[CQ-Contest] CW Speed..

Bob Shohet, KQ2M kq2m at kq2m.com
Mon Dec 10 20:12:40 EST 2018

Thank you for your kind comments Mike - I’m glad that I could be of some help. 

Tnx for the q’s and see you in the meteor bursts.   :-)


Bob  KQ2M

From: Mike Smith VE9AA 
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 6:42 PM
To: 'Bob Shohet, KQ2M' ; cq-contest at contesting.com 
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] CW Speed..

Bob/KQ2M is very wise.


He of course, phrased it much more eloquently and provided much more detail than I did,


Tnx Bob!


.  . Mike VE9AA


Mike, Coreen & Corey

Keswick Ridge, NB


From: Bob Shohet, KQ2M [mailto:kq2m at kq2m.com] 
Sent: December 10, 2018 7:38 PM
To: Mike Smith VE9AA; cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CW Speed..


Hi Joe,


There is usually a good reason or reasons as to why CW op is using a particular speed or range of speeds. Here are just a few of them:


1) Faster  To increase rate and attempt to control an unruly pileup

2) Slower To encourage more callers who are less experienced or slower in copying ability

3) Faster or slower to drive away an unrepentant lid trying to steal the freq.

4) Faster or slower depending on propagation effects and/or qrn – an experienced op will determine which effect(s) are paramount and qrq or qrs accordingly.

If you have 1 second bursts of propagation you MUST maximize the number of characters that you can get through in that burst.  10 Meters is FAMOUS for that type of propagation at night in December during the meteor showers.


5) Slower when very tired

6) Faster when very alert and psyched up

7) Faster to “show off”

8) Slower to kill a few extra seconds for any number of reasons – eating, bathroom, talking to someone in the shack, 2BSIQ or SO2R using one shorter faster CQ and one longer slower CQ or vice-versa.


(9 Plenty of other reasons that I haven’t mentioned.


Faster and slower are all relative and their may be several steps in the speed - 


I’m usually ~ 30 – 32 wpm but will constantly change speed up or down – I have been known to drop down to the low 20’s when there are few callers and lot of qrn and upwards of 45 wpm when the pileup is too thick and lots of Multi op speedsters are calling.


In CQWWCW there were some guys that called me > 60 wpm.  No problem.  I immediately qrq’d to 45 wpm for them and then immediately downshifted. 


Good ops know what to do with their speed.  They are trying to maximize their score at all times and are doing whatever they believe is the best strategy for THEM at that moment even if it doesn’t make sense to others.




Bob  KQ2M



From: Mike Smith VE9AA 

Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 12:07 PM

To: cq-contest at contesting.com 

Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CW Speed..




I made the majority of my QSO's this weekend via Meteor Scatter (or Meteor
Scatter assisted into another mode, like TEP/F2/ Ionoscatter,etc.)


We go ffffast to take advantage of those fleeting *moments* when meteors
enhance the E - layer.


If I went 10wpm, the Q would never be finished.


Simple as that.


Now you know.


Your welcome.


Mike VE9AA



will never ever understand some OP's.


In this past weekends 10 meter contest. Most times signals were very weak,
often fluttery like being over the pole etc. 


YET! I would hear countless guys going forever at like 40+ WPM.


I can do 40+ WPM I have the ARRL Certificate to prove it. But when it is all
fluttery, and weak as an EME signal, hello, 40+ WPM doesn't cut it. I had
countless times where I had to listen to one station for a few minutes to
try to make sure I got his call correct, still on many just said screw them,
and turned the big knob. 


Yet there was one guy (I had worked everyone I could hear, so was taking a
break for lunch) I listened to him rattle off at 40+ wpm with not a single
QSO. I hear several try to work him, and keep asking for repeats, but he
never slowed down at all and the people like me would just tune away. 


I can fully understand when the band is wide open and you have countless
people calling you, to run fast, but when you have gone for more than 30
minutes with only partial contacts made ever thing of dropping to 20 or even


Myself when things got slow contact wise I often go way to the top of the
activity in the band and go really slow! I mean like 10 WPM or even less
sometimes, you would not believe how many new comers are sooo grateful that
I did. 





Mike, Coreen & Corey

Keswick Ridge, NB


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