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Author Topic: I'm new to CW, and need to know what device can send for me.  (Read 5371 times)
N4OI
Member

Posts: 351




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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2017, 08:07:31 PM »

Get a single lever paddle and while you sit on the internet just sit there sending random stuff from your screen  while you surfing. In no time you will be sending 40WPM. [...]

Great advice, but suggest you use an iambic paddle instead of the single lever.  "CQ" is the poster child for demonstrating the effortless efficiencies of iambic keying... 

73   Grin
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K1HMS
Member

Posts: 463




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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2017, 08:13:05 PM »

I've just finished the CW Ops class, which was great, but I'm getting tired of keying "CQ CQ CQ DE ..." 


One problem with a memory keyer for a new CW op is the receiving station will hear perfect code with close spacing  and no pauses or errors. Are you ready to copy code like this? That is what they will send back. Some will be ticked off when they discover what your hand sent code really sounds like unless it is nearly as good as the memory keyer.  Its a bait and switch.

If you send CQ de callsign by hand that you can copy which might include larger spaces and with a few pauses the answering station knows what they are getting into when they reply to your CQ. Typically they are willing to adjust their sending for you, after all they heard your code and still responded.  It might take longer before someone answers your CQ, but it is more likely they are willing to help work on your code.
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KE6EE
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Posts: 1848




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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2017, 08:17:57 PM »

Suggest you use an iambic paddle instead of the single lever.  "CQ" is the poster child for demonstrating the effortless efficiencies of iambic keying...  

Morse code is for human enjoyment, otherwise , why do it ?  

Most really high-speed ops use single levers. The theoretical "efficiency" of iambic keying amounts to very little. If you need to depend on the efficiency of iambic for calling CQ, a better alternative is another antenna.

Morse Code once was all about art and enjoyment. And hard work too. As in many other things, automation becomes an abomination.

When they talk about robotic cars I wonder what has become of the enjoyment of the open road and the small, lightweight roadster that handles beautifully. The answer, of course, is that the open road has been replaced by the gridlocked freeway soon to be populated by the robocar, not to be cheap, brought to you by the same Zombies that told you your phone is smarter than you are.

I wanted to say something clever about Zombie CW, but I had a beer instead.  Grin
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N4EF
Member

Posts: 56




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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2017, 06:43:44 AM »

Kris,

Congratulations on completing the CW class.  I hope you find CW as enjoyable as I do.

If I read your post correctly, you tire of calling CQ.  Do you literally tire? Your hand or wrist becomes fatigued? (a straight key fatigues me) -- or you're exasperated from repetitive CQing without replies? Which one?

If you want to be a CW operator, try using a keyer and paddle.

There are many keys, paddles,  and keyers available.  I will give you my preferences -- and you can count on others to give you theirs.


Reasons you tire, fatigue, or are exasperated:


Is it because you have a straight key?
For me, the easiest method to generate properly formed character and spacing is to use a keyer paddle and electronic keyer. The keyer may have an automatic spacing feature. Automatic spacing means the keyer inserts a space between characters, improving the likelihood your sending will be easy to copy and more attractive for a reply to a CQ.

I use a Bencher BY-1 but there a many others to select from.  (see http://www.vibroplex.com/contents/en-us/d67.html  )

Buy a keyer to use with your paddle. More about keyers below.



Could it be your CW sending style?
If you're not getting replies to your CQs, maybe your CW characters are a little sloppy and run together. It's a chore to decipher poorly formed Morse code characters. I'll answer a snappy CQ before a sloppy CQ.

Properly formed Morse code characters and character spacing make copying easy and invite others to reply to your call.

If you have a straight key, try emulating the slow speed W1AW bulletins so you're sending is much like W1AW.  Note that character formation and spacing are important. Send like W1AW sends.

You can send great CW with a straight key or an electronic keyer. A keyer will be less tiresome to the hand.

Many keyers have memories. You program it to send "CQ de yourcall". Push a button, and let it send. If you don't yet have a keyer, get one with a memory.




