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Author Topic: Sig/QTH/Name/WX/Age Boring QSO's? How to improve?  (Read 1118 times)
N7BUI
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Posts: 27




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« on: April 21, 2009, 12:08:56 PM »

I've tended to drift away from CW because almost 90 percent of the QSO's are pretty much the same as the subject line.  When I've added a few extras most of the time it's ignored and the QSO ends with "73" after the exchange of the above information.  

Now I will admit that I have not been up on the straight key frequencies recently and I'm going to give them another try to strike up a few real rag chew QSO's.  

How do you long time rag chewers get a REAL QSO going?
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 12:35:25 PM »

I haven't had a lot of real QSOs on any mode.

Mostly I DX, so I don't sample the real QSO world much.

But you can get the same thing on SSB and on PSK it's even worse because you'll add a bunch of details about the computer.

But at least it's not scary for me to start plain language QSO's in phone or print.

I'll be honest, I find it tough to converse in plain language on CW because I'm not very good at that and I avoid it, at least at higher speeds, because I worry that I'll mess up too much.

I'm much more comfortable with DX QSOs, even fast ones, than I am with plain language English copy, and at the moment, going and CW ragchewing makes me nervous where DXing is relaxing and fun, so I don't have a lot of incentive to do a lot of ragchewing.  I could slow down and get everything, but then I feel like I'm crawling as far as info transfer goes...

I have been noticing that I am slowly getting better and better at copying random stuff at 20-25WPM where I do my DXing... whole words are coming easier.  I make a lot of CW QSOs, just not many where I'm getting something new.

But sometimes the mold will be broken and I'm getting better at that.  

Another few years, and I'll just be more comfortable with ragchewing and I'll do more of it, I think.  But to improve my plain-language copy, I'd have to work at it, and dive in and make a hundred nervous QSOs and I just don't want to right now ;-)

73
Dan



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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KC2MJT
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 04:25:25 PM »

You're doing the right thing leaving bait and hoping the other op takes it. Sometimes the oddest thing will elicit surprising results.

In my experience you're more apt to get a ragchew than an exchange of numbers if you work the band when it is slow, no sprints or contests. Unless of course you work 30M during a contest.  You'll need to be up above 10.118

Stay away from the club freqs. unless, once again there is little activity on the band. Although I've met some very interesting people with the gift for storytelling on the club freqs,it's a greater chance you'll work someone looking to get a certificate.

I just looked through my log and my longest ragchews, those over a half-hour and some over an hour, were at  mid morning/afernoon or after 2200 local (all on 40 or 80M). I'm on the east coast.

Bottom line, the more QSO's you have the greater the chance for a ragchew. Keep on pluggin'.

73 KC2MJT

p.s. I think you have also figured out that many hams need to develop their ability to communicate or better yet, spin a good yarn.
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 12:54:47 AM »

I send my name, QTH, Doin FB tday. hw r u?  Bn op for 30 yrs.  Hw long y?

Next over.  BN hr at QTH since 89--love living in desert, green all year-no snow to shovel.  Winter is antenna time.  Widower, no kids, age 60.  How about u?

Next over.  My other hobbies are riding a BMW mc--rode from 1 lnad W MA to here in my HD in 1989-es making vases on a potters wheel.  Ur hobbies?

I also mention that I grow 5 rose bushes in container pots wrapped in chicken wire to keep the Javalena out-pack rats and mice sometimes get thru the chicken wire.

I only send my gear if asked to--I got board with other people's gear and lost track of what is in new gear.  Same for WX reports.

I have fun asking DX ops what trees they have around their houses.  If the grow any flowers or vegetables.

Where the met their wife; kids; were their parents from the same place.

Sisters, brothers where do they live and what do they do?

Recently, I've been trying out different receipts for beans and rice.

Just general chit chat.
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 06:48:29 AM »

The art of making conversation is the same for Morse
as in person.

What it requires is that you actively take an
interest in the other op and his or her life. Ask
questions. Ask what kind of key they're using; how
long they've been a ham, about their equipment, if
they enjoy contests, Field Day, nets, traveling,
other hobbies, etc.

You HOPE they will, in turn, reciprocate, and ask
you about your key, other interests, etc. That's
how conversations get underway. If they only
answer your questions, but don't respond by asking
about you, then you're just beating a dead horse.

73
Scott
W5ESE



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AA4N
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 10:14:33 AM »

I would suggest that a good way to get a proper rag chew going would be to slow down.  Personally, I find it exhausting to try to copy someone that's going faster than my comfort speed.  I also don't feel comfortable asking for QRS (maybe it's a manly pride thing Smiley.  So I don't go out of my way to extend the chat time with folks that are sending much faster than I am.   I find, also, that a lot of us slow coders tend to (foolishly) send a little faster than we can copy.  Mostly out of impatience and maybe self consciousness.

