30 Ham Radio Contest Tips — Practice CW before contests


Morse Code KeyThis month, I’m providing a ham radio contest tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own contesting activities.

Today’s tip: Practice CW before contests.

When a contest starts, it’s fast and furious. When I first started contesting, I was always amazed at how fast the CW was for the stations doing the running.

Of course, I was no slouch at CW either, but even though I was on the air a lot and was into Morse Code, that wall of fast CW was hard to get used to after ensuring the station was setup right for the contest and everything (usually) checked out.

By the end of the contest, no matter what, I was also much faster at my CW speeds then I was before the contest started. There is a rhythm to CW and contests that takes over and helps the operator copy code.

Consequently, I started practicing my CW before the contest, just to get into the groove of the dits and dahs. Get a feel for the wall of CW that starts a contest.

Bring up Morse Runner and pop it up at 40-WPM with a little pileup and you’ll be rocking with the best of them come contest time.

Practice. It will help you penetrate that wall of CW at the start of a contest.

Scot, K9JY

J-38 Morse Code Key picture courtesy of Flickr.

  • Interesting site Scot —- No despondency here. Full steam ahead. Good for you.

    I found the CW practicing Tip post interesting. I don’t contest, (it’s not in my DNA) but can see the importance of pre-contest mind prep.

    I’m a Saturday morning listen to Asian stations on the bottom of 40 mtrs and 25wpm in my head only. You speedsters, leave me befuddled.


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