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Author Topic: CW Speed & DXpeditions  (Read 2269 times)
AF3Y
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Posts: 3735




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« on: November 15, 2012, 06:45:11 AM »

Listening to PT0S over the past few days, I wonder if there are callers to the DX that
are not proficient enough in CW to make the QSO.

For instance, the operator on 40m yesterday (I think it was yesterday....) was cranking em
out around 35wpm+ at times.

I dont have a problem with my own callsign at 35, but I admit when he sent "ASIA AF", or some
other area, or QRX for lunch, or QSY to whatever freq, I had to listen twice to get it. Perhaps I was just dozing and listening to calsign/5NN Roll Eyes. and was not expecting anything else.

I am comfortable at 12 - 15 WPM, but would not attempt a ragchew at 35+.  No way!
So, my question is...... are too many of the callers not even able to pick out their OWN
callsign at 35wpm, much less directions from the DX? Or..... are most of them just not listening
when they call over and over while the DX is trying to contact a different callsign? If they cannot copy
their own call at 15 - 20, should they not call???

Finally, should the DX slow down a little to work MORE callers?  I saw a comment or two on the cluster
to "QRS Man, just a little, PLEASE" from an XE operator. Does more DX speed = more QSOs, or does slower
DX prove to be the best way?  Comments?

73, Gene AF3Y
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NU1O
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Posts: 2661




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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 07:07:26 AM »

I think that is a big part of the problem.  I would think only full time CW buffs and serious contesters are fluent at 35 wpm.  I'm pretty good in the low 20s but no way could I carry on a CW ragchew at 35 wpm.  I've also read complaints that this is just another CW expedition.  They have used phone but I think that's the ham's way of saying I'm no good at these speeds or with CW at all. We now have many amateurs who don't know CW at all. Those maybe the guys jammimg and QRMing since they are shutout when they operate CW. The best thing I did to add rare DX to my totals was to become proficient with CW.  I had no choice as it was required on the test but I'm glad I enjoy the mode and got better as the years progressed.

I have no problem pulling out my call at 35 wpm but I also have the K3 standing by as a crutch decoding the CW on its small screen in case he sends messages I can't copy.

In a CW contest 35 wpm is fine but they may work more stations per hour if they slowed down to 25 wpm. 

If Chris the pilot is following this topic maybe he could share his ideas.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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K6UJ
Member

Posts: 310




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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 10:13:43 AM »

I think that is a big part of the problem.  I would think only full time CW buffs and serious contesters are fluent at 35 wpm.  I'm pretty good in the low 20s but no way could I carry on a CW ragchew at 35 wpm.  I've also read complaints that this is just another CW expedition.  They have used phone but I think that's the ham's way of saying I'm no good at these speeds or with CW at all. We now have many amateurs who don't know CW at all. Those maybe the guys jammimg and QRMing since they are shutout when they operate CW. The best thing I did to add rare DX to my totals was to become proficient with CW.  I had no choice as it was required on the test but I'm glad I enjoy the mode and got better as the years progressed.

I have no problem pulling out my call at 35 wpm but I also have the K3 standing by as a crutch decoding the CW on its small screen in case he sends messages I can't copy.

In a CW contest 35 wpm is fine but they may work more stations per hour if they slowed down to 25 wpm. 

If Chris the pilot is following this topic maybe he could share his ideas.

73,

Chris/NU1O

Chris,
I think you are right.  This is where some of the jamming, is coming from.  If they cant do CW at 35 WPM they get frustrated and with their warped mentality they
jump on xmit freq and display their frustration (if I cant work them I will prevent others from working them)   
On the positive side, it is  pleasure to work the good CW ops at 35. Plus their QSO rate is significantly higher. 
I heard a funny one yesterday.  They were on SSB and someone was sending a string of dahs, over and over on their xmit freq, pause and then repeat.  Someone asked "why are you doing that ?"  another came on and said "thats all he knows how to send"
 Grin

73,
Bob
K6UJ
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K3STX
Member

Posts: 977




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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 10:39:38 AM »

I am CONVINCED there are guys in there calling who do not recognize even their own call at 30 wpm (I don't think PT0S is sending 35 wpm, sounds more like 30 to me). Nevertheless, I was listening on 40 last night and on more than one occassion PT0S came back to a guy with his call and 5NN. Dead silence from the caller. Then PT0S send the guys call TWICE then 5NN; silence. I listened to the whole thing on both frequencies since I was not transmitting, just listening. The sigs were loud and the caller was NOT transmitting when PT0S was.

In contests the high speed allows the pro's to work each other fast and keeps the pileups smaller (if you can't copy D4B at 50 wpm why would you call him?). But for a DXpedition it is not a good thing. The idiots call anyway and then we all wait while the caller finally figures out the DX actually wants to work him/her.

