CW on 2 meter

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David A. Bamford:
Hello all: First of all, I am a newbie to CW...

I am wondering if it is possible to listen to and learn CW on 2 meter, and is there much activity there?

I don't have a full size rig currently, just a hand held radio. If possible I would like to get a small antenna outside.

as usual thanks*


Jason Short:

Well, the only times I ever hear CW on 2 meters are during contests or band openings down in the weak signal portion of the band OR during the I.D. on a FM repeater. From what you state, it sounds like you just have a FM handheld? you can't really do CW on that.

I call CQ down around 144.2 at times, but haven't gotten a reply in quite a while. To really do any good down there, you do need a little bit of an antenna.

Would be kind of neat to get a 2 meter cw ragchew net going, or something along those lines.

D Scott Hepworth:
I used to listen to a weekly CW practice session on one of our local repeaters.  Once I passed my code test, I quit listening.  And now that the code requirement has been dropped, they may have discontinued the practice sessions, I don't know (stopped listening!)

I found the practice sessions helpful, so if you can find one, tune in.  If you can't find one in your area, maybe you can talk some elmers into starting one up. (use a 'trying to keep the code alive' line of reasoning, that may do the trick!) ;)

Scott kc9hoz

Jason Short:
another thing... for me, the best way to practice is just to listen in on qso's. every morning, I find super fast stations ragchewing in the extra portion. I listen to these guys and it has helped my high speed/head copy considerably.

also, the ARRL code practice transmissions are great, as they are not a qso, but text out of qst magazine. they do 5 wpm all the way up to 20 wpm I think.

Steve Katz:
Unless you make a schedule with a friend who also wants to learn code to get on the air and send code back and forth to each other using 2m FM (modulated CW, or MCW, is perfectly legal everywhere on 2m except the bottom 100 kHz, 144.000 to 144.100) and tone practice oscillators, this is a terrible way to "learn code."

You cannot copy A1 CW transmissions on a hand held unless it also works SSB (like an FT-817 does), and even if you could, there's usually nobody to listen to.  Most CW activity is serious "weak signal" stuff like moonbounce, and there just isn't much of it.

But FM-MCW is fine, legal, and practical.  Pick an unused *simplex* frequency, and go at it.

Still, you'll need a friend to practice with, since nobody is just sending MCW on two meters.

If you can't find a study-buddy to do this with, I think it's a waste of time.  You'd be far better off getting a cheap HF transceiver, putting up some sort of wire antenna, and using the privileges you already have to work the Novice code bands (sections of 80-40-15-10 meters), making real contacts starting at nearly zero words per minute if necessary and working "up" from there.  40 meters is a terrific place to do that, and there is *always* activity, including a lot of slow-speed activity where people are just learning.



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