10th Anniversary Giveaway!

On April 30th, it will be ten years since the "W2LJ - QRP - Do More With Less" blog was born.

In appreciation for all who read this blog, I am going to give something away to one lucky reader. I have a new, mint condition, unused, complete sheet of fifty United States Amateur Radio stamps, issued in 1964 on the 50th Anniversary of the ARRL - Scott #1260. I am going to have the sheet matted and framed - ready for display on some deserving shack wall. All I ask is that you send an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net - entitled "Blog Anniversary Giveaway". Include your name, call sign and mailing address.

Any Amateur Radio op worldwide can enter. I will package and ship the framed stamps to any destination that the United States Post Office will accept.

The names and call signs will be loaded into a software program such as RandomPicker on April 30th and a winner will be determined. The winner will be announced here, and then the framed stamps will be posted.

Good luck, and thank you for reading!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making high speed progress

Two weeks ago, I made a 40 WPM CW code practice CD; and have been playing it in the car each day during the ride to and from work. The first few days were nothing more than a big, "Huh"? The code slipped past my ears and brain faster than a 5 year old coming down a playground slide that had been buffed with wax.

It made no sense to me at all; and I was lucky if I could pull out a letter here and there. But determined to not ignore my own admonitions, I just let the CD play and relaxed the best I could, allowing my brain to wrap itself around the oncoming buzz saw of Morse characters.

Before I knew it, individual letters were sticking out and being recognized. A few more days and an occasional word made itself heard. Now I'm at the point where I am copying at a rate of what I would guesstimate to be 25 to 30% of the words coming at me.

I find that if I concentrate too hard, then I start messing up. The same thing happens if I concentrate on the code too little. There seems to be a zone of concentration that is just right; and everything starts to flow. I can't define it; and I can't explain it; but I definitely know when I am in that zone. I'll start getting 5, 6, 7, 8 maybe even 10 words in a row; and then "BAM", something upsets the apple cart and I start flubbing again.

Just for kicks, I went back and inserted the 30 WPM CD that I made a few months back. It didn't seem painfully slow; but it didn't seem as fast as I remembered it, either!

73 de Larry W2LJ


g4ilo said...

That's an interesting observation, Larry. Thanks for posting it.

It's something I really should try myself. The obstacle for me is just that I'm very impatient - if I can't see that I'm making immediate progress then I figure it's a waste of time and I may as well give up.

Dick said...

Though capable of more, I keep my speed at 20wpm or so. High power, high speed...ok. But at QRP levels, it has been my experience that a lot of charactes can be lost in QSB when ripping it out at 30+wpm.


Larry W2LJ said...


Like you, I am most comfortable in the 20 - 25 WPM neighborhood for QRP. Strangely (I guess), I have no desire to send code at high speed. I just want to be able to understand it if it comes my way.

73 de Larry W2LJ