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Author Topic: The average speed for CWing  (Read 38506 times)
WX2S
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« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 05:19:40 AM »

A year ago 20 WPM was tough. Now it's easy and I'm working on getting comfortable at 25. Can copy 30 and upwards for short bursts.

QRM and QSB always reduce the speed that I can comfortably copy.

I can also copy some fists better than others. If the sender doesn't have a good rhythm, it's tougher.

And I make some silly mistakes, more often than I'd like. Like D for W, etc.

Wx2s.
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
NO2A
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« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2014, 07:10:28 PM »

The other day I was working some dx. One station was having a hard time getting my call correct,so I sent it very slowly,thinking it would help. To my surprise he came back with "Please QRQ." Well,that was a first! So I did send faster,then he got it right. The irony was funny,though!
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N4DSP
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« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2014, 08:25:16 PM »

22 wpm is a good conversational speed.


Hi,

I have a simple question : what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ? ("RST, OP es QTH" QSOs, and DX pileups)

For DX pileups, I suppose the best is to read at 35-40wpm to get callsigns properly. But for an ordinary use, what speed is the mostly used ? I need to train as I do not practise for a while and, instead of using morserunner (fantastic software, btw), I prefer to improve my reading the right way to follow most of the common CW QSOs (i.e. learning most common CW words at the right speed without writing anything but the important info, such as name, QTH, rig and... callsign !).

Thanks in advance. 73. Nick
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GW3OQK
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2014, 02:09:39 AM »

I use 22 too.

And I try to send error free morse.  The more mistakes made, the more repeats, the slower becomes the speed of communications. 

When I answer someone who is sending faster than me I do not want him to QRS for I would not have answered if I could not read it. Same if a slow station calls me, I dont QRS unless asked. 

Andrew
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K8AXW
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2014, 08:12:00 AM »

Quote
what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ?

I've held off commenting on this question for a long time and should really move on but I just can't.

What kind of question is this?  What ever happened to learning the code, getting on the air and finding a contact that operates at YOUR speed?  What ever happened to making more and more contacts to let your speed increase naturally? 

There IS NO ORDINARY SPEED for CW use!  It doesn't exist!  What is ORDINARY for you probably isn't ORDINARY for me.  Extrapolate this to infinity and you'll understand this.

Now if you want to know the AVERAGE speed then that would be different.  I'm sure if a poll was taken an AVERAGE speed could be determined.  But even that is fluid.

Then we come back to the original question.  What speed is necessary for average CW?  The only speed NECESSARY is the speed required for you to make that particular contact.

Talk about over-thinking something!  Daymn!!

Al - K8AXW
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N0IU
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WWW

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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2014, 08:27:13 AM »

I've held off commenting on this question for a long time and should really move on but I just can't.
Al - K8AXW

I couldn't wait that long!

I made pretty much the same comment the day after he asked the question:

The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2014, 09:32:25 AM »

Re: N0IU

" the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy"

Just averaged out all my contacts for last 3 years and that's the speed I came up with also.
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WA9CFK
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2014, 01:09:17 PM »

I think anyone who can hand copy 20 + wpm code is exceptional. I hang on till about 10- 12 wpm but my writing is terrible. I suspect most begin to copy in their head or on a keyboard.

Since my objective is a casual chat, I really do not worry about speed, those who want to slow down will and those that won’t move on to someone at the speed they like.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2014, 05:26:42 PM »

IU:  While your answer was very good I felt that it didn't cover the specific question.  What I hoped to address is why some want to make a big hairy deal out of nothing.... or something that shouldn't even be considered.

I got the distinct impression the OP wanted to get his code speed to an accepted "ordinary" speed before getting his feet wet.  This is silly!  The name of the game is to be able to copy at any speed and get in the game and have at it. 

Just think of all the fun he's missing!

Al - K8AXW
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2014, 03:33:34 AM »

I got the distinct impression the OP wanted to get his code speed to an accepted "ordinary" speed before getting his feet wet.  This is silly!  The name of the game is to be able to copy at any speed and get in the game and have at it.  

Just think of all the fun he's missing!

Al - K8AXW

Al, that's a view I've seen expressed frequently. Now, I'm a total beginner here, in the middle of my code-learning journey. So I feel a bit presumptious, but I will say: in my opinion the answer to the OP's question is: "It depends."

If you hew to the "new fangled" Koch method, the answer to the question is very clear: no slower than 12wpm or even 15wpm. That of course doesn't preclude going QRS in answering someone who's going slower.

If on the other hand you tend toward the "tried and trusted" older code-learning methods, then your (K8AXW's) answer (i.e., that there is no such thing as an "optimum speed") is the correct one.

This is not "over-thinking." Code learning, especially when done in middle age, is quite a major undertaking and "thinking about it" seems like a good idea to me!

I will add one more thing. I have been monitoring the bands a lot over the past few weeks. Few QSOs are slower than 12wpm. I am not sure about this, but I suspect that with the demise of the code requirement and the Novice license and sub-bands, the environment for slow code is less well-developed than it used to be. Of course I am hearing quite a lot of slow code, and a lot of Elmering of slow-coders, but it is still a small minority of the code I hear on the air. Was it like that in the Olden Days? You would know far better than I.

See my separate thread, "Scientific Evidence on Morse Learning."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 03:41:06 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
M0LEP
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Posts: 210




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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2014, 04:08:26 AM »

I will add one more thing. I have been monitoring the bands a lot over the past few weeks. Few QSOs are slower than 12wpm. I am not sure about this, but I suspect that with the demise of the code requirement and the Novice license and sub-bands, the environment for slow code is less well-developed than it used to be. Of course I am hearing quite a lot of slow code, and a lot of Elmering of slow-coders, but it is still a small minority of the code I hear on the air. Was it like that in the Olden Days? You would know far better than I.

