Topics

New QCX and introduction

Jon <7xSUAZLHhtls@...>
 

I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

jjpurdum
 

Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.

Jack, W8TEE




On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:


I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Gary Bernard
 

Welcome to the group. Lots of great people on this that can help. Ask questions, if there relative to QRP labs stuff, no problem. General questions are welcome also.
73,Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: Jon <7xSUAZLHhtls@...>
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Nov 21, 2019 12:04 pm
Subject: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Ken KM4NFQ
 

Hello Jon, KE5URU,

Your 40m QCX look really good!

Here are a couple of good links to CW resources:

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://groups.io/g/w8bhMorseTutor


On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 2:04 PM Jon <7xSUAZLHhtls@...> wrote:
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

G4GIR
 

Hello Jack
Not to detract from the thread of the topic, but Interested to know why you would advocate not using pencil and paper?
 
72/73
 
Ian G4GIR

From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:20 PM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction
 
Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.
 
Jack, W8TEE
 
 
 
 
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:
 
 
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Bob Macklin
 

In the military intercept operator were trained type the inoming CW on a MILL!
 
They never used a pencil/pen and paper.
 
Airborn operators did use a pencl/pen to write orders in their log. Airborn (liason) operators sent very little. In some aircraft they were also GUNNERS.
 
Bob Macklin
S/SGT USAF (Ret)
 
---
New Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail replacement - get it here:
 
 

----- Original Message -----
From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...>
Reply-To: <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: 11/21/2019 11:20:20 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.

Jack, W8TEE




On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:


I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

jjpurdum
 

That's the way I learned, and I peaked out at about 18wpm. Also, I think you tend to count dits and dahs more when you use a pencil...not good. For those who can type, I think that's probably okay, since a lot of people can type at 60wpm. Also, the real goal is to listen to the rhythm of the code. For example, if someone sends "BEEN" or "BEST", I will hear that no matter what because I like their rhythm. Proficient CW operators (e.g., > 30wpm) never seem to use paper. They hear word rhythms where I still hear dits and dahs. I'm working on it, but it takes a lot of practice. Our club president can copy about 40wpm...he sits there with his eyes closed reading the code on the back of his eyelids...and he's almost always smiling. Most of us know the "word rhythm" for CQ. Imagine having that for every word! I really hope to get to 30WPM before all the sand runs out of my hourglass.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:36:14 PM EST, G4GIR via Groups.Io <i.frith@...> wrote:


Hello Jack
Not to detract from the thread of the topic, but Interested to know why you would advocate not using pencil and paper?
 
72/73
 
Ian G4GIR
From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:20 PM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction
 
Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.
 
Jack, W8TEE
 
 
 
 
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:
 
 
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Gary Bernard
 

Once upon a time, long ago I used paper and pencil to copy CW. Now, having grown old I can't write fast enough, RX for 18 WPM or more, so know I'm learning to copy in my head, word groups. It works!
73 Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Macklin <macklinbob@...>
To: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Nov 21, 2019 12:40 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

In the military intercept operator were trained type the inoming CW on a MILL!
 
They never used a pencil/pen and paper.
 
Airborn operators did use a pencl/pen to write orders in their log. Airborn (liason) operators sent very little. In some aircraft they were also GUNNERS.
 
Bob Macklin
S/SGT USAF (Ret)
 
---
New Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail replacement - get it here:
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...>
Reply-To: <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: 11/21/2019 11:20:20 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.

Jack, W8TEE




On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:


I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Gary Bernard
 

Jack has hit the nail on the head!
Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...>
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Nov 21, 2019 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

That's the way I learned, and I peaked out at about 18wpm. Also, I think you tend to count dits and dahs more when you use a pencil...not good. For those who can type, I think that's probably okay, since a lot of people can type at 60wpm. Also, the real goal is to listen to the rhythm of the code. For example, if someone sends "BEEN" or "BEST", I will hear that no matter what because I like their rhythm. Proficient CW operators (e.g., > 30wpm) never seem to use paper. They hear word rhythms where I still hear dits and dahs. I'm working on it, but it takes a lot of practice. Our club president can copy about 40wpm...he sits there with his eyes closed reading the code on the back of his eyelids...and he's almost always smiling. Most of us know the "word rhythm" for CQ. Imagine having that for every word! I really hope to get to 30WPM before all the sand runs out of my hourglass.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:36:14 PM EST, G4GIR via Groups.Io <i.frith@...> wrote:


Hello Jack
Not to detract from the thread of the topic, but Interested to know why you would advocate not using pencil and paper?
 
