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Author Topic: First CW QSO - What a disaster!  (Read 9286 times)
KB4MB
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Posts: 295




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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2012, 08:01:55 AM »

A filter will be helpful, but a couple of helpful hints:

I prefer the tone to be a bit lower than what the default is, and I think it is easier to tune out stations when you use a lower cw pitch (both with controls and the gray computer between the ears).

Don't forget to use your IF shift - you can knock out some of that QRM by playing with that control.

Same with reducing IF gain - if the station you are working is S9, drop the gain and increase the volume - that will eliminate signals below S9 (to an extent).

If it gets rough, try holding down the mode button to switch to CW-R which flips the sideband - if someone is right above you, they will disappear!

I have a SCAF filter I built from a kit (NEScaf, actually) which is very helpful and makes CW easier to manage.  A proper IF filter will be better since that will eliminate signals from pumping the AGC in signal path, which when you work enough CW, you will know what I am talking about.
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2012, 09:35:32 AM »

Ahhh a fellow IC718 user. I intend to busk on my banjo bluegrass style in the high street so that I can raise the money for that CW filter....  Grin
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 10:15:48 AM »

Ahhh a fellow IC718 user. I intend to busk on my banjo bluegrass style in the high street so that I can raise the money for that CW filter....  Grin

You'll never regret that time on the street!  A narrow filter makes a lot of difference.  There have been long threads on whether a 500-Hz, 350-Hz, or 250-Hz filter is best.   My choice would be 250-Hz or 350-Hz, but tastes (and ears) differ.   Any narrow filter is better than the 2.4-kHz SSB bandwidth.

          Charles
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2012, 06:11:20 AM »

After reading the original post I had the thought that I was certainly glad I wasn't the only one to do something like that!  Now, it's funny, but at the time it was very humiliating and terrifying, not funny at all.  The circumstances weren't exactly the same (naturally) but all things considered, they weren't that different, sort of.
I could go into all the things that were different, it being the late '60's, crystal controlled, etc, etc, but it really doesn't make much difference in that regard.  Amazing how fast you can forget something/everything, isn't it? 
 Smiley
 - 'Doc
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3996




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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 09:11:02 AM »

LZ:  What is it about the "first QSO" than rattles our cage so much?
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KB4MB
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Posts: 295




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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 10:06:24 AM »

LZ:  What is it about the "first QSO" than rattles our cage so much?

I think it is because you spent all that time learning the code, racking your brain to become proficient and the first time when you fall down, you think "I'm awful" or "I have wasted my time", or it is just a blow to the ego since you thought you were ready and you weren't.

It happens with mike fright the first time you get on voice as well, though it isn't as bad, in my opinion...
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K3STX
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Posts: 1077




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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 01:33:29 PM »

Ha Ha, we've all been there. It might not seem funny now, but after a while it will. You know how significant your first CW QSO is? I can even remember the call of the poor fool who answered my call, it was WD0HCW. I remember that call like it was yesterday.



Except it wasn't yesterday, it was actually 35 years ago.

Keep at it, it is all fun.

paul
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NI0C
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Posts: 2433




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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 01:47:41 PM »

Quote
I can even remember the call of the poor fool who answered my call, it was WD0HCW. I remember that call like it was yesterday.

Hi Paul,
(ex) WD0HCW is now W0VM-- he's a member of our local DX club here in St. Louis.
73,
Chuck  NI0C
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K3STX
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Posts: 1077




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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2012, 06:17:39 PM »

Wow, what a smal world! Tell him that jf he wants a scan of his old QSL card (with 35 year old penmanship) I will gladly send it to him.

Paul
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M0LEP
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Posts: 220




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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2012, 01:29:12 AM »

LZ:  What is it about the "first QSO" than rattles our cage so much?

Just, I suspect, normal "first time" nerves of the kind you'd get doing anything a little tricky for the first time.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2012, 03:19:26 AM »

After not using the code for 30 years, I almost got the iron curtain put up again when I inflicted my CW on a poor russian ham, who was in the wrong spot on 20m, when I decided to restart my code career.
I had no key, and used two wires shorted together at 5wpm.
He was remarkably patient, and I can guess that he must have had an extra nip of vodka after the qso - I would have.

Thanks to his patience, I perservered, bought a key, then a paddle, and am now showing the same amount of patience to guys like me.
After 18 months of persistent practice in reading and sending, I am now comfortable at 39wpm and can get to 45 in a stretch.

If only we all had before and after pictures of our morse skills, we would all be more humble, and be very willing to lend a hand to others who are treading the path we once trod.

73s
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 03:21:47 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
NI0C
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Posts: 2433




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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2012, 06:02:00 AM »

K3STX wrote:
Quote
Wow, what a smal world! Tell him that jf he wants a scan of his old QSL card (with 35 year old penmanship) I will gladly send it to him.

Will do, Paul. Hopefully I'll see Don at our next meeting, which is this Thursday evening.
73,
Chuck  NI0C
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WA7KPK
Member

Posts: 129




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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2012, 10:10:43 AM »

I perservered, bought a key, then a paddle, and am now showing the same amount of patience to guys like me.

Now that's the spirit. Pass it on.
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DL3RR
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2012, 10:17:21 AM »

Time for an update - I finally got around to getting back on the key yesterday and the second contact was a lot more successful than the first.  I still have a way to go - but I feel a lot better now!  The QSO tailed off a little bit at the end, and it was only with an amateur down the road but it went better and was in German.

Thanks for all the stories and support.  CW is certainly (in my opinion) more of a challenge than being on the mike.  My father is an Amateur, so I "knew the ropes" when I was first licensed back in the 90s - CW is certainly a different kettle of fish.
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W0DV
Member

Posts: 201




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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2012, 06:21:36 PM »

I just made my first contact on CW a few minutes ago to a ham in MO. I asent CQ and my call several times on 7.122 and he answered. I froze at first, but got through it. I copied the signal report, QTH, and his name, and 73. That was about it. I sent the same info. Weird hearing your name in CW!

I think I started something great. I'll practice the code for a while before I turn in.

Dave
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