How do you copy cw through qrm,qrn and qsb

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Alan C. Brennglass:
I am a casual cw operator. I have an extra class license and took my test under the FCC when 20wpm was required. I can send a lot quicker than I can receive. I prefer to send and copy around 15wpm.Alas,I find very few cw operators in the extra class portions of the cw part of the hf bands  send under 20wpm.                                                                                                        My main problem is that I have a lot of difficulty receiving and understanding cw whenever I encounter a lot of qrm,qrn and qsb.I also have difficulty in cw pileups where there is a lot of qrm.                                                                                                          I presume that one, if they are on cw long enough,gets a knack for copying through qrm,qrn or qsb or just tries to guess as to what is being sent from the gist of the qso and the words and letters one can make out. This is what I try and do. Sometimes I am successful and other times I am not.                                                                                                          I just wonder how the experienced cw operator compensates for qrm,qrn and qsb or like me they do a lot of guess work and hope they are right.                                                73-Alan-K2ACB                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Clark McDonald:
CW FILTERS can help you out a lot here.  

Don't get too narrow of a bandwidth to start out, though.  500Hz is a good choice for CW.  

Also, DSP can help a lot, too.  Those who enjoy a rig that has IF level DSP may or may not need the additional physical filter install.  

AF DSP plus a filter can be a very good choice, too.

If wanting to know the order, I'd buy the CW filter for the radio first, then consider adding outrigger DSP later.  

The filter can cut way down on the QRM.

So can proper use of the RF gain control.  Once a station is heard, part of tuning it in is reducing the RF Gain until the signal to noise ratio is better, this can also cut down on adjacent channel interference a bit, too, depending on signal strength of the undesired signals, of course.  


Phil Salas:
As stated above, a good narrow CW filter will make a world of difference.  You should have at least a 500Hz CW filter.  I actually prefer a narrower 250Hz or 300Hz filter for CW.  I tune around with a wide SSB filter, and then punch in the narrow CW filter when I'm ready to operate.

Phil - AD5X

James P. McNichols:
Filters are a big help, for sure....but training yourself to listen to the tone of a single signal helps a lot more.  You would be amazed how well your brain can filter out the crud....

All my rigs are chock full of filters, but I do most of my operating with just the 2kHz filter punched in, and let my brain do the rest.  

Also helps to recognize the fist of the other operator compared to whatever else you may be hearing.


Lawrence J Maso:
I agree a CW filter would be a big help. I would go with a 250 HZ filter though. If your going to get one, and I assume you don't have one now, wht not get the full benefit. The cost for a 500HZ and 250HZ filter for your rig are probably the same or close to it.
In either case a filter sure makes it easier on the ears and most likely will make it much easier to copy.
If the QSB is bad - well it can be a struggle. A filter is not going to stop that. But it might help to copy more of the message by knocking out some of the surrounding QRM and QRN.


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