 WPM, but guys calls me back at 20 or below.
You know, there is nothing wrong with it. They just want to have a short QSO with a QRQ operator thats all, so we shouldn't really cry about this.
Most of the QRQ operators in the USA and EU, knows each other pretty well.
Most of us are members of different clubs, like the CFO (Chicken Fat Operators) in USA, or the VHSC (Very High Speed Club) in EU.
There are also logging programs, that can show you a person's membership as soon as you type his/her call sign in your log. You will know right away, that you can send faster code to that person.
Personally, I don't have any problem having a 20 WPM conversation with some one at all.
I also enjoy 60 to 70 WPM conversational speed too. As you said, I also copy code in my head and send it on my dual lever paddle.
All in all, one might bump in to a couple of slow guys, but believe me or not.....if you are a active QRQ operator after one or two slow QSO's you will bump in to some real fast guys too. I know it by experience :-) Have fun on the bands and enjoy CW.
I hope to catch you on the air soon.

73 Imi HA7AP


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W7ASA
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Posts: 268




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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 01:07:55 PM »

60 -70 WPM~  That is simply amazing. I see that I have something wonderful to pursue!

I hope to continue to build my accuracy & speed to be able to do this also. Right now, I am training using the G4FON program at 50 to 55 WPM by loading the text of articles that I enjoy into the program.  At 50+ WPM I am maybe 75% copy - at best, but it is improves rapidly.  When I drop the speed to even 45 WPM the copy is excellent.  This is encouraging.  Another aspect that I enjoy about this program is how realistically you can put in QSB, QRM and etc. into the practice sessions. Any other recommendations for off-air speed training I would love to hear, especially from those of you who operate above 50 WPM.

I do remember when I was a teen and first learning the code that 18 words per minute from W1AW bulletins seemed like a machine gun!  Soon it was a slow and easy pace, very good for pencil copy.  It just goes to show how the human mind is so adaptable, able to learn and to change.

Thank you for your reply.  I was amazed to learn of the clubs formed to enjoy the very highest of speeds on the air. I will look into the C.F.O. (strange name?!)  also, since they are on this side of the Atlantic.  Fortunately, with my location on the eastern seaboard of the USA I can usually have strong QSO's with EU stations several times during the day/night under average conditions.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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K3STX
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Posts: 1079




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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 06:25:47 PM »

Ray,
What I used to do when I was QRQ (before switching to a bug, which limits me to 30 wpm or so) was to ignore answers to my 40wpm CQ that came back at 15 wpm. I don't think ignoring a response is any more rude than answering a 40+wpm CQ at 15 wpm.

But even with my bug, when I mention I can QRQ, the guy can blast away at 60 wpm while I am stuck sending at 30 wpm with my bug.

Paul
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AK7V
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Posts: 251




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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 08:39:32 AM »

I usually call CQ at around 30wpm and if someone answers slower, I assume they can copy me (they answered, afterall) but might not be able to send at my speed.  I don't slow down unless asked or it becomes obvious that they aren't copying me.

I've had some nice chats this way -- me sending at 30+ wpm, them understanding everything and responding at ~20 WPM.
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 268




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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 05:14:04 PM »

You know, that's a good point.  I've been on a straight key & in contact with someone using a keyer before and let them know that I was perfectly able to COPY them QRQ, so please maintain -or increase- their speed as they feel comfortable. However,  I would be responding as fast as I could on a straight key, though naturally that would not be as fast as their keying. You're right though,  it could be that on the oper end of the link, there are equipment limitations or some personal limitation with sending ONLY, while the Op's receive capability may by just fine. 

Food for thought - Thanks!

73 de Ray
W7ASA  ..._ ._
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4001




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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 09:01:11 AM »

Ray:  You make some very compelling points..... however, there is one exception that comes to mind. 

Occasionally some newbie simply wants a signal report or a brief contact with a new state or country.  I try to accommodate these but, like you, consider it bad practice if they try to continue with a long winded QSO at a very low speed.

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K4AHO
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 11:22:36 AM »

I been doing CW since 1954, not continuously but it was always my first love. I am a third generation ham and all before me were CW operators. I suspect better than I...   But I think Amateur Radio is not about technology but the Art and Skill of Communication.   As for CW I think it's not about speed or even accuracy but Fellowship, friendship between people with a shared passion...   I operate both Straight Key and Paddle/Keyer and I will gladly slow down to whatever speed the other operator is comfortable with.   I assume that's his sending speed but not always. If I know he can copy faster than he sends from experience I will keep a comfortable speed for me...  The important skill is the ability to sustain an interesting conversation not  to send or receive fast.   This is achieved by a willingness to accommodate the other operator. I know more conversation can occur in a given time with higher speeds but we should strive for quality not quantity...

Just my 2 cents worth...

Jim
K4AHO
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AK7V
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Posts: 251




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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 03:12:41 PM »

Yeah, my paddle work gets very sketchy at around 35 wpm, but I can copy code sent faster.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 268




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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2012, 12:25:04 PM »

Thanks Guys -

This has really been some good discussion.  I've enjoyed reading the returns and the differing viewpoints make it interesting and thought provoking. This is probably why I enjoy rag chewing.  It gives me an opportunity to meet other hams and to learn a bit about you fellows on the other end of the key.  Occasionally, we meet more than once on the air and that makes it even better.


73 to All -

Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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WA4FNG
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2012, 07:39:47 PM »

Not wanting to intrude, but this sure seemed like a good conversation to ask...

Now that I'm back after a long QRT, I'm finding that I can copy faster than I can accurately send. I'm not talking about super fast speeds here... I can head copy around 30wpm if the fist is good. However, I have trouble sending above 20wpm in a conversation manor. For contesting or DXing I can do 30-35wpm Call/RST no problem, but to actually have a conversation at that speed -- well sometimes my brain won't work that fast, and my fist gets sloppy above 25wpm. You know when people recommend not trying to visualize the code or letters in your mind while receiving? We know that just puts up a barrier. I have the opposite problem. When I'm sending, conversationally, I'm formatting complete thoughts and sentences in my head before I can send them. Not sure how to break this bad habit...

-Milt
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