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Author Topic: How often should I call CQ?  (Read 4808 times)
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20613




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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2012, 03:44:14 PM »

I've been listening to HF (ham and utility traffic) for years, but have just started transmitting this week. I'm not making many voice SSB contacts though and am wondering if I am doing it right.

I listen for, and respond to, CQ calls but stronger stations win out. When I call CQ, i follow the guidelines listed here:
http://www.eham.net/articles/7952
but my contact ratio is 1 QSO for every 20-30 attempts.

I make 2-3 attempts, with 30 seconds of listening in between. Should i do more? Is it better to stay on one frequency or try a few across the band? I must admit some trepidation that I'm hogging space, that local hams are tired of hearing my calls and are laughing at me, or that everyone knows everyone already and they don't answer new people.

I re-reading this last part, I might agree "they don't answer new people" if you're trying this on 75 meters.  The band is notoriously "clique-ish" and has been for decades.

I don't find that to be the case on the other bands, at all.

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W8JX
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Posts: 6143




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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 04:49:27 PM »

I re-reading this last part, I might agree "they don't answer new people" if you're trying this on 75 meters.  The band is notoriously "clique-ish" and has been for decades.

I don't find that to be the case on the other bands, at all.

Yes 80 is VERY clickish on some parts of band. I mostly work 40 and it is rare that someone does not respond to my CQ. I very rarely get above 7.200 though. Usually below 7.170. I try to always answer a CQ when I hear one.
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N4KZ
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Posts: 599




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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2012, 06:51:25 PM »

A 10 second CQ is too short, in my view. Try at least 30 seconds at a time. Listen for about 10 seconds and then try again. Sound pleasant and enthusiastic while calling. You might add your state if in a rare one. I always add my state to my CQs and it helps my reply rate. I hear some guys calling 10 second CQs and they are not productive. And repeat your call several times phoenetically. HF can be cruel to signals and repeating your call sign is almost always needed.

Keep calling CQ until you get a reply. No one will question that.

73, N4KZ
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2012, 08:43:54 PM »

  Know a ham who made a recording of himself calling CQ, and now he just hits the play button!  He said it makes things a lot easier.
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N4KZ
Member

Posts: 599




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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2012, 11:38:56 AM »

Yep, I, too, have made CQ recordings using a voice keyer. Saves on the voice. I have always enjoyed going on a supposedly dead band and calling CQ over and over until someone finally comes back - proving the bands are not as dead as we believe. And most of the time, I do eventually get an answer, too. The optional DVR for the Kenwood TS-590 works slick for calling CQ.

73, N4KZ
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K4DSB
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2012, 10:37:50 AM »

Probably the most important thing is to drag it out a little, what I mean is make the CQ slow and legible!
People are tuning around and this is SSB! It takes a few seconds for the listener to tune you in and hopefully
not to late as you finish the CQ... I prefer to make 3 or 4  sets of CQ CQ CQ This IS K4DSB K4DSB Kilo 4
Delta Sierra Bravo.... followed by 20 to 30 seconds of listening..  IF nothing try a different frequency.. it may
appear clear to you ...but NOT those on the other end of the propagation... example (a high powered station
is only 50 miles from you, ground wave you do not hear him, he is very close to your frequency and the listeners in radio
land hear him much louder than you! But your never aware)... try moving frequency.. it can be night and day

73's
K4DSB
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N4JTE
Member

Posts: 1158




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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2012, 08:06:38 PM »

If you are using the same dipole for 4 bands then perhaps the antenna situation needs to be explored.
Bob
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K0ZN
Member

Posts: 1553




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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2012, 09:50:21 PM »

A little more specific, detailed tech info about your station set up would helpful.  How high is your antenna.... in feet?  i.e How high is "decently"??!  What kind of feedline?
Is it a multi band antenna designed to be fed with coax or a ladderline fed version? What directions does it run? (directivity can affect QSO rate)

As pointed out earlier.... time of day and choice of band can be very significant at times. See if you can figure out what the other stronger stations are running.
To wit: if some guy has a 4 element 20 M Monobander at 120 ft and you have a wire antenna at 30, you are not in the same game unless band conditions are very good.
Signal strength will have a lot to do with QSO rate too.....just a cold reality and why hams should strive to truly understand antennas, so as to optimize what they
have to work with.

I agree with the comments on 75 M.  That band is another world.

Patience !  You will get it sorted and figured out.

73,  K0ZN
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KF7TUU
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2012, 03:24:48 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using a G5RV Jr *cringes*, 25ft up. It's oriented for East-West radiation. Field Day was great, I made a ton of contacts across the country and Canada. Since posting and incorporating feedback, I've only received 2 responses to CQs; one signal report and one admonition that the frequency was in use. I also rarely hear people call CQ. It's all contests or best friends. I will GLADLY talk to someone about their back problems or whatever, just answer  Grin

Anyway, I am not giving up. I've joined a club, and have received friendly, welcoming advice from them. I also read the entire Elmer Forum archive here and the most frequently cited bit of advice over 12 years is to spend most of one's efforts on an antenna. As a newbie, I admit I thought more about if the radio display looked cool enough. Antennas have been my focus the for the last week or so. I should have something new up soon.
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