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20 WPM by March 1... or die trying!

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KK4NSF, Jan 1, 2019.

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  1. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you keep at it, soon you will be able to get some of the meaning from context. That helps make up for QSB, run-on sending, etc.

    In fact, I think this is the big reason why so many code readers fail at receiving less than perfect CW. They would need a really powerful artificial intelligence to get as much from context as the human brain does...
  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    We have all been or will be at 10/15 at some point, if your doing 10/15 get on the air.....if you need extra space at 15, send that way and one will generally return the favor. I started in November at 16 wpm, my goal was 20 solid by spring, head copy. My sending at 20/21 is respectable. My head copy is what's lagging at 20/21. Its not solid so I'm hoping by the end of the summer it will be. My summer cw practice work will slow down some which I expected. I struggle with poor code, generally the OP who is trying to send at 20 with a straight key or the like. Sounds like you are doing just fine. 73, Rich
    KK4NSF likes this.
  3. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This. Try evenings around 7050 and 7100-120 and you can generally turn somebody up.
    KK4NSF and W9RAC like this.
  4. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    I spent 2 years calling CQ on 7.117, as a result I made hundreds of contacts and friends there plus hundreds of hours of practice. He speaks the truth . 73, Rich
    KK4NSF and K5VZD like this.
  5. KJ6TAR

    KJ6TAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been too timid to call CQ. I listen and only get parts of the QSO so I know I am not ready. I am going to keep practicing!
    W9RAC likes this.
  6. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes I get that. Try it, call at the speed you are comfortable receiving at. You will soon be surprised of how many are sitting on the side waiting for the opportunity to get on air also, but are bashful too. After you call CQ and get a answer and do a QSO at the speed you can copy at the next time will be ez'r, for real. I call CQ every day at 20/21 knowing that its likely I'm going to get some returns at 22/25, which is over my head for sure. So.......... QRS pse. I like to operate at my maximum copy speed hoping that someday the faster speed may rub off so I am always in a struggle to copy. There is ALWAYS going to be someone faster, if your at 10 then is 15, if your at 20 then is 25, if your at 40 then is 45 so don't let it intimidate you from getting on and calling. I still on occasion run across the guy who returns my 20 wpm back at 30 even after letting them know they are over my head with the speed. Not sure of the purpose exactly but its just part of it. Do the CQ, you will be glad you did. 73 Rich
  7. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also Brian, I did notice we are only around 200 miles apart. I have antennas for mostly all HF bands so that's a EZ trip for us to make on air. Drop me a note and we can get some on air QSO practice in for you. Im retired so I am flexible on a time. 73 Rich
  8. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would just say 'do it'. Call at a slow speed. If somebody comes back too fast just send 'QRS' or a few '?'. I have found that CW ops are pretty understanding to LIDs like me as long as you are not trying not to be a LID. I think there are several slow OPs out there because if I slow my CQ I often get a nice response from a newer OP.

    I spent a week away from the key (I'm still a newbie) and saw my copy go back down to 10-12WPM. Been following this thread because 20WPM seems impossible but something that I would like to achieve.

    Until then, I'll just enjoy the journey from the slow lane while I struggle to improve.
    W9RAC likes this.
  9. KI7RS

    KI7RS Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could also consider SOTA chasing. The exchange is very brief, and as the chaser almost all the information you need is listed on the SOTAWATCH website. It gives you a chance to hear the station call CQ and work other stations before you jump in. It helped me get on the air with CW.
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    I do strictly conversation CW. To me its a different skill. I believe large part of your CW speed will be dependent upon the type of CW you do mostly. If your constantly coping/sending RST,Name,QTH, and the like your speed will be greater, since your on script, knowing what to expect. Now, if your in a actual conversation talking about and commenting on a variety of subjects you will have to learn to become more diverse, both copy and sending. I know several OP's who blaze at 25 wpm with contacts, but when they get into a conversation they struggle at 17. BTW your doing great! 73 Rich

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