72/73
 
Ian G4GIR
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction
 
Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.
 
Jack, W8TEE
 
 
 
 
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:
 
 
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Jon Reck W8REA
 

As a former G4FON user, I recommend 'Just Learn Morse Code' http://www.justlearnmorsecode.com/
It is a very similar PC based program, but much better at evaluating your errors.

Jon W8REA

G4GIR
 

Thanks Jack, interesting.
 
72/73
 
    Ian  G4GIR
 

From: Gary Bernard via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:51 PM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction
 
Jack has hit the nail on the head!
Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...>
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: Thu, Nov 21, 2019 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction

That's the way I learned, and I peaked out at about 18wpm. Also, I think you tend to count dits and dahs more when you use a pencil...not good. For those who can type, I think that's probably okay, since a lot of people can type at 60wpm. Also, the real goal is to listen to the rhythm of the code. For example, if someone sends "BEEN" or "BEST", I will hear that no matter what because I like their rhythm. Proficient CW operators (e.g., > 30wpm) never seem to use paper. They hear word rhythms where I still hear dits and dahs. I'm working on it, but it takes a lot of practice. Our club president can copy about 40wpm...he sits there with his eyes closed reading the code on the back of his eyelids...and he's almost always smiling. Most of us know the "word rhythm" for CQ. Imagine having that for every word! I really hope to get to 30WPM before all the sand runs out of my hourglass.
 
Jack, W8TEE
 
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:36:14 PM EST, G4GIR via Groups.Io <i.frith@...> wrote:
 
 
Hello Jack
Not to detract from the thread of the topic, but Interested to know why you would advocate not using pencil and paper?
 
72/73
 
Ian G4GIR
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] New QCX and introduction
 
Check out G4FON (http://www.g4fon.net/) for a good PC-based CW learning program. Practice is key and try not to use pencil and paper.
 
Jack, W8TEE
 
 
 
 
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 2:04:02 PM EST, Jon <7xsuazlhhtls@...> wrote:
 
 
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Eric KE6US
 

Let me tell you a little secret. Lots of guys on this forum go back many decades in ham radio. 62 years for me. We started before home computers and cell phones were even possible. Radio was magic to us then. It's still magic. It doesn't seem to be magic to many younger people now, but it is to some. You might be one of those who still see the magic. I think CW helps with keeping it somewhat magical.

I concur on two other points already made. The Koch method used by G4FON is an excellent idea and it works. It helps you learn the sound of the characters instead of the "dot dash" makeup of them. That's really important. I also agree with learning to "head copy" the code. Don't write it down. You will thank yourself later. There are advocates for head copy, pencil/paper and using a mill. I've needed all three over the years. They are DIFFERENT SKILLS that use different parts of the brain. One is not generally better than the other, but skill in one doesn't give you much skill in the other. If it did, experienced hams wouldn't have so much trouble trying to learn to head copy.

Personally, I think head copy is best for casual communication--the kind we mostly do on the air. You jot down a few key things, name, qth, RST. Or not. The other methods are more important where you must get the message correct--letter perfect. That's why mills were invented. They're typewriters with all uppercase so you don't have to waste time and energy shifting. See any Telegram in a movie. They're all uppercase.

So learn to head copy. Later develop your code writing or typing skills IF you need them. Otherwise, just build speed with head copy and enjoy a skill most hams don't have.

Welcome to the magic show.

Eric KE6US



On 11/21/2019 11:00 AM, Jon wrote:
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

Ken KM4NFQ
 

There is a program called Wordsworth that is supposed to help with Head Copy.

The W8BH Morse Tutor has a Koch Method feature, and you can set Farnsworth timing and Word delay (spacing) in the Config > Speed menu setting. See: http://w8bh.net/  Arduino Projects > Morse Tutor.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://groups.io/g/w8bhMorseTutor


On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 3:38 PM Eric KE6US <eric.csuf@...> wrote:

Let me tell you a little secret. Lots of guys on this forum go back many decades in ham radio. 62 years for me. We started before home computers and cell phones were even possible. Radio was magic to us then. It's still magic. It doesn't seem to be magic to many younger people now, but it is to some. You might be one of those who still see the magic. I think CW helps with keeping it somewhat magical.

