Fast CW and QSO rates?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N7TAT, Feb 21, 2021 at 5:11 PM.

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  1. N7TAT

    N7TAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can copy pretty solid to 20 wpm. Maybe 25 in a contest. In the ARRL DX contest I hears many stations running 30+. I have to copy over and over and over to get their call so I'm slower at QSOs than I would be at say 20 wpm.

    And as the contest goes on I hear them calling at 30 wpm with no replies. Over and over.

    Here's the question. Does running 30+ wpm really increase the QSO rate in a contest when you're too fast for 1/3 of the ops on the band?
    PU2OZT likes this.
  2. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, because you can only work one at at time. If you work the faster stations first and let the slow stations wait the total at the end will be higher.

    As for stations repeatedly calling CQ at high speeds and not responding, there is the practice of a single operator running two radios.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021 at 5:40 PM
    N2EY and AD5HR like this.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    SO2R ops have been driving me nuts in the past few contests - the call CQ, you answer...and wait...and wait... then send your call again just as they're replying to your first call. Some ops are good at it ... but a lot a BAD
    PU2OZT, K0UO, NB3R and 1 other person like this.
  4. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did SO2R thirty years ago using a pair of QRP radios. It was most effective in the CW Sweepstakes. I'd simultaneously tune two bands looking for new stations to work.

    Zak W1VT
  5. W7UUU

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

    Way back in the dark ages when I pined to attain my Extra at 20 WPM but couldn't break the 15 WPM "wall", I discovered the wonders of such high speed CW contesting! In just an hour or two in a major CW contest, you will hear and have the chance to copy every single letter of the alphabet and every single number, all at speeds from 25 to 35 WPM... with the added benefit of hearing a call over and over and over until you can copy all the letters without even thinking

    For years I've heard CW folks ask how to get their copy speed up and I have but one simple, single-word answer:


    WZ4M, W5BIB, W4LJ and 14 others like this.
  6. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    After getting on the air with a DX-20 and a straight key I did three contests, the 10M contest, the Novice Roundup, and the ARRL DX CW contest. Then I passed the 20 wpm CW exam for my Extra ticket.

    Zak W1VT
    N3AWS likes this.
  7. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Although, I can see both sides of this argument, I tend to agree with @N7TAT, in that my feeling is that the speed demons would work far more mas if they would just slow down a bit. Like N7TAT, I will sit there for a while decoding call signs at 30+ wpm until I get the entire call. Now, here's the funny part: I will set my program to respond at or about the calling stations speed only to hear them return at a speed that was closer to my 20 wpm or so preferred speed. Then, there's the hams that send the signal report at blazing speed using cut numbers who then slow down the "actual" exchange. That's a hybrid return because we all know that the signal report will most likely be 5NN, right?

    Anyway, being one of the crummiest CW ops around, with my LPCA set up (Low Power Crummy Antenna), I'm not gonna call CQ... Somebody might actually respond and then what would I do? Panic!
    PU2OZT, NB3R, W4NNF and 6 others like this.
  8. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another reason you will hear the "big gun" stations calling CQ time after time, as the contest gets toward its waning hours, is that many of the active stations have already worked them.

    I've been tuning around today and when I entered many of the calls I hear into N1MM, it says DUPE.

    Of course, today I am hearing lots of signals, new callsigns to me, but they are down near my noise level (today, around S3-S5), and they don't seem to hear me with all the rock crusher signals still calling them.

    Such is life as a LPCA ham. . .
    US7IGN likes this.
  9. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes it does. If you are operating Search & Pounce you can listen to as many exchanges as you want to get the other guys exchange. But if you slow down to accommodate the slower ops, how slow should you go? Slowing to 20 wpm will still be too fast for many. In the current contest you only need to copy a callsign and power, which is usually 100, or KW. Most should be able to copy that beyond your normal rag chew speed. I will still slow down for anyone who obviously needs it. On SSB contests I have often taken time to explain what's going on and what exchange to give to any inexperienced op who wants to participate but isn't sure what to do when he calls.

    I have no problem with SO2R ops running Search & Pounce on two radios. But when operating Dueling CQ's on 2 radios, or CQ on one and S&P on the other then it causes problems. When the op abandons the Run Frequency to take an extended period of time to work though a pile up for a new mult on the S&P frequency, it's not uncommon for someone else to take over the Run frequency after a couple of customary QRL's. Then several minutes later the SO2R up show back up on the Run frequency and just begins calling CQ over the station that showed up in his absence.

    I have in fact found a vacant frequency, asked QRL twice with adequate listening periods, made several contacts, and then someone with a huge signal just shows up calling CQ and ignores all other operation on the freq. A quick check of that op's call on the 3830 reflector verifies that they are regular SO2R ops. You don't have to be a sleuth to figure out what's going on. Once or twice could be a coincidence. Several occurrences per contest is not. I don't turn it in to a battle of wills. I just QSY.
    W4LJ, US7IGN and N2EY like this.
  10. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Two of the absolute best SO2R ops (either mode) are N6MJ and KL9A who as a team have medaled three times (one Gold) in WRTC. I have watched them in action at the former NK7U Contest Station and they are flat out amazing. I can assure you that they pickup many stations at the 20 WPM level, me being one of them. When they are working from ZF or TI they will pick my paltry CW out of the pile up every time. I'm pushing to the max to send at 25 WPM and most often a little slower than that.

    If you want proof that they are not missing too many callers, regardless of code speed, figure out what call sings they are using in a CW contest. When the scores are posted on 3830 look at total Q's and divide by operating time.....the #'s will amaze you. Far beyond anything I could ever hope to accomplish. Some years ago K7ZO and I opened a SSB DX contest at NK7U me on 15 M and Scott on 20M. We each maintained a rate of over 200 Q's per hour and thought we were pretty hot. The first time N6MJ and KL9A operated from NK7U they absolutely eclipsed our previous best. They are incredible ops who manage incredible rates especially SO2R.
    US7IGN, KF5KWO, K8BZ and 1 other person like this.

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