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Author Topic: CW CONTESTING TIPS  (Read 1904 times)

Posts: 9

« on: February 08, 2003, 12:27:16 PM »

I find it difficult to log during a cw contest using the computer, i send cw with my right hand and type with the same hand ,which really slows things down having to move my hand away from my paddle to type, also i tend to forget the received stations call whilst looking for the characters on my keyboard.The best solution for me is to write the calls down on a piece of paper but can take an age to enter them after the contest is finished into the computer log.So would be interested in hearing about some different tecniques used.

                thanks  stephen ( GW0NCU )

Posts: 1524

« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2003, 11:31:45 PM »

Some contest software lets you send the desired exchange (and even other info) from the computer and keys the radio.  Thus you don't have to switch back and forth between keyboard and keyer.

The other approach is simply to practice enough that you can make the switch quickly and easily.  You do type with both hands of course.  If not, take some time and learn standard touch typing.  It will really enhance your ability to log.

Posts: 21764

« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2003, 01:33:14 PM »

*ALL* contest software permits using only the keyboard for everything, and having a key paddle, or scratch paper, handy are superfluous and distracting.

I use WriteLog for Windows.  As you hear a call on CW, you type it on the keyboard into the callsign field.  The program instantly tells you if it's a dupe, in which case you can delete it just as quickly, or if it's new, and if it's new, how important that call is to you (new multiplier, perhaps).  Then, because you've typed the call into the callsign field, the computer knows exactly how to call that station, using the customized Function keys (F1 through F12) to send any variety of messages which include his callsign and yours, as well as your exchange.

You then hit "return," and that contact is logged, on the band, frequency and at the time of the contact, since the software has kept track of all of that.  The software automatically plugs in that station's data except for any data which is unique to your particular contest, such as a serial number or power level, which you enter using the keyboard as the other station sends it, before hitting the "return" key.  

Although the software automatically assumes the other station is where he "should" be (location) according to his callsign, you can overwrite the multiplier field by typing there if need be.

Using WriteLog, I never use a paddle, or any paper or pencil, from the beginning of any CW contest to its end.  It's foolproof, and using any other items besides the keyboard is just a waste of time.  If you need to send a unique, special CW message during the contest (one that is not part of the regular contest exchange), a function key converts your keyboard to a CW keyer in real time, so just type.


Posts: 999

« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2003, 06:54:34 AM »

I agree with Steve (WIK).  When I switched over from manual logging to a PC for contesting, I found it difficult to break the habit of reaching for pen and paper.  I made an effort to force myself to break the dependancy.  Put the manual writing instruments in the drawer along with the note paper.

What really helped me was the practice mode on the contesting program.  Not only can you sharpen your mental skills with regard to copying calls in your head and typing them down, but you familiarize yourself with the macros offered by the contesting program.  If you do manual logging only to enter the data after the contest, you have lost the inherent advantage of computer logging.  Rudimentary typing skills are a significant advantage, however.  Inability to type is like tring to copy CW with knowing CW.  Things move much to quickly for "hunt and peck."

I do still keep a paddle on my desk, but it takes discipline to resist using it.  It is only for the rare moments that I need to send something not covered by the contesting program itself.  If you find yourself reaching for it too often, better it goes in the drawer too!
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