Average Age of CW operators from my log

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA4OO, Sep 17, 2015.

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  1. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wes, My email is good on QRZ just send me a note and we'll see if we can schedule a QSO. I'm obviously still learning myself and can't reliably copy over 20 wpm except for simple exchanges. I'm comfortable in long ragchews at 15-18wpm but I'll QRS to whatever speed you like.
  2. AC6CV

    AC6CV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with N4UP as we get older it seems our sending speed seems slower than our receiving speed. Since contests are at about 30 (I find 28 seems to increase QSO rate over 30+) and contesting builds our receiving speed. Most contesting is done on the keyboard. It doesn't build our key sending abilities. Receiving code is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn you never forget. Sending ability seems to wane if not used.
  3. AC6CV

    AC6CV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A good friend was at about 13 wpm. After one conest he was over 20 wpm. Get in a contest. You'll be amazed at your increased speed.
    W5BIB likes this.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I would definitely agree with this. At least for me anyway. I have never done CW via keyboard. I use keyers and occasionally a bug. But I did in fact notice during the current contest that I easily copy 30-35 WPM no problem, but find myself sending around 25 or so on my Bencher paddle just so I can remain accurate on the more-involved exchange (not just "599 TU" sort of thing). In my case it definitely used to be the other way around - I could send way faster than I could copy!

    W5BIB likes this.
  5. KE0FWZ

    KE0FWZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Message Sent
  6. KB3RCS

    KB3RCS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had 70 cw contacts. I am 55, and have had only one contact with someone younger then myself.
  7. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I checked-out your QRZ page.

    First-off, my hat's off to you! QRP and embracing CW as a new, voluntarily-embraced challenge. I can't tell you how pleased that makes me. We see notes in these pages about long-time and
    newly-licensed hams both, taking on the skill for its own sake and for a new mountain to climb. FB!

    The operator who answered your CQ with the resultant exchange--He is not only a poor operator for a multitude of reasons, but he was, on that day, a jerk. There's nothing more to discuss.
    That exchange reflects forever upon him, and not for a second upon you.

    I would just offer my opinion, to be taken to heart or rejected as any reader might wish, as a note of encouragement.
    There have been a number of discussions back-and-forth here, with me always pushing-back, about what I consider the absurdity of high-speed (30WPM and above) CW for --Normal-- communications.
    I hear from those enjoying contests, (an admirable pastime for those who enjoy it), justifying those speeds and making the case it's requisite for keeping up with the Contest Joneses.

    Less-experienced operators, trying to better their proficiency, become convinced they somehow need to be able to copy callsigns at 30 WPM to be considered "worthy" CW hams.
    Nonsense and worse.
    It's got to be discouraging. And the consequences are needless.

    I've been doing this for a few years. I don't remember, prior to the last 15 years or so, anyone doing routine exchanges at ultra-fast speeds. It's unnecessary and my guess driven by machine-to-machine
    computer encoding and decoding. You want to think that's CW--fine. You're doing what a Teletype machine does, only using 2-level rather than 5-level digital coding. You're good at what you do,
    but machine-to-machine does not make you a CW operator.

    When the Amateur Extra was voluntary and conferred no additional privileges, the FCC licensing benchmark was 20WPM, plain-text, one minute. The FCC and international standard for
    commercial First-Class maritime professional radio operators was 25 WPM plain-text, 20WPM random-groups. Even accomplished professionals don't pass stuff at 30 WPM unless working closely with operators they
    know or can intuitively identify as having a high level of professional discipline. And yes, when that happens, we let 'er rip. But 1 request for a repeat and a fill at 35 WPM just negated any operational
    advantage you would have gotten from getting it right the first time at 20WPM.

    Don't be scared-off by the false and valueless requirement of high-speed CW. Take pleasure and pride in what you're doing, and be the best operator you can be. Try to get better, as good operators
    do their entire lives.

    And remember--Bad operating breeds bad operating. The guy who just buzzed you at 35WPM probably can't copy 20WPM for a minute solid.

    And for all the hot-shot contesters out there who are, truly, fine CW ops--there are many and I respect you--I'm hope they understand where my head and heart is.

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
    KF9VV, DL4QB, W5BIB and 3 others like this.
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's interesting that the only place I've ever heard a ham tell his age is on CW. Great tradition I think
    PU2OZT likes this.
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why dig up a five year old thread? This does mean all these "young" CW operators are now 5 years older. Perhaps not so "young" any more.
    PU2OZT, KG7WGX and WJ4U like this.
  10. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or... the way things were, when, and where they dreamed of becoming radio-amateurs.
    Could have been thinking of being a RTTY operator as well, but was obvious Radio-officers next room were enjoying keying much more ;)
    Still in my 50s, started a few years ago, and when I attended a CW class at Labre last year, I was the oldest operator-to-be.

    Wasn't me that woke up ze Zombie thread :rolleyes:

    W5BIB and WA1GXC like this.

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