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Author Topic: Why dont you faster CW operators slow down  (Read 3717 times)

Posts: 53

« on: January 09, 2009, 11:52:22 PM »

I think CW is a great part of amateur radio.  Ive been trying to increase my speed as to make more contacts.  One thing Ive noticed is that the faster CW operators dont like to slow down and have a QSO with the slower operators.  I admit I get discouraged not finding slower operators on the air.  I hear faster operators all the time and I feel they dont want to slow down and encourage the slower operators.  So why dont most of you speed demons like to QSO with us slow pokes?



Posts: 1

« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 01:30:25 AM »

many fast ops will not slow down because they are lazy

thats right  
for some ops its work to slow down

if i only work ops that are slower than me
my code speed drops

am down from my 30+ wpm peak of a few years ago

also working a slow op can be boring
you can not realy  have a conversation
with a new slow op
that goes much past RST, name, QTH, rig, antenna, wx, age

im willing to work one or two slow slow ops a week
that's it
i want to have a conversation that goes past
rst name rig age

use to be that most slow speed ops
were in the Novice bands
all these ops were learning how
by working each other
a few general class or higher ops
would come in to the Novice band
and make contacts

but when they wanted to get away from
slow ops they could

it worked well

now new ops that are learning
are thrown in with the fast ops
to sink or swim

keep after it
you will get faster
start hanging out up band a bit

on a good day i plug along at 25 wpm
do not expect high speed 45 / 50 wpm ops
to slow down for me
unless they want to

get on call other slow ops
call CQ

its simply a matter of putting in the time

there will come a time
when you will find 10 wpm to be boring

yours truly

Posts: 4283


« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 04:52:20 AM »

B    e     c     a    u     s   e      i   t     c   a   n     b   e    h    a     r    d    t   o    c    o   p    y    s  o    s  l  o   w  

Many of these folks copy in their head and going so slow is very hard for that to happen.  Eventually you will not be copying the sound of the letters but the sound the entire word makes.  Understand?

Posts: 4710

« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 06:22:20 AM »

Do you ask them to slow down? If so, how?

It's always been my policy to slow down to the speed of the station that I'm working unless the op tells me to speed up. However, if an op is sending 15 wpm and can only receive 8 wpm, how will I know?

73 de Jim, N2EY


Posts: 12

« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 07:51:08 AM »

Well, Richard, let's take this apart and kick it around.
>I think CW is a great part of amateur radio. Ive been trying to increase my speed as to make more contacts.

Good points, both.  CW is a great mode and making contacts will build your speed.

>One thing Ive noticed is that the faster CW operators dont like to slow down and have a QSO with the slower operators.

Okay, consider this, even though I can't speak for others.  If I make a CQ, it's at a speed I'm comfortable with.  On the flip side, I often answer a CQ at a speed a bit higher than I'm comfortable with.

>I admit I get discouraged not finding slower operators on the air.

Easy fix.  Quit spinning the dial in search for the perfect match and start calling at your comfort level.  You'll notch more contacts and in the process build expertise.  Honest.  

>I hear faster operators all the time and I feel they dont want to slow down and encourage the slower operators. So why dont most of you speed demons like to QSO with us slow pokes?

You have this "Bass Ackwards."  Example:  Sports pros practice with peers or better, not school kids.  To get better at anything you must strive to reach the next notch of expertise, and this can only be done by reaching, not stooping.

So, don't create a rut you'll never climb out of.  Practice and QSO at a speed just above your comfort level.  Keep it up and continue to raise the bar.  Before long you won't hear speed demons, only peers.  

Bob - NB8N
Harassing electrons since '78


Posts: 2527

« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 08:27:45 AM »

I've found the best way to increase my copy ability was to copy random characters.  Getting on the air is just FUN time.


Posts: 1146

« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 11:25:40 AM »


Even though all these responses are likely to be right on the spot with why operators choose not to slow down, it is a depressing thought when you are in the slower part of the group.

But, I am very willing to slow down.

My straight key is right in front of me and I will quickly switch from my paddle and keyer to the straight key if the speed drops below 10 to 13 wpm or so.  I am no speed demon though.  My comfort speed is 18 wpm or in that neighborhood.  And, like others have said, you need a certain minimum speed for good head copy otherwise you need to revert to paper and pencil -- at least I have to do that.