The 160M op the other night was awesome, maybe 25 wpm and repeated each callsign TWICE before 5NN. There were very few repeats needed.

paul
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NU4B
Member

Posts: 2219




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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 11:51:50 AM »

I think that is a big part of the problem.  I would think only full time CW buffs and serious contesters are fluent at 35 wpm.  I'm pretty good in the low 20s but no way could I carry on a CW ragchew at 35 wpm.  I've also read complaints that this is just another CW expedition.  They have used phone but I think that's the ham's way of saying I'm no good at these speeds or with CW at all. We now have many amateurs who don't know CW at all. Those maybe the guys jammimg and QRMing since they are shutout when they operate CW. The best thing I did to add rare DX to my totals was to become proficient with CW.  I had no choice as it was required on the test but I'm glad I enjoy the mode and got better as the years progressed.

I have no problem pulling out my call at 35 wpm but I also have the K3 standing by as a crutch decoding the CW on its small screen in case he sends messages I can't copy.

In a CW contest 35 wpm is fine but they may work more stations per hour if they slowed down to 25 wpm. 

If Chris the pilot is following this topic maybe he could share his ideas.

73,

Chris/NU1O

Chris,
I think you are right.  This is where some of the jamming, is coming from.  If they cant do CW at 35 WPM they get frustrated and with their warped mentality they
jump on xmit freq and display their frustration (if I cant work them I will prevent others from working them)   
On the positive side, it is  pleasure to work the good CW ops at 35. Plus their QSO rate is significantly higher. 
I heard a funny one yesterday.  They were on SSB and someone was sending a string of dahs, over and over on their xmit freq, pause and then repeat.  Someone asked "why are you doing that ?"  another came on and said "thats all he knows how to send"
 Grin

73,
Bob
K6UJ

What's their excuse when DXpeditions run at a slower speed?
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K0RS
Member

Posts: 712




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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 11:59:01 AM »

I'm listening to him on 30m right now and he's easily doing 35.

I notice that in the pileups I've been involved that often the PT0S op sends the call and report more than once, sometimes 3 or 4 times, before someone wakes up and realizes they just got lucky.  When it comes to speed, it could be less is more in this case.

Complicating the problem...I think...is guys getting in the pileup that don't actually know CW and rely on computer copy.  We know how well that works.  Is this true?  Am I rationalizing?  Computers are just too ponderous for CW DXing...one reason RTTY is so slow and awkward in a pileup.

As far as this being "just another CW Dxpedition," yeah well, that's what DXers do.  It should be obvious that if you don't know CW, you're gonna miss some good DX.  You can bet we'll see plenty of SSB only or SSB/digi operations in the future as the no-code people begin mounting their own expeditions.  Can you imagine how well the 160m operation would have gone if it was all SSB?
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N2NL
Member

Posts: 326




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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 02:14:01 PM »

As a contester, my goal is to work as many people as possible as quickly as possible.  I generally run about 36WPM when the band is wide open into NA or EU from here.  Otherwise, the number of callers exceeds my ability to put them in the log - causing a larger pileup and more chaos and even slower rates.  Even at 36WPM and 250 QSO/HR rate the pileup often grows to the point that my rate suffers as call sign fills are needed.

Granted, it would be dumb to call CQ at 36 WPM when I am getting no callers, because I am losing potential QSOs from those who are not CW speed demons, but when I have a pileup, I know that there are more 36WPM proficient guys out there than I can work at that point in time.

When asked to QRS, I always do it, unless of course I have a pileup.  EU is especially fickle - an EU pileup is chaos just waiting to happen.  You don't want to do anything to give the pileup more of an excuse to get rambunctious.

Also, I send my call sign after every QSO during a contest.  Outside of a contest - at least every other QSO, usually every time (KH2/N2NL takes longer to send than NH2T).  It is endlessly frustrating to tune across someone and having to wait 5 minutes to learn that you already worked him.

73, Dave
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N5UD
Member

Posts: 800




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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 03:24:49 PM »

I'm listening to him on 30m right now and he's easily doing 35.

I notice that in the pileups I've been involved that often the PT0S op sends the call and report more than once, sometimes 3 or 4 times, before someone wakes up and realizes they just got lucky.  When it comes to speed, it could be less is more in this case.

Complicating the problem...I think...is guys getting in the pileup that don't actually know CW and rely on computer copy.  We know how well that works.  Is this true?  Am I rationalizing?  Computers are just too ponderous for CW DXing...one reason RTTY is so slow and awkward in a pileup.

As far as this being "just another CW Dxpedition," yeah well, that's what DXers do.  It should be obvious that if you don't know CW, you're gonna miss some good DX.  You can bet we'll see plenty of SSB only or SSB/digi operations in the future as the no-code people begin mounting their own expeditions.  Can you imagine how well the 160m operation would have gone if it was all SSB?

I have heard it many times already on this DXped. Repeated reports to XYZ. I mean 4-5 times. At times it seemed nearly every QSO report was sent two times. But I hear it all the time.

Maybe the DXops should QRS to 25-30 WPM ?

When I started radioing, CW was the DX mode. For some peculiar reason, usually in the low end of a band. This is before "incentive licensing".

