Working special events with CW ???

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K5UNX, Jul 7, 2019.

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  1. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    keep going with the CW, your speed will increase. I use a keyer for normal contacts, but in a heated contest, I will use canned calls & responses especially on pileups or when its 40wpm, just for efficiency. I also use the keyer in contests because its easier just to send rather than to fiddle around changing macros etc. I also use fldigi as a backup when cw gets too fast to too slow to copy in my head.
    I've got a hand key but max out at 20wpm for about 1minute due to wrist fatigue.
    Also its faster to use CW for quick contacts rather than FT8, and it gets through poor conditions just as well and sometimes better than FT8
    It doesnt matter what you use as long as it sends well
  2. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I listen to live QSO's in the evenings a lot to practice. Sometimes I do have to hear them call CQ several times to pick out their call. Sometimes it is a letter each time and takes 5-6 times to get the entire call. I have noticed it is getting better, cal get a lot of calls in 1-3 repeats now. I got brave one night and answered a slower CQ. That was a disaster but he was patient and repeated a lot.
    N1OOQ likes this.
  3. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I took the CW Academy Level 1 class a couple years ago then never did anything. I have spent the last couple months brushing up on that material and I think I am back to the level I was at the end of the class. I am signed up for Level 2 this fall.
    N3FZ and N4UP like this.
  4. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our Field Day station made 600+ contacts with 450 being made by the CW guys. They were running contacts through like crazy. I sat and listened to them for a while and started to make out a few letters here and there at their 30 WPM. They were using N3FJP FD Logger with the callsign, exchange etc programmed into function keys. They just used the paddle for a few non-programmed things. CW far out performed the voice and FT8 stations.
    K5VZD, N4UP and VE3CGA like this.
  5. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In my experience CW gets through under high noise and/or weak signal conditions much better than RTTY or SSB. FT8 has an advantage with very weak signals, but CW can be much much faster than FT8, meaning you can "communicate" more in a shorter time-frame with CW. In a typical contest environment at 30 wpm I know quite a few ops who routinely make 200+ contacts an hour. I have done that every now and then under optimal conditions, both on CW and SSB, but for me not routinely.

    It seems to me that what matters is that we each do what we enjoy ( with consideration for others ) , whether it is quick exchange contacts or extended conversations, whether it is fast CW, slow CW, SSB, RTTY, or FT8. Each ( and more ) has a place in our hobby.
    K5VZD and KC9BNW like this.
  6. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's great. Just keep telling how it's easier, better, more efficient to do cw for some of us. Next they will eliminate the cw 2x bonus. What's next? Bonus points for those who have to listen to qrp contesters??
  7. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Holy cow I just did a contact with K2M using CW! I cheated a little and had CW Get running to help me, glad I did as they didn't slow down when I called. I did as W5WTH suggested and listened for a while. Then caught a lull when they started calling CQ over and over. This is only my 3rd contact this year since re-taking up learning CW! I am definitely sending for that card!
    K5VZD, N1OOQ and AD5HR like this.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Condx aren't great and I haven't "looked" for any of the "13 Colonies" stations but just worked K2M, K2B, K2J, K2F and K2H on 20CW just by happening to tune across them. Probably will stumble across a few more.

    Haven't worked any on other modes, just CW. But then I haven't switched the rig from CW to any other mode in a while.:p

    Use it more, it grows on you. There was a time several years ago I put my microphones in a drawer and they stayed there so long I forgot which drawer...:)
  9. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    After K2M, I picked up my 13th colony, K2E, using CW, and one of the bonus stations, WM3PEN with CW. I also worked a couple more CW that I had via SSB earlier. So 4 total CW contacts in the 13 colonies event today! I like it. Now that this event is done for me, I am going back to listening without the software decoder for my practice.
    N1OOQ likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Now, if you want to be serious about using code, don't just listen.

    Strong advice: Instead of "listening," just keep using it. Make 5 CW contacts a day, even if they're really brief -- but if you have time, try for "rag chews," which are longer.

    If you can do this, after 3 months you'll be quite good at using it.

    Using the code involves more than listening and copying it -- sending is equally important and makes it much more interesting.

    A hint: Typical newbie QSO is callsigns, RST report, QTH and name. Get that over with and start a real conversation! Although exchanging weather reports is so trite, it can get the ball rolling with, "Hows WX there in...(wherever it is)?" Then, "Been hamming XX yrs es starting to luv CW..." which can lead who knows where. I always ask questions about the other op's location. If I know nothing about it, maybe I'll learn something. If it's someplace I've been and do know, makes it that much more interesting: "Bn thr b4 -- is that diner tt serves BBQ chicken es cooks it outside still thr?" Or whatever. People love it when you can discuss their local digs.

    Go for it, and most of all, enjoy it!

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