Getting a bit discouraged.

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by M0KBO, Aug 15, 2018.

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  1. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look on a contest callender and see what cw contests are comming up, then work all the big gun 5nn stations and have fun.
    M0KBO likes this.
  2. M0KBO

    M0KBO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah likewise, maybe I'll catch up with you for a qso at some point.
    Reckon I'm just gonna have to keep on grinding out the CQ's with the advice above, Ill get there eventually!
  3. KC1BMD

    KC1BMD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm working to get back to my General class speed I tested for back in the late 60s (13wpm) after a 45+ year break! I can keep up with 10wpm for bursts until my mind starts to wander (copy about 90% which is enough for most QSO's - where I can fill in the blanks :)). I want to eventually get to 20+wpm to be worthy of the Extra class I got 2 years ago. Even if I call CQ, there are faster hams who are quite willing to slow down to have a QSO. If I hear someone calling faster with "SKCC" before their call, sometimes I answer and they will slow down to work with me. If someone is going too fast, try "QRS PSE". If they don't want to (which doesn't happen that often) just move on. I'm stuck with low height attic antennas (condo/HOA) but I hear enough people going at 10wpm or less to keep me busy for a while, mostly on 20/40m. I also have a weekly net with a local group that is specifically for slow CW on 10m. They are close by and it's mostly ground wave given the current point in the solar cycle but it lets me practice with no pressure. I'm struggling a bit to get my speed up and do more head copying but that's part of the attraction for me. Just work at it!
    M0KBO likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's also slow-speed action on 40m above 7.100 (up to 7.120 or so) and on 20m above 14.050 (up to maybe 14.065 or so).

    My electronic keyers will all do 10 wpm; I don't even own a straight key.

    Having operated CW since 1965, I can handle 45 wpm just fine and usually call CQ at 22 wpm because that feels "right" and it's easy for me to go down to ~15 wpm without even changing the keyer setting, just by spacing characters and words farther apart. But it's just a turn of a knob to set it anywhere. I always try to answer anyone at whatever speed they were sending and think that's a good practice.

    30m is a great CW band although I don't hear many slow-coders there; but a lot of good ops and if you answer a CQ, send at whatever speed is comfortable and many will slow down to whatever speed you're using to call them.

    It's all fun.
    M0KBO likes this.
  5. KA3CTQ

    KA3CTQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A lot of the SKCC guys will work you even if you don't have a straight key. The group was started to help fill the bands with CW. They are geared towards manual keys, but many just like getting on the air.

    40M is a good band to work. 7.000 to 7.025 is usuall higher speeds. Around 7.030 is QRP which is tough to work some times. above that is a lot of mixed speeds up to 7.070 (start of digital area). Also, I have found some slower ops sending in the old US Novice section of 40M, from 7.100 to 7.125.
    M0KBO likes this.
  6. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Listen for others calling CQ and answer them. They should respond to you at your own speed.
    M0KBO likes this.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    A brand new CW op will not fare well jumping into a weekend contest !!! Bad Idea :D
    He will be lost in a sea of 30 WPM signals.
    I suggest looking near the SKCC Club frequencies. There re a lot of active SKCC members over in Europe. We promote manual keying of Morse on the air and a lot of our ops run QRS speeds/.
    1813.5, 3550, 7055, 7114, 7120, 10120, 14050, 14114 kHz. etc ...I get on 5332.00 on 60M CW, often, but that varies with your Country.
    KD2RON, M0KBO and KA0HCP like this.
  8. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    This side of the Atlantic, where we have a rather smaller 40 metres allocation, you won't usually find CW much above 7.036 MHz (except when there's a big contest on). Your best bet for slow(-ish) CW on 40 metres here is around the QRP CoA at 7.030 MHz. You'll probably find more slow CW on 80 metres between about 3.550 MHz and 3.560 MHz (plus or minus...).

    Oh, and I checked RBN, and it heard M0KBO calling CQ on 20 metres and 10 metres recently. It's worth checking to see whether you're getting out, at least around Europe...
    M0KBO likes this.
  9. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't be afraid of high speed ops in contests! Every contact is more points for them. They don't usually slow down, but the exchange is generally simple...

    K1SLW 5NN
    5NN TU

    This gets repeated hundreds of times, so you can pick up their call, one letter at a time if necessary, pretty quickly.
    VK4HAT likes this.
  10. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    People will and do slow down in contests and there are WAY more stations sending in the 2o's wpm than there are 30+. The OP can search and pounce, listen for 5 or more exchanges to get the call and how the exchange will go and give in when he is has it all down pat. Plus there are 100's of stations across all the bands and everyone of them wants his qso points. Which is a damn sight better than calling for days on end and getting no reply, and once his confidence is up, he can start calling cq and start working others. As a new CW op contests were where i cut my teeth and then branched out into SOTA and WWFF, 2 more programs that the OP can chase where there are a lot of CW activities especially so in the UK and EU.

    ^^^^ This. Its very simple and it teaches you how to listen to code that is out of your comfort zone. Which is everyone when you are new. Because if you are like me and send at a whopping 15wpm everyone sends faster, so you need to get used to it, get the call, the report and and serial exchanges if there are any.
    M0KBO likes this.

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