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Author Topic: CW Etiquitte Question  (Read 1208 times)
KB1FLR
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Posts: 20




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« on: August 20, 2002, 09:42:10 AM »

Some resources indicate that it is good practice on CW to "bookend" each over with the called and calling station's callsigns. For example: station1 de station2 interesting stuff station1 de station2 k. Other resources say that once the calls have been successfully exchanged, then id'ing need only be done at least once every 10 minutes, thereby saving a bit of time during each over.

Both are legal, but which is preferred among veteran CW ops?

Thanks,
KB1FLR, Rick
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2002, 02:27:31 PM »

I'm not sure it matters as long as both ops really have each others call down correctly. It is easy to lose track of the time during a long exchange, so I catch myself just giving both calls as a matter or habit before I turn it over to the other guy. Lots of time, I will use whatever convention the other fellow uses, just to make him feel comfortable. Sometimes it is a her, so you want to make the YL's and XYL's feel comfortable too, hi. I just don't think it matters...at least it doesn't to me.
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K0RS
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2002, 08:19:03 PM »

N5XM's assessment is on the money.  Let the context of the QSO determine how you choose to identify.  There was a time when the FCC required complete ID on each transmission, but since those rules have been relaxed, most hams have relaxed their conventions too.  If I'm working my buddy George, the content of our QSO will be much different, less formal and more conversational than someone I've just met on the air for the first time.  He may comment something to the effect, "OH BTW SAW CHUCK YSTRDA."  By me dropping a single dit between his words he will pause so I can comment, "YUP, HRD HIM ON 80M."  The beauty of newer rigs are most will operate QSK (full break in) so the conversation is more flowing and natural, like VOX on SSB.  I know I can get away with this with George, cuz he's a sharp operater and we know each other's habits.  I wouldn't expect someone I just met to pick up on a technique like that immediately until I've been able to listen to his sending habits for a while.  If you hook up with a droner who likes longwinded transmissions, better to be safe and completly ID.  Time isn't usually of the essence with guys like that anyway.  I always use a complete ID on the final in case someone is standing by who would like to call.  It helps them sort out "who is who" so they can actually call the station the believe they are calling.
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KB1FLR
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2002, 05:47:26 AM »

Thanks for the replies. It took me 14 months since passing my General exam to actually use code on the air. My speed and sending are abysmal, but improving.

73 de KB1FLR, Rick
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2002, 10:04:28 AM »

Rick, you keep after it, and remember that the most valuable thing you can have in CW is patience. If you take the long term veiwpoint that the key is getting on the air every day and making contacts and letting nature take care of Herself, you will eventually become a fine CW op...how good depends upon how much you love what you are doing, and how dedicated you are. I run into a lot of new CW ops who don't seem to have a clue what they are doing. They seem to know the characters, but they have no idea about the elements of a basic CW QSO...calls, names, RST's, QTH's, wx, age, kind of rig, power, antenna, antenna height, etc, etc.  They just seem to think they can start ragchewing without giving the basic info. Nope, it doesn't work that way, not really. Lot's of people seem to worry too much about speed, when they should be letting speed build naturally on its own. You cannot cut corners learning to be a decent CW op. You just cannot do it. Anything worth having, anything worth doing, takes time. TIME...today's lousy fist can become tomorrow's fb CW op, but it ain't gonna happen overnight. Let's give these folks time to get there, but I think it would also be cool to help them a bit too...that's why I love these forums. I hope I don't make myself look too silly...73, Richard, n5xm
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KB1FLR
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2002, 05:50:07 AM »

Hi Richard,

You are correct, patience and practice are the keys. I am not naturally good at CW, but I enjoy it so much that I am really trying to improve. My goal is to get to the point where it is also ejoyable for the other op! Presently, I think it must be excruciating for someone to slow down below 20 wpm.

73 de KB1FLR, Rick
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WU3U
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2002, 09:05:16 AM »

I have been primarily a CW operator since first licensed in 1983.

There is no need to ID over and over again, as long as your do so every ten minutes.  There is even less need
to send the other station's callsign over and over again...he knows his call, you don't have to review it for him on every over!

Also, get out of the habit of sending blocks of text....just talk!  After the QSO is established (you have told him your name, QTH, RST) start sending one line transmissions and letting the other guy answer....hopefully, both of you will do that...its a conversation, only in CW.  QSK or fast VOX lends itself to this kind of operation.

Years ago, I began wondering if the guy was really listening to what I was saying beyond RIG, RST, QTH, etc, and just for fun, I would send him a one line
transmission saying something outrageous like this:

HIM:  blah blah blah  N8LXR DE W2*** KN
ME:   FB BILL BK SAY, THERE IS A PINK ELEPHANT IN MY
      SHACK,,WAT AM I GONNA DO WID HIM? KN

Sometimes the guy would go right on sending...by saying something like:

FB TIM BK WX HR IS SUNNY ES WARM........(LOL)

Unless he just thought I was nuts (possible!) I knew that since he did not query me or laugh (HI HI), he was just sending out blocks of canned text....deadly boring!  

