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Author Topic: CW speed  (Read 8474 times)
KA9FCZ
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« on: November 21, 2013, 05:29:59 PM »

My opinion is some ops just send way too fast for the multitude. I know in a DX pileup, speed means more contacts, but if an op cannot copy, what is the purpose?
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K7JBQ
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 08:18:23 PM »

The purpose is contact rate -- getting the maximum numbers of QSOs in a limited time. Very important, particularly for a DXpedition. A DXpedition is not a lowest common denominator kind of deal. If you're trying to work them on CW, they assume you know the code.

It isn't a ragchew -- it's a minimal exchange of information.

It may take you a few tries to get their callsign, but you should be able to recognize yours coming back at any speed. And the report is going to be 599.

73,
Bill

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N0IU
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 03:24:38 AM »

My opinion is some ops just send way too fast for the multitude. I know in a DX pileup, speed means more contacts, but if an op cannot copy, what is the purpose?

For the XR0ZR DXPedition that just ended, they were on the air for about 195.5 hours in which time they made 24,866 CW contacts. That translates into an avaerage of just over 84 contacts an hour... every hour for over 12 days! It does not appear as if there were any issues with there not being enough people  to contact.
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K8GU
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 04:37:23 AM »

...If you're trying to work them on CW, they assume you know the code.
...It may take you a few tries to get their callsign, but you should be able to recognize yours coming back at any speed. And the report is going to be 599.

I'll revise that slightly.  They assume you know the code "fast enough" to complete a DX contact, which as K7JBQ says, is a completely different game than a ragchew. 

A DX pileup is "about you" for the 15 seconds or whatever that you have the DX op's attention.  The rest of the time, it's about the DX operator and the rest of "The Deserving" making QSOs as fast as they can.  Now, if the DX op is doing something that causes him (her) to lose control of the pileup at high speed, that might warrant slowing down.  For example, if many people who can't copy the DX and understand instructions are still calling out of turn, etc.  Or if there is some really fast QSB.  Otherwise, they're going to run their brains out.

I accept that you're at a substantial disadvantage if the DX op is sending too fast, because you can't exploit the dynamics of the pileup to your advantage.  But, that's some incentive to practice and get faster if you want to do that kind of operating!
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K8AXW
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 08:52:30 AM »

FCZ:  I can understand very well what you are saying.  Even though I've been using CW for over 5 decades and at one time could hold my own with most operators, I've slowed down quite a bit now that I'm almost 78.

I've pretty well given up working DXpeditions because of two things.  They work a split wider than the RIT of my transceiver and while I can read them, my fist is too slow. 

About the only thing you can do is put off working DXpeditions until your speed is good enough or simply try until you get tired of it and spin the knob.   Sad

Al - K8AXW
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M0LEP
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 10:06:49 AM »

About the only thing you can do is put off working DXpeditions until your speed is good enough

...or mount your own DXpedition somewhere, and run your pile-ups at the speed you want to run, but that's probably further than most folk will want to go?
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W3UEC
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 11:31:40 AM »

" My opinion is some ops just send way too fast for the multitude."

I have, only recently, returned to ham radio after more than 50 years QRT. For me CW has been a steep but satisfying learning curve. I must say that CW operators have been very accommodating and patient with me, especialy since (unless I am vigilant) I tend to send faster than I can copy. Maybe the only exception was the first time I copied a DX call followed by "up." I assumed that the "up" was part of the guy's call and continued to call on his transmitting frequency appending "up" to his call.  I can only assume that, in his country, the term "asshole" is OK to use on the air.  If it is any comfort, remember that hams who work CW are not "the multitude." They (WE?) are a small elite segment of the most intelligent talented, devoted, and public minded folks in the world. Now please excuse me to go to chiropractor to treat effects of excessively patting myself on the back.    Smiley
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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 12:18:41 PM »

I've pretty well given up working DXpeditions because...  my fist is too slow.  

About the only thing you can do is put off working DXpeditions until your speed is good enough or simply try until you get tired of it and spin the knob.

Then there's a 3rd option...

As far as your fist being too slow, why not use a computer or keyer to do the transmitting for you? There is no way I would enter a contest or try to bust one of these mega-pileups by hand.

My radio has a built-in keyer with 4 memory positions. One has my callsign and another has "5NN MO". I still haven't figured out what to use the other 2 memory positions for!

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WS4E
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 12:37:59 PM »

One has my callsign and another has "5NN MO". I still haven't figured out what to use the other 2 memory positions for!


MO? 

CW Newb here.  I have never seen that before.
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N0IU
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 12:43:26 PM »

MO = Missouri. (Just in case they want to put that in their log.)
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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 04:06:14 PM »

For the XR0ZR DXPedition that just ended, they were on the air for about 195.5 hours in which time they made 24,866 CW contacts. That translates into an avaerage of just over 84 contacts an hour... every hour for over 12 days! It does not appear as if there were any issues with there not being enough people  to contact.

Pardon, but that 'translates' into between 125 and 130 contacts per hour figuring the total CW contacts divided by the on the air time.  It seems you want us to believe that with only one CW setup, the dxpedition was logging a solid 2 contacts per minute for all the time they were on the air--something that is rather difficult to accept.
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N0IU
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2013, 04:16:30 PM »

OK, so math was never my strong suit!

My point was that most DXpeditions run out of time, not people to talk to... even on CW!
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NO2A
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 12:26:23 PM »

My opinion is some ops just send way too fast for the multitude. I know in a DX pileup, speed means more contacts, but if an op cannot copy, what is the purpose?
While I agree,you have a few advantages of working dx:since he sends his call repeatedly,you have more chances to get his call correct. Most all dx only cares if they can hear you well enough to respond. Don`t worry if you can`t send as fast. I use a straight key all the time,and when I call a fast station they usually call me provided they can hear me. They don`t send,QRQ(send faster). Cw ops are generally very polite too,dx or stateside. Remember all you have to copy correct is your call,and that`s not too hard even at faster speeds. It`s only a short few seconds anyway. Give it a try!
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KA9FCZ
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 05:11:34 PM »

Yes, and thanks
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LU7YWC
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 05:24:55 AM »

Also I suppouse is all relative to our speed. When I started with CW about a year ago all seemed really fast. Today those who send at more than around 28WPM seems fast and those below 18 seems slow. I'm ok around 20-22 WPM. And recognize a nice rag chew at those speeds or a little bit faster are great, slower takes to mucht time to share something and faster make me miss part of what's being send....but that's me and sure everyone has its "comfortable speed". What sure I do is slow down when hear someone coming back slower, suffered that a lot at the beggining, folks answering my 12 wpm call really fast. On recent cqww I had the chance to answer those really fast callers really fast using n1mm keyer, feeling kind of fast operator, but just to say 599 13 ;-)
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