Best ragchew speed(s) ?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W9RAC, Nov 2, 2019.

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  1. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll admit it, Im nothing but a rag chewer on CW/SSb. So regarding CW I do notice while looking at the RBN the amazing speeds, to me anything over 22 is fast! I see 30, 35, 40 wpm a lot on the network. So at those speeds it makes sense to me the amount of Ops who can reply gets lower and lower? I generally call at 21 wpm, most conversations settle down at 20 or less, mostly 17/18. Anyone have any comments on rag chews at different speeds and why? Thanks, Rich
  2. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Use the speed you're comforatable at
    M6GYU and K3XR like this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This has been covered more than once in the past. TGQ has the answer. What's comfortable for you is best. Have no problem copying 35 wpm and it's ok for contests or chasing DX. For day to day chat like to keep at 18-20 it's more relaxing. No hurry and no one is chasing me.
    WR2E likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I rag chew on CW also, almost every day if I have the time and opportunity.

    I think the best answer is "whatever speed the other guy is using." I don't care a lot what speed that is, as I'm pretty comfortable at 40 wpm. But I'll answer 20 wpm CQs and even 10 wpm CQs.

    When calling CQ, I try different speeds, sometimes dictated by where in the band I am...the lower ends, like below 7040 or 14040, faster; higher up, like above 7050 or 14050, slower. Contests, usually >30 wpm for everything but those aren't rag chews, they're 10-second contacts.
    M6GYU likes this.
  5. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If 'brevity is the soul of wit', there it is.

    If I'm jogging comfortably at 5 mph (I wish), that's great. If one of those Kenyan marathoners flies by at 20 mph, I might wave, but it would be too late. I've never felt the need to pick up a rock and throw it.
    To each his own. QRS, QRQ, in between, it's all good.
    M6GYU likes this.
  6. W7UUU

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

    As K3XR points out, yes this has been discussed a lot.

    But I generally will send with a "character speed" range of about 22-26 WPM, then taper my spacing to meet the "speed of conversation". I loathe sending really slow characters (I simply will not try to send 10 WPM or slower "character speeds") - it just doesn't sound at all right.

    I find that even folks that only yak at 16 WPM have no problem with my 22-26 character speed with wider "word spacing" - in fact, I think it's actually easier to copy than much slower characters.

    Like WIK, I easily contest up to mid 30s - 40 is possible for me if the contest exchange is easy (unlike Sweeps!!). But I'm not at all comfortable rag chewing above 26 WPM tops

    KQ4MM, W5BIB, DF1HX and 3 others like this.
  7. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fellow CW rag chewer here. I enjoy having one or two nice rag chews per day.

    I have been finding lots of action in the 17 to 20 WPM range. Occasionally I do get into a rag chew at higher speeds and they are fun but demand full attention. The idea of keeping rag chews relaxing resonates with me.

    W9RAC, W7UUU and K3XR like this.
  8. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's it. Relaxing ragchewing is what it's all about. Only wonder if there were more at higher speeds, if that wouldn't help us all be comfortable at higher speeds. Newly trying to learn to use a keyboard and checking into Sunrise or similar at 16 wpm feels very comfortable (and very readable). There are some who are comfortable doing ragchews at 40. Just wish I heard more of them. I'm done.
    W9RAC likes this.
  9. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd love to see a list of topics which have not been discussed a lot in the past?? I suppose if one were to review each and every topic ever posted, most post would cease, and likely most responses. Does not seem to leave much room for future discussion to me. If you post on a old thread its noted its a old thread and out of date, if you post a new topic its noted to be redundant. RAC
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pointing out that a topic has been covered several times in the past is not a prohibition of it being discussed in the future.
    "if you post a new topic its noted to be redundant" . Thanks for making my point. We may want to avoid the "beating a dead horse" mode.

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