I suspect you could get quite a good idea of the prevalence (or otherwise) of slow code by analysing data from reversebeacon.net, but it might need a fair bit of data reduction. My "wet finger in the air" guestimate is that less than 10% of the Morse on the air is under 20wpm.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2014, 04:18:14 AM »

I suspect you could get quite a good idea of the prevalence (or otherwise) of slow code by analysing data from reversebeacon.net, but it might need a fair bit of data reduction. My "wet finger in the air" guestimate is that less than 10% of the Morse on the air is under 20wpm.

Precisely. So here's my question for the OTs: if given the choice between
(a) spending a few months learning the code to a decent speed (15wpm to 20wpm) and then going on the air at that speed, or not much lower than that speed; or
(b) "just getting on the air" and then scrambling around to find equally slow/novice-fist hams:

What is a modern-day ham to do? Yes, I know that in the Olden Days you would find plenty of other Novice slow-coders and have a lot of fun, but that does seem to be a lot harder these days. On the other hand my receiver is a primitive homebrew thingy, so perhaps I'm just not hearing all those slow-coders out there....

And, yes, I realize that any civilized OT will QRS when in a QSO with a slow-coder. But why should us new code ops start out with the handicap? Doesn't it make sense to target a speed that more closely matches the vast majority of the QSOs on the air, even if it takes a few months longer to learn?

Plus, I'm not even mentioning the OTs who won't QSO with slow-coders. I know that they exist, because I've seen them admit to it -- and in some ways I don't blame them. I find slow code (below about 10wpm) extremely difficult to copy, and I'm just a beginner.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 04:22:25 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2014, 06:38:41 AM »

WSY:  You point out some very good observations and have some very good opinions on CW operating.

I'd like to re-emphasize a few things.  A new CW OP might feel more comfortable jumping into the fray and a "ordinary" speed.  No doubt.

However, "back in the old days," you will recall from what you read, the Novice test included a 5 WPM speed test.  The norm in those days was for the OP to get his Novice ticket and get on the air ASAP.  Of course with the Novice class of license there were many more 5 WPM operators than there are now. 

However, there are many slow code operators that hang out on specific frequencies.  To wait until you exceed the speed of these existing slow coders your losing out on a great deal of fun, not only in making contacts but also practicing procedure and enjoying the unconscious and automatic tendency to increase your speed.

Kock recommends 12 WPM.  That's reasonable for a flowing contact.  However, it isn't necessary to MAKE a contact.  While I have to jerk my memory back 57 years I do recall hearing many QSOs at a much slower speed than 12 WPM. 

I do think many are "over-thinking" this CW thing.  Are you sure that you're not just making excuses to stay off the air out of "mike fright?"  If you know the code, get on the air!  QRP operators quite often work hard to make contacts, or contacts that they are particularly interested in.  So why don't you work hard(er) to make contacts with someone that is at your speed?  The side benefit of this that you will be helping TWO people!

Code and swimming are similar in that once you find out that you're not going to drown, the process of becoming a better swimmer gets easier each and every day.  If nothing else the "nerves" portion of a wireless contact diminishes.

Get on the air!

73

Al - K8AXW
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2014, 07:01:07 AM »

Are you sure that you're not just making excuses to stay off the air out of "mike fright?"  If you know the code, get on the air!  QRP operators quite often work hard to make contacts, or contacts that they are particularly interested in.  So why don't you work hard(er) to make contacts with someone that is at your speed?  The side benefit of this that you will be helping TWO people!

Nope, that's not it. I don't really care how awful my skills may be. I long ago pretty much stopped caring what other people think of me! Plus, I happen to think that, in the sections of the code I've learned so far, my skills aren't so bad -- and this is confirmed both by the "continual assessment" that is inherent in the Koch method, and also by my ability to copy fragmentary QSOs through heavy QRM and QSB.

But because I'm using the Koch method, I don't "know the code." I only know just over half of it (my score is only firm on 23 elements out of about 40; I tried to "rush ahead" to 33 elements but was beaten back to 23 because I rushed things too much). That's just the way his method works. As I explain in the other thread, this constant drumbeat of advice to "just get on the air" completely defeats the purpose of the Koch method. "Just get on the air" is deeply incompatible with the Koch method. It's as simple as that.

Now, could I ignore this fact and "just get on the air"? It's not physically impossible. I could build my transmitter, erect my antenna and just plunge in. But with only half the characters learned, it's hard to see what on Earth the purpose would be. What am I supposed to do, ask the other OP to please use only half the letters of the alphabet and only the numbers "zero" and "five"Huh?

I totally understand why you, and so many others, are keeping up this drumbeat of "just get on the air." It has worked for you, and for hundreds of thousands of other hams, especially back in the slow-code Golden Era when everyone went through the Novice 5wpm apprenticeship. Indeed, it would work today, if I employed the older code-learning methods. But I've now invested 2.5 months of my own time in doing it the Koch way, so I'm committed so seeing it through.

I would urge anyone who still thinks I should "just get on the air" to do a little bit of research about the Koch method. In many respects, it is the opposite of the way Morse code used to be taught. Is it the best method? I honestly don't know, but I had to start somewhere, and much of the "modern" advice is to use Koch.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:10:07 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2014, 07:21:22 PM »

Martin, perhaps it's time to dump the Koch method?  It looks as if it's letting you step forward two steps and jerking you back at least one step.  Any kind of process like this, to me, is questionable. 

However, if you insist on staying with Koch  fine.  I wish you the best.  Only you can determine what is best for you.

The rest of us can offer only what we've learned. 

73


Al - K8AXW
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