About ready to give it a try ... here is my template for my first attempt

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KQ4MM, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello fellow CW ops,

    I have all the letters and basic punctuation down, can copy W1AW slow code solid at 5 and 7.5 and so so at 10wpm, been practicing my letter and word spacing and think Im ready to stumble onto the air with my first CW QSO in over 25 years. Below is a template I have printed out to help me through the first attempts, any suggestions or changes I need to make? the proper procedures and prosign usage is still un clear to me as there are many different views of this on the web.

    Listen then QRL? then listen more

    To Answer CQ
    __call sign_________ DE KQ4MM KQ4MM AR

    TO call CQ

    CQ CQ CQ DE KQ4MM KQ4MM K {listen and repeat if necessary, but don't over do it}

    My CQ Answered

    __call sign_________ DE KQ4MM ( GM, GA, GE ) TNX FER CALL UR RST 5____ 5____ QTH

    Should QSO go extra rounds some possible items

    RIG IC7300
    SKCC NR 17450 17450
    FISTS NR 18327 18327

    In case of PANIC



    ___call sign______ DE KQ4MM THX FER FB QSO __name______ = HP TO CU AGN,
    VRY 73 SK ____call sign______ DE KQ4MM

    ----- END of Template -----

    Thanks in advance for taking time to look this over and any constructive suggestions/comments.

    73 de KQ4MM --- Brian
  2. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks very complete, I have a similar (but less complete) cheat sheet as well. My sending practice focuses on that sheet, plus the ABC's, etc. I've got exactly ONE cw qso under my belt so far, but like you I'm about ready to get down to business. Maybe I'll run into you on 40 some day.

  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since you are SKCC member i would recommend going to the 'sked page' and announcing your newness. You will find the guys lining up to collect your number and they will be very patient.
    AA4OO and WB5YUZ like this.
  4. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I've answered a CQ I've always used KN after sending my call, since I'm talking to that station and that station only, and am hoping that they will respond. AR is end of message and I do believe it's meant to be sent at the end of a message (like a telegram) but would still have the "zz1zz DE kb1ckt KN" after it--which is to say, I don't see a use for AR in casual conversation. Although I suppose AR is shorter than "BK T U". But on ragchew I might send "BK T U de kb1ckt KN" since we're going back and forth, and this might be the second or third time we've passed it around--they know their call already.

    In your "extra rounds" I'd use some "=" between thoughts. Else they may expect you to repeat what you sent. I mean, if signals are good and strong, then no repeats are necessary; and a long pause is just as a good as a period or =; but I'd either use a long pause or a period, regardless of repeating info.

    Lastly, in case of panic, don't send "patient", they'll already know they need to do that, and there's no sense in spending that length of time to do it. ;) Just say "SRI NEW CW OP =", take a breath, send "=", another deep breath and go right on. No shame in being new, everyone was new. Anyone worth talking to won't mind.
  5. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think KN is necessary.

    KN means "No breakins", meaning that you only want to qso the person you are engaged with at the moment.

    I'll pose the reason I don't think it's necessary as a question.

    When was the last time you had, or even heard, another cw station break in to an existing qso?

    More than two stations in a cw qso is EXCEEDINGLY rare!
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first few QSOs, I sent "NEW TO CW". It was very short and easy to send, and always brought a nice, friendly, slow response.

    Try to relax as much as you can, don't overthink things, don't worry about perfection. Send more slowly than you're capable of receiving. Be sure and send the spaces as much as you send the letters. Make it obvious where the space is between your words, and that space should be longer than the space between letters.

    And have fun!
  7. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    @KB1CKT and @WR2E .. Noted and adjustments have been made to the template ... thanks for the input

    @AG6QR.. good idea too, at what point did you insert that comment in the QSO or CQ
  8. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've forgotten exactly, but I think it was normally at the end of the first exchange, after stating my name. But feel free to send it whenever you feel it is appropriate.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    AR is used like this, but I like "K" better. "K" is an "invitation to transmit." AR is "end of message." Just because you ended the message doesn't mean you've invited a reply. Plus, "K" is shorter.:p
    I'd make the CQ somewhat longer by sending exactly what you wrote, but at least twice...and then the "K" at the end. Listen for 10-15 seconds and repeat. If after about four CQ's you get no replies, but do hear other activity on the band indicating there's actually propagation, try a different frequency and start over. Sometimes no reply means the frequency really is in use, just by others you can't hear.
    Good going, but IMO you used more letters than necessary, which is just using up the clock. Instead of TNX FER CALL I usually just send "TU" (thank you) and instead of "UR RST" I just send "RST" as who else would I be reporting to other than "U"? "NAME BRIAN" is fine, but I think most experienced ops today use "OP BRIAN" instead. Means the same thing, but it's two letters instead of four. The "OP" thing gained popularity over the past 20-25 years...prior to that, most did send "NAME." "KN" at the end is fine, but I never use it as it's just another letter to send (N) and "K" is quite sufficient. All "KN" means is "please nobody break in," and why would I want nobody to break in? Break-ins on CW aren't so common, but they're fun when they happen.
    All looks fine, but again wastes a few characters. Instead of THX FER FB QSO I usually just sent TU OM CU ON CW," and instead of "VRY 73" just "73". Most of us send "dit - dit" at the end of a CQ QSO to denote "that's it, I'm done" and it's really a shortened version of "dit dididit dit dit dit" (which has the cadence of "shave and a haircut, two bits") that was sent at the end of CW contacts for decades and decades. Most of us shortened that to just "dit dit") -- which is not the letter "I", it's a dit with a space then another dit -- to mean the same thing and waste less time.

    I think most of us old-time CW ops who like to ragchew try to save every dit and dah that's unnecessary to make more time for actual conversation, which is the interesting part. Band condx can go from great to terrible inside of five minutes, so make every second count -- at least, that's what I do. To get a conversation (rag chew) going, I always ask questions first, like HW IN CHICAGO, JOE? which could lead to a whole conversation about Chicago or Lake Michigan or almost anything. Asking questions puts the other station in the position of wanting to answer them, and bingo -- a rag chew.

    KA2CZU likes this.
  10. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    @WB2WIK ... Thanks, I will adjust accordingly

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