73 Tony N5UD
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K3VAT
Member

Posts: 709




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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 05:51:26 PM »

Listening to PT0S over the past few days, I wonder if there are callers to the DX that
are not proficient enough in CW to make the QSO. ...
 Comments?
73, Gene AF3Y

Good post Gene,  Valid observations (by responders too).  This is ANOTHER reason why I've been making the case that DXPeditions and us who want to have the QSO might be better served if the DXPedition first uses the Extra Class Portion of the bands when they first start out (see my posting at http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,86395.msg633557.html#msg633557.  This is not discriminatory -- non-Extras will actually have more time and a better chance once the pile winds down to a more manageable (workable) size.

To me the successful DXPedition is all about RATES.  The faster that you can whittle down the pile, the easier it is for everyone.  This can be helped by calling for specific Continents or regions, like JA/VK/ZL.  Or I've seen lots of success by some DXPeditions who call 'by the numbers'. 

73, Rich, K3VAT
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K3STX
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Posts: 977




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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 06:52:44 PM »

This is ANOTHER reason why I've been making the case that DXPeditions and us who want to have the QSO might be better served if the DXPedition first uses the Extra Class Portion of the bands when they first start out...

Excellent point, this was the ONLY reason I upgraded to Extra! If you REALLY want to be a DXer and you care about getting as many as possible it means not only CW but CW in the Extra portion.

paul
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K3TN
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Posts: 285


WWW

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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 02:52:41 AM »

I don't think their code speed has been a major issue in the jamming, or in the high frequency PT0S does have to repeat who they heard. Some of their ops have been sending much slower and the chaos has been the same. Heck, it has been the same on phone pileups.

I think the bigger issue is the very large and wide splits - that is what always increases the QRMing and the QRMing leads to the inane policing which sums up to more people not hearing when the DX station comes back to them. To non-DXers, having big segments of the band erupt in people frantically sending their call to what appears to be a non-existent station is fairly annoying...

But there definitely is an increase in people using CW decoders in pileups because they are not strong on CW. I operated as KP2/K3TN from the KP2M station back in June and had some really nice pileups. You could tell the decoder people because often I did have to repeat "W3XYZ 5NN" and often when they came back they hit the wrong Fkey and sent CQ or their call again...

73 John K3TN

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John K3TN
K3VAT
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Posts: 709




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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 04:02:34 AM »

...
I think the bigger issue is the very large and wide splits - that is what always increases the QRMing and the QRMing leads to the inane policing which sums up to more people not hearing when the DX station comes back to them. To non-DXers, having big segments of the band erupt in people frantically sending their call to what appears to be a non-existent station is fairly annoying...
...   73 John K3TN

John, this is a very valid point; thanks.  One could take this a bit further and research where on the bands are these 'very large and wide splits' most common.  My analysis of the vast majority of major DXPeditions over the past several years by using DXSummit shows that for CW operation, the split width is the smallest when the DXPedition is operating in the lower part of the band (7002, 14005, etc.).  Even at the start of the DXPedition, splits down here in the Extra Class portion are smaller in comparison.  Where are the splits the largest (independent of mode)?  The General Class portion of the band (14025+ or 14200+).  If I had these DXPedition logs, then I could much easier validate this hypothesis (and my "Rate Hypothesis"); however, this is the best I can do at this point.

As more and more DX-hunters automate with internet-based DXClusters, skimmers, band-switching devices, etc. the more serious this will get.  Technology has a way of supplanting good old operator skill: the DX is only a click away - just pick the station off the cluster, single-click it, and you're ready to start calling.

73, Rich, K3VAT
 

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WA8UEG
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 05:17:41 AM »

The speed cost me my 20 CW contact as it was a busted call. N4OGW caught it, they got my call UE .._  . as F ..-. and sure enough WA8FG is in their log. I am good at 30 to 35 WPM for calls and individual words like Asia, SA, etc. and felt I was spacing the U&E the right amount for 35 WPM but will be much more careful now.
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AJ4RW
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Posts: 568




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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 06:00:00 AM »

Quote
But there definitely is an increase in people using CW decoders in pileups because they are not strong on CW

That's not completely accurate.  I use a keyboard/decoder for sending when doing contest and for working fast CW.  I also know 2 CW contesters that use a keyboard/decoder also.  The reason is being it improves the accuracy in the sending and completes their exchange quickly.  I also use a keyboard due to a diagnosed neurological impediment with my fine motor skills, too many mistakes above 25 wpm.  I've been doing code and chasing CW DX for over 40 years and I improvise to be able to enjoy one of my favorite aspects of the hobby.

The PT0S team is doing a terrific job to say the least!!!

There are a several factors that are contributing to this QRM problem.  In the past 1 1/2 years that I've been actively chasing dx I've seen a dramatic increase in QRM.  I just wish it would resolve but that's wishful thinking.

Randy
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NU4B
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Posts: 2219




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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 09:56:47 AM »

Either I'm listening to pirates or they have slowed down considerably. If people can't copy this they shouldn't be using the mode for Dx'ing.
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