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Author Topic: My CW stinks......  (Read 4513 times)
AF3Y
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Posts: 3722




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« on: February 11, 2012, 02:01:56 PM »

I admit it..... I have a helluva time hammering out 12 - 15 WPM on my old Junkers straight key. I can get by though Roll Eyes .  
BUT........  There are a couple guys who shall remain call-less/nameless that OUGHT to be using a straight key (or a smoke signal fire pit). I hear these guys every now and then, and I swear, it sounds like they are dragging their fingers across the key and just JAMMING things together, and not at a very fast speed either. NO pause between letters. Dits become Dahs, etc. etc..  Kinda like sending with a southern drawl or something. Almost makes me want to up-chuck. I dont even know how they send like that.  
As I said my CW sucks, but honestly, it does NOT sound like that. TERRIBLE....  Roll Eyes Really grates on your nerves..... ARRRRGGGGHH Shocked
73, Gene AF3Y
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 02:03:51 PM by AF3Y » Logged
G4LNA
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 02:35:15 PM »

That made me laugh  Grin

Luckily there are more good fists than bad ones.

By the way, you have to be a bit careful, the operator maybe disabled and their sending isn't that good, I have one operator who calls me some times and I know he is disabled so I make allowances for his poor fist, it makes copy very difficult, but feel honoured that feels he can call me and we manage to have a QSO.

It will make you a better operator if you can get to grips with that sort of sending, you get all sorts in this world, sending Morse is no exception.
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WB3CQM
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 03:35:08 PM »

Here are few good sites

Just Learn Morse Code / G4FON / Lear CW Online / QRQ /

RufzXP / QRQ / Morse Runner / LCWO /CW Freak

You get better by working at it . Copy copy copy Drill drill drill

http://qrqcwnet.ning.com/

73 JIM
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KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 06:54:33 PM »

It was probably me  Undecided
I gotta lay off the caffeine!

Stan
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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 03:06:05 AM »

Don't respond and they will have to get better.  The disabled comment is well taken though.
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KB3TXH
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 05:55:01 AM »

............Don't respond and they will have to get better..........

As a newcomer to CW, I may not send so well myself, but I'll never know it unless someone kindly points it out to me.
 Not answering me will only make me wonder if my antenna is working, or I am sending so slow that no one wants to bother, or if everyone is eating diner. It will not improve my fist.

I believe most operators want to know if their fist is acceptable. I KNOW I do.

I would hope that there is a way to tell folks that they need to work on their sending a little bit.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1620




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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 10:16:05 AM »

   Most ham operator's CW stinks in the beginning and lingers for a while, just stick with it and it will eventually smell a lot better.  Jim
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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 02:45:29 PM »

............Don't respond and they will have to get better..........

As a newcomer to CW, I may not send so well myself, but I'll never know it unless someone kindly points it out to me.
 Not answering me will only make me wonder if my antenna is working, or I am sending so slow that no one wants to bother, or if everyone is eating diner. It will not improve my fist.

I believe most operators want to know if their fist is acceptable. I KNOW I do.

I would hope that there is a way to tell folks that they need to work on their sending a little bit.


Good point!  I should have said, "If my sending offends you, don't respond."  I don't mind working newbies because I am still a newbie myself.  I'll work you anytime if I can figure out what you are saying.  There is no need to get heartburn and complain about people on these boards.  If doesn't like what is being heard, turn the knob, turn it off, or help the op fix the problem.

You should be able to tell from your side tone if you are doing OK or not.  Focus on the sound.  I know it is tough to do when your brain is trying to figure out which dih dah comes next, but you know what good code sounds like because you have been using a program to learn it.  Make your sound sound like the code practice.  Better yet, set up your code program to send a known script and then use your rigs side tone to practice sending in sync with it.  You will know in a hurry if you are off.  Keep practicing.   
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3739




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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 04:51:14 PM »

When I work an obviously new ham on CW and his CW is giving me problems, I very diplomatically explain to him what he should do to improve it.  It's like bad breath, sometimes you don't know unless someone tells you or backs away from you.

The real problem comes from the old timers who think their sending is first class.  There is no diplomatic way to tell them that their sending needs to be improved.  I just don't bother with these people.  If you leave them alone they might finally wonder if they "have bad breath!"
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W3TTT
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 07:09:27 PM »

Not that I am any better than anyone else, but,...
My eyes (and ears) were opened when I tried to send into my computer running cw recognition software... the dits and dahs and spaces need to be just right for the computer to recognize the letter.  Wow that was an eye opener.
After a few minutes, i was able to send to the computer and it "read" my sending.
It was funny when i started...what I sent was not what the computer heard!

73 joe w3ttt
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2375




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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 09:35:56 PM »

I hear a hidden message in all this:

. . . Straight keys make sending difficult.

Should the "sending-impaired" try using a paddle and keyer, instead?  I know it's possible to send bad code with _any_ instrument, but at least with a paddle, the dits will be even, and the dahs will be three times as long as a dit.

Just a thought . . .

              Charles
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 02:54:24 AM »



    Does your CW stink?    Get a can of CW deodorant!!     Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

    Allen
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WA4FNG
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 05:29:47 AM »

I have been a CW op since 1965 and I've heard a lot of different fists and styles of sending. I think any experienced CW op can tell when an op is struggling with technique, need of practive, inexperience, etc. There are many telltale signs. And, I don't think it's necessarily a straight key vs. bug or paddle issue. Just as you might not get a warm reception for advice given about someone's driving, the same is often true when suggesting their CW needs a little work.

Many ops consider their CW fist a signature, somthing that is unique. That's what callsigns are for. Back in the days of railroad or maritime CW I think ops developed very unique fists and styles of sending. After all, they had very few examples of code to listen to. Sending code was difficult and there were no sidetones or helpful aids to actually hear your code. Today, I hear examples of this from many bug operators. Those exagerrated dahs, very fast dits, as well as what I call the "speed bump." When sending the letter "J" you make the first dah much longer than the others....the speed bump.

It has always been my goal to send code that was easy for the other guy to copy. I answer CQs at the speed the other guy is using. Sometimes that means switching over to my straight key, which I'm pretty good at up to about 18wpm. I've had straight key QSOs at 15-16wpm where I've switched between the hand key and a paddle many times during the contact without the other op ever knowing the difference. I can also send straight key with either hand, something I think may be due to piano lessons many years ago.

So, what it boils down to is consideration for the other guy, periodic examination of your own sending ability, and selecting a speed and device that lets you send good, easy to copy code. Set a great example when using CW and others will follow.

73 de Milt
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2785




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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 07:27:07 AM »

Straight keys make sending difficult.

Beginners learning how to speak a different language, or how to play a clarinet, or (pick a skill) -- they will have trouble until they've settled into things.  The straight key actually makes one WORK at forming the code elements and spacing them properly.  Starting off with a paddle or a bug, I've found, gives the new operator a false sense that what he's doing is completely right, but his sending has three or four "dits" when only one is required; dits set at 30 WPM but actual speed closer to 5 WPM.

Learn how to send well with a straight key.  Then when you're dead-on accurate for ten minutes at a time, THAT'S when you should think about paddles.  Not before.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W5ESE
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Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 09:35:42 AM »

More than a few CW operators out there have had strokes or other issues.

That could be you in a few years.  Undecided

They would be grateful for a Q'. Best not to pass judgement.
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