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The Rookie CW Question Thread

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KD7ICW, Aug 25, 2019.

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  1. KD7ICW

    KD7ICW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello and thanks for your time answering some questions from us Newer CW Ops

    I hesitate to call myself a CW Op after reading some bio's from well experienced Ops saying that one should master Morse and always use prosigns correctly no matter what, use the Q code and basically be perfect before getting on the air.

    I wish that there were novice bands, like used in the past where us new guys can learn and practice without offending the perfect OPs out there! but alas, there are not. Us new guys are forced to learn by jumping right in and trying our best.

    Thanks to those who help us along our journey.

    Ok, I'm rambling.

    I have a question or 2.

    I'll start with..

    What is with the letter V sent a few times from Bug users before calling CQ?
    K1LKP likes this.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think it's only bug users... I've heard it from all different kinds of keyers.

    It's just a sort of 'test signal' that some guys seem to think they need to send. Maybe they're looking at an SWR meter, or whatever before they kick in and call CQ. Dunno for sure.

    BUT, I often send OFF AIR some Vs or some random text, just to get my muscles in synch with the speed of the bug. Call it a 'warm up' if you will.
    K5VZD, KD7ICW and M6GYU like this.
  3. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    When the Morse test was still required, the CW test sessions started with two sets of three "V"s. They were there to help you get your tempo started. I used the same two sets of three "V"s with my Morse test material, that I used to pass the 20 WPM test.

    A side product of the two sets of three "V"s is that, you got 6 free characters towards the 100 characters you needed for 100% copy.
  4. KD7ICW

    KD7ICW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ah, thanks for that.

    Also, what a great link that you shared, thanks for posting.
  5. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Vs are easy to send and are used like sync characters in computer networking to help you judge the speed of an op. Many ops will send Vs before a contest starts to hold a frequency and to warm up the ionosphere.

    There has been some discussion in CWops about trying to recreate the novice experience. One idea kicking around is a 30-minute period before each CWT on Wednesdays. The CWTs are at 13:00, 19:00 and 03:00 (Thursday) UTC. The idea for the 30 minutes prior is 20 WPM tops. Anybody work anybody, it is not a contest. Suggested exchange - name and location like the NAQP.

    If you want want to stick around for the high-speed CWT, you’re more than welcome. Frequencies about 40 kHz from the bottom of the bands, mainly 80, 40 and 20 meters.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is a reference explanation from ACP-124, military "Allied Communications Publication 124". Morse procedures often carry over from one service to another e.g. Marine, Military, Telegraph, Aviation, Railroad, Amateur, over the decades. So, while not specifically listed in ARRL or IARL procdure lists, it is not uncommon (and practical) for amateur useage. Each service has its' own common practices and idiosynchrocies.

    311. TEST SIGNALS When it is necessary for a station to initiate test signals, whether for the adjustment of a transmitter before making a call or for the adjustment of a receiver, such signals will consist of not more three series of three V's followed by the call sign of the station and the prosign AR.



    Reference ACP-124D of 1983

    Today's microprocessor radios are highly reliable with consistent performance. Radios from our not-so-long-ago past had many mechanical relays, touchy VOX controls, side tone settings, not to mention setting up a key or bug. So a quick "VVV" before commencing a transmission serve(d)s a practical purpose.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    K1LKP, WA1GXC, K5VZD and 1 other person like this.
  7. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I do the V's off air, primarily now when I'm trying to do my bug practice. On air before a CQ, I send 'QRL, pause several seconds, QRL, etc.
    Then CQ.
    I bet you already know a bunch of the Q signals. The more the better. As long as both sides know what they mean, it speeds things up. In older days, you could listen to some of the regional ARRL traffic nets on CW.
    They used, still do, the Q net signals and it was very informative and very awe inspiring to listen to a really top notch net control as he 'or she' used the entire set of net Q signals. And the net knew what he meant. Things are a little more informal now, but that tradition lives on.
    You are a part of that tradition. Learn as much of it as you can and have time for. Then having learned it all, you can still be humble about it all. Even the best CW code op today, stands on the shoulders of giants. Good luck.
  8. W9EBE

    W9EBE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Basically it allows bug ops to hear the timing of the dits to gauge the proper length of the dahs for an approximate 3:1 dit/dah ratio. You may also hear bug ops sending: ..._. which is basically the same type of rhythmic test.

    Any old timer worth his/her salt should be ecstatic that new CW ops are coming into the fold and kindly mentoring (Elmering) them. That goes a lot farther than admonishment. Don't worry about perfection. Just listen to the way things are done and you'll catch on. Welcome and have fun! :)
    KA0HCP and W5BIB like this.
  9. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not one Perfect code op is on the air...
    There are Skilled code ops and there are beginners.
    Skilled code ops welcome the beginners and work with them to hone their abilities to become skilled ops.
    And on it goes or should go.
    Welcome Aboard and hope you enjoy the hobby...

    Learn Morse.
    Do CW.
    W6MK, WA1GXC, KA0HCP and 1 other person like this.
  10. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    VVVs Once widely used regardless of what key you used. At sea or on shore stations you took over someones watch keeping duties and simply sent a few VVV's whilst adjusting the key at the operating position. (Operators normally used the key available at the working position).

    Also it was often used instead of CQ for station markers = as already mentioned.

    QSV means, "Send some VVVs" for tuning purposes so the other operator could have a chance to tune his receiver in order to get a better signal. Although I only heard the merchant service use it.
    WA1GXC and W5BIB like this.

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