A QRS Pileup!

Just a quick note here…

I shared this on Mastodon and Twitter, but I wanted to share it here on QRPer.com too because, frankly, it made me feel proud to be a CW operator.

While making dinner, I turned on the Mission RGO One and started hunting POTA and SOTA stations.

I tuned to 7044 kHz and heard a POTA activator moving along at a slow, but steady pace with a straight key. He was doing a great job and working through exchanges. I checked his profile on the POTA website and discovered that this was likely his first CW activation.

After he finished his exchange, I called him and he answered. We moved through the whole exchange and he did a fantastic job despite a noisy band.

Here’s what got me…

When he finished our contact and sent 73 with the customary “dit dit,” a large pileup of hunters started calling him all at his slower cadence!  It was brilliant!

A huge group of CW hunters wanting to make contact with this fellow, all matched to his speed!

If you’re a new CW activator, don’t worry. We obviously all have your back!



10 thoughts on “A QRS Pileup!”

  1. QRS operators also avidly hunt other QRS stations on the band, because they’re shy of being disrespected by faster fists. (And sadly, they’re not always wrong about that.) So part of the pile might have been other strikers thinking, “Awesome! A station I can work!”

    So when you call and call and can’t raise a station, try slowing down. It’s not like it was when we were kids (if you’re a fellow OT). New fists today hit the air with significantly less confidence than we had, owing the requirement being dropped and dramatic changes in the way they learn code. (Basically, nobody learns by copying air anymore. The methods now are demonstrably better for learning to send and copy, but they don’t produce the instinctive grasp of protocol that we got, so graduates are even more scared to hit that freeway than we were.)

    Either way, this is a great story. Thanks, Thomas!

  2. This has absolutely been my experience as a new CW operator! On my very first QSO I was so relieved when my ? was answered with a slow and deliberate repeat. I can say that every CW contact I’ve made – at my lumbering 12 – 14 wpm – has been with operators who wanted to make the contact and did it in a way that felt very supportive.

    I hope all the new operators (like me!) see this and just get on the air. It’s fun!

  3. Not knowing the real boundaries of QRS, I consider myself still a QRS operator (hunter, not activator) and am constantly pleased by how many activators match my speed, and I really appreciate it.

    I too heard a new activator recently on 20M working away very cleanly at 10-11 wpm and was pleased to help him get another QSO in his log at a comfortable speed.

  4. Great post! It’s not quite the same thing, but I sometimes hear new CW operators using straight keys. Because they’re still struggling with timing, the code is not only slow, it’s almost indecipherable. If they were sending my call (K4EAK), for example, it might sound more like NBRWA, with each “dah” stretched out way too long. Several times I’ve stuck with it through several iterations until I got their call sign correct. What makes it relevant to this post, though, is that I’ve gotten many “thank you” e-mails or QSL cards from them apologizing for not being very good and thanking me for my patience. It’s a good reminder to me that we all start out bad and only get better with practice. This post not only encourages me to stick with those guys, it’s wonderful to see that there are lots of people who feel exactly the same way. Thanks.

  5. Heartwarming tale. I’m just about to start the CW path, so it’s good to know that there are patient people out there for when I’m ready to do my first QSO 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.