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To CW or not to CW? New ham - a few questions

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NT4TC, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Slight drift.....

    Poor Windom. He and Louis Varney have had their auras appropriated for crass commercial purposes with no regard for their dignity, honor, values, feelings or true spirit, much like David Crockett has been treated by Walt Disney.

    A Google search for "Windom antenna" returns page after page of miracle antenna schemes for sale, but no description of what Windom's antenna actually was. Since coax was not around, certainly not commonly available in the 1920's, I have to suspect that it was not coax fed at all, and no baluns, ununs or other modern enhancements.

    One intrepid entrepreneur describes his offering as an "End-Connected Windom." There is the Carolina Windom, The Windom Antenna Handbook and every variety and variation, much confusion over the proper, best location of the feed-point.

    I didn't find a "G5RV Windom" offered, though, so there is an angle for future entrepreneurs to work.
     
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    The original windom was a single wire off center feed. W8JI has some info on his website.
     
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  3. KF4SCI

    KF4SCI Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is great! Seems like everytime I mention cw around here everyone looks at me like I'm from another planet.
    When I grow up I want to put together a VERY low power station & see how well I can do... " reach out & touch someone" but not in a creepy way lol.
     
  4. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know what you mean by "VERY low power," but I have been running 5 watts exclusively here for some time and it turns out to be quite fun. I am all CW, and almost all DX only, with wire antennas mostly. It sometimes takes an hour or more of calling, and some I never get through to. But when you do, yeeee haaaaa!

    It reminds me a lot of dating.
     
    KU4X likes this.
  5. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    CW? Yes, absolutely you should.

    Always remember:

    CW is a hobby unto itself. It's not just a setting on your "mode" dial. It's something you will think about when you're not doing it. It has a lot of its own paraphernalia, and don't be surprised if you develop an obsession with keys, paddles, etc. It's one of the most fun and worthwhile things in amateur radio.

    It's imperative that you be patient with yourself. Persistence will absolutely pay off, but you can't really hurry this process. It takes time and the best thing you can do is give yourself time.
     
    KD4ZFS, W1BV and N1BCG like this.
  6. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've learning CW for a few years. I am also a tech but taking my General exam on Monday. Personally I find CW to be the most rewarding. Its a difficult learning curve but its amazing when it starts to come together. I'm still slow but to tune over code and understand it is like being part of the machine. Hard to describe. Definitely do it. Its ask handy for operating late nights... not talking to wake the family. Just the key and headphones. You can work it anywhere some even do it driving which seems crazy to me.
     
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The only reason it's difficult is if you heard, somewhere during your lifetime, that it was difficult.

    If your parents and teachers told you, beginning age 4 or 5, it was easy and normal and everyone had to learn it -- it would be very easy.

    I think the reason it was extremely easy for me is nobody ever told me it wasn't.:p
     
  8. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's hard to learn by counting dots and dashes or using flash cards. Very old school.

    It's commonly believed these days that learning the *sound* of each letter, like learning a new language, is the preferred method. I struggled with the old way in my novice years until starting over by learning characters at 15-18 wpm. The difference was remarkable.
     
    NK2U likes this.
  9. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, learn it. I hear lots of low-speed QSOs on all HF bands. I go about 15 wpm myself when ragchewing for fun, and I answer interesting-sounding rigs that are sending slowly. Slowly getting my speed up by burning CDs of high speed stuff and listening while commuting to work. Set your letter speed to something ridiculously high so that you will get used to the sound of the letter, rather than the dits and dahs. I'm using 35 wpm right now. Then set the space between letters to something that you can copy.
     
    N1BCG likes this.
  10. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Agree high speed but wide spacing... then narrow the spacing over time.
     
    KB2SMS likes this.

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