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How to develop skills for beyond the rubber-stamp QSOs

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by JL1DCA, Feb 7, 2016.

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  1. JL1DCA

    JL1DCA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello, folks.

    I had a CW QSO with an operator in WA yesterday night.
    Though keying speed was 22WPM or something like this and was not to be considered fast, I was embarassed when he began sending sentences off the rutine, so-called rubber-stamp fomat.
    I tried to escape by sending "QRN IS HEAVY AND NO COPY, SRI". (Not QRN, and heavy was the task)

    How many of you make QSOs like this regularly?
    I need to write down what is being keyed as the operator sends codes.
    Decoding, memorizing what were given ealier and to read a sentence must go all together.
    To add to it, English is my second language.

    Please share tips to develop the skills with me if you are one of the highly skilled morse operators.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't understand why you ran away. The only time I run away is when I realize the other operator isn't understanding anything I am sending. That sometime happens when the other operator is trying to use a CW decoder. But the other operator does not know you want something more than the basic information.

    All you need to do is get the routine things out of the way and then ask some questions. At 22 WPM, that should be pretty quick. I keep a small stack of index card that contain various pieces of information, like tuner settings. But one of the things on these cards are hints and suggestions that I can use to start a meaningful conversation. Don't leave it up to the other guy.

    I do understand the second language issue. English is my only language and I still have trouble with it. That's why I use cue cards.
  3. JL1DCA

    JL1DCA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you, Martin.

    The problem is reading, that is to say, decording what the operator is sending to me is difficult.
    If only I can seize what he means, I can respond and draw his next comment to let the QSO go fruitful.
    The same problem occurs in a phone QSO.
    The problem consists in my shortage in spoken English proficiency.
    I estimate myself a fairly good talker contrary to ordinary Japanese.
    It is barriers in decording that is the problem.

    JL1DCA Dan
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  4. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sounds as though your CW listening skills are fine but that you're not assembling the letters in your head into words because English isn't your primary language. Writing each letter sent would be difficult over 20wpm so I don't think that is a good option.

    There are some Morse trainers like that can send common English words. Maybe try something like that where you are learning to hear English words out of the Morse.

    I will say that I think it's great that you are interested in learning to ragchew with non-native speakers. My only secondary language is Spanish and I'm sure could not carry on a conversation in Morse.
  5. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    Just talk to a friend on air about anything you can think of en keep doing this every day as long you can stand it like an hour or so, your speed will go up very fast your confidence too.

    73 Jos
  6. JL1DCA

    JL1DCA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, Jos and PBQ.

    I think the skills will improve as I have the experience.
    It is true that I need to recognize every letter one by one in order to see a word that consists of them.
    You'll see a word from the context or a few of the letters in it ahead of the operator keying the entire word.

    JL1DCA Dan
  7. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have every sympathy for you Dan. I talk to operators from europe and I never have a clue whether their English is as good as mine and good enough to continue with a QSO I am glad that the language we use on air is English (well nearly!!) I certainly would not like be doing it in a foreign langauge especially with so many abbreviations etc.,

    Some of the other posts are helpful, and I certainly like K7MEM's suggestion of pre printed/written cards
  8. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    Relax. Work at a speed that doesn't cause so much stress. Build stamina, which is different than speed.
  9. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dan

    Now I saw you are Japanese.
    Have same problem with English or German QSO's, my native language is Dutch so if I am working in English I have an extra step in my CW, its constant translation form Dutch to English to CW TX.
    From CW RX to English to Dutch, that extra step will cost me about 5WPM in speed.
    In French it is even worse as my French is worse as my German or English.

    You will have an extra problem Japanese has a different morse alfabet and a different language alfabet, I would have the same problem in Russian language, it would be a complete disaster in CW.

    But still the way will be the same try to make as much concersation in English in both CW and phone, now you need 2 improvements your English and your CW to get up to speed and confidence.

    73 Jos
  10. KD8EDC

    KD8EDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    はじめまして。私葉KD8EDC Mark です。ようろしくおねがいします!私は日本語を勉強しています。

    I have to give you a great deal of credit for working in English Morse. I'm sure I'd not be nearly as capable as you are already if I were trying to communicate in code in Japanese. I think as with anything, as you practice, your skills will improve. Even with English as my first language, it can be frustrating at times! Take your time, and enjoy it! If you ever hear me on the bands, I'd love it if we could converse a bit!


    Mark KD8EDC

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