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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: F5FRM on April 15, 2013, 09:53:40 AM



Title: The average speed for CWing
Post by: F5FRM on April 15, 2013, 09:53:40 AM
Hi,

I have a simple question : what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ? ("RST, OP es QTH" QSOs, and DX pileups)

For DX pileups, I suppose the best is to read at 35-40wpm to get callsigns properly. But for an ordinary use, what speed is the mostly used ? I need to train as I do not practise for a while and, instead of using morserunner (fantastic software, btw), I prefer to improve my reading the right way to follow most of the common CW QSOs (i.e. learning most common CW words at the right speed without writing anything but the important info, such as name, QTH, rig and... callsign !).

Thanks in advance. 73. Nick


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K3STX on April 15, 2013, 10:39:28 AM
i think most QSOs are in the 20-30 wpm range. The faster is more like a "conversation", but if somebody can not send or receive at a fast speed there is NO conversation.

I do not think most contest QSOs are 40 wpm, that is too fast for most people.

paul


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WB2WIK on April 15, 2013, 10:47:52 AM
For contesting I use computer logging/duping so of course the computer also sends the code (although it can't copy any).  I set it for 40-45 wpm almost always for this purpose, and rely on "wet matter" for decoding.

But for casual QSOs, which I make almost every day, the "norm" seems to be 22-25 wpm.  If someone's going slower than this, what I usually do is keep my dit/dah speed at 22-25 wpm but just increase spacing between characters and words, doing that manually with the paddles.  So each character might be 22 wpm, but the actual "code speed" might be 10 or 13 or whatever the other guy's doing.  This doesn't seem to "lose" anybody, and it's easier for me.

If the other guy is obviously getting "solid copy" at my adjusted 13 wpm, I'll space the characters and words closer together to ramp it up to 16 or 18 and see what happens.  It's obvious is somebody's really copying well or not.

I notice that most who start each transmission with "R R R SOLID COPY" probably aren't really. ;)  I never send anything like that, and copy everyone 100% unless they take a big fade or QRM/noise burst takes them out.  I think it should be understood that we copy everything unless we ask for a repeat.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: AE4RV on April 15, 2013, 11:03:36 AM
I think the "average" speed for domestic QSOs is closer to 17 WPM (here in the USA, anyway). You'll hear some in the 20s and beyond, you'll occasionally hear some at 5 WPM, but the majority are between 14 and 20.

Most tests and DX are 30+ WPM but that doesn't mean you need to be proficient at prolonged copy at those speeds to work it. You just need to be able to copy callsigns at that speed, even if you have to listen a few times.

My comfort zone for QSO is maybe 18 or 20 WPM, maybe even slower if it is a long QSO, but thanks to RuffzXP I can copy call signs at 40 WPM. But, I get in to trouble fast if they want to chat that fast, which wasn't very often when I was active at it   :)

73, Geoff


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB2FCV on April 15, 2013, 12:05:37 PM
Dxing / Contesting I'm good for 30-35wpm. A casual QSO I'm at around 20.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: F5FRM on April 15, 2013, 12:07:38 PM
Thank you all for the info.

I just checked my level on LCWO. It seems that my reading speed is still approximatively the same but I lost a lot in endurance. I suppose that after listening and listening again QSOs on the air (or on youtube :D) I should be OK to restart working in CW.

73. Nick


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on April 16, 2013, 04:00:10 AM
The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W9KDX on April 16, 2013, 09:37:26 AM
... If someone's going slower than this, what I usually do is keep my dit/dah speed at 22-25 wpm but just increase spacing between characters and words, doing that manually with the paddles.  So each character might be 22 wpm, but the actual "code speed" might be 10 or 13 or whatever the other guy's doing.  This doesn't seem to "lose" anybody, and it's easier for me....

I am so grateful for people like you.  I am learning and I can hear the letters but I still need a bit of time to process before I am ready for the next one.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W8GP on April 16, 2013, 09:52:46 AM
For casual contacts I'm usually at 18 or so and for contesting and DXing about 25.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: F5FRM on April 16, 2013, 10:53:25 AM
The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.

