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Operate much?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WB2WIK, Aug 23, 2016.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This isn't about "straight keys" specifically, but about CW operations in general.

    I'm pretty active on CW and notice something occurring fairly lately that I've never heard before in more than fifty years of CW operation. It's something really silly and easy to fix.

    I hear operators send CQ and then just STOP. No "K," no indication of the operator switching back to receive. Nothing. Isn't that silly?

    We use "K" at the end of a CQ because it's an "invitation to transmit." AR might be acceptable, but IMO "K" is better because of what it means. AR only means "end of transmission," it doesn't indicate you're necessarily listening after that.:)

    Some other silly stuff:

    I hear ops who start transmitting before the station they're in contact with has finished. It's happened to me many times -- this is also something pretty new, to me. I might call W1XYZ de WB2WIK and by the time I've sent WB2WI the other station is already transmitting. Obviously, that means he didn't hear the "K" at the end of my callsign, so he has my call wrong. Just silly.

    I hear ops sending "BTU" as "back to you," which is also something I never heard 20-30-40-50 years ago. To me, BTU is a temperature quantity. :p If you want to turn it over, a simple "HW?" does the trick and actually means something (it's short for "how copy?" which is always good to ask, since with QSB and variable band conditions, it's easy to lose someone in the middle of a QSO).

    I hear ops giving reports in funny order. We can all do whatever we wish, but there's a reason for sending a report and location pretty soon, as it advises the other op if you're really hearing him and also which way to turn his antenna (assuming he has a directional, rotary antenna -- like I do), especially if signals are weak and can be improved by rotation. I always send (first transmission) RST-QTH-OP in that order, and right up front before anything else, and think this makes sense. It's what we all "used to do" back in the day.

    Maybe the difference is a lot of new code ops are just getting started without having listened to hundreds or thousands of other CW QSOs, as most of us new Novices had done. My first contact in ham radio, as a Novice in 1965, was after already "copying" many hundreds of contacts (before being licensed) to see what others were doing. Perhaps we've lost a bit of that.
    WR2E likes this.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think this started with packet and amtor ops. It makes perfect sense, especially if you would send "hw?" as a formality and don't really care how well they are copying. I think it's practical, is no longer than Hw? and makes sense.:)
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only argument I have with that is that the other guy is gonna know it's coming Back To U once you start sending callsigns, or BK prosign...

    I get a bit crazy sometimes when the other guy exchanges pleasantries out the wazoo at the end of a qso... TNX FER FB QSO BT HPE TO CU AGN SOON BT GOD BLESS TO U ES URS BT VERY BEST 73 BT TAKE CARE BT GL GA BT WR2E DE whoever.

    Who would ever go through all that at the end of a conversation face to face?

    OK gotta run see ya!
  4. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rather pointless. I thought that was what K was for.

    Perhaps its something from voice procedure?. I've heard folk say such things as; "Passing it back to you for a final".
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The problem is "BTU" without additional characters leaves it hanging. HW? isn't just a formality, it really is an inquiry (how do you copy now?) since conditions and interference are subject to constant change; so, of course I really care how well someone is copying (or if they're copying at all).:)

    Another small gripe: Lots of QSB lately, at least at the times I'm operating. I might give someone a 559 QSB signal report, and then he sends for ten minutes non-stop telling me more than I ever wanted to know about something or other...while the band fades out and we never have a chance to even say "73." Signals gone, due to the long transmission.

    Not really a big deal, but why not make multiple, shorter transmissions, kind of like real conversation? I always try to do that.
    KB2SMS likes this.
  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not just Morse ops. Fone ops often make QSOs unnecessarily tedious. I most recently ran into it during last weekend's NAQP. When doing search-and-pounce, I sometimes had to listen to a CQing station more than once in order to know when to pounce. Sometimes, the station would recognize me and ask for my exchange (wastes time) instead of recognizing me and giving his exchange.

    And then, when running a frequency myself, sometimes a calling station would give his callsign all at and the exchange before being recognized. This weekend, one station asked why I was not on a full KHz or half-KHz frequency. My response was,
    "because I don't have to be".

    vy 73 es gl,
    Bryan WA7PRC
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like it when I call CQ and someone answers to tell me I'm off frequency.:)
    K8AI, KB2SMS, W8ZNX and 3 others like this.
  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    After having my TS850 serviced a while ago, I see the reference oscillator has drifted a bit.
    One of these days, I'll connect my Rubidium source (
    Then, I'll definitely be the one who's on frequency. FMT anyone? :)

    Bryan WA7PRC
  9. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My elmer has his Rubidium gyosatellite linked.
  10. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not happened to me, but I suspect my reply would be:

    WA7DU likes this.

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