North American QSO Party – CW Weekend
According to my favorite contest calendar (WA7BNM) we have the North American QSO Party weekend coming up. This time it is CW and that means a good opportunity to practice 30WPM Morse code, at least for me it’s practice. I’ll try decode in my head and if that isn’t working I’ll use my software.
North American QSO Party
The North American QSO Parties are favorites of beginners and seasoned operators alike. The NAQPs are low-power only (no amplifiers allowed) which makes for a lot more breathing room on the bands. Small stations can generate very effective “runs” in the NAQP contests. Multipliers count once per-band, which makes for an exciting format, as multipliers can be “moved” from band to band. The NAQPs allow stations from all parts of North America to be in the running for the top spots. The 12 hour format allows participants to do some great contesting, yet still have time for other activities during the weekend. Participants can enter in the single op or multi-op categories and also have the opportunity to combine up to five separate single op scores into a team score. – from the website
My favorite software for this contest has been N1MM Logger +. It’s free and I can use Fldigi to decode for me when needed.
When searching and pouncing I listen to the other stations callsign a few times until I get it. If it is questionable in my head, I look at the software.
I completed an advanced course in CW this year so I am hoping for improvement on my part. See Learning Morse Code (CW) The Best Way
Icom 7610 or Icom 7300
What I really like about these radios is the Spectrum Scope on the front. The LCD touchscreen is fantastic and I’ll use it to move up and down the band looking for stations. I consider this the old school way instead of using the software spectrum scope in N1MM Logger, which, BTW, is very good.
I set the band edges for the CW portion of the band and that works good enough.
N1MM Logger +
To setup N1MM Logger+ for these radios is very simple. Especially for the Icom 7610.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Ever since last May I have been listening to CW every day. If I don’t get a chance on the radio I will listen to recordings I’ve made.
Here’s a good one that I listen to on a daily basis. It’s the alphabet with a few CW abbreviations thrown in. 25 WPM actual speed, 15 WPM effective speed. Keep listening until you have instant recognition in your head.
Right click here and choose “save link as” to save it to your computer.
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Please stay in touch and best 73,