DX for new CW operators
How to copy those high speed ops?
|EA8TL's Hexbeam in the Canary Islands|
As a relatively new CW operator my copy skills are still relatively weak, especially at higher speeds. DX stations seem to send their calls at 25wpm or faster so I often can't copy them without listening to them over and over and usually there are so many other stations working them that it gets confusing.
Well this morning I wasn't having much success getting an answer to my calls on 40m, and 20m seemed dead. So I popped up to 17m and there was a good signal coming in that no one else was answering. I listened over and over and finally copied EA8T
(op name Jorge) located in the Canary islands off the coast of Africa. I replied to him and worked him at my relatively slow 18wpm sending speed. I wasn't very graceful in my response and he got my call wrong on the first go 'round but resent it correctly after that. The entire time no-one else answered him even though there was plenty of activity elsewhere on 17m. Are the Canary Islands considered blasé as far as DX?
Anyway I was happy to get the response. I know (or surmise) that my 80m Windom
has some fairly pronounced gain nodes in different directions on the higher bands but I didn't know which directions they pointed. I guess one of the nodes points toward Africa (yaaay!)
|Path from N4PBQ to EA8TL in the Canary Islands|
My copy speed is slowly increasing as I've been operating CW for about 3 months now, but I wonder if there are DX stations on some segments of the band plan for slower speed operations. I spent about 20 minutes sending my call at 18wpm down to 12wpm on the QRP segment of 17m (18.096 MHz) but no one answered. I know I was getting out given the previous contact.
Do DX operators just not want to bother with newbies such as myself? I wonder. I'd appreciate suggestions in the comments section.
That's all for nowSo lower your power and raise your expectations