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Author Topic: Would you tell someone they have a bad fist?  (Read 50597 times)
KX8N
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Posts: 542




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« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2013, 04:08:52 PM »

Some fists are really really bad but it could be due to a disability. They could be using there foot

I know (or assume) you were serious about this comment, but I still can't help but laugh... imagine asking a non-disabled ham "Excuse me, but are you sending with your foot?"

I wouldn't personally say anything to the sender. If you can't copy them, then just don't work them. But I don't think telling them they aren't doing very well would actually help anything. Even if they don't have a very good fist, they are probably still doing the best they can. Maybe you could ask them how long they've been on CW. If it hasn't been very long, maybe that would explain the problem.

Dave
KX8N
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N4OI
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2013, 07:04:47 AM »

My experience is that most people with bad fists know it all too well, and are grateful to make QSO's with people who can copy them.  I am not talking about those who try to send way faster than they can reliably control their keyers. 
73,
Chuck  NI0C

I agree with this completely!  In addition to having a conversation with another ham (who more than likely has an incredible story about their experiences in WW2 or maritime radio ops), I find these challenges an opportunity to improve my CW copy skills. 

73
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N4OI
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2013, 07:14:41 AM »

i have yet to tell anyone, but will probably do so before too long.  The one thing that bugs me the most though is when i hear an op sending dahs BARELY longer than their dits...   maybe i am wrong, but it seems to be a modern problem [...]

OK -- I may get flamed for this comment.  I believe that the popularity of SKCC and its restrictions that dictate using only straight keys and bugs have contributed to the rise of poor fists on the bands.  Paddles and keyers are bonafide sending devices also -- and enable not only cleaner code, but fists that are easily copied up to 30 WPM or more. 

That said, I am a member of SKCC and even have a nice Begali straight key and an old Vibroplex bug so I can play along with the SKCC folks.  But the vast majority of bad fists seem to hang around those n.050-55 MHz SKCC band segments.   

Just sayin'

73
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WN2C
Member

Posts: 454




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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2013, 08:42:17 AM »

Heard a guy sending  -.     -.     --     .-  (nnma) Huh    took me a while to figure out he was actually sending  -.-.  --.-   Undecided

No I did not work him!
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3860




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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2013, 09:12:36 AM »

OI brings up an interesting point for any QLF operators reading this threat.  The two major problems straight key operators have is improperly adjusted keys and running characters together...in other words, improper spacing between characters and words.

Of a straight key is set with the contacts too far apart the resulting code sounds "choppy", i.e., the dahs sounding too much like dits.

FWIW, the key contacts should be adjusted to the thickness of a post card.  Yea, I know, this is determined by the individual operator..... but the "norm" is one post card thickness spacing. 

But, the bottom line to all of these comments is that those with crummy fists never recognize themselves as having crummy fists. 
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K9AIM
Member

Posts: 1047




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« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2013, 08:09:12 AM »


OK -- I may get flamed for this comment.  I believe that the popularity of SKCC and its restrictions that dictate using only straight keys and bugs have contributed to the rise of poor fists on the bands.  Paddles and keyers are bonafide sending devices also -- and enable not only cleaner code, but fists that are easily copied up to 30 WPM or more. 

That said, I am a member of SKCC and even have a nice Begali straight key and an old Vibroplex bug so I can play along with the SKCC folks.  But the vast majority of bad fists seem to hang around those n.050-55 MHz SKCC band segments.   

Just sayin'

73

I notice you said that the SKCC may contribute to the problem and that is fair as long as it isn't misconstrued as causing the problem. 
the way i see it, bad fists have 3 major causes:

1. newbie fist.  it takes practice to master any physical exercise and acquire the proper muscle memory for auto-pilot performance.
2. disability.  many disabilities can lead to trouble sending with proper timing.
3. unawareness.  one may be oblivious to how their keying sounds on the receiving end.  recording one's own fist can be of help.

since the SKCC club seeks to increase straight key use and appreciation, it would follow that it leads to an increase in newbie fists. And, the more op.s we have necessarily leads to an increase in all 3 categories (though it also leads to more good fists too).

if one encounters a fist one sees has a lot of opportunity for improvement, sending the other op. via email a recording of the conversation could help.   i think that would be informative rather than mean or unkind. (unfortunately i have not familiarity with an easy way to use my PC to record CW conversations).  Maybe someone out there can designate him or herself bad fist police and create an email account specifically to send recordings of cw QSO's to respective hams by using QRZ email addresses.  Shocked   it could be to both 'bad' and 'good' fists as an informational service  Grin

btw, most of the bad fists i personally have encountered have not been in the SKCC areas...

- - - - SKCC info follows - - - -

    Membership is free.

    SKCC is open to any interested licensed radio amateur.
    SKCC numbers are issued for life. Once you get it, it's yours.
    Exchange SKCC numbers using a straight key, bug, or side swiper

http://www.skccgroup.com/
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1716




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« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2013, 09:29:19 AM »

  Just two questions, who decided which one individual among those claiming top honors for the ultimate fist and perfect keying i.e. Koch, Farnsworth etc.. decided their method/spacing was best? Was it voted on by some particular group or just assumed because these individuals said so?
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N4OI
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2013, 09:41:50 AM »


OK -- I may get flamed for this comment.  I believe that the popularity of SKCC and its restrictions that dictate using only straight keys and bugs have contributed to the rise of poor fists on the bands.  Paddles and keyers are bonafide sending devices also -- and enable not only cleaner code, but fists that are easily copied up to 30 WPM or more. 

