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Re: dx and cw question

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  • Bill
    Chris: No, you do not have to send a call sign really fast. For a few reasons: First, in contests the DX will generally send faster than he can send. He will
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 28, 2007
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      Chris:

      No, you do not have to send a call sign really fast. For a few reasons:

      First, in contests the DX will generally send faster than he can send.
      He will probably be able to copy call signs faster than he can send.
      In a contest the intent is to log as many calls as he can. So he
      sends CQ fast to cut down the time it takes to get a return call.
      However, the DX might also send the exchange rather fast. I'll often
      hang around the frequency before calling and after getting into the
      log to get the fill on the exchange.

      Second, you should get a memory keyer. You can load the keyer with
      your call, the exchange, and the like. Then crank the speed button to
      throw out the call sign. Works very well.

      Third, a QSO a day is a great way to get comfortable with the code.
      My DX elmer has suggested this tactic. I remember a board sailor
      saying you won't get good at board sailing until you have fallen a
      thousand times. Maybe you need a few QSOs in the log before you get
      better with code.

      Fourth, the code is intimidating. You can get into the novice parts
      of the bands where you are expected to work the code with training
      wheels. And there are nets designed to help you with code. And don't
      forget the FISTS guys can get you a code buddy. I'm beginning to
      realize it is much more putting time on the paddles than any other
      skill set.

      Fifth, there is a rhythm to a QSO. You know this from the phone
      contacts you are already good at. Same with a CW QSO. And especially
      when you are chasing DX. I am embarrassed to tell you that my DX
      elmer was trying to help me get into the log of a rare DX. I was
      totally way off the rhythm. Totally lost. It's a bit better now.
      Maybe only a bit, though.

      I think the great CW operators are kind and skillful folks who
      encourage and support. Very few CW contests go by that I don't marvel
      at the "fraternity" of the code. And I'm nowhere near ready to pledge.

      73

      Bill, AB8SC
      MAARC guy
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