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A couple questions

Sep 14th 2012, 19:53

K7SN

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Between the economy and an uncertain employment future I may reluctantly retire at the end of this year. If so I will have time on my hands and I'm looking in the backyard for a place to hang a wire or place a tower and get back on the air. By my questions you will see it has been awhile since

Question #1 Before calling CQ - I would always send an American Morse Code 'C' dit-dit dit in case because of band conditions one end of an on-going QSO was receiving at that time and I could hear the other end of the QSO. I listened on my HF mobile but didn't ever hear it used. Do people still use Railroad Morse 'C' for that purpose?

Question #2 My favorite place to lurk when I had time was the old novice bands. I would listen for someone having trouble sending their call and pounce at an appropriate slow speed. I know this is ancient history but is there a place (corner) of any HF CW section(s) where newbies gather to get-their-CW-feet-wet?

Sep 14th 2012, 20:31

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Modern convention seems to be to send QRL? on a seemingly quiet frequency. A response of C indicates the frequency is in use. A lot of hams use full break-in these days so a response may be issued when you're calling CQ!

There seems to be a lot of slow code at the upper end of 40m, from 7.100 to 7.125 MHz. The Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) has its Elmer Frequency designated as 7.114 MHz. The upper end of the General CW allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10m also have slower operating speeds. The upper 25 kHz of 40m is probably the most popular.

73, de Nate >>
N0NB.us
Sep 15th 2012, 15:10

K7SN

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thank you - Never learned to use a bug so everyday for me is straight-key night, Sweated sending for my extra more than anything but the examiner compilmented my fist. I just like to help and meet those getting started. Now if government runs out of money and Lockheed-Martin sends me home I'll collect social security and throw up a 40 meter wire and dig out the old Drake.
Jan 6th 2013, 16:21

N5AQ

Joined: Sep 19th 2002, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
CW is a language. When spoken correctly it is a very elegant form of expression. People who communicate with CW like to run at a comfortable pace, about 20 WPM, more or less. Getting your CW feet wet by pounding away at 5 WPM on the air is not productive. Your time is better spent increasing your speed. A 30 minute session once or twice a day copying CW at a rate that is slightly difficult to keep up with will increase your speed much faster than pounding away at 5 WPM on the air. If your rhythm with CW sending is not good, get an automatic keyer that will force the proper dit and dah length. Spacing of characters and spacing of words is important. Listen to W1AW and copy their spacing. Get and use free CW learning software programs for your practice. Copy W1AW CW broadcasts for practice - it is proper CW. Good Luck!
Mar 8th 2013, 02:26

K7SN

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thanks for the advice N5AQ - Think I can still copy bout 25 WPM and send bout 22 WPM -what I miss was the enthusiasm I used to find on the old novice bands. I’d send at 5 or slower WPM with my characters crisp and at about 12 WPM with extra spacing which seemed to make easier for the newbies to copy. I figure the slower portions of the band might lead me to some hams eager to try something new to them and reclaim what I loved about amateur radio back in the 50s when I was first introduced.
Mar 25th 2013, 20:35

K4UG

Joined: Oct 29th 2010, 21:59
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Total Posts: 0
K7SN, sounds like you and I are at about the same place regarding this hobby. I've been away for an extended time but finally found time to get back on. Past history I have been 99% CW so was surprised to discover my ability to copy was only a little less that when more active. 25 WPM is where I am comfortable at presently but find sending at somewhat less speed makes for better copy on the other end.

Like you, I have always enjoyed helping those wishing to increase their CW skills.
73, Bob

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