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Author Topic: Speed or more characters  (Read 1173 times)
KC2MJT
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2009, 05:14:40 AM »

Yes, qth, wx and rig get a bit hum drum. Yet, when your starting out it is those little repetitive talking points that keep you in your comfort zone. Once your getting your cw groove on then you tire quickly of the rote qso and pray the other op tells you he was out managing his bee hives that day, sailing his boat, or just back from India.

I think hearing those repetive QTH,QSL,QRM,QRN ad nauseum helps many ops tune their ears to hearing words instead of characters. Then there is always the guy that lives in ZGIGPOVOV.  agn?

73 Nate
KC2MJT
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2009, 09:10:51 AM »

The "standard report format" for a CW QSO has a purpose, for me.  It starts what could be a good conversation going.

Name: Obviously I want to know the other guy's name, so I don't have to call him "hey you."

QTH: I want to know that, too.  Not only to judge propagation but also this can be the start of something to talk about.  "yep been to charleston few times loved a little restaurant serving hush puppies there think it was called charlies?"  Once you start a conversation, there's no telling where it will go.

WX: Can be interesting to discuss especially since it changes a lot with location and timing, and can be the basis for more interesting conversation.  For example, I'm in L.A., but in a particularly hot part that's only a few miles from the beach where it's usually much cooler.  Unless you're in CA, this phenomenon hardly occurs and people can barely believe it.  "its 104F hr today but beach is 70 degs, taking family thr in a couple hrs"  Can start interesting conversations!

AGE and years licensed: To me, this is always interesting data.  It's fun to find somebody "old" who is just newly licensed, or somebody quite young who's been licensed 15 years.  More to talk about!

Conversation between two strangers has to begin somewhere, and the "standard format" isn't a bad way to start.

To keep it brief, I always use this format:

tnx om ur rst 579 hr qth los angeles los angeles op steve steve hw?

Gives all the info in one shot without wasting characters.

WB2WIK/6
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2009, 11:36:59 AM »

Thanks, Steve

I like that format. Very succint.

BTW, is that Los Angeles, CA or Los Angeles, TX?


Just kidding, but we have a Las Vegas too, and only a 35 mile drive from Los Angeles!


(They are both ghost towns.)
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KC2MJT
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2009, 03:38:22 PM »

It's pretty obvious Name, QTH and the std. drill is important. Especially in the std format. Using the age old protocol sets you apart as an A1 op. The point is, it shouldn't be the entire QSO once an op has achieved a degree of comfort with that regimen. With that said, air time is the best time.

Nate
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2009, 04:44:07 PM »

It's better to start slow and work your speed up.

Starting too fast will give you bad copying habits.

Eventually you will end up learning the "sound" of entire words and not copy individual letters.
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WB5JEO
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Posts: 805




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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2009, 07:11:54 PM »

I'll just give you the benefit of some hindsight. My father was very fast. But what was striking was that he could keep track of a CW conversation on the radio while conducting an in-person oral conversation. I was too young to have enough sense to take his lesson that the way to become truly fluent was not to learn characters but to learn WORDS. CW to him was a "spoken" language. He heard CW words, just as you hear spoken words in speech and not letters. I suppose you could call it phonetic CW. I should have taken the lesson. I would be much faster today and would be able to hear whole words in CW and even take notes in shorthand. Now that I have the time and interest, I'm going to work up some practice material with at least common words and see if I can improve. I have a feeling that, just like spoken language, you even get the benefit of an unpracticed word that just sounds like a practiced word.
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WC1I
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2009, 05:12:01 AM »

Thank you all for your responses, and I appreciate the experience you bring to this.
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2009, 09:43:49 AM »

Your speed will automatically increase over time, as long as you make contacts every day.  Everybody was a beginner at one time, and most Hams understand that, and will give you all the room you need.  Ragchewing is just conversational CW.  When I first started doing CW, after I learned the characters, etc., I would write down some things ahead of time, so I wouldn't get lost in my head.  Things like name, QTH, age, rig and power and antenna, wx and I kept them on an index card.  This gave me a place to start and allowed me to get more organized in my head.  That's all some people need for a QSO, but I was interested in ragchew, so you just build from there as your skills improve.  You're looking at two things, sending and copying.  As everyone else has said, get on the air, but I would say practice sending off the air, because many just won't answer a crummy fist, or will cut it way short.  Listen to w1aw, so that you start much faster than you can copy, and then it slows down.  None of this can be acquired without great patience and persistance.  I'm dyslexic and have a bad high frequency loss in my left ear from playing loud rock and roll music, so I had to work extra hard.  With FD coming up this weekend, look on the contesting website and write down the exchange and spend a few hours listening to real contest contacts.  Even consider trying to make some contacts yourself.  Every time I do a CW contest, by the end of the contest I am copying better and sending better.  It just takes time, my friend, so relax and enjoy yourself and realize that you will get there eventually.  We all learn differently, so look for what works best for you.  I'd be happy to schedule some QSOs with you.  My number is 479-561-4797.  Rick, n5xm
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2009, 10:54:49 AM »

Sorry, I forgot something...trust your brains ability to decipher your native language.  As you learn to keep the thread, you will be able to know where the other Ham is heading and this helps a lot. You will get there.
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N6HPX
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Posts: 48


WWW

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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2009, 06:10:51 AM »

I had a sea going Ham Friend who spend most of his time on CW and one time heard a station sending CQ he replied to the person and after 10 minutes trying to read his code gave up and turned the dial to a different frequency. I been checking out programs like KOCH and Farnsworth and can't recall where I seen it but it mentioned somewhere that when learning it you start at a higher speed. Like in the days when we had to take the tests you were told to do it at (what I cnosidered the good old days)7wpm instead of 5wpm for the novies or technician.
   I use to listen to stations in India or Japan and some were at 12 wpm and after hearing them send it over and over I got use to the fast speed.
    Good luck and have fun at it.
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