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Author Topic: Are there any CW organizations that are free and not QRP or specific to one key?  (Read 9911 times)
KASSY
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Posts: 165




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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2011, 07:43:59 AM »

KASSY,

I'm not really sure why you are even searching for a CW Organization to join???

If you have a ham-licence with CW privileges (whatever your comfort-level) then you are automatically in the 'Prima-CW organization' - HAM RADIO! Grin

Just get on the radio and SEND code!

BTW,  am always surprised when I hear newcomers struggling with 'paddles' without first learning how to send using a 'straight key' and mastering the 'rhythm' of sending code with correct spacings - I  often shudder when hear poor code sent which blends characters and words together with no spaces.

Put the paddles aside, use a SK and then later a bug-key and then (if you must)
go electronic - remember this is about having fun - it's a hobby -

make mistakes, learn, get better and then teach others! Smiley

73

ve3ega

Well, what I really want is to be able to participate in some kind of monthly CW sprint type activity.  A two-hour contest format with lots of activity and decent speeds...I find that to be really good practice.

Several QRP groups have CW Sprints, but they're restricted to QRP and for that reason, not much participation occurs.  Hard to make a sprint work when people can't hear each other, hi.  FISTs has a sprint twice a year, not restricted to low power, but you gotta have a FISTS number.  SKCC has sprints, too, but I've never heard all that much activity.  Their restriction to keep it to straight keys and bugs keeps the speeds low, meaning it's not much practice, in reality.  Their members seem also to have a bent for QRP, so it's often hard to hear them.

I do have a straight key, but after five minutes, I get "glass arm".  That, of course, is the reason the bug was invented - no professional CW op would be caught dead using a straight key.  I do have a bug and can use it fairly well, but again, the repetitive motion of doing the "dahs" gets to my wrist and arm after a while.  I have an old condition that makes me susceptible to any kind of repetitive motion issues.  For CW QSOs, I use a keyer, for contests, I hand the higher speed tasks to the software, but always copy in my head.

Short of a FISTS-like organization, can you think of any monthly sprint activities that don't restrict the entrant to a key type or power level?

-k
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KR2D
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2011, 10:29:35 AM »

Well, what I really want is to be able to participate in some kind of monthly CW sprint type activity.  A two-hour contest format with lots of activity and decent speeds...I find that to be really good practice.


There's the NCCC Sprint.  Not exactly what you are looking for, but close.  It's 30 minutes every Friday 0230 - 0300 UTC (Thursday evening local time in NA).

Details at http://www.ncccsprint.com/index.html
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NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2011, 03:48:32 PM »

Kassy,

Check out CWOPS at: http://www.cwops.org/onair.html
You don't have to be a member to operate in our monthly CW Tests.  Membership in CWOPs isn't free (dues are $12.00) and it also a certain minimum level of code proficiency and sponsorship by other members as described on the web page.  However it costs nothing to participate in the on the air activities.

Cheers & 73,

Chuck  NI0C
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W4BQF
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Posts: 73


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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2011, 03:20:44 AM »

There is now a great and 'new' CW group that was just started in January 2010 and already has close to 900 members. It does have an annual membership fee of $12, but there is quite a bit of activity also. The CW Ops club has club competition for WAS and intra-club QSO contacts. In addition to that, every month there are three, one hour long, 'contest' which are set at times optomized for Europe, North America, and then Asia. It is well worth looking into.

Check here :     http://www.cwops.org/index.html  for their home web page.

The prime objective is helping folks with CW and being a very friendly organization.

73,
Tom - W4BQF - CWO #149   
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AB7KT
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Posts: 155




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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2011, 10:28:35 AM »

"SKCC has sprints, too, but I've never heard all that much activity.  Their restriction to keep it to straight keys and bugs keeps the speeds low, meaning it's not much practice, in reality.  Their members seem also to have a bent for QRP, so it's often hard to hear them."

 Roll Eyes

Really ?

 Roll Eyes

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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
N3PDT
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Posts: 75




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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2011, 11:29:32 AM »

The last SKCC WES had 218 partcipants and over 8000 QSOs ni a 24hr period. There were 20 DX stations, including Argentina, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Spain, USA. out of the 218, only 44 worked exclusively QRP. Speeds tend to be in the 10-15wpm range, but I hear everything from 20+ to 5wpm. It is a very inclusive group and I would highly recommend the OP to check them out.

