ad: elecraft

CW OPS and that First CW Contact

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KH6OWL, Apr 2, 2017.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Subscribe
  1. KH6OWL

    KH6OWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have completed the Level 1 CW OPs course and a lot of you have followed my progress and frustrations via my blog. This is a follow up to that course.

    I have had some people contact me wanting to help and I am grateful. One CW teacher, W6BK, David Elliott called and talked to me about getting over the hump. Apparently this is quite common that once you pass the course you never get on the air because you are either scared of being to slow, not being able to copy, etc etc. Thanks David for trying to contact me on the air that day but we can barely hear one another.

    I have been practicing sending and taping out license plates, the alphabet, etc. I was practicing late one night using 5 watts and was getting ready to quit and decided to try 500 watts. I sent my CW on a straight key which enables me slow my sending speed down. We tend to send faster than we can copy and people will answer you at the speed you sent. Anyhow, I sent my CQ and got an immediate answer. I didn’t know what to do except change my underwear!


    At first I didn’t get anything, he kept sending and then I got a few letters. Now it was my turn so I sent my call again and QRS for slow down please. He sent again and I got another letter. I then sent my call and “I am new and need to go slow”. He sent again and then I sent ? ? and he immediately came back a lot slower. I got his call, minus the first letter. I thought it was a B but it ended up being a V. His call was VK4TJ and then I got the RST he sent.

    I was so excited that I thought I got the contact and then he sent an email to me after that confirming it was indeed him.

    I could not sleep that night and it has really motivated me to get on the air and stop using practice as an excuse. Practice is important but get on the air and suffer through it.

    I had made a brief contact to a friend in Canada but I knew what his call sign was as we had a schedule contact. I did hear it and we did make the contact but this one felt like I got it on my own and boy was I a kid again. Thanks for all those slow operators or those that can slow down to help us new guys. Our little slow group shares emails and encouragement and continue to try to contact one another. The joy this hobby can bring always amazes me.

    73 until next time

    KN4CAJ, KK6JKC, W5BIB and 9 others like this.
  2. K2FI

    K2FI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FB OM.

    I remember my first CW contact after I got re-licensed and back on the air. It was exhilarating and terrifying. I'm still not very good at it, but my goal is to do 80% CW for calendar 2017. So far I'm doing well, although the past couple of days doing WWFF-KFF have skewed it a little (I have a non-ham logging for me and she doesn't know any CW, so I've stuck to SSB)
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good for you! Congrats!

    Just one question if I may?

    Are you 'practicing' on the air? or into a dummy load?
  4. NK9Y

    NK9Y Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've run across many new hams lately, who want to give CW a try. Go for it! There certainly is plenty of empty spectrum "down" there.
    KD2ANN and K2FI like this.
  5. K1LKP

    K1LKP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. WA6JJM

    WA6JJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good rag chews are a blessing for new ops. Please hang in there and it will all fit together with time. Hope to hear you on the air,

  7. VE7JBX

    VE7JBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    ;) Yep, what he said. If you're not putting that 5W into a dummy load... don't be surprised if you get someone coming back to you. It's been eye opening to use my QRP CW radio and see RBN spots come back. Yes, it's a bit more at the whim of propagation than if I run 100W, but it's very rare that 5W into my attic dipole or field expedient inv-V on 20, 30, or 40m doesn't show RBN spots all over N. America. Yesterday from a park bench with said expedient antenna 40m was showing me hitting stations 2000 miles away at +18dB. If my math's right that's 64x background level so a solid signal for sure.
  8. KH6OWL

    KH6OWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sending 5w out into the air using CQ and my call.
    KE8EAS likes this.
  9. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    No replies to the qrp calls? As John JBX said QRP can be pretty amazing at times.
  10. KH6KX

    KH6KX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am currently trying to learn code and am only about half way through. It's very difficult but I'm anxious to make my first CW QSO. Hopefully I'll stick with the program and get that first one under my belt too.
    K4KKQ, NK9Y and KH6OWL like this.

Share This Page

ad: Bigelow-1