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Author Topic: Should I get on the air, even though my CW is very slooowwwww?  (Read 44517 times)

Posts: 12

« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2013, 05:55:16 AM »

Thanks for all the encouragement, and I will certainly get on the air soon.  I've just started to build a new little hotel on Phuket Island (my 4th project of this type).  This time, I am building with ham radio in mind. So as described in a thread in the antennas forum, I will try to design my guest-room layout to fit in with a reasonable, top band wire antenna and ground system.


Posts: 349

« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2013, 10:29:04 AM »

I agree with getting on the air NOW@ I would like to suggest that if you have a program that copies code, don't use it for on air BUT use it to practice sending and develope your fist so you sound good. A decoder will let you know in a hurry if your ffist is clean and that is very important for getting those desired contacts. Nobody enjoys listening to a hasha fisty scratchy - hi
You will start improving the sooner the quicker by getting thosw sweaty palms on the key and go for it. I still recall my shaking and quaking on the first one. Grin
Dick KH2G

Posts: 1003

« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2013, 08:58:53 PM »

With your HS0 call, people will work you at whatever speed is comfy for you.
As you make more contacts, your comfortable speed will increase.
Fred, KQ6Q
(HS2AJG 1973-74)

Posts: 156

« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2013, 07:37:05 AM »

This is a great thread that is inspirational for this CW newbie. 

I am still trying to learn CW.  And hopefully, I can try making my first contact in February.   Maybe even December or January if I can learn all the elements by then (letters, numbers, pro-signs, punctuation), but I doubt it.  I like the idea that as soon as you can listen and send the required elements even if at a slow speed of 5 WPM, just get on the air and make a contact.  I looking forward to that moment.

I've been practicing about 15 to 30 minutes a day.  I am learning the elements at 18 wpm, but the overall speed is 5 wpm for the spacing between elements and words.   I think this is the Farnesworth and Koch methods.

I talked to a ham who only does CW on HF and he said he was willing to show me his rig and how to do CW properly when I am ready to get on the air.   Funny thing is, he will do "phone" on 2 meters though.  And I talked to other hams learning CW as well.  So, it looks like there will be some local hams I will be able to make contacts. 

Daniel, KK4MRN


Posts: 1644

« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2013, 09:37:12 AM »


I am happy you are practicing, but perhaps you are further along than you realize! I have never understood why people use the stupid Koch or Farnesworth or whatever they are called. Just listen to 5wpm code at "normal" 5wpm spacing, THAT is what a good CW operator will be sending you ON THE AIR.

Go to the ARRL website or google "W1AW Code Practice Files". The ARRL has mp3 files of code (and you can print out the corresponding text to follow along) at speeds from 5wpm up to 40wpm. That is the Morse you should LISTEN to and THAT is what you should emulate when you SEND. That is what I did, I printed out the text, and then sent with my practice oscillator with the mp3 file going (actually, back when "I" did it there were no mp3 files, we would listen on the air.) THAT is how to learn Morse code, and once you can understand 70% or so of 5 wpm text GET ON THE AIR. Once on the air, one QSO per day for a month will AMAZED at your progress. I PROMISE!!!!

Don't wait, just do it. Nothing in life is perfect, you don't have to be perfect either. What is the worst that can happen, you freeze up and miss almost everything the other guy says? So what!!

Posts: 521

« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2013, 10:27:30 AM »

Just listen to 5wpm code at "normal" 5wpm spacing, THAT is what a good CW operator will be sending you ON THE AIR.

At slow speeds (say less than about 12wpm) you will quite often hear "Farnsworth" spaced characters on the air. Chances are, if you call into a pile-up and the pile-up operator is using a paddle and a rig's built-in keyer, then he'll slow down to your speed by spacing the characters out to your speed. That's at least half because changing the CW speed properly involves diving into a menu option, and not many rig designers put the option right at the top. There are exceptions. Speed control is usually at the operator's fingertips if an external keyer is in use, but only one of my rigs lets me change the CW speed without pressing at least two buttons first.

Obviously, straight key operators don't have to worry about such things, but even with them you may sometimes get "Farnsworth" spaced characters...

73, Rick M0LEP

Posts: 797

« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2013, 04:14:42 PM »

YES, My Goodness, Yes, By all Means, Who Ever Wants to get on the air at/with Slow, Clunky, Beginner's Speed, Please Do It!!!...We Are All waiting To Work You!!! Just Try...73
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