New member seeks speed.

Just starting out or wanting to learn about something new. Need help setting up your first station. Want to meet others just starting out. This category is for you.

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New member seeks speed.

Post by KD7LSQ » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:56 pm


This is KD7LSQ (Steve) a new member and aspiring ham since circa 2000. Always wanted to pursue the CW aspect of the hobby and am finally making the attempt. I B really sloooow!! Got the alphabet down pretty good and now working on punctuation. Anything received over 5wpm I have to write down and transcribe; which I know ain’t gonna work with a QSO, but my brain currently doesn’t work fast enough. I get nausea just listing to anything over 25wpm!! Hi Hi. Baby steps. Notwithstanding the cheating aspect, I would love to find a decent code reader other than that MJF-461 which is not dependable. I have probably just ostracized myself from the membership by the mere mention of a code reader. I am also working with the code listed in the Membership’s Learning Center. I thought it was Gettysburg Address....not Gemmwberg Aggress......hmmmm?

Thoughts on improving code at the receiving end besides practice practice practice? Sure glad your site was recently mentioned to me, and anxious to get rid of the nausea.

Steve KD7LSQ

Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:58 pm
Location: El Camino Village, CA

Post by N6EV » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:47 am

Hi Steve, welcome aboard!
I know some suggest using a code reader to help guide you with your transmit code. I generally discourage owning a code reader at all.. because from what I've seen, it easily becomes a crutch for receiving. Once you start using one to recieve, it will be difficult to give it up. I've seen this first hand. And in my opinion, if you gotta use a code reader, you might as well just progress on to the digital modes and skip CW.

That having been said, you already know the most direct way to improving your code abilities is practice.. both on the air and self study. What ever you do, kick the habit of transcribing written dits and dahs to letters. Again, bad habits are very difficult to shake once engrained. If code is too quick and forces you to that method, stop and move on. If you're in QSO, break in and tell the other op to slow down by sending QRS.

Join us in the SKCC K3UK Sked page at
You can coordinate with one of the fine ops there to have a simultaneous on-air QSO and sked page chat. I don't know anyone in SKCC who won't slow down to whatever speed you need. The sked page code-buddy is a great way to start out on the air with confidence that you don't have to get everything copied 100%. Followup afterward (or even during the QSO) in the chat page for feedback. I've elmered a number of code students this way with great results.

Hope to work you on the air soon!
73 Paul N6EV #3358T
Paul N6EV
SKCC 3358T / FISTS 1407 / NAQCC 2247 / CWOps 380
Code Elmer


Same Boat...try the Elmers

Post by W1DLA » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:04 pm

Steve, I'm in the same boat. I contacted one of the Elmers on the SKCC page and he was kind enough to work me through a slow QSO the other day. Once the nerves slowed down it went pretty well. Having a solid QSO, even though QRS, gave me some confidence and really inspired me to keep the practice up.

So, I'd really advise you to give the SKCC Elmers a shout. And, if you'd like to sked a QSO with a similarly challenged beginner drop me a PM on the sked page. Happy to practice with you any time. Having the backup of the sked page to chat or save while doing the QSO also takes some pressure off the first time.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: WV (Cabell Co)

Post by KI8DU » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:51 am

Don't worry about speed ! Just keep on making those contacts or Qso's. Work on the developing of the basic skills, such as Rhythm while Sending yet learning to hear the tone/sound of the alphabet itself.

Its a bad idea to write down dits and dahs.

Speed should be the furthest thing from your mind.

There's only one way to get faster, and thats by practice and making contacts on the air. Speed will come natural.

I would much better talk to someone QRS, with a good Fist as opposed to struggling to copy a sloppy sender sending the sounds of a tin can rolling down the driveway.

The main thing of all is to just stay with it......ya have to learn to crawl before you walk.

Lastly, you don't need a bunch of gimmicks to help you. Now get on the air or an oscillator and practice. Also, when you're able to copy random characters from any type of media, you are well on your way.

If you want something, one must have the hunger to learn.

The Fists Club Motto is: "Accuracy Transcends Speed". - How true!

Take Care and 73 ;

Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:15 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Post by k8jd » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:58 am

It is mosly practice receiving QSOs on the air and sending just with an oscillator and key or using the sidetone on your rig to develop your spacing and rythym. When you are feeling confident , get in there and answer some slow CQs. Many "Elmers hang around 7114,l looking for new ops to work. (myself included).
Have fun !
73 from K8JD, SKCC 1395, Centurion 18, Tribune 12, Band Endorsements; 160, 80, 60, 40, 30M, 20, 17, and 10M

Ham radio is real Radio, CW is real Hamming!

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