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Author Topic: Frustrated  (Read 1433 times)
K9JH
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Posts: 49




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« on: April 24, 2008, 05:49:19 AM »

I am still new to CW and am getting frustrated.

I use a 250hz filter for digital and now CW.  It gets rid of the noise so well!  Most people don't zero beat with me though.  By the time I have used the RIT and put the filter in, I have missed their call and have to "QRZ?"

Secondly, most people return my call going the same speed, but some will not QRS even after being asked.  

Code is hard enough for me without these extra challenges.  Any suggestions?


K9JH
JIM

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KB1OOO
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Posts: 214


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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 06:29:40 AM »

Do you have a linux or OS X machine?  There's a great plugin for xchat called cwirc that lets you do cw over IRC.   I.e. cw over internet text chat rooms.  It takes out a lot of the pressure in making contacts.  You have the text chat available at the same time which is nice.  There are also bots which broadcast news at various speeds, and a trainer.  

http://users.skynet.be/ppc/cwirc/
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VE3GNU
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Posts: 86




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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 06:37:04 AM »

Jim, if you can---go with a wider filter such as 500 hz. or wider still, so as to 'catch' your contact better.
As far as QRS---there are freq. where they 'hang out' or 'call'---i.e. 3.700 hz. 7.050 hz. 10.125 hz. and 14.050 hz.  
Good Luck, and 'hang in there'---relax!  It is a hobby, after all---

Ernie VE3GNU
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N4KZ
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Posts: 605




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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 06:57:33 AM »

Jim,

I've been active on CW for a long time but, unfortunately, don't have any real concrete suggestions for you. Don't be embarrassed to ask someone to slow down. If they don't comply, ask again. And again, if needed.

Regarding those who reply off-frequency to your CQs, I have the same frustration. Lately, I've had people replying to my CQ by calling me as much as 2 kHz off my frequency. Like you, I operate with narrow filters and only heard their calls by accident when I thought no one had called me and I was tuning to another spot on the dial and ran into their calls. I don't understand why people are doing this because they should tune to my frequency -- tune by ear and not by what the dial says -- and call.

Somewhere along the way in recent years the notion, the mistaken notion, has started that we must only operate on whole number frequencies or portions thereof, e.g. 7050.00 kHz or 14,252.5 kHz. I'd say that over half of the people who now answer my SSB CQ calls force me to use the RIT to tune them in. This is completely unnecessary because they could and should tune my voice in to where it sounds natural and disregard their LCD frequency readout. Get on frequency, in this context, doesn't mean tune to a spot on your dial. It means tune to the correct "audio" frequency.

The only way I know to fight this is to:

1. Use a wider filter when listening to CQ replies so as to better hear the people who call far away from your listening frequency.

2. Use the narrow filter and ignore or don't tune for those who calling far off your frequency.

I've come to dislike digital dials for this very reason. In the old days when we all used analog dials because that's all we had, this wasn't an issue because people understood what the phrase "get on frequency" meant. Now, some don't.

73 and GL,
N4KZ
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W5ESE
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 07:41:04 AM »

I agree with the suggestion to get a wider filter.

400Hz-500Hz is a popular width. With the 250 Hz
filter, you're listening through a "peephole".

CW operators differ in the pitch of CW they
prefer to listen to. Some prefer 500 Hz, others
800 Hz or even 900-1000Hz. So they tune you in
at the pitch they're accustomed to copy, and
transmit from there. With a 250 Hz filter, they
may not be in your passband.

So I would either disable the 250 Hz filter,
(and use the default SSB filter instead), or
also install a 400-500 Hz filter, and use it
most of the time. Then just switch to the 250
Hz filter when the band is most crowded.

Another possibility is that your IF shift (also
known as passband tuning) is not centered. Make
sure it's in the center position on your radio.

73
Scott
W5ESE
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 08:13:18 AM »

When they don't QRS it may be because they are operating with a paddle and keyer and can't get that slow (depending on your comfort zone on speed).  I know in my case that when I shift much slower then my usual 18 to 20 wpm my error rate increases because my timing is a bit off.  I catch up eventually though once I get used to the new speed.

