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Author Topic: Slow Code QSO Acceptance  (Read 682 times)
N9GXA
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Posts: 119




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« on: April 09, 2008, 06:30:02 AM »

Hello,

  I am returning to the hobby after a few years away. I previously passed my 13 wpm code test 18 or so years ago, used it for 6 months or so and then basically dropped it. Now I am re-learning the code and am to the point of copying QSO's on the air. I would say most all stations are sending faster than I can copy at this point and that got me thinking. With the code requirement not what it used to be, I am assuming the number of learning CW ops are declining which in turn means less slow code ops to find on the air. So, I need to ask:

  How hard is it for you to answer a slow code CQ and have a QSO at a much slower speed than you can comfortably operate? Does the QSO just drag on for you?

  If a slow code QSO would bother someone, do you think they would express that fact here or would they never answer if they even read this?

  Thanks in advance for your time and insights.

73
Paul
N9GXA
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2088




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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 07:21:08 AM »

Paul,

Just get on and don't worry about it. There are still plenty of ops that will work with you. Having reached 13 WPM at one time means that you will be back to that speed very quickly. I for one have worked folks that could hardly make 5 WPM and weeks later heard them at 15 WPM. Check into a net like the OZK CW net on 3570 at 1900 CDT every night of the week. They would love to have you at any speed!

73 de Lindy
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N4KZ
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Posts: 597




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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 07:51:32 AM »

Don't over-analyze this -- which is what many of us do most all the time. (Me too.)

Just get on the air and make noise. You'll find someone to talk with -- either a newcomer, or an old timer or someone in between.

I think people value accurate CW sending over speed. I know I do. Just last night, I heard a fellow with a strong signal call CQ over and over without any takers. Why?

Probably two reasons -- he would call CQ a dozen times or more before signing his call. This is very annoying. Call CQ 2 or 3 times before signing your call.

But worst of all -- his fist was not pleasant. Too much running together of letters and his CW lacked a nice rhythmn. Plus, he was sending too fast for his abilities. Accuracy above speed!!

73, Dave, N4KZ
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KA7PLE
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 08:12:19 AM »

Good Day,

I too am just getting back into using CW. I can only do about 15wpm at the moment, but its getting better. I have not found it very hard to make contacts at 10wpm or less. There are tons of people who are more than willing to match your speed. I agree with the last post in that accuracy is more important than speed. Your speed will come with time. Develop a good fist and you will attract many contacts no matter what speed your running. Good luck, and if you ever wanna rag chew, I would be happy too. I usually hang on near the QRP frequencies on 40, 30, and 20.

73
de ka7ple
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WQ3T
Member

Posts: 209




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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 08:25:00 AM »

With the keyboard I can dial in any speed. The bug is on a fixed speed. With paddles I release too late at high speeds, too soon at low speeds. I use an old tube rig that blows a fuse during long slow speed rag chews. That's my main limitation. Send me an e-mail and we'll do a 40 meter sked at any speed you want.
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AC2C
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 01:09:41 PM »

I'd also suggest checking out SKCC or FISTS.  Both are fun groups dedicated to the preservation of Morse Code.

www.skccgroup.com is the homepage of SKCC and there is also a web-based sked page http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/ where operators hang out, make skeds, chase awards, etc.

I've never heard of a FISTS or a SKCC member being reluctant to QRS -- EVERY ONE of us has been there !

Ron, AC2C
SKCC #2748T
FISTS #12639
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N9GXA
Member

Posts: 119




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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 05:07:48 AM »

Thanks to everyone here. I appreciate your time to reply. I guess it just helps to get a feel for what others are thinking, but now believe you're right and I should just get on. I'm going to do it!! Thanks.

  And if all goes well with unexpecting ops, I might ask to setup a sked with anyone here who is willing...

73 de
Paul
N9GXA
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W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 11:53:53 AM »

Hello

first thing don't worry
second thing don't worry
third thing don't worry

don't mind slow ops
don't mind a few sending mistakes

remember even the best ops
still make sending mistakes

but if your slow
please try to make transmissions
short and to the point

slow but to the point transmissions are fine

long slow cookie cutter transmissions
put me to sleep

also watch spacing
most ops can copy all kinds of mistakes
without a glitch
but
its a real pain to try to copy
some new or old op that runs his letters togher

yours truly
Mac

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N2UGB
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 07:48:46 AM »

You will find many slower cw operators on the FISTS and SKCC frequencies. Don't forget to listen in on the QRP calling frequencies. We frequently send at a slower speed to compensate for sometimes weaker signals. Perk up your ears and listen on or around those QRP areas.

73 es GL
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AE5GF
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2008, 08:28:47 PM »

I am trying to learn the code myself, using several of the Koch method programs.  I'm finding I need to spread things out, Farnsworth style, but that I can handle a fairly fast character speed.

Is it better on the air to set your keyer speed higher (say about 20 wpm) and leave bigger gaps between characters (say 10 wpm overall rate), or would more experienced operators prefer to hear a matching character/word speed?

Richard
AE5GF
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WQ3T
Member

Posts: 209




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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2008, 11:27:00 AM »

Regular spacing is good for head copy. Too much and I forget the letters that came before. Most ops send with too little spacing, merging words together making head copy impossible.
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LB3KB
Member

Posts: 226


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 11:48:57 AM »

AE5GF,
"Is it better on the air to set your keyer speed higher (say about 20 wpm) and leave bigger gaps between characters (say 10 wpm overall rate), or would more experienced operators prefer to hear a matching character/word speed?"

I would prefer you to use Farnsworth rather than standard timing if you're slower than me.  (Not that it matters that much, I would probably get what you're sending anyway if you're slower than me.)

Farnsworth usually works well when you're the faster op answering a low speed CQ, too.  And it saves time - the faster op doesn't have to adjust anything but his brain, and the required stuff like RST and call DE call \KN can happen at full speed.  This also allows you to do a little implicit tutoring.


73
LB3KB Sigurd
http://justlearnmorsecode.com
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W7ARE
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2008, 01:36:37 PM »

Hi Paul. Like you, I returned to the hobby after a long hiatus. At one time, I was copying at more than 20 wpm (slow code for some). When I got back into it this past January, I found I had forgotten most and could copy at the old 5 wpm and no more. Well, I've been trying to maintain a schedule of one QSO a night since January 1. My code speed has picked up to about 18 under perfect circumstances but I can't wait to jump in and answer a CQ at 5 wpm. When I get my sending speed up(I'm still attached mentally to a straight key and panic every time I touch a bug or paddle), as well as my receiving speed, I look forward to being able to carry off a QSO with some of the real pros that we hear on the lower HF bands, but I will always be eager to chat with someone operating at slower speeds as well. There are lots of good, and very interesting, people out there who work at 5- 13 wpm, including some people who were fast as can be during the earlier years of HAM radio, but have slowed down a bit in their later years.
I'm also meeting quite a number of Extra class types who came in under no code, or reduced code, but are beginning to take interest in the code for the first time now. There seems to be no shortage of slow code types on the air. I'm grateful for that and want to say thank you for all the patient HAMS who had to slow down to work me. You are a great bunch.
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N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9915




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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2008, 10:48:31 PM »

you might try one of the many cw contests. most of them have a short exchange, like 599 and a serial number or state. so youknow what you are going to send and pretty much know what is being sent to.  a couple of hours in a contest is way more fun than plain old practice, and the contesters need to work you so its win win.  co to contesting.com and look up  this weeks contests...
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