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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. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm assuming the 160 meter antenna is coax fed. You should be able just add a 40 meter dipole to the same feeders - should be around 66 feet long, but the presence of the 160 meter antenna will load it down considerably, and you'll have to prune it to get it to resonate on 40. You can improve it's operation by bringing the ends of the 40 meter dipole down to separate tiedowns, ideally at right angles to the 160 meter antenna. You'll also have to prune your 160 meter antenna to get it to resonate in the band again.

    Coax-fed dipoles will work on the odd numbered harmonics of the fundamental. I don't know what frequency your 160 meter antenna is cut for, but let's assume it's 1.850 Mhz.. 1.85 X 3 - 5.55 Mhz. - might work on 60 meters. 1.85 X5 = 9.25 Mhz. - much too high for 40. So, unless you're feeding that thing with ultra-low-loss heliax, you are certainly losing a lot in the feedline and probably in the tuner, too. Your new 40 meter add-on element should also work on 15.

    You could change to open wire feeders all the way back to your tuner in the shack. That would be big improvement, too. Another option would be to fold your 160 meter vee into an 80 meter full-wave loop. That will work on all harmonics, not just the odd ones, when fed with coax. You'd lose 160 in the bargain, though.
  2. NS8N

    NS8N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most people feed dipoles with ladder-line. With that said however, everything I've read has said that coax loss is greater at VHF and higher and negligible on the low bands.

    Anyways, I completely disagree with previous comments regarding 20 meters. While it is the "premiere" DXing band and also while many do not want slow CW ops on this band, it is still VERY workable via slow code. In fact, when I started out on CW (mere months ago) my only antenna was for 20 meters and I was around 5 wpm. I made MANY contacts at this early stage but found that speed improved drastically in only about 10 QSOs.

    So again I say, not many if any are ignoring you. You are either not radiating a good signal or perhaps are sending very poor CW where no one can understand what you are sending. It also pays to know the hangout spots such as the SKCC frequencies.

    Very true fact: I use a hamstick attached to my apartment balcony. I am pretty high up, so I am at an advantage to many because of this. Anyways, I have NEVER not had my CQ answered on an SKCC freq. It may take me a couple times of 3x3, but it is ALWAYS answered. Someone is always listening. So if you are radiating a signal at all and are sending proper CW, someone will answer you.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    To much alc can cause key clicks, Find the drive parameter for cw, turn it down all the way, then back up till you have full rf power, you should see little or no alc.

    The alc should stay at zero until the power is 100 w, then you will see the alc start to come up with additional drive.

    And keep trying, Even with my incredible "loudest I've ever heard on amateur radio" is the usual signal report I receive(barefoot of course!)signal, and legendary magnetic personality, sometimes I have to call cq for several seconds before the pileup for Etna PA gets completely out of control:rolleyes:

  4. W0EA

    W0EA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Joey, I know we've already talked about it, but remember, even if you're going to call somebody who is going faster than you, simply call him at a speed you are comfortable with. Just because he's going faster doesn't mean he wont slow down (he should if he's a decent operator)

    Keep trying, you'll get one you're comfortable with in no time
  5. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I havent really tried to answer anyone, ive just been calling CQ most of the time. I did get my keng, so its not as long to send all of my CQ. I did get a little more patient and called CQ more and ended up with 3 contacts for the day. Im thinking that when I get my speed up Ill probably get more answers, but for now i guess im doing ok. Ill just keep calling.
  6. K5DE

    K5DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    >but how do you like it[K1]? Any compliments criticsms?

    No complaints, but it is a fairly complex kit -- not critically so, but you do have to pay attention because you are making hundreds of solder connections, some in very close quarters. When complete, though, it is a solid radio. You will get quite a few 559, 459, 569 type signals because you are QRP, but I think it is a great radio.

  7. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the feedback, I've been looking at some reviews, they all looked pretty good. I've been thinking about getting the K1 for my QRP operation.
  8. KU0G

    KU0G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Joey, et al...

