CWA Beginner – Session 8

Session 8, introduces the letters B and V. (Thanks, Mateo, for sending out the Lesson 8 mp3 file that you can listen to on headphones.)

In the official CWOPS Beginner Book, session 8 is divided into copying segments: 

B, V, 7, 9, / (five times each)

vote, at, view, wave, pave, save, vow, valve, solve, volt, vault, bad, body, bore, born, barn, barney, brad, bread, bed, better, best, bill, build, built, bolt, bulb, blame, blend, bland, blow, bv2aa, ba1ro, wb2ae, n6rb/4, w2/ve1ar, ve2/w2le, 6146, 5514, name is bob, name is bill, name is ted, name is vinnie, ur rst is 559, ur rst is 459

And sending segments: 

vote, valve, bed, best, bv2aa, ba1ro, wb2ae, n6rb/4, w2/ve1ar, ve2/w2le, 6146, 5514, name is bill, name is art, ur rst is 579, ur rst is 449

In call signs, the / character usually indicates an operator not working in the area expected by the call sign. For example, VE2/W2LE is an US ham working in Quebec. Canada and the US have reciprocal operating privileges. That Quebecois operating here might identify as W2/VE2AR.

You’ll noticed during the sending segments, there are snippets of a potential QSO:

name is bill

ur rst is 579

We’ll go into more detail about QSOs next session, ultimately spending sessions 11-14 practicing them in class.

RST (readability, signal strength, tone) is a signal report.  In contests, 99.9944% of those will be 599, or more likely, 5NN (where N is a “cut number” version of 9).  In conversational CW, folks tend to either be complimentary and give you a 599 even though it took five attempts to get the information, or occasionally more honest with the scale below.  If you get one of the latter, the information can be a diagnostic (e.g., don’t take it personally).  From my home setup, I would not be surprised if I got 339.

Readability: 1-5, where 5 is perfectly readable. I’m not sure how one would receive a 1 (“unreadable”) since the other operator would not know to whom their sending. 3 (Readable with difficulty) and 4 (Readable, mostly) are common.

Strength: 1-9, where 9 is extremely strong. This is more useful, though obviously subjective:
1. Faint – signals barely perceptible
2. Very weak signals
3. Weak signals
4. Fair signals
5. Fairly good signals
6. Good signals
7. Moderately strong signals
8. Strong signals
9. Extremely strong signals

Tone: 1-9, Lower scores would occur if you had interference from a powerline (A/C is 60Hz) or your tone generator was really bad.

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