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Author Topic: New Guy in The Ranks  (Read 736 times)
KD7SIX
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Posts: 24




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« on: January 05, 2003, 12:19:12 PM »

I upgraded to General yesterday, took the code and general exam and passed them both :-)
Now to work up the nerve to make my first cw contact, any one have some good advice, I dont want to make a fool of myself right out of the gate!
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K1ZC
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2003, 06:36:57 PM »

You might find this web page helpful:

http://www.extremezone.com/~nk7m/cwguide.htm

I wouldn't worry about making a fool out of yourself, there are plenty of folks trying to learn CW.  Just find the old novice sub-bands and join in.
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KD7SIX
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2003, 07:24:57 PM »

 That artical answers all my questions thanks K1ZC! After listing to 40 meters novice it seems I need to get my speed up closer to 10 wpm. I'll keep my ear open for a slow clear operator and send a few slow CQ's.
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WB5RAY
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2003, 11:04:14 PM »

Thanks for that very excellent link!!
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2003, 11:36:53 AM »

Don't worry about making a fool of yourself.  The worst mistake you can make is not using CW to make contacts...

...and you'll still find people like Bill, W6DDB, who spends a lot of his time in the Novice bands, and has since the early 1960's (maybe earlier), taking whatever time is required to complete contacts with new operators.

I mention Bill because I just worked him myself last weekend, and in the Novice subband on 40 (although once we realized who each other were, we ramped up to 35 wpm and kept going at that speed), and reminded him that he was one of my very first contacts, when I was a Novice, more than 37 years ago.  I have to believe he's the "first CW contact" for thousands of stations.  And there are many more like Bill.  I try to spend at least one hour per week working slow speed CW in the Novice bands, even if that one hour is only one contact with somebody who really cannot work even 5 wpm.  It's worth it.

WB2WIK/6
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KD5IVP
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2003, 10:47:18 PM »

I'm excited for and congratulate you!  First, get an idea of the syntax of a CW qso.   Write down in big letters your part of the exchange from start to finish and keep it in front of you. A 'script'.  Make sure you say this is your first cw contact.  Send only as fast as you wish to recieve.

Now for the contact.....don't worry about copying even 50%.  (more power to you if you can!)  Us CW types love first timers and will repeat as needed but don't worry if you copy nothing at all!  Just get on the air and jump in.  

Use the 'script' for no more than 15 qso's.  Then try it from memory.   After maybe 50 qso's, loose the pencil.  Jot down only log information.  Head copy will get your speed up faster than anything.  Listen to and work stations a little faster than you.
You're in for some huge fun!
Paul, KD5IVP
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KC0IOX
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2003, 01:06:06 AM »

Interesting that WB2WIK would mention Bill, W6DDB.  A couple of years ago, he was my 2nd ever CW contact, and lo and behold, it was in the 15 meter novice band, where he was calling CQ.  As a matter of fact, I worked him again last Friday night myself, on 40 meters.  He's a great op, and a friendly, inviting contact.  As a matter of fact, when he sent me his QSL card 2 years ago, he included lots of information on FISTS, which I have since joined.  FISTS is a great organization dedicated to the prevervation of the code, and they have a code buddy program you may want to check out, at www.fists.org  Welcome aboard, and I say get on the air, and make contacts.  vy 73
Eric
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AA5TB
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Posts: 81


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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2003, 01:31:23 PM »

Don't worry about making a fool of yourself.  We've all been there at one time or another.  Just get off the Internet and get on the air ;-) Nothing can substitute for on the air experience.

Steve - AA5TB
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KB1FLR
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2003, 09:53:01 AM »

Congratulations and welcome! You have gotten great advice from the previous posts. Fifteen meters is frequently open to 7 land from my QTH and I would be happy to try a sked, if you would like. You can get my e-mail address from qrz.com. I can often be found in the novice portion of 15 meters between 21.105 and 21.115.

73 de kb1flr, Rick
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KD5SCG
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2003, 07:42:24 PM »

If your worried that the speed will be too fast, don't. If it is too fast just send "plz QRS es rpt". I personally have never met anyone who will not slow down for a new op (or an old one for that matter)
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KD7SIX
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2003, 11:01:01 PM »

Thank you all for the kind words and help, I think I'm really going to enjoy CW.
I put up a home brew Windom "offset dipole" I can only get good SWR's on 40 & 80 meters, going to need to get a tuner. So keep an ear out for me on those Nov bands for now.
73 Scott
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KG0LH
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2003, 05:50:53 PM »

Congratulations on your upgrade.
CW is scary at first, but lots of fun once you get up your nerve and start sending.
Check out the QRS-CW  group at groups.yahoo.com
FISTS is also another good group, but you have to join it.   QRS-CW is free.

Hope to see you on the air.
73,   Bruce   KGØLH
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KF6IIU
Member

Posts: 293




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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2003, 11:49:05 AM »

Just do it - took me about a week of mental preparation but I'm back in the mode now too after a long absence. (More CW is a New Years resolution.) The worst that can happen is a "?? ??" in reply to your transmission.

Initially it is hard work (I flubbed my QTH a few times - LAFAYETTE is hard to send at 8 WPM!) I remember when I first got my pilots license - I would take a 1 hr lesson with the instructor, come home, and sleep for 12 hours. Flying got a lot easier very fast. Working CW is going to be like that.
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W9RAS
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Posts: 87




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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2003, 09:04:45 AM »

NEW GUY : I have been at it since 58 and I remember well my first time on CW on the air it was white knuckle time ! I was 16 then running a one tube transmitter called the Hart-25,  25 watts input 10 out if you were lucky and I had one crystal ! I used some heavy rubber telephone line as feedline that I had found to feed my 80 meter dipole. I could not afford coax. My CW old timer friend W9MCJ Art  told me "don't be afraid just get on the novice portion and have at it ! that is what the novice portion is FOR ANYONE novice,  General, Extra who is slow or needs to brush up on procedures or just practice can get on and  mistakes are common and expected." Also like Dr. Phil says " You imagine people are thinking about you this and that, Actually you would be surprised how seldom they think of you at all "  So get on there and HAVE AT IT !

73   Bob DE W8MDV  
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KC0KBC
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2008, 12:17:05 AM »

I got a big kick out the mentions of W6DDB on this thread.  He became my 2nd CW contact this morning as well.  He apparently was camped out in the slow portion of 40m at midnight his time, just waiting for some terrified newbie to call CQ, because I listened for quite awhile before calling and could hear no other activity anywhere near that frequency.

Now, I only wish I could find his email address so I could thank him in an intelligible manner!

Bill, if you should read this - thank you!!
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