Topband: CW speed

Brad Rehm brehm at
Mon Feb 27 11:18:14 EST 2006

>> the advantage of higher-speed CW under a few rare conditions is you can
>> copy more characters between 59+20dB "long hold" static crashes.

>Myself, living in the QRN belt, I prefer a modest speed (15-20wpm) during
QRN season and >slower speeds with very weak signals on clear "white noise"
winter days. High speed
>never helps me copy a weak signal.

>73 Tom

Hi Tom!

When I operated from 9N1ARB and HS0ZCT on a couple occasions a few years
ago, I found that I could copy calls, reports, and other short pieces of
information more easily at 20-30 WPM than I could at lower or higher speeds.

Characters sent too slowly could be broken up by the QRN, and dashes could
be made to sound like multiple dots.  The dots in characters sent much
faster than 28 or 30 WPM seemed to merge with QRN and QRM impulses..

For whatever reason, moderately fast CW seemed more copyable.  I think your
analysis is valid for longer QSOs with more words and a variety of
information.  For short exchanges, higher speeds seemed to work better.

Brad, KV5V

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