Could it be you're not calling CQ in the CW band sweet spots?
We are approaching the solar sunspot cycle low point. Often the only bands that are open are 80m and 40m, and mostly at night or before sunrise.  

Knowing where to look for QSOs is critical.

You may be spending lots of time looking for contacts on a dead band. Increase you chances of a QSO by looking at space weather propagation maps/reports --
I find this one helpful. https://soundbytes.asia/proppy/spaceweather  Be sure to experiment with all options within Proppy.


Listen. Listen. Listen.  Do much more listening so as to get a feel for band activity. If the band seems dead, move to another band, and listen some more.

If you're inclined to send/receive at about 5-10 wpm, try around 7050 KHz and around 7110 KHz.   When I listen, I hear CW ops with slower speeds near those frequencies.

Your probably going to find someone with a CW speed matching yours by listening around those areas on 40 meters. For faster CW, 7000 to 7030 KHz is the area to gravitate to.

Finally, you can send perfect CW if you're a good typist by using computer generated CW. However, I see importance in learning proper Morse code keying technique by hand (straight key or paddle) first, then using a computer as an occasional option. For CW (and other digital modes) software, FLDIGI may be of value:  http://www.w1hkj.com/

Perhaps the aforementioned points may help you discover the source of your frustration and address it directly so as to make CW fun.

I hope some of this has been helpful.  Good luck and keep practicing, Kris.


Dave
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 07:05:01 AM by N4EF » Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1362




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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2017, 08:28:13 AM »

Kris,

Congratulations on completing the CW class.  I hope you find CW as enjoyable as I do.

If I read your post correctly, you tire of calling CQ.  Do you literally tire? Your hand or wrist becomes fatigued? (a straight key fatigues me) -- or you're exasperated from repetitive CQing without replies? Which one?

If you want to be a CW operator, try using a keyer and paddle.

There are many keys, paddles,  and keyers available.  I will give you my preferences -- and you can count on others to give you theirs.


Reasons you tire, fatigue, or are exasperated:


Is it because you have a straight key?
For me, the easiest method to generate properly formed character and spacing is to use a keyer paddle and electronic keyer. The keyer may have an automatic spacing feature. Automatic spacing means the keyer inserts a space between characters, improving the likelihood your sending will be easy to copy and more attractive for a reply to a CQ.

I use a Bencher BY-1 but there a many others to select from.  (see http://www.vibroplex.com/contents/en-us/d67.html  )

Buy a keyer to use with your paddle. More about keyers below.



Could it be your CW sending style?
If you're not getting replies to your CQs, maybe your CW characters are a little sloppy and run together. It's a chore to decipher poorly formed Morse code characters. I'll answer a snappy CQ before a sloppy CQ.

Properly formed Morse code characters and character spacing make copying easy and invite others to reply to your call.

If you have a straight key, try emulating the slow speed W1AW bulletins so you're sending is much like W1AW.  Note that character formation and spacing are important. Send like W1AW sends.

You can send great CW with a straight key or an electronic keyer. A keyer will be less tiresome to the hand.

Many keyers have memories. You program it to send "CQ de yourcall". Push a button, and let it send. If you don't yet have a keyer, get one with a memory.




Could it be you're not calling CQ in the CW band sweet spots?
We are approaching the solar sunspot cycle low point. Often the only bands that are open are 80m and 40m, and mostly at night or before sunrise.  

Knowing where to look for QSOs is critical.

You may be spending lots of time looking for contacts on a dead band. Increase you chances of a QSO by looking at space weather propagation maps/reports --
I find this one helpful. https://soundbytes.asia/proppy/spaceweather  Be sure to experiment with all options within Proppy.


Listen. Listen. Listen.  Do much more listening so as to get a feel for band activity. If the band seems dead, move to another band, and listen some more.

If you're inclined to send/receive at about 5-10 wpm, try around 7050 KHz and around 7110 KHz.   When I listen, I hear CW ops with slower speeds near those frequencies.

