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Topband: CW Speed in contest

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Subject: Topband: CW Speed in contest
From: (Tomas Hood - NW7US)
Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2001 10:18:51 -0800

Well, I have gotten a fair number of replies.  Some of these from
DX (to the USA).  Most agree that with static crashes and other
QRN, and QRM on the band, that high speed makes for hard copy. 
Heck, several letters or words might go by in one heavy crash.

I tuned around, and monitored those really fast stations.  They sat
there calling for 60 seconds or more... while the band was
wall-to-wall with signals.  Others who were a bit lower in speed
(20 - 25) seemed to call only two to six times before someone
answered.  Hence my perspective on time and efficiency.

I can work anything in the 20 to about 28 ... and enjoyed catching
new states for my WAS.  Last night was fine.

I want to reply to Gary:

> From: "Gary J. Ferdinand" <>

> As long as conditions support higher speeds and as long as 
> QSOs are being worked, the higher the speed the better.  In 
> fact in the recent CQ WW DX contest, I used speed as one way 
> to reduce the pileup on me to a manageable amount, with speeds
> exceeding 45 wpm at times - while still working stations with
> other stations waiting in line!

I assume that those are exceptionally skilled ops -- or hear you
well enough for software decoding.  I guess software decoding does
take some skill.

I follow your logic and you do have the experience to back up that
theory.  So I have no argument regarding high speed contesting for
those working pileups.  But realize that my observation of last
night was that those high speed ops simply sat there calling for
greater periods of time before gaining a point.  Slower ops had
more of a rate ... from my perspective of their operations.  Maybe
their logs prove otherwise.

> A great way for the slower speeds ops to improve their copying
> abilities is to do exactly what you say:  listen a number of 
> times to get the call and exchange information, then call and 
> make the contact.

Of course.  As others state in their replies to me -- ego should
not be an issue.  From either side.  Oh, I did get one answer from
someone that implied that I just need to get with the program and
become like him.  Like, I don't have a life filled with excitement
and adventure?  I have four kids, a radio school club, a business
to run, and sleep to catch!  And my cw skill is fine for most of
what I do... which is elmer slower code friends on novice bands, or
catch dx on 40 or 30 meters.  All while watching the sun and
figuring out this propagation science.  My 20 wpm suits me fine.

Now, some folks suggest sending QRS.  I have not seen this work
very well.  There are ops that actually sped up on me.  Imagine

> Sending speeds should vary based on conditions and based on 
> what it takes to attract callers.

That's close to my point:  So why would those 35+'ers keep sending
for minutes at a time with that high speed, if no one is answering?

Well, regardless... I do like many others.  I tune onward, looking
for specific stations that I am interested in.  I'm not looking for
score, since I will NEVER at this location with current dipoles,
ever be listed in any significance.  Instead, I am looking for
states that I need on 160.  Made a few of them last night.  Very

I hear JA's -- hope to work real DX sometime soon.

For those who worked a QSO with me last night:  Thanks.  It *is* a
lot of fun to hunt and pounce.

73 de NW7US, Tomas

: :
: Brinnon, Washington  -  122.93W - 47.67N  -  CW / SSB DX Hound :
: 10x56526 - FISTS 7055, FISTS NW 57 - Code Warrior (Mobile) #60 :
: Brinnon Amateur Radio School Club --- :
: Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Number 144 ----- Member, ARRL :
:    Heliophile -- CQ Propagation Editor, CQ Magazine  (2002)    :

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