QRS Code Practice "net"?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WF4W, May 23, 2017.

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  1. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been thinking about something the past couple weeks - something to help promote ham radio and CW...

    I've been thinking about starting a QRS CW "Net" for the purpose of CW practice for those wishing to learn the art.

    Format would be a moderated "net" by me and/or other seasoned CW operators and go something like this...

    Round 1: Checkins
    Net Op requests checkins by call area, assigns numbers and makes a list of checkins

    Round 2: Intros
    Each check in sends their call sign, name, QTH, license class and how long they've been licensed (standard format - intent is to help guide those copying the code on what to expect - for example (de. wf4w name is RJ. Qth is Roswell, GA. Class is Extra. Been licensed for 28 years BK) This will help build word common word recognition.

    Round 2: Guided Conversation
    Net control will ask a question that each checkin will respond to such as "de WF4W - Describe your station plz. My rig is Ic7300 with 100 watts to vertical. Using vibroplex iambic paddles for CW. BK"
    Each participant sends the exact same sequence so everyone knows what's coming and helps build word-sound recognition.

    Round 3 - x : Contacts
    Each participants gets an opportunity to contact another stations using standard format "KK4KK de WF4W ur RST is 599 599 KN" / "WF4W de KK4KK R 599 - ur rst is 579 579 BK"

    I need to put some more thought into this b/c I'd like to have an internet chat going along with the net to communicate more easily if necessary. Perhaps use the assisted chat to keep track of checkins/checkouts, suggested topics, etc. or provide a means for participants to ask for slower speed, etc.

    Thoughts? What's going to make this NOT work aside from being tedious? For those trying to learn, does this sound helpful?
    KI7HLR and KC3BZJ like this.
  2. W5KYP

    W5KYP Ham Member QRZ Page


    If you can get this going, you can count on me participating, QRP style that is.
    Please take down my email address kd5ttz@bellsouth.net and remember that I am interested if you get things going.

    This sounds like an awesome plan and hope you can get it going.

    Thanks and keep me posted!!

  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe this will be paramount to making this work.

    I wonder if one of the clubs, SKCC, FISTS, etc, might be willing to assist with the chat room?

    The one that SKCC uses for sked purposes works exceedingly well, they might be willing to adapt the software for this use?
  4. KT0G

    KT0G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like the idea and will participate.
  5. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks guys. I'll see what I can do to get this off the ground. My local club uses a chat room for their FM repeater tech net so perhaps I can use that for this endeavor. I forgot to mention that the chat would be used for transcripts so participants could check their work.

    I feel like I'm missing something ... I don't think there are any other hurdles other than figuring out time and frequency. My initial thought is 7.111 at 9pm est. problem will be people being unable to hear others... But hey, that's practice for digging out CW signals :)
  6. W5KYP

    W5KYP Ham Member QRZ Page

    sounds like a plan!

  7. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We have been running a local very informal QRS rag chew session just north of San Francisco, CA, every Thursday evening at approx 7:00pm PST, on 7.110 +/- or 3.590 +/- depending on conditions. It's very unstructured, but set up mostly for the local club members who are wanting to practice CW on the air. Some of our radios aren't very powerful, so it's mostly a local thing, though we've had some stations from far away check in once in a while. Anyone interested can send me email (good on QRZ) to get the latest updates on time and frequency, and to make sure we listen for you.

    One thing I'd point out is that CW is hard work for learners, and the total length of the net probably needs to be kept to a half hour, or maybe 45 minutes tops. Beyond that, people lose concentration and get frustrated. For old hands who can work CW in their sleep, a QRS net is a breeze and can go on endlessly and effortlessly, but that's not true for the ones who need the practice the most.

    A half hour of QRS CW won't allow for a whole lot of content, particularly if you have very many participants. It's even worse if people have trouble hearing each other. If you have five participants, and if you can get everyone to say their name, QTH, and tell one interesting thing they did this week, that might fill the time and be quite a successful net.

    Anyway, go for it, and try to make sure it's fun for all!
  8. KD4ZFS

    KD4ZFS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm all for anything that gets more folks on the air with CW. Please proceed.

    Some suggestions:

    1) Segregate by speed. There is QRS and QRS. If someone is struggling with 5 wpm, a 13 wpm QRS will be overwhelming. If someone is at 13 wpm, 5 wpm will be frustratingly slow. Maybe form nets around 5 wpm, 10 wpm, 13 wpm, etc. You might also want to decide ahead whether to use Farnsworth spacing or not.

    2) Pick a time and frequency when the band is likely to be good.

    3) Get good Net Controls. Whoever is the Net Control Station (QNN) has a JOB. Be sure those hams are willing to take it on, and have a rotating schedule to spread the work.

    4) Have a web page with SKED and rules. Also, as suggested before, an Internet chat room might be very helpful for beginners, even though this goes against the final objective of purely on-air communications.
  9. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go have a gander at www.skccgroup.com They already have some elements of what you are proposing such as a sked page, a CW mentoring program, some training aids. It seems like what you want to do just takes it to the next level. You might want to consider building your offerings upon that framework. Might save you some effort. Or not.
  10. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    thanks, i will take a look - i never want to recreate what's already been done.

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