Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NG9F, Mar 24, 2019.
They may be just starting out and the only other contact may be Texas!
Thanks for this post. I'm trying to get all 50 states on CW... I just got a QSL card from Alaska recently
I wish all the people who spend eight or twelve or eighteen months using apps and Farnsworth, trying to learn all the characters at 20 or 25 WPM, and trying a different learning method or app every few months, rather than getting on the air at 5 WPM and boosting speed by using CW itself, instead of just listening to Morse, could see this post.
If I understand what you are looking for, 40 meters cw, around the SKCC frequencies. Listen to the calls heard and that might let you know what the propagation is doing.
Interesting you want an award without any skeds, that how I got SKCC senator and 3KEY, but we ask questions on the internet?? It's the thing to do I guess. Forty, even now, is probably the best shot by varying time of day.
Good luck. I'll be listening on 40. QSLing is a personal choice of each ham. Good luck with that. QRZ, eQSL, paper at k5tsk
LOL, well- I haven't given up on LCWO.net. I still do 2-minute drills every single weekend between UFC fights. I download the fights, then I pause in between each one and do a 2-minute drill. The rest of the time I just do QSOs. I think you probably benefit from both. I always set the 2-minute drills faster than I am able to copy so I have to stop the file, repeat it and look at the letters that I've typed and figure out where I am up to the point where my brain froze on a particular character. I am doing 19wpm now with those drills. I can't copy anywhere near that fast on the air, but LCWO generates perfectly spaced and weighted code.
I did LCWO.net at 3wpm spacing and 28wpm character speed the first time I went through and learned the alphabet. Couldn't copy at all on the air, but then I went back and learned at "parity"- maybe 5wpm/5wpm. I just kept increasing from there, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, on up to where I am now at 19/19. But yes, I don't do the website drills exclusively and stay away from on-air experience. That would be a mistake. This coming December will mark my 2-year point with the drills on LCWO.net, so maybe I will give them up at that point. I should be at 25wpm then if all goes well, and hopefully I will have more than 500 QSOs under my belt. I have 250 right now.
Copying CW on the air is a lot different than apps or websites. The problem with real, live code is that there are big lulls. You might call CQ for 20 minutes then shut the radio off and not copy a single thing. You might run into people with a sloppy fist. QSB, QRN, QRM- it all complicates things and that makes it hard to get the characters burned into your brain. LCWO helps a lot with that. You can get hours worth of recognizing characters in a very short time. But people who only do apps are making a mistake- you also need to learn to copy in spite of QSB, QRN, sloppy fists, those LOOONNNNGGGG dahs from a bug. You don't learn how to work your filters, RIT, and AGC by drilling on a website. You don't learn that lightening screws up 80M! Lots of practical considerations that you don't get from just drilling code.
K5TSK- yeah, I know what you mean. For some reason if I schedule a contact it doesn't feel as natural as throwing out a CQ and getting a reply by chance. I don't mind that it will take me longer this way. If I get on the SKCC sked page and there are two new "states" that are logged in and I message them for a sked- that doesn't feel like it fits into the tradition of the CW ops of old! That's just my prejudice and I might change my mind when I am stuck trying to get the same 10 states for two or three years. There is something very cool about getting contacts organically- throwing out a call and getting all excited when you hear the comma and the state- one that you NEED!!!!!!!! I know, I know, I am a curmudgeon. I don't do digital modes either. Maybe if I was a single generation older I would have been that guy that says "digital readouts are ruining ham radio!"- but instead I have a 7610 connected to a giant monitor, and my shack glows with that massive waterfall flashing signals. But no skeds for me. hihi
I still do 20 min day off the air practice and copying. Sometimes you can get only so much on the air time or QSOs each night. Having that extra practice helps keep me sharp.
Nothing curmudgeon about that attitude. Play ham radio the way you enjoy. I have nothing against those who sked for contacts. For me however, on a 'rustic' key group, skedding is a bit like employing a robot using a hand crafted bamboo rod to fly fish. Something very incongruous about it all. 73.
I will listen for your call as well Jim. I have six QSOs on CW with Arkansas and Mississippi, but no confirmations for either state. Getting close to my "C" so we can trade numbers too!
Probably need 80 M after sundown to get IN and MI, and a Dipole not the vertical antenna !
OK said this B4 now we need QSOs on some of the other bands
I am not using LoTW but do use E-QSL, only do a QRZ log now and then.
if I get a SASE, I try to get it out in a day or two.
i just put up a dipole for 40M, and that was a stretch for my lot!!!! now my wife says there are "too many antennas"- is that even a thing?!?!? but i am thinking about ladder line- 600 ohms- just for fun. i have a Dentron tuner for it. i just need to figure out where to string it and how long it can be.