Anyway, a more relaxed qso lends itself better to ragchewing.  If memory serves, most of my marathon ragchews have been rather pokey on the speed side.  One day, I hope to be able to send/copy at a nice conversational speed, but for the time being, when the going gets too fast, I usually just politely excuse myself.

just a thought...

73 de AA4N

mike
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M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 10:40:14 AM »

it can be the same on ssb , i think if you talk like you want to converse then the other party normally will do so.

when i give my wx i will sometimes say for example " wx is wet and windy but thats not unusual for manchester, i wonder if you have had good weather today". or add i have been in the garden relaxing or i should be in the garden now weeding even if this is a bit of a pork pie ( lie) ..

" ant is loop ,it was a temp but works well so i will keep it up , have you tried a delta loop? "

or when they tell you what antenna they are on ask how it performs..

i find its quite easy to get a ragchew going if you initiate one and many seem to enjoy it but feel everyone else may only want a quick exchange..

billy
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 09:14:51 PM »

For many years, and up to right now, I keep an Atlas handy so I can look up wherever the other station is, and make comments or ask questions about their area.

When you get someone talking about something they really know, like where they live, the conversation becomes more interesting.

I also tend to discuss sports, especially if the other station is close to a team (of any sort) I know anything about.

I ask a lot of questions about the other station's antenna system, as that is the make-or-break element that can allow or disallow the contact.  It's amazing how much difference the antenna makes, as I often find by working two guys in the same town (literally) at the same time, and seeing one is 30 dB stronger than the other: That can't be a "power level" difference, unless one guy's running 1W and the other is running 1000W, which would be unusual.  The difference is the antennas, 99% of the time, so I inquire more about that.

WB2WIK/6
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VE3XDB
Member

Posts: 139




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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 04:09:56 PM »

I agree with WB2WIK - an altas is an excellent starting point.  I try to engage people by asking questions, most often about the geography in the area, their other hobbies, etc.  If they tell me something interesting, I follow it up with an invitation to provide more detail.  "Ur new K3 sounds FB hr.  Looks like a neat rig.  Tell me more about it."  

Someone else mentioned slowing down.  This works, too.  I usually work 25-30wpm, but if want a ragchew, I call CQ at about 18-20wpm.  

More QSO's = more variety.  Stay on the air!

Best regards,

Doug VE3XDB  
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AD7WN
Member

Posts: 113




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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 06:10:37 PM »

Opinions will certainly vary but I've found that the easiest way to converse during a qso is to simply start swapping sea stories.  Tell 'em about the all-nighter you pulled on the low end of 80 last winter, how after eight hours of listening to qrn and 16 cups of java your brain was getting too foggy to nab the DS1 when you finally found him.

If the other guy finds this interesting, he'll probably respond with his most memorable event.  If he does, you can then respond with your second most memorable story.

Of course, if the other guy does not respond, nothing ventured nothing gained.  Repeat that procedure with your next qso.  You'll find someone who is interested in conversing.

Hope this helps, 73 de John/AD7WN
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K8JD
Member

Posts: 51




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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 06:58:32 AM »

Many of the CW QSOs I have are with new or CW inexperienced operators since I check the SKCC watering holes and "Elmer" freq of 7114.
The QRS factor and stress of being new at CW seems to keep the dialog at a minimum sometimes.
Even the "basic" exchange takes a lot of time.
I still try to draw out the operators with Questions about thier other hobbies and station equipment and other mutual interest topics.
When get into a QSO with a QRQ operator the conversation seems to be more natural and flows into other topics easily.
Either way, I still enjoy my CW QSOs and have been on  CW more  than any other mode for 47 years now.
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73...John
SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer
M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 02:49:49 AM »

you make a good point re inexperienced ops. i found this to be true myself when i first started using morse where the standard exchange was enough for my head to cope with.

im only at the stage now where i can hold a half hearted conversation and look forward to the days i can sit happily waffling on..

billy

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KE7WAV
Member

Posts: 128




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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 12:12:49 PM »

You should really check out the groups like The SKCC and FISTS.  I am slow on my code only about 8wpm, but I have had some good long QSO's with some great guys belonging to these groups.  That is why I joined the SKCC, I've had some awesome QSO's with some great ops.  If you don't mind a slow QSO I'll be happy to spin a yarn with you.
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2009, 12:26:43 PM »

The basic info is like an introduction.  CW ragchewing is great fun, but it takes two to tango.  Getting to know the op on the other end is what it's all about.  I love to hear about rigs and antennas, etc.  Not every QSO is going to be one of the "best you ever had".  Accept each one for what it is and go on! Relax and have fun!   Rick, n5xm
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W4YA
Member

Posts: 317




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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2009, 04:01:44 PM »

Stuff that bugs me:

Repeating everything, sometimes three times.

OK on this, OK on that, and so on. Repeating everything that I said !!!

BTU, BK2U or similar unnecessary abbreviations.

These things make for a very short QSO on my part.
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