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Making Contacts / On the Air - Have a question about getting on the air or how to make a contact? Just want to brag about your latest DX contact or contest score? This is the forum for you.

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Old 12-06-2015, 12:30 PM
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Default Adding CW to the Mix

I've sampled a number of modes, the normal PSK routines, RTTY, Olivia, phone (of course), and the JT modes. Of those I've tried, JT was easily the most boring, though perhaps most productive in terms of volume, but not quality of entities. In fact, I just took a look at hamspots and the rarest entity currently listed for JT modes is Turkey - woohoo.

During the recent CW contest, I endeavored to participate even though I have a horrible ear for it. Knowing that I can send it fine, I relied on my transceivers CW decoding feature to help me along. Through the course of a night, I learned to pick out my callsign and the normal exchange, making me less dependent on the decoding of my transceiver.

I have to say, it's added a new element of pleasure to the hobby for me. Let's face it, we're going to see many more rare ones working CW than we will something along the lines of JT65 or 9, and CW is more interactive and skill based, rather than pressing a series of buttons over the course of a single six minute exchange. Please don't think I'm attacking the JT modes. I think they're great for what they are.

I would encourage any of you who are timid of CW to learn a few basics, as I have, to get you started. It's actually quite enjoyable and challenging.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:46 PM
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Are you using a straight key or a paddle and keyer?
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Old 12-06-2015, 3:57 PM
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I use a Vibroplex iambic. Specifically this one: Vibroplex Iambic Paddles IAMBIC-S - Free Shipping on Most Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering

A straight key would frighten me terribly.
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Old 12-06-2015, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissim View Post
I would encourage any of you who are timid of CW to learn a few basics, as I have, to get you started. It's actually quite enjoyable and challenging.
Yeah..... that's not going to happen. I never found CW enjoyable....... ever. I don't even like to hear it.

Pass.
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Old 12-06-2015, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kj3n View Post
Yeah..... that's not going to happen. I never found CW enjoyable....... ever. I don't even like to hear it.

Pass.
I never disliked CW, I just had a hard time decoding it. However, since I've instituted this unorthodox approach, it's not been so bad. Fact is, being able to utilize all modes completes the cycle. There's no longer a mode I can't work.

I keep an eye on the cluster and it's not unusual to see a rare entity utilizing only CW and nothing else. In fact, in the past, I've seen entities that would have been an ATNO for me but was not able to work it due to my inflexibility. If you're just interested in making contacts, I suppose there's no need, but to realize the fullest possibilities, for me at least, I'm glad I have gotten as far as being able to at least complete a simple exchange in CW.
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Old 12-06-2015, 8:45 PM
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I have completed 2 CW contacts, both by computer. That is as far as I care to go.

As much as I would like to put Mongolia in the log, if it only appears on CW, then it's not going to happen. I can live with that.

I don't live or die by anything in ham radio. Too many other hams seem to take this WAY too seriously.
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Old 12-06-2015, 9:05 PM
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I'm on your side on that one. I have other hobbies I enjoy more. However, since I don't spend that much time on the radio, I do want to maximize opportunities.
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Old 09-13-2017, 1:42 PM
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Default jt65,jt9,ft8

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissim View Post
I've sampled a number of modes, the normal PSK routines, RTTY, Olivia, phone (of course), and the JT modes. Of those I've tried, JT was easily the most boring, though perhaps most productive in terms of volume, but not quality of entities. In fact, I just took a look at hamspots and the rarest entity currently listed for JT modes is Turkey - woohoo.

During the recent CW contest, I endeavored to participate even though I have a horrible ear for it. Knowing that I can send it fine, I relied on my transceivers CW decoding feature to help me along. Through the course of a night, I learned to pick out my callsign and the normal exchange, making me less dependent on the decoding of my transceiver.

I have to say, it's added a new element of pleasure to the hobby for me. Let's face it, we're going to see many more rare ones working CW than we will something along the lines of JT65 or 9, and CW is more interactive and skill based, rather than pressing a series of buttons over the course of a single six minute exchange. Please don't think I'm attacking the JT modes. I think they're great for what they are.

I would encourage any of you who are timid of CW to learn a few basics, as I have, to get you started. It's actually quite enjoyable and challenging.
jt65 is an excellent mode for those that have very poor antennas and low power it gets the signal out. jt9 is a little better as far as cutting thru the noise. the new mode is ft8 give it a shot is a lot faster than jt65 and jt9.
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Old 09-13-2017, 4:09 PM
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For me it was like learning to play a musical instrument. Very ruff in
the beginning but it requires practice over time and became my favorite mode.
Getting on the air is a great way to improve. Remember almost everyone
starting out sounds ruff but that goes away with time and practice.
Good luck....
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