NO!  Just talk,,,naturally....the art of conversation, only in CW.  Resist the urge to make it mechanical...I am so tired of RIG, RST, WX, CUL 73!

One way to really get a conversation going is to ask questions (..--..)  Of course, never ask personal things, I always steer clear of that on the air.  But try some of these if they are appropriate to you:

U DO ANI FISHING?
U HVE ANI GRANDKIDS (KIDS)?
U MARRIED?
U DO ANI TRAVELING?
U DO QRP?   BUILD ANTENNAS?    KITS?
U FOLLOW PRO BASEBALL?

and so on.  Just try to find something that may be of interest to the both of you.....and when you ask one of these questions,(unless its time to ID) just send the question and BK (back to you).  Hopefully, he will answer without IDing (unless time for HIM to ID or another ID NUT!  LOL) and will answer and maybe come up with a question to ask you.  Questions form the basis of a conversation, as they introduce topics which can be built upon.

Just use CW as thoough you were talking and not sending meainingless, over and over again blocks of text that anyone could copy on a code practice computer program!

Have fun!

Tim
N8LXR


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WU3U
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2002, 09:09:45 AM »

OOPS!  I should have written   "BT" in between the thoughts of a transmission....not "BK" which is normally taken as "back to you."  It actually means
BREAK...which is kind of the same thing...

73
Tim
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W5HTW
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2002, 04:50:57 PM »

I agree with N8LXR.  Conversation on CW is fun.  I've discussed the same things on CW I've discussed on sideband, such as flying, aircraft, boats, photography, etc.  A lot of times the other guy will not know you are open to just chatting unless you start it.  If you don't, you may get the same old info and then he's saying 73, when actually he would be perfectly happy to carry on an hour if you wanted.  Someone has to break the ice.  

I know, it's nice to have a few really short contacts, just to test propagation.  But if conditions are good, and you hear a nice signal, why not chat a while?

With those whom I work regularly, I don't use the "BK" at all.   I ask john, "HEY JOHN YOU WATCH THAT GAME?"   and I pause.  He knows it's time to answer.  He doesn't start his return with "BK" either.  

With strangers, it is good to do it:  HEY JOHN YOU WATCH THAT GAME? BK"   There's really no reason for him to start his transmission with BK, of course, but it seems to be the habit these days.  When when he says, "YEP GOOD GAME BK"  you need not start your transmission with "BK" either.  Not wrong, but not necessary.

In call signs, some of us came up the old way and we tend to "over ID" according to the new rules.  Rather than keep accurate time (and  a lot of us did, with 3-minute egg timers) it was just easier to toss in a call sign.  The old rules also stated the call sign of the station being called, as well as your own, had to be at the beginning and ending of a series of transmission.  So we still do it, even though the rules have changed.  (One good thing on CW - we use the real call sign, instead of phonetics!)   And today if I'm transmitting more than a minute or so, I'm quite likely to do that still, even though it isn't required.  It's habit.  
Those of us who did government communications were trained in their way, which was every transmission starts with "DE yourcall."   And beginning and ending of a sequence starts with both calls.  Gradually we dinosaurs will disappear from the airwaves and the ones left behind will be doing it the new way.  As long as it meets minimum requirements under the rules, do it your way.  I admit I am gradually getting away from that bit of one-minute transmissions with both calls front and rear.  And old dog learning a new trick.

73
ed
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KC0IOX
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2002, 02:03:33 AM »

I try to "match up" whatever the person on the other end is doing. If he sends his callsign each time, I do the same for continuity; I figure the other person is used to their way of doing it, so it makes them more comfortable.  N8LXR, that is FUNNY about the pink elephant, and if you ever sent that to me, I'd probably say  FB ON THE PINK ELEPHANT OM  I LIKE BEER TOO  HI HI
Anyway, I figure as long as it's legal, I don't care if they send the callsign each transmission or every 10 minutes.
Some nice responses on this post.  I myself get a brain-lock sometimes in a QSO, and it's nice to have a list handy of things to ask or talk about to invite more of a conversation.  I agree that asking a question is the best way to invite further discussion.  People love to talk about themselves, and anything you ask the other person will stimulate further conversation.  N5XM makes some very good points, as always, and I agree with him.  From my own experience, it does take time, and experience, and the more you get on the air, and the more QSOs you make, the better you get and the easier it becomes, but you do have to pay your dues in that respect by operating, so get on the air as much as you can!  Vy 73 and I hope to work you some day.
Eric
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2002, 09:44:06 AM »

The thing I think we need to remember is that it takes time for any of us to develop our own style.  I was a lot better a year later after getting on the air on CW than I was when I began.  The same thing was true after two years, and after three years. I am confident that if I continue, and I will continue unless I croak, that after four years, I will be better than I am now.  Nobody is a fine CW op overnight.  You folks are totally right about getting on the air and just enjoying yourself.  It just takes time, so as the saying goes, smell the roses along the way, because there is no destination, we are all in a "state of development"...see you on the air!
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