I concur on two other points already made. The Koch method used by G4FON is an excellent idea and it works. It helps you learn the sound of the characters instead of the "dot dash" makeup of them. That's really important. I also agree with learning to "head copy" the code. Don't write it down. You will thank yourself later. There are advocates for head copy, pencil/paper and using a mill. I've needed all three over the years. They are DIFFERENT SKILLS that use different parts of the brain. One is not generally better than the other, but skill in one doesn't give you much skill in the other. If it did, experienced hams wouldn't have so much trouble trying to learn to head copy.

Personally, I think head copy is best for casual communication--the kind we mostly do on the air. You jot down a few key things, name, qth, RST. Or not. The other methods are more important where you must get the message correct--letter perfect. That's why mills were invented. They're typewriters with all uppercase so you don't have to waste time and energy shifting. See any Telegram in a movie. They're all uppercase.

So learn to head copy. Later develop your code writing or typing skills IF you need them. Otherwise, just build speed with head copy and enjoy a skill most hams don't have.

Welcome to the magic show.

Eric KE6US



On 11/21/2019 11:00 AM, Jon wrote:
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

jjpurdum
 

My original Morse Code Tutor (FDIM, 2019) also has Farnsworth spacing. Regardless of the hardware, practice is key.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 3:53:14 PM EST, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


There is a program called Wordsworth that is supposed to help with Head Copy.

The W8BH Morse Tutor has a Koch Method feature, and you can set Farnsworth timing and Word delay (spacing) in the Config > Speed menu setting. See: http://w8bh.net/  Arduino Projects > Morse Tutor.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://groups.io/g/w8bhMorseTutor


On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 3:38 PM Eric KE6US <eric.csuf@...> wrote:

Let me tell you a little secret. Lots of guys on this forum go back many decades in ham radio. 62 years for me. We started before home computers and cell phones were even possible. Radio was magic to us then. It's still magic. It doesn't seem to be magic to many younger people now, but it is to some. You might be one of those who still see the magic. I think CW helps with keeping it somewhat magical.

I concur on two other points already made. The Koch method used by G4FON is an excellent idea and it works. It helps you learn the sound of the characters instead of the "dot dash" makeup of them. That's really important. I also agree with learning to "head copy" the code. Don't write it down. You will thank yourself later. There are advocates for head copy, pencil/paper and using a mill. I've needed all three over the years. They are DIFFERENT SKILLS that use different parts of the brain. One is not generally better than the other, but skill in one doesn't give you much skill in the other. If it did, experienced hams wouldn't have so much trouble trying to learn to head copy.

Personally, I think head copy is best for casual communication--the kind we mostly do on the air. You jot down a few key things, name, qth, RST. Or not. The other methods are more important where you must get the message correct--letter perfect. That's why mills were invented. They're typewriters with all uppercase so you don't have to waste time and energy shifting. See any Telegram in a movie. They're all uppercase.

So learn to head copy. Later develop your code writing or typing skills IF you need them. Otherwise, just build speed with head copy and enjoy a skill most hams don't have.

Welcome to the magic show.

Eric KE6US



On 11/21/2019 11:00 AM, Jon wrote:
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

jjpurdum
 

Agree 100%. I've been continually licensed since 1954 and I remember getting my General and saying I'd NEVER use CW again. I pretty much didn't until I retired about 10 years ago. Then I found QRP and how much enjoyment I got out of that and bought a little 5W CW transceiver kit and, from that point on, I was doomed! There was a lot of rust to work off, and I'm still working on it somewhat. When this latest project is done, I hope to go full bore on my code speed then.

If you don't know CW, please give it a try. I really think you'll like it!

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 3:38:22 PM EST, Eric KE6US <eric.csuf@...> wrote:


Let me tell you a little secret. Lots of guys on this forum go back many decades in ham radio. 62 years for me. We started before home computers and cell phones were even possible. Radio was magic to us then. It's still magic. It doesn't seem to be magic to many younger people now, but it is to some. You might be one of those who still see the magic. I think CW helps with keeping it somewhat magical.

I concur on two other points already made. The Koch method used by G4FON is an excellent idea and it works. It helps you learn the sound of the characters instead of the "dot dash" makeup of them. That's really important. I also agree with learning to "head copy" the code. Don't write it down. You will thank yourself later. There are advocates for head copy, pencil/paper and using a mill. I've needed all three over the years. They are DIFFERENT SKILLS that use different parts of the brain. One is not generally better than the other, but skill in one doesn't give you much skill in the other. If it did, experienced hams wouldn't have so much trouble trying to learn to head copy.