Sure, SKCC sprints are not huge world wide events, but there IS plenty of actvity.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2011, 11:36:26 AM »

218 participants over 24 hours makes for a pretty thin spread. I wish SKCC would shorten the length of their sprints considerably. I am a fan and a member, I just think their weekend sprints are too long to be called sprints.

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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2011, 11:58:53 AM »

218 participants over 24 hours makes for a pretty thin spread. I wish SKCC would shorten the length of their sprints considerably. I am a fan and a member, I just think their weekend sprints are too long to be called sprints.

Hey Geoffrey,

I see that you are a member of SKCC, so you are aware that in addition to the weekend sprints they also have 2 hour sprints and surprise sprints.  Hopefully, you can find something that interests you.

Part of the issue is that in order to become a club or an organization or whatever, you have to define yourself.  And then the club has to appeal to a large enough group of individuals to be successful.  This is the same issue that the ARRL has, local clubs as well, and is the reason for a lot of discontent.  A new group of officers come in and they have their ideas and those to whom those ideas do not appeal get upset and leave or cause discourse.  It happens a great deal in any organization.  So the challenge becomes trying to keep everyone happy.  I suspect that if SKCC only did 2 hour sprints, there would be those who complain because it isn't enough time to fit into their schedules.  You can't keep everyone happy you know. Smiley  So the strategy typically includes trying to vary the offerings enough to at least appeal to a wide range of interests.

SKCC has defined themselves as a straight key club - so yes they are not going to bend to those who want to use keyers and PC generated code.  Yet they have stretched the definition to include bugs and any other mechanically generated dits and dahs you can produce.  Given the nature and mission of the club, I think they do a great job.  The proof is in the support and growth of the organization.  SKCC is growing pretty well, so I think their strategies are sound.

This is not a personal knock so please don't see it that way, but I often hear people saying things like, "I wish this group would just do this...", or "I wish our cub would add that...", or "I wish the government would just do ...."  My advice is always to either get involved and make changes, start a new organization, or live with the choices that those in control make.  As you know, it isn't easy to start anything and make it last.

In my personal opinion, I think SKCC is great!  They have a mission that involves preserving a historical (and somewhat romantic) era in our history, they appeal to newbies and accept them with patience and open arms, and they have made membership and participation about as easy as it gets.  I personally can't ask for more than that.  Now when I am a 40 WPM+ speed-freak (yeah like that is going to happen) maybe I'll feel differently.  But for now I think SKCC is serving a very necessary niche in ham radio and is doing a great service to code lovers and amateur radio as a whole.

Good luck to you! I hope you will continue to support SKCC and its ideals.

AE5QB
Tom
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AE4RV
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2011, 12:11:15 PM »

I don't disagree with any of that, Tom. And even though I think the weekend sprints are too long, 24 hours does ensure plenty of waking time to operate no matter what your timezone.

SKCC is a fine organization that has done a lot of good for CW and getting new CW ops to make contacts and enjoy the hobby.

73, Geoff

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AE4RV
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2011, 12:29:29 PM »

And tonight there is another good sprint for newcomers and old hands alike: http://naqcc.info/contests.html

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N3PDT
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2011, 07:34:00 AM »

218 participants over 24 hours makes for a pretty thin spread. I wish SKCC would shorten the length of their sprints considerably. I am a fan and a member, I just think their weekend sprints are too long to be called sprints.



8000 QSOs in a 24hr period is over 330 QSOs/hr. I like both the 24hr and 2hr formats. I miss the 2hr ones a lot due to work sked, so the flexibility of the 24hr event is really appreciated.
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N3PDT
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2011, 07:36:51 AM »

And tonight there is another good sprint for newcomers and old hands alike: http://naqcc.info/contests.html



I participated in the NAQCC sprint last night (a big four contacts!) and had a ball. Hope to do many more of these as well.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2011, 07:40:22 AM »

It was fun!
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W5ESE
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2011, 09:49:32 AM »

Short of a FISTS-like organization, can you think of any monthly sprint activities that don't restrict the entrant to a key type or power level?

They're longer than Sprints, but pick out a state QSO Party each month and dabble in it. No restriction on power level or type of key used. Each state QSO party has a flavor of it's own.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2011, 09:52:16 AM »

"They're longer than Sprints, but pick out a state QSO Party each month and dabble in it. No restriction on power level or type of key used. Each state QSO party has a flavor of it's own."

There's three of them this weekend!
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