Can you guys stand another post on my CW progress? I worked through the Chuck Adams CW course I mentioned in a previous post, but I was hitting a real road block on number recognition in call signs. After a little research for help, I ran across RUFZ, which is some sort of abbreviation of a German word. RUFZ is a program that is designed to do one thing; increase the speed of operators who already are proficient at CW. My struggle with CW is largely geared around numbers when they are thrown out in conversations. At 5WPM, they are pretty easy. At 10WPM, they get a bit difficult. RUFZ out of the box will send 50 call signs at you. If you leave the defaults, it will send at 151CPM, which is completely out of my realm of understanding (+Manfred Laun
can probably copy and send at that speed). But, slow it down to 40CPM and the program actually starts helping. They idea is to not write the call signs down, but even writing them down helps. At first, I would get about 2 out of 50 call signs. Now I consistently get between 30 and 35 correct. I miss some of the numbers as the speed increases (oh yeah...Every time you get a correct call sign, the speed increases, or falls back if you have an error), but my error rate is down and my overall comprehension is way up. As a test, I listened in on the slow code practice from W1AW at 5WPM and had to quit listening after just a few minutes (now I know how my code sounds to operators used to 20 or 25WPM). I've started practicing on the 10WPM and higher practice MP3s from W1AW. Another thing I have been trying to do in the mornings is search the 10M band for beacon stations. Their call signs were once indecipherable to me, but are now relatively easy to interpret if I can hear them a few times. Real, live QSOs are sometimes difficult to pick up call signs in unless you know when they are coming or you are waiting on the transitions, so check out the ARRL W1AW on air broadcasts and practice MP3s, RUFZ, and check out the beacons if you can hear them. All helped get over a fairly slow-code number hump for me. I am not a number expert by any means, but I am going back to the Chuck Adams course much better prepared for numbers and call signs. I hope this helps. By the way, I have been practicing sending (at 0 watts) my grid coordinates, so I hope to be prepared for the next round of RaDAR events.