That said, I am a member of SKCC and even have a nice Begali straight key and an old Vibroplex bug so I can play along with the SKCC folks.  But the vast majority of bad fists seem to hang around those n.050-55 MHz SKCC band segments.   

Just sayin'

73

I notice you said that the SKCC may contribute to the problem and that is fair as long as it isn't misconstrued as causing the problem.  [...]     Exchange SKCC numbers using a straight key, bug, or side swiper

Certainly SKCC is not the sole cause of the problem.  In fact, That organization should get a huge shout out for putting vitality into the CW mode of the hobby.  My point is that by forbidding its members to use paddles and keyers, which I believe enable cleaner and faster sending, SKCC may be unintentionally contributing to a higher proportion of bad fists on the air.

Regardless, EVERYONE should jump in and work CW regardless of their skill, fist, speed, key, rig or any other challenge.   It's all FUN!

73
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WX2S
Member

Posts: 735




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« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2013, 09:54:56 AM »

Heard a guy sending  -.     -.     --     .-  (nnma) Huh    took me a while to figure out he was actually sending  -.-.  --.-   Undecided

No I did not work him!
NNGT is popular too.

Wx2s.
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2805




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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2013, 10:08:41 PM »

 Just two questions, who decided which one individual among those claiming top honors for the ultimate fist and perfect keying i.e. Koch, Farnsworth etc.. decided their method/spacing was best? Was it voted on by some particular group or just assumed because these individuals said so?

Koch, Farnsworth, et al, are methods of learning code.  Once you've learned the characters, both sending them and receiving them, your fist should sound like machine-sent code.  One dah is three times as long as one dit...you know the ratios between elements in a letter, spaces between letters in a word and between words in a sentence.

It's not a question of "best fists".  Ideally, all experienced operators will sound just alike.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KH2BR
Member

Posts: 103




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« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2013, 11:08:17 PM »

I have been following this thread every day with great interest and there has been a lot of outstanding advice.

I was very happy one day to receive a nice email from one contact thanking me for a great QSO.
This email was better then getting a EQSL or a paper qsl card because he included a short recording
of our QSO and I was able to tell how my signal was coming into his QTH and I was also pleased to hear my
own fist as he heard it.

If every one would take time to write a short email and thank the other op for the contact,
or even send a recording of the QSO and include a picture of the op and his shack, this would
add greatly to the hobby.

Robert KH2BR
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W5LZ
Member

Posts: 477




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« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2013, 04:06:57 PM »

In reference to the original question, my answer would be, yes, I would tell them there was a problem.  How can you correct anything if you don't know there's a problem?  I've been told that, and I really do appreciate knowing it.  I'm certainly not an 'authority' on CW but I know when it's not at least fair CW or not.
Naturally, how you are told your 'fist' stinks can make a difference!  Smiley  You know?
 - 'Paul
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N4DSP
Member

Posts: 153




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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2013, 05:38:26 PM »

Some fists are really really bad but it could be due to a disability. They could be using there foot
But I would be ashamed to ask. So would you dare tell the other op that there fist sucks really bad?
What kind of excuse would you use to bail out of a bad fist qso?
Would you hang in there and help him  get his fist working better.
What's the right thing to do?

That depends on you. Would you want someone to be honest with you?
There really is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is different. It's a
crap shoot.
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KC3JV
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2013, 04:58:14 PM »

Although I have an Extra Class License I was never very good at CW.  My wife was a typing teacher who tells me that CW is a SKILL ( just like typing) and not everyone will be good at it.  I barely passed the 13 WPM code test and upgraded to Extra Class when they dropped the 20 WPM Test for that class.  Despite repeated attempts I could never learn to copy behind.  My wife also taught Stenography and informed me that the best stenographers always copy behind.   

There are those of you who take to CW naturally and I envy you.  I cannot play an instrument by ear or sing on tune.   This is because I found out late in life that my brain doesn't function well in those areas.  This is probably because I have minimal brain damage.  So don't get on those of us that don't do CW.  For many of us that have tried it is just something we can't really do due to a disability.  We are not bad hams we just can't master the skill needed to be decent at CW.

Mark KC3JV
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K9AIM
Member

Posts: 1047




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« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2013, 06:57:43 PM »

Although I have an Extra Class License I was never very good at CW.  My wife was a typing teacher who tells me that CW is a SKILL ( just like typing) and not everyone will be good at it.  I barely passed the 13 WPM code test and upgraded to Extra Class when they dropped the 20 WPM Test for that class.  Despite repeated attempts I could never learn to copy behind.  My wife also taught Stenography and informed me that the best stenographers always copy behind.   


Passing the 13wpm for me was tough and I was only successful because I had been a Novice for 5 months and had many, many QSO's which developed my speed.  I now could pass the 20wpm, but only because of much experience copying real life QSO's and chasing DX...

Quote from: KC3JV
There are those of you who take to CW naturally and I envy you.  I cannot play an instrument by ear or sing on tune.   This is because I found out late in life that my brain doesn't function well in those areas.  This is probably because I have minimal brain damage.  So don't get on those of us that don't do CW.  For many of us that have tried it is just something we can't really do due to a disability.  We are not bad hams we just can't master the skill needed to be decent at CW.

Mark KC3JV

amen to the fact that not doing CW does not make one a bad ham (and nor does doing CW make one a good ham).  however, i think if you enjoyed it enough, then with repetition the skill would develop.  Not everyone is a natural at parallel parking, but if you live for a time somewhere that necessitates it -- your speed and ability will markedly improve with practice (and experience).  Obviously some have disabilities that may make it more of a challenge, but even there technology has brought some marvelous adaptive opportunity.

73
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