But, I think my paddle and keyer are good for maybe 10 wpm but I don't even try if less then 12 to 14 wpm or so.  I have my straight key right there next to my paddle and I will switch to that if needed and I have never been asked to QRS.

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 11:07:26 AM »

I've operated CW for 43 years now (every day) and never start out calling CQ using a 250 Hz filter.

Way too narrow for me.

I use 1.8 to 2.4 kHz for general CW operations, calling CQ, etc.  Narrow it up if and when required -- very often, it's not required at all.

I use PBT (passband tuning) more than the narrow filters to eliminate interference.  I use the NB (noise blanker) more than narrow filters to reduce noise.

I also find -- and it's almost amazing -- that a lot of stations call me pretty far off frequency on CW.  Makes me wonder what the hell they're doing!  Even with 60 year-old gear and separate RX/TX chassis, I could always "zero beat" somebody within a few Hz using a VFO and my ears...

And indeed ask stations to QRS.  But don't send faster than you can copy.  I always answer everybody at the same speed they're sending, whatever it is.

WB2WIK/6
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KB1OOO
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Posts: 214


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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2008, 12:26:28 PM »

A couple comments to add re QRS issues.  I find that when people QRS down to match ur speed, they push the limit (as I am tempted to do as well).   If they err it's generally in the direction of being too fast.   So, I usually call CQ (or answer a CQ) a few wpm slower than I'm capable of copying to avoid the possibility of someone responding over my ability.

Also, I try to avoid answering CQs that are faster than I can copy, unless someone has been calling for a while with no response.  An op is less likely to entertain a QRS request if he/she was the one calling CQ.

Marc
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W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 01:10:08 PM »


250 cycle filters
are for battlefield conditions
like fighing it out in a pile up

500 cycle is narrow as
i ever run

seldom use cw filters
excpt to dig one out of the crud

when tuning or calling cq
use the widest filter on the radio

( im talking modern rigs, not older receivers
  that with out the crystal filter turned on
  are 10 kc wide at 3 db down )

then after you have started the qso
if you have qrm probs switch to narrow filter

calling people off freq
i do it all the time
sometime call a station 2 or 3 kc off freq
if the station op is a good op
they will hear me

open up your receiver
you have nothing to loose by
hearing what's happening around
the freq your on

Mac






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W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2008, 01:18:45 PM »

oh yea
ps

most of my hb transmitters have no dial
just rocks





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CW2HRD
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 02:16:12 PM »

I agree.  CW is too hard.  If the good lord wanted us to operate CW he would have made it an FCC requirement.

Let's all forget about CW and just go back to ratchet-jawing.  Catch ya on the flip-flop.

73'rds.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2008, 04:11:25 PM »

Use a 500 filter.
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LB3KB
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Posts: 234


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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2008, 04:14:15 PM »

I agree with those saying go for 500 Hz.

My previous rig was an FT-857D and I had the 300 Hz and 500 Hz filters installed.  I always preferred the wider one, except when trying to listen to one of the rare DX stations that usually attract the EU ape circus.

In other words - when you know what station you want to focus on you may want to narrow things down to shut out the rest of them.  Otherwise, listen wider.


73
LB3KB Sigurd
http://justlearnmorsecode.com
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N3EF
Member

Posts: 247




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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2008, 04:56:07 PM »

  I agree with WB2WIK/6 I only use the narrow filters when necessary. Turn the gain down to reduce noise. It amaze's me how many ops run full gain all the time. You can turn that gain way down significantly reducing noise but still hear the signal just fine.

Eric N3EF
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K4AHO
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 06:40:11 PM »

As far as the unwillingness to QRS, you need to pick your crowd of cw friends...   I suggest you try the SKCC crowd. Go to www.skccgroup.com and check it out...  Also check out www.obriensweb.com/sked     Almost everyone in SKCC uses straight keys and are darn good at it...   Plus working for the awards will give you plenty of practice...  Good Luck and I hope to see your call on the SKCC Page. I would be glad to work you and promise to QRS...

73
Jim K4AHO
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