1st Greek Telegraphy Club CW Cup ! - Been there, done that !!

Laika feels very happy for having participated at the 1st Cup organized by the one and only CW club of her country. Now that she recovered the awkward (well, rather inexistent !) sleeping habits she had for 4 consecutive days, she can write a couple of stuff from that nice weekend :-)
She was QRV during almost all 24 hours, signing /1 since she was lucky enough to operate from the RAAG clubstation (and feels very thankful for the hospitality, which felt naturally like her home) and wkd with a tribander, wires, an oldie Collins PA which barely delivered 400W (bt was used part-time, mostly during the night hours) and a mighty Elecraft K3 trx.

The participation of the GTC members was unexpectedly high; Laika wkd 28 GTC members (SV4FFL, SV5DKL, SV1CEI/QRP, SV2FWV/1, SV1JFT, SV8GKE, SV1GRD, SV1OAA/8, SV1AAK, SV1PS, SV1KU, SV1AOW, SV2HWR, SV1OBY/QRP, SV4FFK, HB9EBC, SV9COL, SV1CQN, SV0XBN/9, SV1BUU, SV1MF, LZ1JZ, SV1IW, SV1NPC/QRP, K2RSK, SV2AVP, SV2GNC, SV1UG), but unfortunately didn't manage to log 2 DX members that were QRV: DL3CT and PR7AB. Hopefully next year.

Despite the excellent condx; SFI peaked at 190 and 10m was open til late at night, the overall CW activity was despairingly low due to the concurrent CQWW RTTY which apparently attracted the folks: with an overall rate less than 10 QSOs per hour (!!), Laika made a new low record and she sometimes looked like that while desperately calling CQ:

However she was really happy for having met within one weekend so many SV CW ops on the air, including Telis K2RSK and Mike HB9EBC, she met good buddies and made new ones and she also wkd the two famous RA/xxxxx guys :-)

What felt so special was to be among the youngest (age-wise) GTC member, Telis SV2HWR GTC #252, who is 19 years old, the lifelong respected elmers who have taught the code to many generations of amateurs; Yiorgos SV1KU GTC #7, Marko SV1MF GTC #5, the head of RAAG, Manos GTC #8, the youngest GTC member, Dimosthenis SV1OBY GTC # 262 and the DX Telis K2RSK GTC #56 whose soul and heart are beating greek. A great SV CW fest where the oldtimers shared their love for CW with the younger ones !

Laika (Vicky is her guest :-)

Something magic happens !! updated !

I'm so amazed by what is happening in my CW life right now.. some dreams and hopes that hadn't been fulfilled for a few years are coming true now, one after the other !!

One of them happened just a week ago while playing with my favorite CW toy, Morse Runner, WPX mode. As far as I remember, the very first submission I had sent to the Morse Runner toplist was sometime in September of 2009 and it was a score made with less than 100 QSOs, something like 90 QSOs. Unfortunately my computer crashed a couple of times ever since and I do not have any records from that time :-(

So a week ago I finally managed to break the 200QSO-wall and finish the 1-hour session with 208 QSOs and 166 multipliers !!!

My average calling speed was 45WPM and to be frank I regret that I didn't dare to play with 50WPM calling speed. After all, at MR, the callers always come back with a remarkably lower speed, so I assume that I'd saved more time and thus could have made more Q's if I'd played with 50WPM. Pitch was set at 550Hz and I always have the Bandwidth set to the maximum option, 600Hz; I like to hear the whole spectrum; narrow spectrum feels tiring for my ears, or at least I'm not used to it. Or all I want is to be just like my CW elmer, Bob N2OO :-)
I still remember a couple of years ago that my first goal was to break the 100QSO-wall. Then, my dream was to reach at the list a YL that I really look up to, Ann WA1S who ranks #564 with 159 QSOs. When I finally made that with lots of sweat and blood, next goal was to reach 180 Qs (3 Qs per min) and finally to surpass the 200QSOs; when I'd do that, I'd stop MR.
Well.. no, not really :-)  Like every time that I reach a goal I feel that I have squeezed all my potential, no, I won't limit myself and definitely keep working on it and keep chasing myself !

The biggest surprise for me though, came in today morning. While I was struggling to convince myself to get up, fighting with the alarm clock and the snooze button; I thought "why not to run a rufz to wake up ?". And so I did. With one eye still closed and the netbook in my lap -still in bed of course !- I scored a nifty 30758, while my average lately is 25-27k !!  Starting speed was 45WPM and max just 62WPM. While at MR I almost always pick the low-pitched callers first, at rufz I always play with a rather high frequency pitch; 1079Hz !  Update 19.09.2011: scored 31406 a couple of days afterwards this post was originally made. At 0230 after midnight, just before I was about to hit the bed, during a "goodnight" attempt. Well, I'm always surprised by my own self, how my brain is wired when it comes to rufzXP :-)

My very first submission for the RufzXP toplist appeared here mid-June 2009; my score then was 9368. And I clearly remember that my first scores were way lower than that, around 6k - I was just too shy to upload them :-)

A great tool to keep track of rufz progress can be found here it's called "RufzXP Score Analysis".
You just upload a .csv scoreboard file and you can instanly have a series of diagrams that show your performance along the time, publicly or not !
You can also view other users' files to see how they work themselves and progress, CW Wizard, Fabian DJ1YFK is also there !

The cherry ontop for today was an unexpected score of 3440 points at MR, HST mode, where I normally score around 2,8k. This happened while my roommate was listening to his favorite greek music and he was also talking on the phone, so I had quite lots of QRM in the background. My speed at MR HST mode is 35-40WPM with the pitch at 550Hz.

Well all I know that this is just the beginning; I always have the feeling that I should train more..

All I want to share with this post, is that although my CW life started in the worst way possible; I had failed my first 5wpm morse code exam in 2005 when I was about to get my ham license, learnt the code all alone the wrong way (counting dots n dashes) and struggled for at least 1,5 year to get rid of my bad habits (and sometimes I feel that I haven't gotten over them 100%), now I've finally reached all the goals-dreams that I had set. Thus, if I can do it, anyone can !

Now I have set new goals. I have no clue if I will ever reach them, but I won't set any limits to myself and definitely work towards realizing them !  After all, CW is fun and it's part of my daily life. If for some reason I skip a day without doing any CW training, I feel that something is really missing.

I know how annoying this sounds: "Practice, practice, practice...", I hated it and to be frank I still do :-)
Well now I know that that's the case; it's like a fast-motion picture, the more you watch it, the more you watch it, the more you can slow it down and the more you understand it. It goes on with small moves and do yourself a favor: set multiple feasible goals without pushy timeframes. It cannot be done overnight and the rule "use it or lose it" definitely applies on CW practice.

Enjoy !!
di dit !