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. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those things don't make you look like a lid.

    Calling the DX on their frequency, when they are sending UP after every exchange, that makes you look like a lid.

    Calling the DX when they send something like, "KA2?" and your call is WX7XXX, that makes you look like a lid.

    Calling the DX while they are in QSO with somebody else, that makes you look like a lid.

    Calling CQ over and over again, and not being able to reply to the stations calling you back because you don't really know CW and are using an app that can only copy perfect sending, that makes you look like a lid.

    Tuning up right on top of somebody, that makes you look like a lid.

    On SSB, leaving your VOX on so your rig transmits the vacuum cleaner, the dog barking, the router when you are working on your shiplap, etc., that makes you look like a lid.

    So, get on the air and keep working. You will improve rapidly. No one thinks you are a lid, especially if you explain by sending something like, SRI NEW TO CW when you make mistakes.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    N2EY likes this.
  2. NG9F

    NG9F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the encouragement! Actually things are going much better- I drilled my SK and my 73, and they sound lovely now!!! I've made contacts almost every day but the last couple of nights weren't good- maybe propagation was poor? I will keep at it for sure- this is the fun part now. All those months drilling on were a drag at some points. Getting cards in the mail is great- it seems like CW operators return a higher percentage of my cards- is that the norm?
  3. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Drop me a line we will get on and make it work for you. 73, Rich
    KE0EYJ likes this.
  4. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Those are good tricks.

    Another that you might already be doing is to practice sending CW all the time. IOW, sound out the CW characters in your head as you look around the room at things like book titles or gear labels or really just about anything with text or numbers on it. Do the same thing while out and about, for instance mentally sounding out street and shop signs, license plates or just about anything else written in English characters as you walk down the street. Even scanning through these forum posts, try 'sending' CW in your head and train your brain to associate the sound of CW characters and words with the actual characters and words. I find this very useful for speeding up the learning curve in addition to actual listening practice.
    W5BIB and G4LJW like this.
  5. N7KO

    N7KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reading KEOEYJ experience of getting on the air to soon reminded me of my train wreck a couple of weeks ago. I have letters down and numbers along with the period equal sign and coma, but not as solid as I should. I still need to think about a couple of them and I will dwell on them where I end up missing several, the train just keep going into the river.
    I need to do two things, get them down solid so it is a reaction.
    When I miss a letter, I need to learn to forget about it and move on.

    I have been using LCWO to help me practice plan word, I have my caricature speed at 20 wpm but actual speed set at 4 wpm at this time. I think I made the mistake of learning caricature speed at 20 wpm, the reason I say this I understand the caricatures but I still need to space out between caricatures further than I should in order to keep up. I tried slowing down the caricature speed but then I have hard time recognizing them.
    I am all messed up. KEOEYJ is not alone, I tucked my tail and scooted back on the porch with the pups.
  6. N7KO

    N7KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am glad to here to find out that I am not the only one that is going through this, as I too learned at 20/4 and I have a hard time understanding below 17/4. So I have been working on getting my spacing closer but am not there yet.
  7. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    W_en you b__ld up _nough speed to "he_d copy" without hav__g to write things do_n verbatim, you'll also be ____ to keep g__ing after missing a few lett_rs due to QRN bursts, QSB, the s_nder's own mist_kes, or just plain miss__g a character.

    It's similar to having poor hearing and trying to listen to someone at a noisy party. You'll miss hunks but can usually follow what's going on with practice!
    W5BIB, G4LJW, WB5YUZ and 2 others like this.
  8. NQ1B

    NQ1B Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was trying to improve my CW speed, I would sound out the CW in my head for every license plate I saw while driving. The nice thing about license plates is that most are a mix of letters and numbers not so very different from callsigns.
    W5BIB and WB5YUZ like this.
  9. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Enjoying this thread.

    I’m still new and have good days and bad days. A few days ago I had a really bad day and pretty much embarrassed the entire EM10bj grid square. The ham that answered my CQ call and I had a good laugh about the whole thing in a few QRZ PMs.

    I had found that for casual use the CW hams are pretty cool. The experienced hams can instantly tell your skill level and seem enjoy playing along. The less experienced hams are just happy to be on the air and learning. So, is it’s all good and getting on the air accelerates the learning. Of course, you still need the basic skills to play along.

    My take is as long as you are playing nice and by the rules most hams welcome the company. I’m sure in a contest, etc this all changes....
    NG9F and NQ1B like this.
  10. NQ1B

    NQ1B Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's consistent with my experience on both counts. In normal life, hams are flexible. In a contest, some will slow down, but you can't count on it. I suggest avoiding serious CW contests until you are comfortable at at least 15 wpm, and 20 wpm is better.

    This does not apply to casual contests like Flying Pigs QRP, SKCC Sprints, or state QSO parties. For those, people will slow down to whatever you need. The issue is the big national or international contests. I have literally been driving off the frequency by a ham who would neither slow down nor stop answering my slow CQ at unreadably high speed.

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