[CQ-Contest] CW Speed

Ray Rocker rocker at datasync.com
Thu May 29 19:25:21 EDT 1997

> I played with my sending speed and dropped as low as 16 wpm and up to 
> around 24 wpm when calling CQ.  I put spaces between the elements of my 
> call.  I took the spaces out.  No matter what I did, every hour of 
> calling CQ only produced about 6 QSO's.  I felt like a frustrated bass
> fisherman trying this lure and that lure and this bait and that hook, 
> etc.

The big problem for us low power ops is that other stations inside
the skip zone usually don't hear us. On 20m especially, it's almost
like clockwork: I find a run frequency, and a few minutes later I
hear a backscatter W4 or W5 (or further depending on skip) CQing 
on my frequency. You may have to listen hard to hear them.

My strategy is to pack up and move if an apparently clear frequency 
doesn't produce after a few minutes of calling, with "few" being 
dependent on the contest and band. A good rule of thumb is to look 
at the rate you get by S&Ping and if CQing doesn't exceed that, move.

Early in any contest I usually do much better by S&Ping. The other
S&Pers are working the big signals anyway. Later on when the S&Pers
have worked all the big guns, they are more likely to answer my CQ.

-- Ray, WQ5L, it's a jungle out there

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