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Author Topic: CW Test  (Read 381 times)
W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« on: November 21, 2003, 03:09:02 PM »

I am honestly struggling with three questions:

1. Does passing a 5 WPM test create a skilled CW operator?

2. What is the difference, in effort expended, motivation, etc. in these two scenairos:
     A. Pass a 5 WPM and written test. Later, decide to make some CW contacts.
     B. Pass a written test with no code test. Later, decide to make some CW contacts.

3. If you heard a "good" CW operator, could you tell if he was originally an A or B in Question 2?

I keep coming up with these answers: NO, NONE and NO.

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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2003, 07:26:57 PM »

CW Test  Reply  
by W4YA on November 21, 2003  Mail this to a friend!  
I am honestly struggling with three questions:

1. Does passing a 5 WPM test create a skilled CW operator?

2. What is the difference, in effort expended, motivation, etc. in these two scenairos:
A. Pass a 5 WPM and written test. Later, decide to make some CW contacts.
B. Pass a written test with no code test. Later, decide to make some CW contacts.

3. If you heard a "good" CW operator, could you tell if he was originally an A or B in Question 2?

I keep coming up with these answers: NO, NONE and NO.
______________________________________________________

1.  Passing the 5 wpm test does not create a "skilled" CW operator.  At this stage you have exhibited very basic knowledge of CW.  Your skill will increase dramatically with use.  If you want to be sure you won't forget it, work your way up to at least 13wpm but higher would be better.

2.  Although some will try CW if they don't have to test, too many of those who aren't required to test for it will never be willing to try it as they don't even have a basic grasp of it and will be afraid to try.

3.  You cannot tell how any operator got their start.

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NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2003, 07:35:55 PM »

Someone who has passed a 5 wpm Morse test has demonstrated basic literacy in a common language that hams have shared since the beginning of the hobby.  Obviously they are not competent CW operators yet, but neither was any of us who started out with a Novice license.

The difference between your scenarios 2A and 2B is that the 2A person has demonstrated that he/she is at least minimally prepared to get on the air using CW.  What you seem to overlook is that the 2B person has not demonstrated such preparation, and therefore is not in a position to make a choice to just get on the air and make CW qso's-- that person must learn the code first!  

I tend to ask a different set of questions:

1. How did learning Morse at 5 wpm suddenly become perceived as such a barrier?
2. Who has profited by the privatization of amateur radio testing, and who stands to gain if Morse testing is eliminated?
3. What will our HF bands be like in 5-10 years if the Morse entry level requirement is eliminated?

I don't buy the argument that eliminating testing for Morse will somehow result in more interest in Morse.  However I do agree with your conclusion that a good CW operator is a good CW operator, and that it doesn't matter what motivated the person to learn the code.

73 de Chuck  NI0C

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OLDFART13
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Posts: 242


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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2003, 01:33:22 AM »

A better question is: Since the exams have been made so easy to memorize, do we really want hams on HF who won't show the drive or determination to learn CW at a mere 5wpm?  It takes about 3 months to learn the code at such a slow speed.  Is this really too much to ask of new hams?  
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