Personally, I think head copy is best for casual communication--the kind we mostly do on the air. You jot down a few key things, name, qth, RST. Or not. The other methods are more important where you must get the message correct--letter perfect. That's why mills were invented. They're typewriters with all uppercase so you don't have to waste time and energy shifting. See any Telegram in a movie. They're all uppercase.

So learn to head copy. Later develop your code writing or typing skills IF you need them. Otherwise, just build speed with head copy and enjoy a skill most hams don't have.

Welcome to the magic show.

Eric KE6US



On 11/21/2019 11:00 AM, Jon wrote:
I recently joined this group after completing my QCX for 40 meters.  I have had a Technician license for 10+ years that I obtained so I could run a kit built radio for the radio controlled airplane hobby.  Only in the last few months have I decided to try using my ticket for actual Ham Radio Ops <grin>.

I have an end fed half wave antenna that I built using the "No Tune EFWH" kit from QRP Guys.  My QTH is in Central Texas and have been able to listen to W1AW and have seen transmissions from callsigns from California, Montana,  Alabama, Cuba.  That is probably old hat to most of you guys but it is a real kick for me as a beginner.  I am still working to learn CW (know about half of the alphabet so far) so I am dependent on the decoder to understand what is being sent.

I have questions about using the QCX, antennas, and CW ops in general.  Are more general questions okay here?

73,

Jon KE5URU

jjpurdum
 

It also makes the "regular" and Farnsworth spacing speeds very evident and you can change them on the fly.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, 3:14:58 PM EST, Jon Reck W8REA <jreck@...> wrote:


As a former G4FON user, I recommend 'Just Learn Morse Code' http://www.justlearnmorsecode.com/
It is a very similar PC based program, but much better at evaluating your errors.

Jon W8REA

Jon <7xSUAZLHhtls@...>
 

Thanks for all the great replies.

I have been using an app on my cell phone that is very similar to the G4FON program for CW practice and have been using pen and paper to copy. I am also signed up for the CW Ops CW Academy course that will start up in January. Their course material looks like they follow the Koch method pretty closely.

Head copy sounds like the right way to go. The only problem is that I feel like I am struggling just to paper copy. I'll give it a try though.

73,

Jon KE5URU

Eric KE6US
 

Head copy is no harder than paper copy when you are starting out. It only seems harder later on because your brain is trying to do BOTH when it's ill-prepared to do either.

If you learn paper copy first, your brain will be writing the words in your head where they are analyzed as head copy. Same with an adult learning a second language. It's an extra processing step and it slows you down.. Someone mentioned using a mill. I used one for several years. Your ear picks up a sound and your brain activates a finger. There is no intervening thought process. It's automatic. That's where you want head copy to be, but you don't get that by first getting competent with paper copy. They aren't the same thing and use different parts of the brain.

Here's another example. When I was a teen, my mom would interrupt a QSO to remind me of some mundane chore important only to parents. blah blah blah. I argued with her about it (that's a teen's job) but never stopped the QSO. It continued on throughout. That made her more angry than before because she assumed I was ignoring her. My brain, any trained brain, can do two things at once  especially if they use different parts of the brain.

Anyway, I said my piece. Traditions persist in every field with no basis other than tradition. Ham radio has its full share of them and always will. That's not a bad thing, it's just our thing.

Eric KE6US


On 11/22/2019 8:42 PM, Jon wrote:
Thanks for all the great replies.

I have been using an app on my cell phone that is very similar to the G4FON program for CW practice and have been using pen and paper to copy.  I am also signed up for the CW Ops CW Academy course that will start up in January.  Their course material looks like they follow the Koch method pretty closely.

Head copy sounds like the right way to go.  The only problem is that I feel like I am struggling just to paper copy.  I'll give it a try though.

73,

Jon KE5URU




SkipF, NT1G <skip.flem@...>
 

One technique mentioned in  pamphlet paid $20  for
 back in the 70s ($50 VALUE!) was listening to 'quick brown
fox' at around 25 wpm repeatively until you knew the 'string'
as one long monotone melody...when you heard Z, in your
 heart that Y would be the next letter, followed by D O G S.
 I don't know how many people spent 5 minutes trying this...
but if you have some spare time.
I could make you an mpg file if that helps.($20 VALUE!)
73 de Skip