So, it should be around 15wpm for "clear" QSO (with full words / sentences, no abbreviation and French caracters such as é, à, etc.), around 18-20wpm for international QSO (with most common abbreviations) when there are not too much fading / QRM, and also something around 25wpm for contesting / DXing. A DX CQing at 35wpm is OK, above, it becomes difficult !

But I need some weeks training, 3 years without practising, I lost not that much in speed copy, but a lot of my endurance. After a few minutes, my brain turns off...

Thank you all for reply !

73. Nick


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W1JKA on April 16, 2013, 12:41:05 PM
  As of today there are no rules or regulations as to copy/sending speeds, average or otherwise only personal opinions as posted above,the best of which is N0IU's.Start from where you are now then naturally progress,eventually you will top out at your speed at which time you can advise others in forums like this as to what you think is best.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on April 16, 2013, 12:42:16 PM
With all due respect, you are worrying too much about the speed. The only thing that is important is that you are sending and receiving at speeds that are comfortable for you. It does not matter what the "average" speed is.

When you call CQ, send only at the speed you can easily copy. A considerate operator will come back to you at the speed you were calling (or somewhere close to it) If someone comes back to you at a much faster speed, you can simply send QRS PSE which is telling the other station to please send more slowly. If they do not slow down, that is his problem, not yours. You called CQ at a specific speed and you should expect any station that responds to respect your wishes. If they do not respect your wishes, you are not obligated to talk to them. Simply call CQ again at YOUR speed and wait for someone to answer your CQ at YOUR speed.

Please do not spend a lot of time worrying about your speed. Your speed will increase over time as you add more CW QSO's to your log, I promise!


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: F5FRM on April 16, 2013, 02:06:14 PM
Thank you. Yes, I will try to stop worrying :) Always afraid to begin a QSO and then... the black out !

73 ! Nick



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: AC2EU on April 16, 2013, 03:10:57 PM
I send at 12 wpm. What you hear is what you get. Don't send faster than you can copy otherwise you will find yourself lost when they come back to you at "full speed". Most CW ops will slow down to accommodate my skill level. Only two have "pulled the plug" on me so far. It's all part of the learning experience. "You have nothing to fear but fear itself". (Hmmm, that's a catchy phrase...thought I could recycle it here).
CW , like mathematics is not a spectator sport. You have to "do it" to get good at it . Doing QSOs will keep your attention for sure...maybe even cause you to break out in a sweat?  ;D


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: AC4BB on April 18, 2013, 03:17:19 PM
 Your speed determines my speed. As fast or SLOOOOW as you wish.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W5LZ on April 20, 2013, 05:11:35 AM
CW speed is like reading speed, it varies according to what you may be reading and how much interest you have in it.  And naturally, endurance depends on need and experience.  If it's been a while since you've 'copied' CW then your endurance and average speed will be less than 'normal'.  That 'normal' speed changes and is absolutely 'normal' (if that makes sense).
It also depends on the other person's speed and ability.  I find that up to a certain point I try to match the person's speed that I'm listening to.  When that speed reaches a point where it's more 'work' than I'm willing to do, then I slow down.  It's all in how comfortable you are and in the 'need'.
I feel no need to set any sort of speed record and there's nothing wrong with not being 'fast'.  Enjoy what you are doing!
 - Paul


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: F5FRM on April 21, 2013, 06:01:59 AM
Thank you very much for interesting point of view !
Yes, I have not done a CW QSO for more than 3 years. I would have prefered to lose nothing, hi.
My goal is not QRQ or high speed, but just to feel confortable again at casual speeds and to avoid to ask "agn" or "QRS" too much time if it happens to me to be too much stressed. When I learned CW, I had the same fears. I trained my speed just because I was afraid that in the middle of a QSO, it happened to me to understand nothing more and just had to shut off the TRX or asked suddently to QRS-QRS. Another solution could be to use valium, hi !



