Progress may start only with his attitude.

This late afternoon, I have met a couple of guys in the West Coast in a series. On 40m, of course, on CW. They were using decoder. One guy told me that. The other was apparently another decoder user because there was a long pause before he started transmission after reception. One guy delightfully told me it was his very first contact on CW. However, there won't be any conversation going on between us. I told them to quit using decoder and to train themselves to listen codes with their own ears. No other ways that enable them to converse on this mode in the future. Needless to say this but it should be repeated to those people again and again.

After those frustrating QSOs, I was called by David VE7LE. He was another beginner on CW. What was different from the other two in the case of David is that he won't hesitate asking me to slow down and to repeat anything he could not copy. It is really a simple fact but I have realized that telling he could not copy and asking me to repeat it, he has already achieved conversation with me. Ignoring that fact or pretending to be able to copy is opposite to the real conversation. Asking me to repeat something means that he would converse with me.

The important thing is the attitude toward the others. Progress may start only with his attitude.


  1. I think David VE7LE deserves another accolade. It takes courage to call someone clearly more proficient than you are on CW. 1. You know that you are not going to be able to copy perfectly. 2. You don't know how the other person will respond to requests for repeats or slow down 3. Even if the other person is considerate, they may chose to have a short conversation.

    I think David is going to become a fine, proficient CW operator. His goal should be to achieve skills equal to yours

  2. I'm happy to hear that you told them that decoders are not the way to go. There is quite a bit of slow speed CW in the old novice band (7.1-7.125 MHz) in the evenings here in North America. There are also numerous slow speed nets to help beginners.