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. NT4TC

    NT4TC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate it. I'm beginning the process (this week I started) of learning. I'm currently using to learn. Interestingly, I play piano by ear (don't read music). Early on, I've found CW to be very rhythmic and musical.

    Tom - N7TGC
  2. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ive been off the air for a while, now just going back on with (of course!) compromised antennas. I think I always wanted to use CW, it had a romance to it to me. Got my license in 2010 and operated voice only, told myself I would learn CW one day. Then, due to a snapped achilles tendon and 6 weeks off work I had the "opportunity" to start learning. I used a simple Koch program for my computer and at the end of the 6 weeks I had the 41 characters learnt. I was at this stage listening to CW QSOs all the time, writing stuff down, head copy. Practising sending on my Czech key. But scared to go on air. Then I went to a talk by M0BLO at my radio club on CW, and after a chat with him, he just said, "whats the worst that can happen - go for it!" So I did and my first QSO was with a ham in the US. Amazing. After that I was hooked and the microphone was used less and less and then put away. My 18 month break from radio is because of house extensions meaning the W3EDP had to come down. But next week SOMETHING is going up so I can make a few contacts.

    And strangely enough - Jims 12 tips was really useful to me. Its been really useful to a lot of people new to CW I reckon.

    It truly is a "scene all its own". I'm an Intermediate license holder (similar to General I think) and I gravitated to the WARC bands. Love em, especially 30m. But if you have access to 40m as a Tech, thats a cool place too.
  3. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    1) The buddipole is OK for someone out camping or trekking and things like that. At home, not so much. Do you have a fenced back yard (what kind of fence) ? A tree or several trees. A balcony ? A spare room ? That is rarely occupied ?

    Each of those "things" can be put to use for deploying an antenna.

    2) I think Elecraft makes and sells an amplifier. If low power operation doesn't satisfy, you can tack the amplifier to the output of your KX3. The KX3 is loved by many owners. Don't dump it too soon. Many operators find low power operation rewarding.

    Post the layout of the "things" listed above. With that info, we can begin to offer suggestions for one or more antennas and the like.

  4. KD2RON

    KD2RON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not hedge your bets and buy a rig that can do both phone and cw with ease at 100 watts but can aalso run at qrp power if yo wish. Icom 7300 for example. Can run an almost invisible wire dipole. I love cw but have been learning for three years. It is alot more difficult than just learning the alphabet. Takes time and practice. You really wont know if its for you until you try it.
  5. DU7DVE

    DU7DVE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started to learn CW because we have a 5wpm test for our advanced class. Then I just started to enjoy the process of learning. It's just too bad that there's not a lot of ops in the country and the few there are are mostly retired telegraph ops who don't qrs.

    I mostly practice on JLMC and am around 15 wpm and trying hard for instant recognition. I had a friend in VK land who was elmering me but it was really tiring to try digging out the sigs from the noise because we were both just running wire antennas. It would be nice to listen and practice with some 5NN sigs for a change though. :D
  6. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. KI4VLM

    KI4VLM Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. KI4VLM

    KI4VLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Tom, good on you for wanting to learn cw. I am learning also. Started about 19 days ago and can do 17 characters now. I work at it. My biggest problem is copying over sending. I'm working on that. Right now, I am listening to code while reading and typing this. Someone is ripping it off at about 20 wpm and I am picking up letters here and there. Like someone said, you learn to hear the rhythm of the letters and it gets easier. I have been a Ham for about 5 or 6 years. I got my general about 2 years ago. I got bored with listening to the same old gripers and moaners every day. I got to where I never talk to anyone anymore. I am excited about learning code though. What a challenge and so nostalgic. I put off becoming a ham years ago because you had to learn code, and I did not want to fool with that. Well, now I cannot wait until I can send out a few dits and dahs. Sticking with it every day is a great way to get it in your blood. You can do it. If I can, anyone can. God luck to you

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