Something not often heard

I was listening around the bands this afternoon, looking for juicy DX, when I heard something that I’m not quite sure I’ve ever heard before.

Ivan 5N7M in Nigeria was on 17 Meters and he had QRS’ed to a very nominal speed. My estimate was somewhere around 18 WPM, maybe? Far slower than I was accustomed to hearing him, and he was calling CQ, but for new stations only.

I thought that was pretty FB. There are a lot of budding DXers out there, new to the game who are probably intimidated by this aspect of the hobby.

We’ve all been there. Do you remember what it was like? You’re pretty proud of your code speed, only to find yourself in the middle of a pile of Hams who seem to be calling one station all at the same time.

“What was his call? 5NZM? No, that can’t be right!”

“HN7M?  Oh, no, I think it’s 5N7M. Man, that sounds like 40 WPM!”

To the beginning Dxer, it is all so confusing and it all must sound like being caught in the middle of a buzz saw factory. For Ivan to take the time to slow it down, and seek out new stations that have never worked him before is commendable.

I wonder how many new DXers might have been born today.

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

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

5 Responses to “Something not often heard”

  • va3mdw:

    I think this is awesome. It makes my re-introduction to HF and DXing that less imposing.

    I recently purchased some new equipment to get back into the hobby. I obtained my license 25 years ago but haven’t operated for the last 20 years.

    So I am getting ready to start CW again and it’s nice to hear that some operators are considerate towards new (and re-new) participants.

    73’s de Doug (va3mdw)

  • Chuck Heath, K6ZIZ:

    Thanks, Larry, – nice to hear about 5N7M being so considerate. I’ve been working for 4+ years to regain a decent speed before trying to have a QSO after 50 years of inactivity. Just need more Patience, Practice and Persistence! As a member of FISTS I’ve been tempted to try having some QSO’s with them.

    73, Chuck, N6ZIZ, in N. California

    “Plugging into Sunshine since 1989” celebrating our 24th year off-grid

  • Todd KD0TLS:

    I spent two months learning code before I got my Tech licence, then spent two months trying CW QSOs. Never found *anyone* who responded favourably to a QRS. Either they dropped the QSO or continued at the same speed. One guy in NC came back with “LEARN THE CODE DUMMY”. So “Gateway to HF” requires me to use CW, and then ops require fluency. My solution was to get a CW keyboard and use CWGet. If CWGet can’t read them, I can’t work them, but that puts me miles ahead of where I was before. How’s that different than PSK31? I dunno.
    Ironically, “Gateway to HF” forces me to get my General ticket to *get away* from CW. I’m *not* learning a dead language, especially if the other ‘speakers’ expect perfection and fluency. Good luck pushing that, though.

  • LarryW2LJ:


    Sorry for your bad experiences. I, for one would be happy to QRS for you should you like to meet me on the air. Drop me an e-mail if your interested. [email protected]

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  • KK4ITN:

    Some ops fool you, they make it sound like 40-45 wpm REAL CW but it is just keyboard operation [button pushers]. I thought they were real and asked them QRS PLEASE. Their response “NO”.
    So I move on and let them continue typing away.

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