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Author Topic: Best "Novice" Band For CW?  (Read 1657 times)
K7KBN
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Posts: 2814




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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2009, 07:36:19 PM »

Like N2EY said, don't rely on a book or anything of the sort to tell you when a band is open.  That's what your receiver and ears are for.

If you listen on a band that's not open, you won't hear much, if anything.  You haven't damaged anything, but you have learned that that particular band wasn't open at the time of day you listened.  Try another.

Experience is the key.  A band that's open at my station might not be at yours at that particular time.

Develop your own sense of band vs. time vs. season vs. WWV propagation reports.

73
Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W4FID
Member

Posts: 133




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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2009, 03:53:37 AM »

I enjoy my OHR-100 on 40 with a dipole. Even with a hamstick on my pick up from a campground. There is almost always someone on 40 as it's almost always open to somewhere. Hang out on the QRP frequencies and you'll find lots of nice people -- skilled/experienced ops -- and they will work you at your speed.

30 is also a great band but not as populated, requires a general license, and isn't active for contests where you can build skills and work new states, etc. So If I had only one rig it would be 40.

e-mail me direct if you like. W4FID at OUTDRS dot NET
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K0RGR
Member

Posts: 106




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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2009, 04:16:22 PM »

If I could only have one band, it would be 40. Indeed, lately, I've been toying with the idea of making my first antenna at the new house for 40 only.

With a great antenna, you can work the world with low power CW on 40.

QRP operation can be challenging and frustrating. There's a reason people run higher power. And, the better the receiver, the happier you will be.

You may want to look for an older, used Ten Tec 50 or 100 watt rig.
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W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2009, 06:38:58 AM »

> I think in the next few weeks I going to order
> a Ten Tec receiver so I can start listening in
> on CW for practice.

If you are going to order the Ten-Tec TKIT 1056,
consider building it for 80 meters.

Then build a simple transmitter for 80 to go with
it.

A Cubic Incher crystal controlled transmitter
for $12:

http://www.danscloseoutsandspecialdeals.com/kitcloseouts.html

or a 'Little Joe' for 19.95:

http://www.danssmallpartsandkits.net/

They both require acquiring some crystals, but
would inexpensively provide you with a second
band, used in conjunction with the receiver that
you're ordering and building anyway.

73
Scott
W5ESE

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N4OI
Member

Posts: 210




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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2009, 04:39:03 AM »

Thomas,

Congratulations on your decision to pursue CW!  And QRP is a great way to get started.  The kit building experience you already have should be more than enough to tackle the Elecraft K1.  I suggest the 4-band version with the following: 40m, 30m, 20m, 15m (sunspots will come back and you will have great DX on 20m and 15m).  Also get the internal automatic antenna tuner.  You can use a very lightweight 20m dipole or even a random wire and it will tune it on all four bands.  This rig is a little pricier, but you will never grow out of it.  Again, congratulations and have fun! 73 es God Bless de Ken - N4OI
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N2UGB
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2009, 03:42:58 AM »

Welcome to cw and QRP.

You will be happy with any OHR rig. I have the 400 and 500. Both no longer manufactured but still serviced by Marshall and the boys.

Marshall a first-class guy to deal with.

The 100 is still available and can be purchased assembled. Great reviews. Don't pass one up.

I would recommend 40M. And, as the BC stations gradually leave, the old "Novice" segments will be even more attractive. That should be the end of March?

When you get your General, 30M also great QRP band.

Get yourself another OHR-100 for that band. Now you have a good looking desk set-up for (my) two favorite bands.

I am going to start working more 7.114 +/- cw from now on.

Enjoy your present privledges. I knew of an elderly ham who passed away a while back. He was a Novice Class op until the bitter end. Operated and serviced his boat-anchor rigs. Gave many a new Novice their first cw QSO on 80M.

73 es GL
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AD7WN
Member

Posts: 113




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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2009, 07:30:30 PM »

Congratulations on your decision to pursue CW.

As to the best band, I would vote for 30 meters first and 40 meters second.  You would need a general class license to work 30 meters.  Please consider taking the general class exam at the same session in which you pass the technician.  You can take both for the same VE fee.  Take some eHam practice exams for both until you can consistently score well above 70%.

Five watts is enough for either band if an efficient antenna is used.  A resonant dipole will work on either band if it is installed at least 30 feet up.  A vertical is fine if it has a good ground system: either elevated with at least 3 (preferably 4) ground radials, or ground mounted with lots and lots of radials, either lying on the ground or buried an inch or two deep.

Best of luck and 73 de John AD7WN
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KR4EY
Member

Posts: 29




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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2009, 10:48:40 AM »

I think 40 is now the best Novice CW band.
What ever happened to the 15 meter CW novice band, there is never anybody there any more. 15 meters was a excellent band back in the early 90's, I worked a lot of DX on that band.
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3895




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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2009, 03:46:04 PM »

"What ever happened to the 15 meter CW novice band"

Three things:

1) Sunspots

2) DX 'phone

3) Restructuring

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KR4EY
Member

Posts: 29




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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2009, 06:40:23 AM »

Jim

I disagree with you a all your points.

Sunspots are a non issue. I work DX all the time on 15 meters even today. I've worked at least 25 countries on 15 meter phone in the 3 months, so the band is not totally dead.

DX Phone sorry but novice/tech only has HF phone privileges on 10 meters.

Restructuring? The novice/tech has more bandwidth now on 15 meters than when I was a novice back in 1988.
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KE7WAV
Member

Posts: 128




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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2009, 04:10:54 PM »

I am by no means an expert, but instead a young ham with a little experience pounding the brass.  However, if you check out the Straight Key Century Club Elmers.  They will be happy to set up a sked and help you learn the ropes.  

I have been very impressed as SKCC members have helped me build up my code speed and often times good people to chew the rag with.  Their Elmers frequency is 7.114 +/-

The link to their Elmers page is:

http://www.skccgroup.com/elmers.htm

Just email an Elmer and setup a sked.  GL and welcome to the cool world of Morse Code!

73 and hope to see down the log
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VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2393




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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2009, 12:25:35 AM »

A monkey wrench in the works --

I was thinking about a QRP rig.  With kit prices what they were, for single-band kits, I couldn't justify one.

But I _could_ justify (and pay for) an FT-817 -- all bands 160m- 70cm, all modes (including CW and SSB).  I believe they sell used for around  $400.

It's not as small or light as a pure CW QRP rig, and it uses more power (about 400 mA on receive).  But it's way, way more flexible.

If your budget won't stretch, one band is much better than no bands, and I'd pick 40m if you can put up a decent antenna.

         Charles
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K8JD
Member

Posts: 51




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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2009, 08:09:51 AM »

I will endorse 40M as the best all around band for a CW beginner, 80M is a close 2nd.
I started my hamming on the old 80M novice band.
In the winter months there is no lightning static and sunset, when the band started oopening beyond the 200 mile daytime limit, was when I was ready to get on the air.
Evening signals on 80 can be really strong and easy to copy.
I recently built 2 MFJ Cubs ($99 each in kit form)One for 80 and one for 40M.  Having great success getting QSOs with a few watts.
I have a full size dipole for  80 and a fullwave loop for 40M.
A good antenna is a MUST for QRP !
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73...John
SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer
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