Operating in the CW Mode
2010-01-18 19:48
Operating CW

Please limit your CW operation to the lower 25 kHz of any band.

Although you'll find most of the Hamsphere CW activity on 40 meters, that probably isn't the best place for CW operation. There's a lot of noise down on the low end of 40 that you have to
dodge. When you're choosing a frequency on which to call CQ, take a look at other bands with cleaner low ends.

Don't worry about transmitting where no one will be listening.
Your call and frequency will appear in the Cluster window. Savvy CW ops will see that you are transmitting on the low end of the band, and recognize that frequency as a probable CW transmission.
Don't give up after one or two CQs. Keep trying, and they will find you.

Likewise, if you would like to make a CW QSO, watch the Cluster for stations transmitting on the low end of any band.

When you're setting up for CW operation, open a text editor in a small window. If you'd like, open up Notepad in a little window and place it on the left side of the screen, right under the Hamsphere window.
The text editor is handy for copying and making quick notes about the topics covered in your QSO.

Set your sidetone frequency to something you like, by using the /offset command. Frequencies in the 550 - 600 Hz range seem to work well with the characteristics of the Hamsphere CW filter.

Remember that the keyboard provides stored macros on the F1 through F8 keys. If you take the time to set up a few useful macros, you won't have to do so much repetitive typing. More on keyboard macros in the CW Command Reference section, below.

While you're transmitting, listen for the other station to interrupt you. If you hear the other station break in, immediately tap your PTT button to stop your transmission and copy the other station's comment. You'll probably find this type of operation, QSK, confusing at first, but if you learn QSK operating technique, you will find yourself actually having a conversation with the other station. The lively give-and-take in a good QSK CW QSO is a lot of fun.

Select your code speed to match the other station's speed, or if you are calling CQ, send at the speed that you think will give you the best chance of a response to your call.

If you send fast and someone asks you to QRS "slow down" be a good ham and drop your speed to something the other station can copy. Likewise, if the other station asks you to QRQ
send faster, please do so, if you are able.

And, most important, if you find yourself in a QSO at a speed that's uncomfortable for you, don't be embarrassed to ask the other station to QRS.

If you hear someone calling CQ at a speed that's way too fast for you to copy, don't forget the Cluster! Post a Chat message, something like "Station on 21015, please QRS."