So your a chatty Kathy………..Part 2

In part 2 of CW recipes, we are going to take a peek at conversational CW. QSO CW is like Apple pie for our U.S. friends or Peameal bacon for us Canadians. It has been around for a long time and is a staple of the hobbyWhat are the ingredients for CW conversation......for sure an understanding of the code. Getting your code speed to a comfortable speed but hey with this CW foodie, any speed can bag you a QSO. I  would think this recipe calls for a code speed from 10-15wpm and then the sky is yours if you want. Also comfortable at using a key whatever type you choose to learn on. I would suggest a key as to the PC because with QSO CW the conversation can go in many directions if you let it. A  PC can do the trick but then there are your typing skills you have to brush up on...why not spend the time mastering sending code? This recipe calls for spending some time getting the sound of QTH, RST, TU, 73 and so on. Compared to contesting there are more group sounds you have to become familiar with. As you learn the group sounds then head copying these sounds will kick inSure you can still paper and pencil it for the name, QTH and call sign but head copy of the common QSO items puts you ahead of the game sort of speak Accuracy is always nice but it's like sugar, salt and pepper that can be added later on. During a QSO recipe if you mess something up not a big deal....its a matter of dit dit dit and try it again. Over time the rust will be sanded off and your code will be nice and shiny.  Just like when cooking something from a recipe where you have to taste it now and then, take it out of the oven to check on it or add a little more of something it is the same with QSO CW. You may be able to send very fast....faster than you can copy but remember those who do this can get burned as the person on the other end may come back to you at the same speed and you can heat up and get burned.  Also like cooking things can change and you have to add something. Same with QSO CW understand that conditions can change noise level, fading (QSB) or the other person's code is let's say........sour and hard to copy well you can only do your best with what you have and add the salt of your experience to understand the QSO.  Finally just like in cooking when the timer dings the cooking is done and with QSO CW nothing wrong with hearing the timer and calling the QSO done.  With the QSO recipe getting to a speed of 10-15wpm is good, turn the power of your radio to zero and practice sending with our key, get to know the sound of common QSO terms, and remember that dit dit dit fixes most things. Most of all relax and enjoy as we have all have frozen, got lost in receiving code, messed up sending and wished we could just hit the power switch and walk away. It's all part of getting the right QSO recipe mix.  Here is a good links regarding the basic of a CW contact and making a CW contact
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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