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. KJ6TAR

    KJ6TAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wednesday evening will be my next chance to get on the air. Work, etc. will keep me away from my shack until then. I will email you when I have a certain time. Thanks!
    KM6VOV likes this.
  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK Brian, my email is OK on QRZ, which will be better than posting our exchanges here. 73 Rich
    KM6VOV likes this.
  3. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need the callsign and the signal report. The rest is just gravy. If you miss something because you got nervous or distracted, ask for a repeat. If bad QSB is keeping you from hearing everything well enough, just say so and send 73. It's pretty common to hear a station calling CQ coming in like a ton of bricks, and then when they acknowledge your call they are suddenly in the mud.

    Almost everyone is very nervous for their first ten or so QSOs. Generally, each one gets easier. You will occasionally have one blow up on you, but remember, if the other guy isn't sending well or QSB sets in, or you get tired and distracted, nobody's going to take it personally.

    After twenty QSOs, you will wonder why you ever hesitated in the first place.

    I have mediocre antennas here, and my AL-811 is hors d'combat. When the DX big guns are working NA on 20m they can usually hear me but generally not as well as others. So I content myself with short, simple exchanges, easily repeated. If I want a ragchew, I will generally only call strong NA stations that I think can hear me well.

    What I need to do is build better antennas...
    M6GYU, KM6VOV and W5BIB like this.
  4. KJ6TAR

    KJ6TAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks to W9RAC I have made a QSO via CW! It was enlightening and fun. I need more practice, but it showed me that on air experience is different than practicing on the computer. For one thing it is more fun!
    K9ASE, KK4NSF, KM6VOV and 7 others like this.
  5. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great job Brian, anytime sir, anytime. 73 Rich
    KM6VOV and KJ6TAR like this.
  6. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK, lets remove the "Die Trying" part since its April, or almost. Lets try for July. 73 Rich
    M6GYU, KK4NSF and KM6VOV like this.
  7. KJ6TAR

    KJ6TAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Next phase, learning how to send better. I got an iambic key that I am now going to figure out how to use.
    KM6VOV likes this.
  8. KI7RS

    KI7RS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try increasing your sending speed by about 5 wpm, and practice for a few minutes. You'll make more mistakes at first, but when you slow back down to your normal speed it will be more relaxed. You'll start to feel like your ahead of the sending rather than focusing on each letter (if that makes any sense :):)
    KM6VOV and KJ6TAR like this.
  9. N7KO

    N7KO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are not alone, I am at 15 to 18 WPM , I slowly improve. It takes some of us longer to learn to copy CW.

    I am just now getting to where I am not translating code to a letter, now when I hear ..-. I do not think about it I know it is an F , just like if I hear some one saying F, I copy F. And word copy is the next step, I think all of us recognize the word CQ , QTH, RST when we hear the code sent together and such, for me these were some of the first words I learned. Does this make since?. I would be happy to have a QSO with you at the speed you are at. 73,
    KK4NSF and K9ASE like this.
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    N7KO likes this.

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