So, just let me know where you hang out on the CW bands and I will do a QSO with you.  But, as the others have said, you will only speed up by pushing yourself.  There is a hump to get over though and this hump bothered me until I took some advice (written by Steve, WB2WIK, somewhere on this forum).  That advice is -- it is OK to miss stuff.  Important stuff calls for a repeat, such as "RIG? BK".  Other stuff just goes into the big bit bucket of the sky.

Posts: 0

« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 02:49:33 PM »

Fast Cw operators do not like to slow down because their code reader software does not copy at slow speeds!

This is a joke, but I know of a guy that sends code at 30wpm and needs a code reader to copy, If you don't call him on the right freq. using perfect machine code, he will not answer you.

Happy New Year to all!

de KN1W

Posts: 59

« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 08:56:20 PM »

Well I have been on both sides of this event and think there are some good points already here.

I would like to add though that sometimes if another Op is classy enough to QRS when asked (And most do QRS I think) somtimes their speed creeps right back up in the next exchanges.

Although I think its just a matter of operating habit for these Op's or forgetting the earlier QRS request during the QSO, the result can be the same.

The trick it would seem is to MAINTAIN the QRS through the remainder of the exchanges for a enjoyable and FB QSO.


Posts: 72

« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 08:44:31 AM »

KE6AEE,I am one of the slowpokes. Where do you usually hang out on HF. I usually listen up and down from around 7.050,sometimes up around 7.100 to 7.116. Maybe we can work some slowpoke ragchew some day,,:) 73 es GL-KG4TKC

Posts: 550


« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 02:11:57 PM »

You may be listening in the wrong portions of the
Cw segments of the bands.

At 25 KHz above the band edge and below (say,
7000-7025 on 40m, 14000-14025 on 20m, etc..),
you can expect almost all the activity that
you hear to be pretty fast. This is for
historical reasons, because these segments are
reserved for Extra Class licensees, and at one
time, that license required a 20 wpm exam. These
portions of the bands, you will do well to avoid
until you increase your proficiency.

As a general rule, you can expect to find the
slower activity higher in each band; just below
where the digital mode segments began. On 40
meters, the segment from 7050-7070 KHz often has
some slower activity, and you can also find some
in the old Novice segment between 7100-7125 KHz.
On 80 meters, look between perhaps 3550-3570 KHz.
On 20, similarly, look between 14050-14070 KHz,
although my impression is that activity on 20m,
by and large, tends to be faster than on some of
the other bands. On 30m, check above 10120 KHz.

Also, look around the calling frequencies of the
Straight Key Century Club:

Hope this helps!

Posts: 62

« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2009, 08:16:49 AM »

Richard, I usually work at 30WPM and I copy in my head so I find it hard to copy at very slow speeds. At home I can slow down since all I need to do is to turn the knob on my keyer but I work a lot of mobile and when you are driving it is hard and distracting to go into the Menu of my 857D and change the speed. I have done it but don't like it so I usually just space out my characters.

Reason 2: At home, I have very little time for my radio so a QSO at 30WPM takes only a few minutes where at 5WPM
takes too long for me but I usually slow down to a reasonable speed that fit's into my time frame.
            73, Jurgen N9RD

Posts: 77

« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 01:01:35 PM »

seems to be more than one reason... there always is...

Don't worry over it though. Those who enjoy operating for its own sake, remember what it was like when they were in your spot, and generally enjoy being helpful to other people... those guys and gals will qso at your speed. Ignore anyone who doesn't.

IF you are interested in gaining speed, and there is nothing wrong with NOT wanting to, just as there is nothing wrong with wanting to, get just outside your comfort level.

IF you increase your speed AND you are so inclined, go back and work the slower cw folks yourself AND come back here and tell folks about that experience.

Thanks for working CW. Some of us really like to hear it.


Posts: 193


« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2009, 03:55:32 PM »

I always try to match the speed of the station I work. I've also had most stations I've ever worked do the same for me. Don't be shy, and send "QRS" for the op to slow down a bit...there's no fun in it, if you've got to crack your skull to copy someone. If they don't slow down, dump them and move on to someone who behaves. ----'em if they can't take a joke :-)




Posts: 25

« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2009, 12:22:46 PM »

As Scott, W5ESE, already said, look into the SKCC.

They have designated 7.114 MHz as a "newbie" calling frequency and many Elmers hang out there.

They also have a "Sked Page" wehre members can meet, arrange a frequency, and have a QSO.

SKCC is a club of over 5,000 members dedicated to the use of hand keys for manual generation - that automatically limits speeds in some ways.

Ron, AC2C
SKCC #2748T
FISTS #12639
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