Making CW contacts


David KA2BUG
 

I've recently gotten into trying Morse Code using my computer. Here's my problem; No matter how many times I send out a CQ, nobody ever returns my call. I've checked my signal with programs like Reverse Beacon and DX Maps, and my signal is being received by spotters all over the world, with usually strong db. signals. I tried all different settings and frequencies and the only time I've gotten a return is when I spot someone with my callsign. I have to figure I'm doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out. I have no problem with any digital modes or SSB, so I figure it's not a radio problem. I have a magnetic loop receiving antenna, so I know I'm not missing the returns in the noise. Any help would be appreciated. 


Dr Jim Kennedy
 

David:

One thing that you might try is the Sunday evening “Slow speed test” offered by K1USN. This is not a true test, but actually a way for CW hams to contact each other. 


Then rather than sending out a CQ listen for CQs and respond accordingly. I think that this will get you contacts, improve your confidence and sending skills and overall will be a rewarding experience.

Let me know how it works for you. 

I have other suggestions so if you want I can be reached at K2PHD@....

73, Doc - K2PHD




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

Mickey N4MB
SKCC# 11288


Lemuel Skidmore, W7LEM
 

What frequency?  Do you see other signals on a waterfall?

Check out the K1USN SST (Slow Speed conTest) Fridays at 20:00Z and Monday 0000z (Sunday night US time)--see http://www.k1usn.com/sst.html  

CW is normally at the low end of bands (7.000-7.050, 14.000-14.050, etc).   

There are many CW resources available--see CWOPS https://cwops.org/cw-academy/

Good luck.


Anthony Luscre <k8zt73@...>
 

One possibility is being "off frequency" so that when you reply to the other station they are not hearing you because your signal is not within their receive passband.
Which program are you using on your computer?
What mode do you have the radio set to?

Anthony


On Tue, Feb 15, 2022 at 8:38 AM David KA2BUG via groups.arrl.org <mssped541=icloud.com@...> wrote:
I've recently gotten into trying Morse Code using my computer. Here's my problem; No matter how many times I send out a CQ, nobody ever returns my call. I've checked my signal with programs like Reverse Beacon and DX Maps, and my signal is being received by spotters all over the world, with usually strong db. signals. I tried all different settings and frequencies and the only time I've gotten a return is when I spot someone with my callsign. I have to figure I'm doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out. I have no problem with any digital modes or SSB, so I figure it's not a radio problem. I have a magnetic loop receiving antenna, so I know I'm not missing the returns in the noise. Any help would be appreciated. 



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