Oh my!

Listening on 20 Meters, right now, there’s a DX station calling CQ, and all I can say is “Wow!”.  He’s way loud and should be at the bottom of a pile up.  Why not?  Because he’s sending way too fast with no spacing whatsoever.  I was finally able to make out the call; but he was getting very few takers.  Once he switched over to the memory keyer (which had some spacing in there, which made it legible), I can see that he’s not only getting more takers, but that he has also been spotted on the DX cluster.

You know, if you want to be a speed demon, that’s one thing.  But spacing is so important. There’s no point in sending so fast that you send gibberish. Even if there are no actual errors, no one is going to want to work you if they can’t understand you.

So any time advantage that you feel you’re gaining is probably lost by either A) repeats or B) lost opportunities due to no one wanting to work a fist like that.

You know, I’m not not an expert, by any means. But I do know bad Morse when I hear it; and that was bad.  A shame really, because it could mean the difference between a lot of contacts and just a few.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Oh my!”

  • BX2ABT:

    You don’t mention what station, but since you are in NJ probably not one from Asia. I have the same here with a couple of stations from V85. They just don’t have any spacing or the wrong spacing and you can hardly figure out their call signs when they send CQ. They hardly get any calls back. The other day I heard an exchange where the other party needed at least 5 overs before he got the call. He was quite decent and kept at it; I would probably have given up.

    It is just weird that these stations all come from V85. I wrote to one of them a while back explaining that I often heard him and that I would love to QSO with him (they are always strong over here and for me it would be good practice). He did improve after that, but not much and I never got a reply from him. Mind you, it was a very courteous e-mail from a fellow ham with the best interest at heart. We sure have some strange fellows amongst us.

  • Tom AJ4UQ:

    I hear the same thing from time to time… it’s one thing to make CQ a prosign , but put a little spacing in your call. Heard one today… someone with a better ear than mine made out the KB2-something embedded in the muddle. Funny thing is that once he was off CQ, the caller had a decent fist.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I am still trying to undo the damage of learning code the wrong way in 1962 for my novice ticket. The past 6 months I have made a dent, but have cheated with software and my ear and the NUE-PSK modem and it’s outstanding decoding capability. I poor hearing still pulls characters the other miss, but what I have observed is hams with lighting fast hands and ears, forget that the vast majority don’t have those ears. What has amazed me looking at both sides of a QSO with to speed freaks is they both seem to figure out what each other was saying. Bad spacing, bad everything. So I guess if they miss 99% of possible QSO’s they either don’ care since the only want the 1%, or they have not figured out yet that they are the problem and QRS is something they just don’t get. With my hearing going, going and wanting to go, thus some days missing dot’s and dashes because I flat miss them with even listening to a good fist, these other ones will never be in my log book and I guess many others. Right now I am 95% SSB/Digital and 5% CW. My goal is 50/50% by years end and 70/30 (70=CW) by next year. Hope to meet some of you in the future in the world of CW.

    Harry K7ZOV

  • Chris kQ2RP:

    Amen Larry.

  • Don N4KC:

    For me it was a YV in the ARRL DX contest. I could get the CQ TEST fine but the rest of his call was a single, seamless bunch of dits and dahs at 35 WPM. Though I needed him on that band, I moved on since I doubted I could get more than the YV part of his call.

    I probably don’t have the best fist on the band, but…


    Don N4KC

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