CW attempt #1: success 0

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by AJ4ZX, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. AJ4ZX

    AJ4ZX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tried my first Ham and CW contact today. I have been tinkering with cut dipoles inside, outside 20M, 40M, after about a month and 3 antennas I finally got one that is cut to a decent SWR and will survive outside. Picked up a TON of signals calling cq dx over the weekend so I just listened. Got back to the radio tonight and scrolled around the band and picked up the W1AW code practice and copied what I could. Feeling pretty good and remembering reading that the best way to improve is to get on the air; I called CQ for a bit and not getting anything back; I started scrolling around and got a very strong signal from New York. Sent (Their Call) De AJ4ZX and then my mind went BLANK! It wasnt my call being sent back but it was close. I think I copied 4 letters out of the message back. 4DX and then I got stumped by ..--.. and I must have waited to long because it went dead silent. Sent out my call again and nothing. I'll try again.

    Its amazing how I can copy decent most of the time, but the second it was "Important" I lost everything. :-/

    If you hear AJ4ZX on 20M, be gentle :p

    Running an SR-160 to a 20M dipole rather low to the ground. I dont have a mic for it.
  2. K5UOS

    K5UOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    You always remember the 1st QSO...

    Fantastic job!

    I was so nervous the 1st time I worked CW I broke my straight key. I froze up when an Ohio station returned my call and I pressed hard enough to break the arm off my key. The arm went back in place long enough to finish the QSO which was mainly an exchange of RST, QTH and name.

    Practicing CW is different from a real QSO in many ways. When you finally get on the air you must deal with QRN, QRM, QSB and just getting used to using the rig.

    I reached a comfort zone after a few more QSO's and have enjoyed it ever since.

    73 and congratulations

    Don K5UOS
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sounds like the fellow didn't quite get your call correctly. When calling someone, it's usually a good idea to send your call at least twice. Even if the other guy is more than capable of copying your sending, it's nice to hear it more than once just to be sure.

    Of course you know what ..--.. is now?
  4. AA8IA

    AA8IA Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congrats for sucking it up and getting on the air, risking anxiety, frustration and humiliation. Know you aren't alone. There was a first time for even the best code addicts out there. Glad you got on and gave it a try. Don't get discouraged (doesn't sound like you are). Keep up the good work, mainly for your own benefit because I think that the more contacts you make with CW the more you'll enjoy it !

    If I ever hear you on, I'll be glad to work you.

    What band were you on?

  5. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a lot of first CW QSO's! Keep going!
  6. KC5FM

    KC5FM Ham Member QRZ Page


    I hope you will.

    Also check out the Straight Key Century Club. That group has nets and contests at the speed you will appreciate, along with the patience to match.

    You will find their page at

  7. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    During my first CW QSO I forgot my call sign and spelled my name wrong twice.

    You did well. Keep it up OB.
  8. NS8N

    NS8N Ham Member QRZ Page

    FB on ur first cw qso. Quite a rush eh? I fumbled, bumbled and stumbled through my first about a year ago. Been hooked to the mode ever since. You'll find that most cw ops are a great group of guys. Keep sending on air and you'll surprise yourself at how fast you become proficient.
  9. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds exactly like my first CW contact! I sent out a CQ and someone actually came back to my call. In that very instant I forgot EVERYTHING I ever knew about Morse code and hit the power switch on the rig!

    That was almost 18 years ago. Now its my favorite mode... and has been for over 17 years!
  10. AJ4ZX

    AJ4ZX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I do know what ..--.. means now, and did then, just a brain fart and it just seemed to be the lynch pin of my screwup.

    I'm on 20M. Cant get a 40M dipole high enough to do anything but talk to the worms underneath it. Newer subdivision with the tallest thing being my house, and the attic length is max of 53' with a nice AC duct down the middle of it. So I've got the 20M dipole strung between some fence posts about 2M in the air. Still not high enough but it is what it is until I can get something else.

    I need to get a freq counter on the rig because I know the dial is quite far off, W1AW bulletin was around 14.095 on my dial, the ARRL website says its supposed to be at 14.0475. So I'm just trying to stay from there to 50khz up, plenty far from the band edges. Its an old tube rig from the early 60's, so it has probably drifted :) . And the CAL dial wont move it 50khz lol.

    Below is a picture of one like I have.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Still waiting for the day the code falls in place.

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