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Author Topic: Going QRQ  (Read 489 times)
W0EA
Member

Posts: 17




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« on: May 25, 2009, 03:18:15 PM »

(already posted this on QRZ so if you're seeing it for the second time, please bear with me!)

So I've decided I'm really sick of this little plateau I'm on for copying code.
I know I'm missing out on DX because of it and that bothers me! I can copy
pretty well up to about 15 wpm (also writing by hand). I NEED to get faster and
do head copy. I've started the Koch series again at 20 wpm letters and 20 wpm
words but I'm not doing very well and its going very slowly. Is there a way to
boost my speed faster or more efficiently?

73,
Tom (who wants go to FAST)
W0EA
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3894




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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 04:27:21 PM »

IMHO, the answer is to operate in a high-speed environment. Computer practice helps but is not the main thing.

Try this:

1) Tune in W1AW code practice and listen to speeds faster than you can copy - including speeds that are way over your head - right down to speeds you can copy solid.

2) Listen to other hams using CW whenever possible - particularly ones that are too fast for you. Have CW as background music whenever possible.

3) Get into every contest you can, even if it's just for a few hours. Field Day is coming up, and many clubs need CW ops. Find one and help out.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AD7WN
Member

Posts: 113




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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 06:39:07 PM »

Tom, I can't make a recommendation from personal experience.  I learned code in the army, sitting at a mill for 8 hours a day for 6 months, in order to get my speed up to 25 wpm coded groups.

That isn't necessary for your purpose.  You can learn to head-copy by just listening to W1AW code practice runs.  Concentrate on speeds faster than what you can copy now.  It'll all fall into place for you.

73 de John/AD7WN
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 07:15:02 PM »

Make sure you are not printing.

Everybody hits a spot where they don't think they are making any progress.

Try setting aside 5 minutes every day, and copy random letters.

For me, I had to get to around 25 wpm before I was copying words and just taking notes.

Best from Tucson
Bob
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 07:17:33 PM »

Another thing you can try is copying ops in pile-ups.

73
Bob
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2009, 07:28:30 PM »

The secret I've used with about 500 code students, and it seems to work, is this one:

Make at least 5 CW contacts a day, and push the envelope to working stations you really can't copy.  Just kick back and listen, and don't try to write anything down.

Do that for three months, and if you're not going 30 wpm you'll be the first one I've ever seen who couldn't do it.

WB2WIK/6
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AD5X
Member

Posts: 1432




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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 04:09:58 AM »

I did it by listening to high-speed operators on 40 meters every morning before work for about 20 minutes.  I just closed my eyes and listened.  After a few weeks, the words just started forming in my brain.

Phil - AD5X
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KB2FCV
Member

Posts: 1220


WWW

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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 11:55:23 AM »

My contest speed is comfortable in the 25-30wpm range since you know what you're listening for and you already know the exchanges to listen for.

QSO ragchew speed is a different story. It used to be alot faster back in the 80's/early 90's, but right now I'm very comfortable at 15 but 20 can be a challenge. I'm working on increasing that speed. I try to copy as much as I can on paper. I've tried doing 100 percent in my head but sometimes forget what letters were sent and I get tripped up trying to remember while the op is still sending. Lol, can I get ram installed in my head? So at the moment I'm kinda in the 50/50 head copy and write down phase. I'll get it back up there.. just gotta do what I used to do.. listen to others or W1AW
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W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 02:37:40 PM »

Good advice from the others on this post.

A few other thoughts;

o I built a small receiver (a Ten-Tec TKIT 1056 for 40 meters), and set
it up on my nightstand with a pair of walkman-type headphones. I
used a quarter wavelength of wire for an antenna, draped around the
headboard. After I went to bed, I would tune around for a half hour or
so, and listen to some of the activity, listening to the W1AW code
practice transmissions or QRQ activity.

o Good advice offered by the others on Field Day. You'll have more
opportunity to operate if you go by yourself or with a small group,
rather than a big club.

o Listen to QRQ contacts on the air, and tail end one of the
operators when you hear the QSO ending.

o There are LOTS of little QRP CW contests, some that occur
monthly. Dial your power down to 5 watts or less, and jump in.

73
Scott
W5ESE
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