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N6PG on May 20, 2013, 10:42:20 AM
CW , like mathematics is not a spectator sport. You have to "do it" to get good at it . Doing QSOs will keep your attention for sure...maybe even cause you to break out in a sweat?  ;D

So true! I had no hesitation at age 15 to get on the air. Now at 44 I get nervous and fall apart! I've found the "average" speed much faster than in the '80s. It used to be easy to just go to the novice bands. Anyway... I've determined to just do what I can and so be it. I really enjoy this... Although its been terribly expensive! The TS-590 comes today!

I really like the ARRL mp3 files the best.
73,
Scott N6PG


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KC9EE on June 20, 2013, 10:19:34 AM
I seem to have a lot of conversations on 40 and 20 meters in the upper 20wpm speed range. I actually make more mistakes sending if I slow down to 20 wpm.

I'm usually running qrp but still find myself in the lower part of the cw band segments. I had visions of being between 14.040 and 14.060 when running qrp but it seems that a lot of the qrp guys operate at slower cw speeds (10 to 17 wpm). At least that's my perception. I get bored pretty quick below 20 wpm. guess it just depends on what you get accustomed to.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N5RDE on June 20, 2013, 12:39:09 PM
If you are asking at what speed you can consider yourself generally proficient, I would say at around 25 wpm.  If you can send and receive easily at that speed, you've arrived.   Some will want to turn the speed issue into a competition, but that's their problem, not yours.  Nobody will be inconvenienced at 25 wpm.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AXW on June 20, 2013, 07:13:05 PM
My take on the original question is, "What do you think the average CW speed is"?  (Paraphrased)

This can only be answered by one's experiences operating CW.  In other words, as you tune the band(s) listening to CW QSOs, participating in QSOs, etc., what is the average speeds do you estimate being used.

To that end, I would give my guess to the average speed would be around 18-20WPM.

Closer to 20......



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: M0LEP on June 21, 2013, 12:25:51 AM
what is the average speeds do you estimate being used.

I'm no good at estimating speeds, but reversebeacon.net reports the speeds at which CQ calls are sent, and from watching that I'd say the average is more like 25-28 wpm.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N4OI on June 21, 2013, 04:37:08 AM
I seem to have a lot of conversations on 40 and 20 meters in the upper 20wpm speed range. I actually make more mistakes sending if I slow down to 20 wpm.

I keep my keyer set at 30wpm, which results in an RBN reported speed of 29-30wpm.  Interestingly, that speed can seem fast on some QSOs but painfully slow with others!  I tend to adjust my character and word spacing a bit for those slower QSOs and nearly all report easy copy.  If I am on the higher portion of the band (SKCC or FISTS), I will switch to my old Vibroplex bug that limits me to about 22wpm...   talk about a workout!   

Regardless, I find it's harder to stay focused and takes much more concentration to copy at the slower speeds in the lower 20wpm range...  27-33wpm is a breeze for all but the wierdest fists.

Bottom line -- CW is the best, Jerry, the BEST! (Seinfeld)

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  ;D


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: AD9DX on June 21, 2013, 04:33:40 PM
25wpm "sounds" best to my ears.  But I have no problems going faster.  Anything slower than 15wpm is difficult for me to copy. 


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K7NSW on June 28, 2013, 04:54:59 AM
F5FRM: depends on where you operate within a band.  Start at the top of a CW band and tune down.  Usually, the lower you go the faster the CW speed.  I am solid copy at 20 - 25 wpm but do not enjoy it.  There is stress waiting for you when you are running at the edge of your speed.  I don't care for that. On each band there is a freq used by the Straight Key Century Club folks.  I start there and set my speed at 13 wpm and am ready to slow it down if need be.  I call CQ.  I meet many interesting people at the slower speeds.  Many, probably most, of the QRP ops I talk to are definitely not going 20+ wpm - far from it.  Most of them are using straight keys on their home brew rigs.  I have been surprised how often I find myself getting called by DX when I am casually QSOing at medium speed high up the band.  The op usually calls me at a slow speed, gets my Idaho QSO because he/she needs it, and then disappears before a pile-up starts.  Quite frankly I think there is wisdom in the biblical caution that says "Pride cometh before the fall".  I get guys answering my CQ and the CQ of others at speeds much higher than we are running and refuse to slow down when we answer.  I have long felt that there are ops who lead with ther pride and ego.  Yes, I am aware it is often hard to copy at slower speeds.  When I work ops at 10 wpm or slower (usually new guys) I often find myself falling asleep at the key.  Oh well! - that is the price we pay when we accomodate others instead of forcing them to play the game under our personal rules. This is my "two cents worth".


