eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: AE6RF on June 13, 2007, 10:29:50 AM

Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: AE6RF on June 13, 2007, 10:29:50 AM
Hello all,

This will be my first Field Day operating CW.

What is the typical Field Day CW speed?

Most contests seem to hover in the low 30's but I noticed that the WPX CW was closer to the low 20's.

Thanks in advance,


Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: KE3WD on June 13, 2007, 10:42:12 AM
Try Hunt and Pounce first, answer calls at the speed the other Op is sending, or you could even send your reply a bit slower if you have to.  

For sitting and calling CQ, pick a speed that is good for you.  

Field Day, you will likely hear speeds anywhere from fullout Contest keyers to the occasional 13WPM'r with straight key trying to get in on the fun.  

Have fun with it.


Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: N3OX on June 13, 2007, 05:39:53 PM
I'll be running 23WPM

Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: KQ6UP on June 13, 2007, 08:50:48 PM
Me too.  I plan on running CW for the first time this year.  I am looking forward to it.  Most people give the advice to hunt and pounce, but I might also try CQ.  At least if they come back too fast, I can keep giving them the "?" until they get the hint that I am sending 20wpm for a reason not 200000 wpm. HiHi

Chris KQ6UP

Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: N4KZ on June 14, 2007, 06:11:34 AM
There really is no typical FD CW speed. It'll run from 10 wpm to more than 30 wpm -- depending on the operators' abilities. Some are faster than others -- some have been at it longer than others.

While many contests seem to attract the same operators year after year, there seems to be a bigger variety of CW ops in FD.


Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: N3OX on June 14, 2007, 06:41:28 AM
Yeah, and it's probably better to stay to the lower-middle of the speed range if you want to pick up the most CW contacts.

32WPM + marginal antenna systems + thunderstorm QRN + casual CW ops = low QSO rate, I would imagine.


Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: K8GU on June 14, 2007, 07:09:30 AM
You'll hear everything from painfully slow to blazing fast during Field Day.

I was running people just as fast as I could on 40 CW on Saturday evening last year.  My philosophy (right or wrong) is to go at a "contest" clip (32-35 wpm) as long as the rate supports it and slow down when it doesn't.

Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: N0UY on June 14, 2007, 10:25:32 AM
I'll being operating 20 plus as necessary to keep up with the croud as I always S&P.  I don't have the nads to try run a frequency.  I refuse to use the computer to send the exchange so as I get tired you'll hear me sending a few repeats I'm sure.  Have a great time.


Title: Typical speed at field day
Post by: KT8K on June 25, 2007, 05:39:13 AM
For over 20 years Field Day was practically the only contest I ever participated in.  After I had been in a few of the other contests I realized that there was a very noticeable difference in CW speeds between FD and other contests.  This year I noticed the greatest range I have ever seen, from a few as slow as 5-8 wpm to a few speed demons running around 30-35 wpm.  The average rate seemed slower, though, perhaps averaging around 20-23 wpm, and I was very aware of many inexperienced CW contesters.  

I definitely heard more straight keys than ever before, but figured perhaps more people were operating QRP, perhaps camping, and decided not to "haul" an electronic keyer with them.  I only heard a few "bugs", and, as usual, most were very poorly adjusted/operated, making their sending extremely difficult to read.  By Sunday AM there seemed to be a lot of ops too tired to send even a single transmission without bad errors.  But .. we all made it through and had a great time.  QSO rates weren't like the other contests, but I think they never are.

In any case, I made over 300 CW contacts for my club and had a great time.  I "ran" almost exclusively, and only spent a half hour at most using "S&P" (search and pounce) tactics right at the end of the contest to pick up a few others who had also been running for most of the event.
Hope I worked you from W8UM's 40 CW station.  If not, next year for sure!  73 de kt8k - Tim