Tips for new or aspiring CW Ops

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W9RAC, Oct 9, 2021.

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  1. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've listened to a couple of Richard Carlson's audio books which are pretty decent. 73 Rich
  2. AE0Q

    AE0Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would venture that is because you/we are hearing W1AW transmissions that are broadcasts, not intended to have an operator listening for an answer.

    I hear/use BK to end a short transmission when expecting a short reply, a quicker back and forth exchange.
    Using K seems to be your turn has ended and you are inviting the other op to send for a while.

    Glenn AE0Q
    N0NC and PU2OZT like this.
  3. AD0HT

    AD0HT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thx for your answer, I agree, no exchange for the W1AW transmission, so no exchange prosign for any reason. I should have thought that through...(good place for an eye roll :))

    RE: comment of <BK>, seems reasonable. I had learned in my CW study that <BK> was to be used for breaking or break-in requests. Seems TU sent as characters is proper too.

    The only other direct reply I received to my <BK> question indicated that OP did not approve of the use of <BK> for the general exchange.

    Given the response to my initial post, others also seem confused on this topic. Learning CW has not come easy for me, but I do want to learn properly as anything worth learning is worth learning correctly.

    That said, language conventions do tend to shift over time so I'd like to hear additional input as well.

    Agn Thx.
    AE0Q likes this.
  4. K5TSK

    K5TSK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The last 12 years of my working life was spent installing, repairing, updating power metering systems from residential to power plant. Those systems were built from mid- 20th century to the then present. Old installations using no colored wire to newer color coded. Then a new company took it over and decided for the sake of a unified system, that all new systems would use their scheme. With reduced staffing levels, there wasn't time to change out all the old stuff. So boy, that really simplified things.

    I would suggest a fellow might listen to the old timers on things like prosign usage, etc. There are some guys who have been around 3-4 years and think they know and don't mind teaching. They may know, maybe not. There are materials available. There are folks like CWA and LICW club. Without an old standard, this could turn into a real mess. 73.
    OE3IAK likes this.
  5. OE3IAK

    OE3IAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    100% the reason why I can't stand the "lots of Karens in this thread" replies. We wouldn't end up with a new slang, but with any (hopefully finite) number of abominations in between the correct way and the way some ham decides is now the correct one.
  6. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been surprised to find ops these days who don't seem to know that the letter C is shorthand for yes. For example I've been asked to confirm my call sign:
    Station I'm calling: K5UJ?
    Me: C
    C C
    Yes yes
    Ok tnx...

    This is apparently no longer practiced. It used to be that N meant No and C meant Yes.
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  7. K8PG

    K8PG QRZ Lifetime Member #333 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Lot of On The Air Operating.
    Lots of Practice .

    K8PG Paul
    N8RKD likes this.
  8. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Still does. Always has been the case.

    Unfortunately, lots of hams new to CW (many having been licensed for decades and really should know better) are bringing their irrational and embarrassing mis-use of Voice procedure, including
    inappropriate use of Q-signals which don't even remotely apply to the situation at hand , and merely transfer this nonsense back to CW contacts.

    So now we've got poor CW procedure, mis-applied and transferred in the hands of bad Phone operators , then re-translated once-again and brought back to CW. Triple-stupid.

    Please look-up the officially-sanctioned definitions of various Q-Signals when you find yourself using them. With few exceptions, there's typically very little utility in using the way-overused "QSL" and "QRZ"
    both in statement and question-form.

    To finally put to sleep (as in "The Big Sleep") the reason "QSL" is totally inappropriate for routine communications protocol indication of "ROGER" or "R", your attention is directed to multiple ITU Q-signal lists,
    where the Q-signals are tabulated by Subject.
    "QSL" is listed under subject header "Exchange of Correspondence"--that is, formal message traffic . Telegrams. Not in response to, "My dog has jaundice" or "Need to phone my lawyer."
    If you're not passing formal message traffic, don't use "QSL". It's really quite simple. Send "R" for "ROGER", "Received", "Solid Copy". It's even one less opportunity to send the wrong number of dots for some
    apparently already CW-challenged.

    Love my QSL cards from the old USSR, though.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  9. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    We've already agreed on a few procedures, some very good tips emerged, let's move on, keeping each post concise...
    QSY cannot be missed, now what about...

    You might refer to your fav own list.

    WA1GXC likes this.
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got to thinking about some things I have learned while on-air that would have helped me earlier on. Might be nice to have a place where the more seasoned Ops. might jot down a thing or two they have learned that may have been an asset to them earlier on while learning. Just a place where a new Ops. or those just learning might pick up an idea or two. Ill start with one below. 73 Rich

    When you miss a character let it go! Put it out of your mind immediately. Easier said than done of course but consider this, "I seen that movie b4" you got 100%, "I se-n th-t movi b4" you got only around 80% but you can still make it out fine. "I s--n th-- m-vie- b4" , you only wrote down around 63% of what he sent but you still can get the idea of the sentence. Now this time you stumble trying to remember the "h" in "that" and in the process you miss 5 or 6 others and get lost in the process. Don't worry about it if you miss something because worse case is at the end of the other Ops. message you can always ask. AGN PSE?
    Hope you can pick up some stuff and maybe I will too! Have fun.
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