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Maybe, "Get on as soon as possible" isn't the best advice?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KE0EYJ, Sep 5, 2018.

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  1. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm in Korea as HL1ZIX, currently.

    If I could hear the USA, I'd probably be thrilled. :)


    JA ops are driving me batty. I ask them to send again, and they send once... and only once... sometimes half of their callsign only. Is it too difficult to figure out it might be more productive to send the callsing 2 or 3 times in a row to someone who is obviously having difficulty?
     
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds like you weren't ready. My first QSO was a complete disaster, because I thought the computer reader I was using would make up for my very weak ability to copy by ear. I was dead wrong. I've heard many others with stories about disastrous first attempts, for various reasons. It happens, and it's really nothing to worry about.

    I believe that the first QSO you copy off the air should not be one in which you are participating. If you can overhear someone else's QSO and copy someone's call sign, location, and name, at least mostly, then you're more than ready to get on the air yourself. I remember the thrill of looking up a call sign I copied over the air and finding that it matched the name I copied!

    A messed up QSO is completely normal and forgivable. What matters now is your attitude, and what it motivates you to do. If you go back and practice a bit more, both by listening to over-the-air CW plus whatever computer practice you've been doing to get you as far as you have gotten, than you're well on your way to becoming a good CW op. If your flubbed QSO scares you away from CW entirely, then it will be a real loss, as you will have lost the opportunity to have fun with CW, and you will have lost the time you have so far in becoming a CW OP.

    You fell off the horse. So brush yourself off, do a bit more practice, and get back on that horse!
     
  3. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish I had that ability to look up callsigns. The Japanese don't use QRZ, unless they are DX'ers. I'm finding fewer CW ops use QRZ. There is a Japanese look-up page commonly used, but it's all in Japanese. I've had some luck trying to Google, but not so much.
     
  4. NG9F

    NG9F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I really sympathize with you! I am on the air and making contacts but there are struggles along the way. Sometimes I can't copy well, sometimes (like tonight) I couldn't do the prosign SK, and I couldn't get 73 right!!!! LOL, talk about looking like a lid! But at the same time I am just working American hams for the most part and I have QRZ as a crutch. Oh, and I can look up their call on SKCC to see if I copied their SKCC number correctly. It helps build confidence. But you will be an amazing CW op, because you have exposure to a whole different angle on the game. It's only going to be frustrating for a little while. If you could befriend one of those DX ops who does have a QRZ page they could likely clue you in on some of the idiosyncrasies of the Japanese CW world.

    Best of luck to you. What do the locals say there? "Fighting!!!!!"
     
    KE0EYJ likes this.
  5. KC1BMD

    KC1BMD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK, sorry. I hadn't looked at your QRZ page and that would have explained your situation. My first CW QSO in over 40 years was scary to say the least and I messed up some things during the first several. I still mess things up now but I notice less and less as time goes by and am feeling more comfortable with it. The struggles in the beginning will make you a better CW op because you will remember that when working new CW ops later. When you make a mistake, send a string of bits and resend. If someone goes to fast send QRS PLS. If you need a repeat, just ask. 99% of the time this works for me. All I can say is to keep at it and you will be glad you did.
     
  6. W6MQI

    W6MQI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get used to it not sure what's happened, but I've been finding a lot of CW op's lately with some of the worst fist I have ever heard in 45 years as a CW op. Lot of the guys seem dyslexic Q's are Y's, R's are K's what the hell? Sorry I just don't have the patience for the this its a quick 73 from me when I run across this type of operator please learn the alphabet, and learn to send correctly first before getting on the air.
     
  7. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have learned 2 great tricks that are really helping me on LCWO.net!


    Trick #1:

    Identify 4 or 5 of your most difficult characters. Set those characters under "Change CW Settings." Then run code groups, and practice them alone several times. After you approach at least 90%, you can either go back to a regular lesson and try again, or try Trick #2 below, for more practice.

    This helps me improve my score by at least 10 to 15%, every time.

    Trick #2:

    Choose just 2 of your most difficult characters and set the speed to something much higher than you are used to (I normally study at 20/6, so I set it to 20/20). Drill those two characters ONLY at least 3 or 4 minutes of practice. Then add a character, so you are doing 3 of your most difficult at 20/20. You can continue like this, trying to add another difficult character, or go back to the lesson.

    I don't know how else to explain it, but it's like my brain as reset itself, and 20/6 seems quite slow after I go back to it. I suddenly find it much easier to break 90% at 20/6.

    These tricks WORK!


    I am also making it a habit to listen to 4 or 5 tough characters at 20/20 before a lesson, and just try to pick out what I can. Then the lesson at 20/6 is much easier. The trick is to speed UP, not DOWN, when you are in a rut. Then return to the speed you were at.
     
  8. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Drill, practice, drill some more. It never ends, the learning and perfecting, it's ongoing.
    Two cans of Bud gave me some stability of nerve/courage to complete my 2nd and 3rd CW QSO's successfully.
    Sober operating is obviously much preferred but some loosening up was necessary at the time.
    Seven yrs all CW now.
     
  9. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a tip. Run FL-DIGI on your PC to help you cheat with the decode. I say this with some reluctance, because you can't use it all the time or you will doom yourself.
    As a beginner, it has helped me in two ways: Mainly to get a better feel for the back and forth in a CW QSO. Also helps if I miss a letter/number, but I try not to use it for that. Again. if you lean on FL-DIGI too much it could actually slow you down with the learning process.

    The other tip I have was to increase your exposure to listening to CW. For me, that was listening daily to The Quote of the Day Podcast put out by AI4QR [https://www.qrz.com/db/AI4QR]. It comes in different CW speeds. Since it is smart phone based it lets me get in a few minutes of listening practice in during a break in the day.
     
    KE0EYJ likes this.
  10. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the beginning, and that would be my beginning in ham radio decades ago, I once copied (at something a bit over 5wpm), " so lid ". This completely whipped me! I was stunned. I was embarrassed & red in the face. Why would he say that?!?! I just walked away from my station that day. Demoralized.

    As thought about this and couldn't stop thinking about it, it finally occurred to me that he was sending " solid copy "! And, I had written down "copy" but my brain was still stuck at "so lid". AHHH!! LOL Ever since, if someone does call me a name, I just assume I misheard it.:rolleyes:
     

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