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How to help those trying to learn CW?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WF4W, Apr 18, 2017.

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  1. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had local QRM last night - wife came into the shack to chat while I had just begun a QSO - I didnt copy a thing the other guys sent. I just had to send 'SRI must QRT 73 de WF4W"

    life happens.
    VK2JDR likes this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get one. It's worth it. IMHO, one of the single biggest reasons many new hams give up on CW is because they try to use rigs without a narrow CW filter in a crowded band.

    Cans (aka "headphones") are a good idea (see step 2) - but they have to be comfortable. Some folks find a speaker less distracting. Point is, what works for you.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  3. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Scott, it may be where and when that is not getting any answers, Try calling your QRS CQ in the newbie portion of 40M in late afternoon or early evening (7110-7120 kHz) Lots on new ops and "Elmers" hanging around in this freq segment to QRS for you.
    I like to crank down the keyer or go to the old straight key to call a slow CQ here, especially on 7114 kHz, now and then or answer one.
  4. DU7DVE

    DU7DVE Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's just too bad I don't have anybody to practice with here in DU land. I did have an elmer outside of the country who practiced with me but it was really tiring trying to dig the signals out of the noise. I know it was good practice but after a session of 229 sigs, it's such a pleasure to listen to stronger and more stable sigs.
  5. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    well if I was able to operate all the time I'd try to set up regular skeds with you :) DU land is an easy and regular shot on 20m and 30 and 40 from here..
  6. AD0XM

    AD0XM Ham Member QRZ Page

    John - Great advice! I'm doing LOTS of listening and practicing copying slow QSOs that I find, which are in the places you're talking about. I've got very good coverage on 40M in the evenings in my QTH so that's helpful. After we started this conversation, I pretty much halted calling CQ until I'm confident that I can copy without driving someone bonkers.

    For everyone that's offered up all this good advice - thank you! I'm taking it!

  7. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    dont ever feel bad about sending "QRS" - I had to do it today - had a french station responding to my CQ at nearly 40wpm - all I could catch was "F4" - I simply send "QRS" and he slowed down...
  8. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is a great deal of irony in this.

    When I was a young man, thirty years ago, there will still isolated places in the Philippines where the main form of communication with the outside world was a World War Two surplus hand-cranked radio telegraph transmitter. I could hear them quite frequently when the bands were open to that part of the world. They had a unique sound (their frequency would drift quite a bit up and down as cranking speed varied) and there was no mistaking them, especially when they transmitted in Tagalog or some other indigenous language.

    Such stations frequently relayed press wireless stories. I still keep with my old logs a bit of scratch paper on which I copied one of these stations sending a story about Floyd Mayweather. I hadn't heard a press wireless CW station in years and had a hunch it might be the last time I would ever copy press wireless CW, so I kept it. I was right; I never heard it again. This was about 1998 IIRC.
  9. DU7DVE

    DU7DVE Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's is so true. We had telegram stations that used morse code and I think that 1998 is about the time when the last of those companies shut their doors. I think the rise of the cellphone did that.

    Most of the active ops here used to be the telegraph operators of those companies. I still remember living in a house near a telegraph station when I was a little kid and I thought the chirpy tone sounded wonderful then. I only realized lately that the chirpy tone I enjoyed, is undesirable today.

    The sad thing is we still have a 5wpm requirement for Class A license here. I don't know how many class a licensees we have now but there have been attempts at a DU CW net and not even 5 people show up.
  10. WZ2N

    WZ2N Ham Member QRZ Page

    For what it's speed before getting on the air and making QSOs was probably 7-8WPM sending cleanly and able to copy as much as 10WPM consistently. That all flew out the window after I got a reply to my first CQ live on the air. I forgot characters, I forgot how to send my own call. I have a distinct memory of frantically rummaging through my desk for my Q codes chart to figure out "what the heck the stupid Q code for SLOW THE HECK DOWN" was. I have no QSL card to commemorate the occasion, because I think I mis copied his call. Until I had about a dozen QSO's under my belt and a little more confidence, I don't think I could have said I was "ready" for CW QSOs. When I find a ham like that on the air I just chuckle thinking some poor fool had to listen to 14 yr old me botching my own freshly minted call and try to complete a Q. Hams that were gracious and understanding and went the extra mile for me in the beginning are largely the reason I am primarily a CW operator today. It would have been far easier to pick up the mike and stay in the SSB portion of the band, but a little encouragement kept me going and got me to the point where I am making 1000+ CW QSOs a year and absolutely loving every one. I say unless not at all possible, do what you can to at least send Call, Name, RPT and 73 and you'll get them over the hump quicker. If it doesn't work, the next time they will be that much more studied or determined, or just a LITTLE less nervous. Just my 2 cents.
    KC3BZJ and N1BCG like this.

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