Your probably going to find someone with a CW speed matching yours by listening around those areas on 40 meters. For faster CW, 7000 to 7030 KHz is the area to gravitate to.

Finally, you can send perfect CW if you're a good typist by using computer generated CW. However, I see importance in learning proper Morse code keying technique by hand (straight key or paddle) first, then using a computer as an occasional option. For CW (and other digital modes) software, FLDIGI may be of value:  http://www.w1hkj.com/

Perhaps the aforementioned points may help you discover the source of your frustration and address it directly so as to make CW fun.

I hope some of this has been helpful.  Good luck and keep practicing, Kris.


Dave


Dave, that was a very thoughtful and kind post.
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AA8TA
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2017, 02:16:51 PM »

AC0UD: if some of the responses haven't chased you away...

You indicated that you use a Mac.  I'm also Mac-based and use MacWinKeyer which works with K1EL's WinKeyers.  It has several macros that you can set up for CQs or other things.

After calling CQ 3 times, go to the Reverse Beacon Network and look up your call sign and see where you're getting picked up.  You should see at least half a dozen different monitors pick you up with S/N ratios in the high single digits or higher.  If the number of monitors is low then you're either on the wrong band or your antenna isn't getting out very well.

Weekdays are not as active as weekends.  Evenings are a little busier than during the day.  40 meters seems to be the busiest band.

Since you are a new CWOps graduate, hopefully, your advisor told you about the slow version of the CWT (CWOps mini contest) this Wednesday (06/14).  Three 1-hour sessions every Wednesday at 1300, 1900 and 0300 (Thursday) UTC.  This Wednesday people are supposed to slow down to 20 WPM to encourage recent graduates to join in.  40 and 20 meters will have a lot of action so I hope you will check it out.

Keep trying, things will pop up.  You have to think in the long term and not the hour- or day-long term.
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TU es 73 de Joe AA8TA
KC4ZGP
Member

Posts: 1637




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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2017, 07:08:09 AM »

I recommend sending CQ by hand; it's good practice.

So much for my PSK-31 manual phase shifter invention. I guess I'll have to keep using a computer
for PSK and Olivia darn it.

Yes, CW is from the hand, into the ear.

Remember in the 90's when they waived the Morse requirement for those with real hearing problems?
It just took a doctor to say, 'yup he can't hear a thing'.

This is 'radio'.

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus
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W7WQ
Member

Posts: 314




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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2017, 07:27:37 AM »

it's called a key.
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VK5EEE
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2017, 06:37:56 AM »

You're an Amateur Extra class license holder.  How can you NOT know what frequencies are generally used for CW?  The internet is stuffed with information.  Just look at the band plans on the ARRL website, or go to SKCC....or just type into your browser "slow Morse Code" .  Good grief. 
Last time I looked, ARRL band plans did not even mention CW, only RTTY/DATA.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
VK5EEE
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2017, 06:41:00 AM »

I definately don't know what frequencies to use.
ANY frequency. CW is the ONLY mode that can use ANY frequency allowed by your license. Don't let anyone tell you there is an SSB band. There is no such thing. There is a SHARED SSB-CW band. Don't let anyone tell you there is a digital or data band. There is no such thing. There is a SHARED CW-DIGITAL band. The only place you perhaps should not use CW though it's still legal, would be 29500-29700 as that's FM, and 1) no one would hear you well in FM mode, and 2) you may be unpopular. Then again, whenever I listen up there, it's empty. But calling CQ up there is not likely to get any results :-)
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
VK5EEE
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2017, 06:45:35 AM »

Many keyers have memory functions.

That said, if sending CQ is repetitious one wonders why. It might have to do with your rig and antenna, propagation, judgement about band conditions and a lot of other considerations.

Some of us who think of CW as an art don't bother to answer CQs sent automatically.