    The North American Traffic and Awards Net operates a CW net on Thursday evenings local time on 3575 kHz at 0200z. The net is primarily an awards type of net however we DO keep the speed down as we have several participants that are boning up on their Morse! Give us a try.

    Listen for CQ NATA DE <NCS CALLSIGN> (usually sent 3X) followed by "QNI? QTC? K"

    QNI = We're accepting check-ins -or- I am checking into the net
    QTC? = Do you have any traffic for the net?

    To check in do this: "<NCS CALLSIGN> DE KD0HFZ JOEY IA QNI QRU K"

    QRU = I have no written traffic for the net

    We welcome anyone/everyone to our nets (see website below for more information). Most QSO's between net participants will look like this:

    Sender: <callsign> DE <callsign> UR 599 599 IN <state> K
    Responder: <callsign> DE <callsign> QSL 599 TNX UR 599 599 IN <state> K
    1ST stn: <callsign> DE <callsign> QSL 599 TNX BTN K (BTN = "BACK TO NET")

    Try starting on one of our SSB nets (7195 kHz at 7 pm Central daily, 7195 kHz at 11p Wednesday, 3905 kHz at 9:45p daily ex. Sunday and Thursday local time. You'll pick up the procedures there pretty quickly and can then transfer that to our CW nets.

    We also offer nets on PSK-31 on both 40 and 80 meters as well as RTTY on both bands.

    Congrats on your efforts to work CW! It's a great mode and once you get going you get hooked on it! (After all, doesn't every teenager want to know a language they can use with their friends that their parents can't understand? OOPS! Guess that doesn't work when your dad's a ham, too!)

    All the best!
    Jim Duncan, KU0G
  9. KD0HFZ

    KD0HFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ha ha! Thanks for the info, ill have to check it out. My dad says he wants to learn CW, and that will be good for him. If i learn before im 16 supposedly I will have it in my brain for the rest of my life as a secondary language.
  10. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's already been some mention of SKCC activity, but 7114 KHz should be specifically of interest to the slow speed CW beginner. That is the SKCC "Elmer" frequency, a safe haven for new operators to get on the air without worrying about making mistakes. It is regularly monitored by experienced operators who are willing to slow down & help you gain experience. Here, the SKCC emphatically states, "WE DON'T CARE IF YOU MESS UP!" In addition, every Friday is SKCC "novice day" on the frequencies near 7114, an effort to congregate beginners so they can help one another. This will never equal the activity level of the old Novice bands (the training ground of the 1960's, as mentioned earlier), but it does give slow speed ops a place to contact others who are on equal footing and experiencing the same nervous jitters.

    With all that said, I have to elaborate on something else that others have already mentioned. Your existing dipoles will not be resonant on 80 or 40 meters, so if you are using coaxial transmission line, you do have greatly increased loss due to elevated VSWR. Coax only has relatively low loss at HF (compared to UHF) when VSWR is near 1:1, and your tuner cannot and will not improve the VSWR out there on that long coaxial transmission line. The resultant increase in loss ("heating the coax") means that you will be involuntarily operating QRP on 80 & 40 meters until you get antennas for those bands.

    If you don't have room for more antennas on your lot, then you still have options.

    (1) You can connect 80 & 40 meter elements to the feed point of one of those existing dipoles, as previously described, simply using the same space as the existing antenna. This configuration is commonly called a parallel or a fan dipole. Much lighter (cheaper) wire can be used for these elements than needed for the "supporting" dipole.

    (2) You can replace the coax to that 160 meter dipole with balanced transmission line so it will work on 160-10 meters. There will still be a high SWR out on the transmission line, but it won't matter. Balanced line has significantly lower loss under those conditions (compared to coaxial cable), so most of your signal will get to the antenna. Your tuner will provide your transmitter with a match close enough to 50 ohms to allow full output. BTW, amateur radio operators commonly call this form of dipole a "doublet", to distinguish it from dipoles that are cut to resonance.

    73 & see you on 7114 soon.

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
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