Re: Making CW contacts
Mickey Baker N4MB
Doc Kennedy has a great suggestion.
I recommend joining the Straight Key Century Club. SKCC - Straight Key Century Club (skccgroup.com) It's free and, once you join, you'll be able to use their sked page: SKCC Sked Page (skccgroup.com) to find QSO partners - simply find them and send them a text message to look for you, or post your own "spot" and invite QSOs.
There are a number of short contests (Sprints) where you can make QSOs.
Finally, if you're counting on a computer to decode people calling you, don't. People who call you will invariably be just a little off frequency, and, depending on your software, machine read CW is not great unless you're dead on the correct frequency. When calling CW CQ, I open the selectivity up to 1kHz or wider so I can hear the calling stations. that are rarely on the same frequency that I transmit on.
Good lunch and report back. I'd be happy to make a sked to work you some time, just send me email