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Author Topic: Are fewer people using CW than 20 years ago?  (Read 13585 times)
2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2012, 02:24:00 AM »

Or in my case the benefit of hardly any experience! I think it would have been good to be in my position as a novice CW operator in the days when the US had the novice ticket and they had to use that band, as there would have been so many more non-contest CW ops starting out to have a qso with.

In Europe, I think 40m and even 30m serve the part as the place where its best to start out on, particularly 30m with it's seemingly slower pace of life.  Grin
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2012, 04:33:10 PM »

Or in my case the benefit of hardly any experience! I think it would have been good to be in my position as a novice CW operator in the days when the US had the novice ticket and they had to use that band, as there would have been so many more non-contest CW ops starting out to have a qso with.

In Europe, I think 40m and even 30m serve the part as the place where its best to start out on, particularly 30m with it's seemingly slower pace of life.  Grin

Yes, and as others have said, the equipment options were more biased towards CW as well.
I taught myself CW as a teenager, and being in an isolated area with no elmers, my equipment was very simple and homebrew.
Like many others in my position, a CW transmitter was the easiest option (with some carbon microphone AM modulation tried later).
Forty meters was alive with similar equipment limited guys - and getting a ragchew was easy.

Today we are spoiled for choice both in equipment and modes - and this is great.
But if you only have so much butter, and you need to spread it wider, it goes on a bit thinner!

The WARC bands are also a favorite watering hole for me, especially when the contests are on.
Where I concentrate my efforts these days is in being frequency agile.
The equipment is no problem - it generally does it all - the antenna's are where the effort goes.

I think the spread of CW (and many other modes) is very much driven by the 20/15/10 yagi tribe.
Many people have the tri-band beam combo, but not nearly as many have beams for 30/17/12 meters.
So these guys (many of whom are contest types), tend to stick to the traditional CW bands.
Many have some WARC dipoles etc, but they would prefer to use their beams.
This tends to be a self fulfilling prophecy, where the more users there are, the more users there are - the PSK31 syndrome.

When a CW contest is on, I have found there is a noticeable drop in PSK31 activity.
So I guess CW ops are not exclusively doing CW, but indulge in a bit of PSK31 as well.
This may also account for some of the perceived drop in CW ragchewing activity - they may be doing it on PSK31.

73 - Rob
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K9AIM
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 09:53:06 AM »

I'm a casual operator who'd like to make some QSOs at 10 to 15 WPM, not to run with the big gun DXers going 25 WPM at the bottom of the band. I'd just like to chat with fellow hams and increase my speed. Any suggestions? And I'm curious: since we went no code, are there a lot less CW ops? Seems like it...  Sad

If you use a straight key, I would recommend joining the SKCC http://www.skccgroup.com/ as it is a great group of CW enthusiasts and most seem to QSO at 15wpm or below.  (20 to 25 wpm is definitely doable with a straight key, just not as prevalent.) 
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