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Author Topic: The average speed for CWing  (Read 41020 times)
F5FRM
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« on: April 15, 2013, 09:53:40 AM »

Hi,

I have a simple question : what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ? ("RST, OP es QTH" QSOs, and DX pileups)

For DX pileups, I suppose the best is to read at 35-40wpm to get callsigns properly. But for an ordinary use, what speed is the mostly used ? I need to train as I do not practise for a while and, instead of using morserunner (fantastic software, btw), I prefer to improve my reading the right way to follow most of the common CW QSOs (i.e. learning most common CW words at the right speed without writing anything but the important info, such as name, QTH, rig and... callsign !).

Thanks in advance. 73. Nick
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 09:57:18 AM by F5FRM » Logged
K3STX
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 10:39:28 AM »

i think most QSOs are in the 20-30 wpm range. The faster is more like a "conversation", but if somebody can not send or receive at a fast speed there is NO conversation.

I do not think most contest QSOs are 40 wpm, that is too fast for most people.

paul
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 10:47:52 AM »

For contesting I use computer logging/duping so of course the computer also sends the code (although it can't copy any).  I set it for 40-45 wpm almost always for this purpose, and rely on "wet matter" for decoding.

But for casual QSOs, which I make almost every day, the "norm" seems to be 22-25 wpm.  If someone's going slower than this, what I usually do is keep my dit/dah speed at 22-25 wpm but just increase spacing between characters and words, doing that manually with the paddles.  So each character might be 22 wpm, but the actual "code speed" might be 10 or 13 or whatever the other guy's doing.  This doesn't seem to "lose" anybody, and it's easier for me.

If the other guy is obviously getting "solid copy" at my adjusted 13 wpm, I'll space the characters and words closer together to ramp it up to 16 or 18 and see what happens.  It's obvious is somebody's really copying well or not.

I notice that most who start each transmission with "R R R SOLID COPY" probably aren't really. Wink  I never send anything like that, and copy everyone 100% unless they take a big fade or QRM/noise burst takes them out.  I think it should be understood that we copy everything unless we ask for a repeat.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 11:03:36 AM »

I think the "average" speed for domestic QSOs is closer to 17 WPM (here in the USA, anyway). You'll hear some in the 20s and beyond, you'll occasionally hear some at 5 WPM, but the majority are between 14 and 20.

Most tests and DX are 30+ WPM but that doesn't mean you need to be proficient at prolonged copy at those speeds to work it. You just need to be able to copy callsigns at that speed, even if you have to listen a few times.

My comfort zone for QSO is maybe 18 or 20 WPM, maybe even slower if it is a long QSO, but thanks to RuffzXP I can copy call signs at 40 WPM. But, I get in to trouble fast if they want to chat that fast, which wasn't very often when I was active at it   Smiley

73, Geoff
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 12:05:37 PM »

Dxing / Contesting I'm good for 30-35wpm. A casual QSO I'm at around 20.
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F5FRM
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 12:07:38 PM »

Thank you all for the info.

I just checked my level on LCWO. It seems that my reading speed is still approximatively the same but I lost a lot in endurance. I suppose that after listening and listening again QSOs on the air (or on youtube Cheesy) I should be OK to restart working in CW.

73. Nick
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 12:14:34 PM by F5FRM » Logged
N0IU
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 04:00:10 AM »

The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.
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W9KDX
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 09:37:26 AM »

... If someone's going slower than this, what I usually do is keep my dit/dah speed at 22-25 wpm but just increase spacing between characters and words, doing that manually with the paddles.  So each character might be 22 wpm, but the actual "code speed" might be 10 or 13 or whatever the other guy's doing.  This doesn't seem to "lose" anybody, and it's easier for me....

I am so grateful for people like you.  I am learning and I can hear the letters but I still need a bit of time to process before I am ready for the next one.
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Sam
W9KDX
W8GP
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 09:52:46 AM »

For casual contacts I'm usually at 18 or so and for contesting and DXing about 25.
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F5FRM
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 10:53:25 AM »

The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.

So, it should be around 15wpm for "clear" QSO (with full words / sentences, no abbreviation and French caracters such as é, à, etc.), around 18-20wpm for international QSO (with most common abbreviations) when there are not too much fading / QRM, and also something around 25wpm for contesting / DXing. A DX CQing at 35wpm is OK, above, it becomes difficult !

But I need some weeks training, 3 years without practising, I lost not that much in speed copy, but a lot of my endurance. After a few minutes, my brain turns off...

Thank you all for reply !

73. Nick
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W1JKA
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 12:41:05 PM »

  As of today there are no rules or regulations as to copy/sending speeds, average or otherwise only personal opinions as posted above,the best of which is N0IU's.Start from where you are now then naturally progress,eventually you will top out at your speed at which time you can advise others in forums like this as to what you think is best.
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N0IU
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 12:42:16 PM »

With all due respect, you are worrying too much about the speed. The only thing that is important is that you are sending and receiving at speeds that are comfortable for you. It does not matter what the "average" speed is.

When you call CQ, send only at the speed you can easily copy. A considerate operator will come back to you at the speed you were calling (or somewhere close to it) If someone comes back to you at a much faster speed, you can simply send QRS PSE which is telling the other station to please send more slowly. If they do not slow down, that is his problem, not yours. You called CQ at a specific speed and you should expect any station that responds to respect your wishes. If they do not respect your wishes, you are not obligated to talk to them. Simply call CQ again at YOUR speed and wait for someone to answer your CQ at YOUR speed.

Please do not spend a lot of time worrying about your speed. Your speed will increase over time as you add more CW QSO's to your log, I promise!
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F5FRM
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 02:06:14 PM »

Thank you. Yes, I will try to stop worrying Smiley Always afraid to begin a QSO and then... the black out !

73 ! Nick

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AC2EU
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 03:10:57 PM »

I send at 12 wpm. What you hear is what you get. Don't send faster than you can copy otherwise you will find yourself lost when they come back to you at "full speed". Most CW ops will slow down to accommodate my skill level. Only two have "pulled the plug" on me so far. It's all part of the learning experience. "You have nothing to fear but fear itself". (Hmmm, that's a catchy phrase...thought I could recycle it here).
CW , like mathematics is not a spectator sport. You have to "do it" to get good at it . Doing QSOs will keep your attention for sure...maybe even cause you to break out in a sweat?  Grin
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AC4BB
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 03:17:19 PM »

 Your speed determines my speed. As fast or SLOOOOW as you wish.
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