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Hello to SBARC

Author Topic: Hello to SBARC  (Read 154 times)

TangoEchoTango

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Hello to SBARC
« on: March 14, 2021, 05:23:28 PM »
K6TET here ... licensed since 2017.  Main interest is CW HF contesting.  73 to all!

kn6koo

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Re: Hello to SBARC
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2021, 03:55:26 PM »
Welcome Ted,

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. 

I have a question.  I see you're interested in CW.  I will be the first to admit that at the moment I know squat about CW which probably was one of the reasons it took me so long to get licensed.

How did you learn and how good do you have to be at it before you can go out there and do it.  Maybe that's another way of asking what's the learning curve.

Again, thanks for joining in!

dave

TangoEchoTango

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Cw, how long
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2021, 02:14:17 PM »
In my opinion, CW is like tennis.  You have to be good enough so that somebody will play with you.  Then you start playing, and you get better, and you get better matches, which makes you better still. 

For CW, I'd say 10 wpm.  A basic QSO at that speed would take about four minutes, a long time but gotta start somewhere. 

How fast to learn? Everybody's different, but here's my guess: assuming dedicated daily practice and a basic study plan: Starting from zero, I expect: four months to get to 10 wpm.  Another year to get close to 20, which I think is a basic ragchew speed.  Accuracy first, speed follows. 

kn6koo

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Re: Hello to SBARC
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2021, 05:21:52 PM »
Thanks for the response Ted,

Any special suggestions on how to jump into the water with CW. How do you start out. Equipment, software, app, listen to particular bands and try to figure it out.

What's a basic approach that you think works?

dave

TangoEchoTango

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Starting in CW
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2021, 03:12:09 PM »
The secret is, there's no secret.  "How I did it" ... kinda irrelevant. 

There are some zero-cost ways to get started, and I wish I had known about them when I was starting out. 

You can start listening:  Google "pennsylvania web sdr" and you'll find a site.  You can listen to real amateur radio, over the internet.  No license, money, or equipment required!  You'll find CW traffic on 3.5-3.6 Mhz, 7.0-7.5 Mhz, 14.0-14.5 Mhz.  Nice thing about this is, it's real traffic.  See if you can pick out the common phrases ... CQ, or 73. 

You can use Echolink to listen to ARRL's practice transmissions.  (Their Connecticut signal doesn't reach California so great.) 

I also recommend watching youtube videos. Lots of them are good, and a lot of them will give you a sense of "what it's like on CW."  Many of them have subtitles.  Because you're already a HAM, you know the lingo already.  CW just uses some abbreviations. 

I used some Mac computer programs to practice, but those programs aren't on the app store any more.  I can't recommend or dis-recommend any program I haven't personally used.

Similarly, Mr. Google comes up with some sites for "learn CW."  But I don't think I can evaluate those sites without fairly running them through extensive tests which I just don't think I can do. 



kn6koo

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Re: Hello to SBARC
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2021, 11:39:13 AM »
Ted,

Thanks for a nice meaty post. I for one plan to check a lot of your ideas as time becomes available.  I would like to add a couple of YouTube videos on CW that you think have good value. So if you have a chance add their URLs here and I will add them to the mix.

Again thanks for a great thread on CW!

dave

n6ywu

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Re: Hello to SBARC
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2021, 12:16:34 PM »
Hi All,

I just found out about the San Bruno Amateur Radio Club.  I've been licensed since 1990.  My current QTH is in San Bruno, up on Crestmoor 1 (my FCC mailing address is still at my office in Santa Clara). 

My current interests are in QRP and Software Defined Radio.  I have a wire antenna in the back yard for 20M HF, a discone antenna on the roof for my 2M HT, and am learning to operate FT8.  You can occasionally find my WSPR beacon experiments listed on wsprnet.org. 

I also develop iPhone apps, and have a few amateur radio related apps in Apple's App store (under the developer name "HotPaw").  If any club members want to try them out (some cost money), drop me a line, and I can provide free promotional codes.

73,
Ron
n6ywu

kn6koo

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Re: Hello to SBARC
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2021, 02:09:03 PM »
Ron,

Welcome!  great to have you.  We're a small group so everyone who comes by is a great help!  And your interests in amateur radio help build our community!

dave