CW on 2 meters

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KG7IRP, Jul 31, 2014.

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  1. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are learning or know code, HF would be the place to be, particularly 40 meters above 7100 if your CW is a bit slow. You will find CW on 40 nearly any time, day or night, and there are lots more people to work than on 2 meters.

    If you have someone you want to talk to on 2 meters using CW over FM, maybe you could try simplex first? I'd be sure to get permission from the repeater owner or club before doing it on a repeater. Probably most won't care, but there are some repeaters that are sacred cattle, and their owners want them to remain silent except when they use them for whatever they do, if they ever do.

    What I was saying previously assumed that you wanted to do 'real' CW on 2 meters - as a 'weak signal' mode. You probably won't find a lot of activity there, but if you can do CW that way, you can work meteor scatter and other kinds of 'DX' with a fairly modest setup. Looking at your location, it seems to be in a fairly remote area. I see one local repeater on 146.62. I'm not sure if you can work into Spokane on two meters. I think HF CW would certainly be of more interest if I were you.

    Your next choice would be to upgrade and get on voice and digital modes on HF. The General isn't that tough.
    NT7IM likes this.
  2. WA8ZYT

    WA8ZYT Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are looking for 2 meter CW weak signal work, usually 6AM to 9AM most mornings is a good time.
  3. K7HVT

    K7HVT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been putting out a CQ on 144.1 FM several times a day for weeks straight now, with no returns at all, not even a phone return. I do it on FM on purpose, first because most don't have a rig capable of CW on 2m, and perhaps if they were interested could get in on voice and try a QSY. Second, to try and at least spur interest. I'm confident that one day someone will come in.
    NT7IM and KM6VOV like this.
  4. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    There have been twenty old farts listening, complaining up a storm about your FM there, and they're refusing to come back to you in any way.:eek:
  5. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agree completely, but note that, if your interest is CW, there's no need to upgrade to get on 40m, 80m, and 15m. On those bands, technicians have the same CW privileges as Generals. Upgrading to General gets you digital and voice privileges on those bands, plus it gets you CW privileges on the other bands.

    I'd encourage the license upgrade anyway, on "general" principles, but you don't need to wait for the upgrade if you want to get on the air and practice CW. 40m is usually hopping with plenty of CW activity.

    As far as CW on 2m, most 2m rigs do FM only. There are all-mode rigs, but they tend to be more expensive and less common than FM-only rigs. Combine that with the propagation characteristics of 2m, and depending on where you are, it may be hard to find a lot of 2m CW activity. If you know a local group of people with the right equipment, it IS a nice place for beginners to get together with Elmers for some scheduled practice, if they want a spot to meet where there's not likely to be a large audience for any mistakes made.

    As others have noted, Modulated CW (MCW) is a different beast. Setting up scheduled MCW on simplex can be another good tutoring opportunity where few are likely to hear your mistakes. It can be done over repeaters, but some repeater owners will welcome it while others will discourage or ban it.
    NT7IM likes this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wouldn't expect any answers at all that way, if you're serious.

    CW is CW, not FM. FM is MCW and 144.1 isn't likely to rouse anyone.

    Real A1A CW is mostly around 144.180 to 144.200 and it's not modulated. There's quite a lot of activity there.

    "Most rigs" actually do have real CW operability on 2m, other than "FM only" rigs. But the ubiquitous IC-706 family, FT-100 family, FT-857, FT-897, IC-7000 and tons of other rigs can work CW on 2m just fine. I just made several contacts on 144.190 or so during the VHF contest, on "real" CW. Anyone interested in weak signal work on 2m has that capability. Rigs dating back to the 1950s have it.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think FM is legal at 144.100 or lower, It was CW only last time I read the FCC rules

  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    One way to go, if you already have an HF rig is add a "transverter" for 6 0r two meters, cost is resonable for an accessory to add a band.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  9. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are some 2m all-mode rigs out there that are made for 2m only but you will probably pay almost as much for one of those as you can for a decent HF rig that has 2m/70cm all-mode built in. I use an Icom 746 at times for VHF (6 & 2). You won't find much CW activity on 2m except for contests, band openings or EME. If you pick up the HF+6+2+etc rig you can use your CW privileges additionally on 80,40,15,10..
  10. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you've not concluded this from what others said, transceiver choice isn't the issue. If you try 2m CW where you live, you'll be very lonely and disappointed, except for an occasional contest. True CW (A1 emission as it was once called) attracts the dx crowd with big antenna arrays, but they don't do much ragchewing with the mode. So, I suggest you examine your objective. If determined to master and use CW and use it often, you want to be on HF. 73
    NT7IM likes this.
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