You have come to the point where you would like to test your new Morse skills on the bands but nervous of having a QSO on air. We have all been there nervously by the rig, Morse key at the ready and thinking “Shall I” and with shaking hands you nervously send CQ and make a mess of it because you are not relaxed. So what’s the best way to get on the bands?
Firstly you should feel confident and relaxed, this way you will enjoy using Morse. You can build your confidence by listening to QSO’s on the bands and take note of how the QSO’s are conducted and practice having a lot of QSO’s by yourself so the main procedures of the QSO are automatic.
Secondly you will have found out that you have to get used to the abbreviations and “Q” codes that are used by CW operators to increase the speed of the QSO. Make sure that you are confident with the abbreviations.
Before starting to transmit it is important that you listen to the frequency and send QRL? to make sure that the frequency is not in use as you may not hear the transmitting station but you may cause QRM to the receiving one and he will come back and tell you that the frequency is in use. If it is in use, then be a gentleman/woman and find another frequency. and repeat the procedure.
A standard basic QSO would roughly start, as below;
G5FZ DE G4XFC GE OM ES MNI TNX FER CALL UR RST 599 599 QTH NR MKT RASEN MKT RASEN NAME IAN IAN BT SO HW? AR G5FZ DE G4XFC KN
I would then receive the following reply from G5FZ;
G4XFC DE G5FZ GE IAN ES MNI TNX FER FB RPRT BT UR RST 579 579 QTH NR LINCOLN NR LINCOLN NAME JIM JIM BT RIG FT1000 PWR 400 WATTS ANT DIPOLE AT 30FT WX CLOUDY TEMP ABT 2 C AR G4XFC DE G5FZ KN
My reply to him would now be;
G5FZ DE G4XFC R TNX FER RPRT ES INFO JIM BT RIG FT757GX PWR 100 WATTS ANT OCF DIPOLE AT 45FT WX ALSO CLOUDY TEMP ABT 3 C BT NW QRU MNI TNX FER FB QSO MY QSL OK VIA BURO 73 ES GD DX GL JIM AR G5FZ DE G4XFC VA
He would then wind up the QSO with;
G4XFC DE G5FZ R SOLID CPY IAN MNI TNX FER INFO ES QSO BT HPE WK U AGN MY QSL OK VIA BURO 73 GD DX GL AR G4XFC DE G5FZ VA
So there you have it, a basic Morse QSO. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy it, most operators on the bands are forgiving if you make any mistakes as we all started off at the bottom of the pile.
Read “8 Good Reasons for Not Getting on the Air” by Milt K4OSO FOC #1927 for some good advice.