CW question (new CW op)

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KD8ZM, Aug 24, 2017.

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  1. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey guys
    I am a relatively new CW op, worked my first CW QSO on 8/1/2017, have worked maybe 25 or 30 more since then. I know that in theory CW is supposed to carry further than SSB since the bandwidth occupied is narrower for CW than for SSB. But when I switched from SSB to CW, I suddenly went from working places in Europe and S. Am. on SSB, to working places like New York, Texas, or Colorado on CW. (I'm in Dayton, OH). Not implying that there's anything wrong with those places, but I expected to get out at least as far with CW as with voice, and I'm not.
    I recognize that my experience on CW is limited to a thin sliver of time, about three weeks, so maybe conditions have changed for the worse for both voice and CW since the first of August when I stopped doing voice and started doing CW. Seems like a long shot, but it's possible I suppose.
    Anyone have the same experience? Input on this is much appreciated.
    Brady, KD8ZM
    WR2E likes this.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm gonna guess that the dx is operating down the low end of the band and running faster than you're currently copying.

    Are you calling cq or answering them?

    I think dx might be less prone to answer a qrs cq.
    KO4LZ likes this.
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    What bands are you on again?

    Do you have 30 meters?

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  4. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The distance depends on the band you are on and the time of day you operate and .....
    YES the DX hounds tie up all the more distant and rare stations on the lowest end of the band with very QRQ (high speed sending) operation !! The DX left to the casual op on CW is CA and FL and maybe some EA, DL, G and F stations.
    30M USED to be a good band for DX and I started out on 30 M with a 5W MFJ9030 rig and a vertical GP ant, since my big good rig had no WARC bands.
    I worked a lot of European stations with QRP, but when the ARRL started DX awards for 30M it all changed. I suddenly was up against a crowd of guys running 200 W (maybe more) and had big antennas on towers, out to bust DXCC on 30M.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
    KD8ZM likes this.
  5. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's still the best bet for a newcomer to work some not so rare dx at slower speeds.

    Yeah, before the chasers paid it any mind it was possible to even have short (and sometimes longer) ragchews with dx ops. Not so much anymore, unless you run into "Moz" VK3CWB. He's always good for a ragchew.
    KD8ZM and W5BIB like this.
  6. W7UUU

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

    As pointed out above, a large majority of DX on CW will be operating in the US Extra band segments, typically 23-30 WPM in my experience.

    Watch the DX spots - you'll see plenty of DX on CW if you don't mind using spots, are adept at working split, and are persistent.

    Good luck and have fun!!

    KD8ZM and N7ANN like this.
  7. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Brady and welcome to CW ! Tons of DX on the lower end of 80 and 40 meters almost every evening. You can work VK, JA in the very early (0800Z) mornings on 40 meters. I worked TX5EG and 5W0HA (Samoa) in one morning this week on 40 meters. They were both every strong. I was just running 100 watts and a dipole. Also, try 30 meters. There is always some DX on 30 meters. Have fun ! -Joe N3HEE
    KO4LZ and KD8ZM like this.
  8. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Brady! Wow, there sure was a lot of qrn tonite, wasn't there? You had a good sig though and your fist is very good! Thanks for the qso, hope to catch ya when cndx are better and we can talk about banjos and guitars!
    KD8ZM likes this.
  9. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cool, Jeff - yes the conditions weren't very good at all, have a qso going and the bottom falls out! Thanks for slowing down for me!
    I have no idea how you found this post but I'm glad you did.
    I did get 2 and a half qso's in tonight, yours, one other fellow, and then one where we just got started and the bottom fell out. Bad bands but I am having a lot of fun thanks to patient ops like yourself.
    Worked 20, 30, and 40. I checked the RBN and there were several European beacons that heard my signal so that isn't the issue. I think the ops above nailed the reasons why no DX for me yet on CW. That's fine, I was only curious. I'm really working hard at learning CW and with adult responsibilities (I'm 57) you do have to work it in whenever you can!
    73 Jeff, cul
    WR2E likes this.
  10. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am truly amazed that we ran into each other on 10108 - I did not read this forum until after our QSO.
    WR2E likes this.

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