This is a guide for those who do not send CW by hand or decode CW by ‘brain’. It is targeted at getting you going on the monthly 80m Club Contests run by the RSGB but the basic principles will apply to other CW contests. This guide assumes you are using Mixw2 version 3.2 or better (but not version 4).M0ICR
Details/rules etc for the RSGB 80m Club Championship Contest is here:
3.5MHz Club Championship Contests (rsgbcc.org)
Dates for 2021 can be found here:
2021 calendar (rsgbcc.org)
Setting up Mixw2 for CW using a modulated SSB signal
- Make sure you are in menu Layout 2:
2. Tick CW from the Mode Tab:
3. Many operators will use letters as shortcuts for certain numbers, personally I only do this for 0 (to letter T) but that’s a personal choice. I don’t select 9 as N because whilst I prefer to send 5NN for signal report (which I will hardcode in the macros) I don’t like a 9 in a serial number to appear as an N. You can set the default transmit WPM here for contests also (but you can adjust that later using another breakout windows as I will explain later). I tend to use 25wpm as my default (this is the maximum I have any change of decoding by ear!). For this basic set up there is no need to adjust any of the other settings.
4. Setting up the hardware connection between your PC and your radio (in my case an Icom 7300 on COM Port 5 at 38400 bps).
5. Basic Macros.
These are the basic Macros I use:
Finally, a couple of other tips for using Mixw2 in contests:
6. Setting your TX speed.
When you select the CW mode Mixw2 will automatically bring up a little CW window, you can adjust your CW transmit speed here:
If you want to set your TX speed to the speed you are decoding your current QSO station you can see that at the bottom right of the main Mixw2 window here:
73, de Carl M0ICR
I also find it helpful to have CWGet running as a second means of decoding:
I’ve also found MRP40 very good (although it does cost 50 Euro after a trial):
… and finally
CW Skimmer is great for seeing decodes from all CW signals being received in your passband, again it’s not free but I think it’s worth every penny!
or, when you have a serious pile-up!
If you are keen to see how far your CW signals are being decoded it also fun to use the Reverse Beacon Network (a bit like PSK Reporter but for CW)
If you want to practice your traditional CW skills, ie. sending and receiving without a PC I can recommend Morse Runner, a CW Contest Simulator:
If you want to get the feel for handling pile-ups it also worth looking up Pileup Runner (from the same DXAtlas.com stables as CW Skimmer and Morse Runner):
If you are keen to learn CW I can highly recommend the Koch method software from Ray G4FON, his lecture from the 2018 RSGB convention is worth watching: http://www.g4fon.net/CW%20Trainer2.php
Ray’s contest trainer is also worth a look and a robust alternative to Morse Runner mentioned above: