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No response to slow CW CQ

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KD0HFZ, Aug 13, 2009.

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  1. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If that 20 meter dipole uses coax as a feedline you really can not use it on 40 meters, it is a 20 meter antenna. Let me guess, the Russian guy was on 20 meters and most of your slow-speed QSO attempts have been on 40 meters?

    If you can send 10-13 wpm there is NO REASON people would not answer you on 40 meters if they can hear you. You are a General, I assume you make SSB contacts easily with these same antennas? I don't think your speed is the problem, I suspect your signal on 40 meters is weaker than you think and there are not many ops looking for slow-speed QSOs on 20 meters. I have NEVER heard a 5 wpm QSO on 20 meters. Hope this helps.

    Once again, how slow is "slow"?

  2. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My speed is about 5-7 WPM, and for 40 and the lower freq's I have a 160m inverted V.
  3. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's pretty slow. I think this speed CW is up between 7100 and 7150 kc, in the old "novice" band. Nothing like that on 20, and I don't think on 80 either. 40 is certainly the band. In your evenings it should be do-able. I suggest you keep practicing by LISTENING to QSOs, build up your speed, and keep at it. To be perfectly honest, for people who are used to communicating at 25 wpm the jump down to 5 wpm is pretty difficult. But you are young, you will get fast quickly. When I was 16 I went from zero to 50+ wpm in about 6 months.

    You can also send your CQ at 10 wpm but tell the other guy to QRS his SENDING to about 5-7 wpm. This will at least increase your chance someone will ANSWER you.

    If your speed is 5-7 wpm, let's just SAY it is 10 wpm, send at 10 wpm and see how much you get. If you get that the guy is located in "BILMINGSAM", you can bet its Birmingham, name of "LARLY" is Larry, etc...

    I think people ARE hesitant to answer a 5 wpm QSO. In the OLDEN days, when I was also 15, there were HUNDREDS of people (thousands) in the same boat as you, but we were all on 40 or 80 every evening sending CW at 5 wpm. It was easy to make a QSO, but with the idiotic elimination of the Morse requirement people who want to learn are basically left on their own.

    BTW, the ARRL website has W1AW "code practice" mp3 files at ALL speeds, I loaded the fast ones on my iPod. You can do the same, get more practice.

    Hope this helps. Obviously you want to join the CW club, we need all the members we can get!!

    73 OM,

  4. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, there probably arent a lot of new hams out there eager to learn CW. I wanted to get it learned before school started so i wouldnt put it on the shelf until i had a break. I was getting tired of practicing, i was itching to get on the air! When i practice at, i have the character speed set at 15wpm and the effective speed set a 5wpm, so i can recognize the chracters fast but not the spacing in between them.
  5. WB9JTK

    WB9JTK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Using a "160 m inverted V" on 40m is probably most of your problem. I expect that the SWR is 100:1 or worse. If you are feeding it with coax it won't matter what kind of "tuner" you use, all the power will be lost in the coax. So try another antenna.

    To get answers to CQ, first "do no wrong" ( ???? ) I mean don't call CQ 100 times then send your call 14 times. As suggested earlier, CQ 3 times, callsign twice and then listen.

    Send NEATLY. I would much rather work a guy running 3 wpm sending neatly than a guy sending 20 wpm sloppily. (I hardly ever answer someone using a "bug" - most of them send so badly it's indescribable.)

    If you are learning to copy at 5 wpm with the letters sent at 15, then you will probably learn to send neatly also. I think this method is the best. I think you will learn to NOT run your letters together.

    Also, the comment about 'no slow code on 20' is pretty much true. So until we ever get sunspots again, 40 or 80 is your best shot.

    On 40 try 7.112 in that area. 80 m .... well, I don't know... haven't been on 80 in so long and with all the frequency allocation changes, I dont know whats going on there.

    Another technique is to copy a QSO in progress where you can copy at least enough to get a callsign (or both) out of it. Then when they sign off, give one of them a call at the speed you are comfortable with. Though I like to operate at 35 to 40, I will answer a slow call if it is sent neatly (and I have time).

    OH... and do NOT repeat everything the other gentleman sent. When another ham comes back to me with "OK on your QTH in Florida, OK on your Name is dofus, OK on my RST is 499 OK on ..." I usually won't listen for the third "ok on your" I am gone by then.

    You may get discouraged occasionally while trying to become 'proficient' at CW. However let me encourage you. In 37 years of operating I have never heard profanity or a religious fight on CW.
  6. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The tuner loads it up to a perfect 1:1, but that doesnt mean it is a perfect radiator. The only other option i have is a 20m dipole, and they both seem to work fine on SSB. I will see if i can put up a 40, but im not sure if we have the space for that kind of thing.
  7. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If they work on SSB they are fine. But you are probably losing 90% of your 100 watts into that coax on 40.

  8. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, everyone has to compromise...I did make a stateside CW contact after i heard him call CQ, but i still could not copy him. I guess I will just keep on calling.
  9. K5DE

    K5DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't tell you what will work for you, but I can tell you what works for me. Long ago, I could hang with all but the best of them but over a twenty-six year hiatus, can't yet -- I'm still working fairly slow code. Since coming back to amateur radio a few weeks ago the vast majority of my contacts have been with 5 watts out and the majority have been in response to my CQ. I call "CQ CQ CQ de N4YQP N4YQP K" and that's it. I pause to listen, then repeat. Normally I get a response within four or five calls. My K1 at 5 watts is into a homebrew dipole that tunes slightly below the band (yeah, I know, a true ham would fix it), so goes through a tuner. It's up around 30' to 35'.

    At a guess (don't know for sure since I normally use a straight key) I send around 10-12 wpm (with gusts to 15). I often hear QSOs in progress slower than mine, and have even slowed down from my norm to answer a CQ.

    Join SKCC and start looking for either a CQ or an open area to call CQ around 7.110-7.120. If you are getting out, you will get a response even at 5 WPM. If you don't get a response, I'd suspect you are not getting out.

    Good luck. If I hear you (I'm only on during the weekends), I'll respond.


    edit: okay, I exaggerated on the "all but the best of them" part, but I had crossed 25 wpm. :)
  10. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Finally, someone with a K1. I know this is a tough question, but how do you like it? Any compliments criticsms?
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