How should I handle my speed for a first QSO?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KT5MR, Oct 17, 2016.

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  1. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    And the Capris "Morse Code of Love" from the WIK end of Jersey. (correction the Capris were from NYC the Duprees from Jersey City)
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like the Manhattan Transfer version better.:)

  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    egg-zactly but he was asking where to start out. Sounds like he might be using a computer for CW :(
  4. KT5MR

    KT5MR Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, no, not at all! If I want to use a computer at the rig, I'll do RTTY. :)

    I may not have expressed myself clearly. I'm learning the characters at 23 WPM to hear them as distinct sounds rather than combinations of individual dits and dahs. But I need to space the characters out at 5-7 WPM or I can't keep up, at least at the moment.

    What I wanted to know was is it okay to keep my keyer at 23 WPM but be slow between my letters at 5-7 WPM, or is that just a complete CW faux pas?

    --Michael / KT5MR
  5. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are answering someone else's CQ, which in my experience is the easiest way to make contacts, you mimic the other guy's speed. If he is sending his code at 5 wpm for both characters and spacing, you should do the same, too. If he is sending close to 23 wpm, then you can send your characters at 23 WPM and space them at 5 WPM is you must. But hardly anyone ever does.

    I think you will enjoy your first few QSOs much more if you just limit yourself to answering 5-7 WPM or so calls for a while. Really, just a little listening around to other's QSOs first before trying one yourself will answer most of these kinds of questions.
  6. KT5MR

    KT5MR Ham Member QRZ Page

    That makes perfect sense. If they're calling CQ at a rate I can clearly copy, that's perfect and I'll adjust my speed to match theres.

    (And I think I was overthinking this whole thing in any case.)

    Thanks all for the help.

    --Michael / KT5MR
  7. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree and just do it. :)
  8. KD2RON

    KD2RON Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm still learning myself. I find its not the speed of the characters but the spacing that is a big help. I listen alot more than I send and the fists I have most trouble with are those that run the letters together. I also tell myself this is just for fun and I am not sending any vital information so take your time
  9. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    See if you can copy entire QSOs between others, too. Tune in other stations and copy everything you hear.

    Maybe you can run into a fellow sufferer and have schedules every day or so, to build up each other.

    Enthusiasm, built on intense "want to", overcomes a lot of troubles, real and imagined.
  10. K5MUG

    K5MUG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have some excellent suggestions, the only thing I would add is this: get on the air and try a couple Qso's, see how it feels. it's much better and much easier once you get a few contacts 'under your belt'. I think you will find that most CW ops will work with you, and will be encouraging. Hope to hear you on the air.

    Take care,

    Cray / K5MUG

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