Question about how to start with CW

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB1PDK, Oct 29, 2019.

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  1. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want to _practice_ CW, and can find a few like minded individuals, you might be able to set up a regular net on a local repeater. This is a stupendous waste of bandwidth (using a pair of full fm voice 'channels' to send OOK Morse) but can be done with very inexpensive equipment, and if you randomly had 'CW' QSOs on a repeater would probably annoy people. But a specific scheduled net would likely be accepted/supported by many. This can also be a way to get other people hooked on the mode. And if you get enough of the repeater users proficient in CW then you won't have complaints about random 'CW' QSOs. (2m repeater etiquette is remarkably local)

    Simply because of common usage, 2m FM is _cheap cheap cheap_, 2m CW or SSB quite a bit more expensive.

  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Im at a complete loss regarding the conversation of practicing/learning Morse on anything but HF. Why burden oneself with the additional baggage and limitations of repeaters or the like? 1000's of new and just learing Ops are on the HF bands at any given time, not to mention veteran Ops. I suspect the likelihood of finding and successfully completing a exchange as practice would be better achieved on a HF frequency. 73 Rich
    WW2PT and W4ZD like this.
  3. W4ZD

    W4ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, I agree. Get on 80/40/20 CW and have FUN. And do not overlook the W1AW code broadcasts, they're a great way to increase your ability. If you're just beginning and can copy at least 5 WPM, listen to their slow code transmissions. And once 10-15 WPM is in the bag, their fast sessions can help take you beyond that. I made use of them many years ago, and they helped tremendously. The other thing about them is they utilize text feom QST, so if you are an ARRL member and receive QST it's an easy thing to check your copy if you bother to write it down (I always did).

    There are, of course, other such resources available on the internet, but live copy of a real signal is the way to go, IMHO. Learn to use the best CW filter ever devised, the human brain, and learn in the real world (QRM, QRN, etc.).

    There are two aspects to becoming proficient at CW. First and foremost is the ear-brain interface (hearing). Then, of course, is the finger-brain interface (sending). Both improve with practice. Listen on the bands for the first. Get a CPO or connect your rig to a dummy load and reduce power for the second.
    W9RAC and WW2PT like this.
  4. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to be clear, what I have _heard_ on a local repeater was a scheduled net for Morse code practice. It is much less a 'get out there and make contact' than a 'come to a classroom to learn Morse code'. The benefit over HF is much much less expensive equipment to get started. The downside is that you don't actually make any contacts out there in the real world that you couldn't with FM voice.

    I absolutely agree that it isn't the same thing. Morse from a CCR on FM is a different sort of fun :)

    Also, for what its worth the W1AW code broadcasts are also sent on 147.555 MHz FM. From my location I can sometimes get them.

  5. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Jon but I will just disagree. The cost of a used HF rig and a dipole can be very little and the compared versatility for both present and future use is considerably more in my opinion. 100's of new CW OPs everyday on in the old Novice area of 40 is just an example. Further you are not limited on your practice time or range. I talk to new Ops daily running <5 Watts all over the country. 73 Rich
  6. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I agree on the 40m recommendation, AND the low power. In New England it's customary to see mid-west stations blasting in on 100mW.

    I would also recommend listen-listen-listen. A good listener will always make for a good QSO ! :):):)

    Good luck !
  7. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    CW is like exercise. It is best when done consistently over time. The specifics of what is done or how it is done is less important than doing it. So you are right to want to get good at CW by getting a working station together.

    But it takes two to tango...and there isn't always a dance partner available. To that end, tools like Morse Runner and loads of other programs and apps allow for off-the-air practice, in some cases simulating real environments (with interference, static, "conversations" of various types.) Even just a few minutes each day will keep you sharp, and pushing yourself a little each day with progressively faster speeds will also result in improvement over time.

    I don't know offhand if CW is practical on other frequencies, I'd guess probably not (in a practical sense, like having a decent chance of finding someone else to talk with, not a literal sense.) But these programs are always available!
    W9RAC likes this.
  8. KB1PDK

    KB1PDK Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. KB1PDK

    KB1PDK Ham Member QRZ Page

    It was a 10 single sideband multimode 25 watt transceiver I made one very weak contact with it
    VK4HAT likes this.

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