Yes, it is that very attitude from some of you "art" fellows that some of us find distasteful, snobbish, and not adherent to the amateurs creed.  Please never answer any of my memory keyed CW. Thank You
Well, not sure if KE6EE is more extreme than I am or not :-) but I answer memory keyer CQ's... but I wouldn't if I felt the operator doesn't know 1) CW abbreviations and 2) is using a computer WITH decoder. Those two in combination result in torture that I can do without. My own CQ's tend to alternate between: QRQ, QRS, Bug, Keyer, Key, Cootie, and QSD. So I don't get bored. Here in VK one can tune all the bands and hear no CW at times, and call CQ for hours without results. So varying it between 4 different keys, various speeds, and QSD NNGT NNGT NNGT DE STNT5EEE STNT5EEE STNT5EEE ENN NT etc helps to achieve a higher number of CQ before giving up :-)

YES, I know, I know, many of you will not answer such a CQ :-) that's why I alternate speeds and 100% accurate CW and 30% "QSD" which to a trained ear is 100% copy.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
VK5EEE
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2017, 06:47:30 AM »

Why not simply call another station instead of CQing?  Find a QSO or a CQ at a speed you're comfortable with and call the station.  Just make sure the station that you are calling has finished before inadvertently QRMing an ongoing contact.  I can't remember the last time I called CQ outside of a contest.  Many hams find CQs unnecessary. 
Often one can tune the bands (at least in VK where I'd say MOST of the time) without hearing any CQ. I'm starting a new thread on the subject - "Are you a Listener or Caller?" :-)
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
VK5EEE
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2017, 06:53:04 AM »

Get a single lever paddle and while you sit on the internet just sit there sending random stuff from your screen  while you surfing. In no time you will be sending 40WPM. [...]

Great advice, but suggest you use an iambic paddle instead of the single lever.  "CQ" is the poster child for demonstrating the effortless efficiencies of iambic keying...  

73   Grin
Disagree. CQ is about the ONLY advantage of an iambic keyer, and let's face it the movements sending all day non stop on a single or dual paddle is not hard at all, the effort involved whether you make 100,000 movements the day, or 120,000 makes no difference. Those numbers are real by the way for an 8 hour shift. The downside of iambic is it limits your potential. You will NEVER be able to send faster than 45 or if you're absolutely amazing 50WPM. A single lever if you are amazing you can send 70WPM or more.

EDIT: sorry, did not see that KE6EE had answered this point very well above.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 06:56:11 AM by VK5EEE » Logged

Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2805




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« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2017, 03:48:24 PM »

If you want to send some repetitive thing like CQ ... " automatically , your 7200 has a built-in memory keyer. You use your paddles to program it once by sending your text when prompted, and whatever you programmed will be sent with the push of this memory button. I think there are four of these: no computer necessary. Details in your manual. (PS-'the 7200 is one of my favorite radios and quite good for CW. )

73 de Ray. ...- .-


I thought this message would end the thread.  The OP has a memory keyer built into his rig!   

Unless he's contesting, that should be enough.  And if he _is_ contesting, a K1EL Winkeyer makes a nice evening project.

.      Charles
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AC2EU
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Posts: 1205


WWW

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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2017, 09:38:58 AM »

Many keyers have memory functions.

That said, if sending CQ is repetitious one wonders why. It might have to do with your rig and antenna, propagation, judgement about band conditions and a lot of other considerations.

Some of us who think of CW as an art don't bother to answer CQs sent automatically.

Yes, it is that very attitude from some of you "art" fellows that some of us find distasteful, snobbish, and not adherent to the amateurs creed.  Please never answer any of my memory keyed CW. Thank You

There are all kind of Ops out there. There are the "bait and switch" guys too, who send CQ by hand then switch to a keyboard during the QSO!

The only OP that I don't answer is the Obvious bug users ( who actually don't know how to use one) with the dits at 30 wpm, dahs at 20 wpm and sending rate some where between 15 and 18 wpm. IT MAKES ME CRAZY to listen to  it!
Some call it "style", but it's just bad CW which is very hard to copy.
The international standard is 3:1, so IMO, everone should do their best to send it that way.
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