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: ZL1BBW on June 29, 2013, 12:09:32 AM
There is nothing more stressful than a cw op running at a higher speed than they can, there is nothing more pleasant than cw that reads itself.

Many of the signals I hear fall into the former, all to few into the latter.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K3FHP on June 30, 2013, 12:08:05 PM
Why is 25-35wpm that must be repeated 2-3 times better communications than 18-20wpm sent once?


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: AK4YH on June 30, 2013, 10:35:51 PM
Hello,

I do fine at 15wpm, right at the edge of head-copy speed. I'd like to get up to 20. Since I don't do contests, speed is not a major concern of mine right now.. Head-copy is more important, and that's after 15wpm. Just for when you can't find a pen or while camping...

Gil.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: VE2ENB on January 05, 2014, 05:03:12 AM
Here I reply to the speed I hear.
I am a QRQ opr and normally call at 30/35 wpm( can work ut to 60 in French)  but if the reply is 20, well I lower the speed to 20.
Problems are when you have a good paddle (Begali) not to mention, set for QRQ, you can make a few errors at slow speeds because the paddle too soft..
It is like running a Lamborgini at 20 MPH HI.
But I enjoy all the QSOs and have fun.
Sometimes the other can work QRQ to my pleasure.

Have fun and make nice music.

73 Gil VE2ENB


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 05, 2014, 05:16:17 AM
"You have nothing to fear but fear itself". (Hmmm, that's a catchy phrase...thought I could recycle it here).

Samuel Morse had a mansion at Poughkeepsie in upstate New York, not far from the mansion of Franklin D. Roosevelt! But Morse died in 1872, so he would not have met Roosevelt (who was born in 1882) or heard the president's famous speech! I have relatives in Poughkeepsie and next time I visit, I'll make sure to visit the Morse mansion: apparently it contains a replica of his original Morse apparatus.

This is a great thread. I don't see an obvious "consensus" reply to the OP's issue.

I started my latest attempt at learning CW in November and feel like it won't be long before I'm on the air. I am going for a top initial reading proficiency of 20wpm but probably won't want to send faster than 15wpm. This decision was based primarily on monitoring the bands and realizing that the average QSO appears to be a lot faster than it was last time I dabbled in ham radio, 40 years ago. (But perhaps I am imagining things.)

The other issue is that, at speeds below about 20wpm, I find myself resorting to that dreaded "lookup table in my head" rather than just reacting to the unique sound of each element. That's a good reason to start your learning at a relatively fast speed, if you haven't started yet. OTOH I have almost no experience compared to a lot of you ... time will tell whether I'm doing it the right way, for me.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY





Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WX2S on January 05, 2014, 05:19:40 AM
A year ago 20 WPM was tough. Now it's easy and I'm working on getting comfortable at 25. Can copy 30 and upwards for short bursts.

QRM and QSB always reduce the speed that I can comfortably copy.

I can also copy some fists better than others. If the sender doesn't have a good rhythm, it's tougher.

And I make some silly mistakes, more often than I'd like. Like D for W, etc.

Wx2s.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NO2A on January 05, 2014, 07:10:28 PM
The other day I was working some dx. One station was having a hard time getting my call correct,so I sent it very slowly,thinking it would help. To my surprise he came back with "Please QRQ." Well,that was a first! So I did send faster,then he got it right. The irony was funny,though!


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: REMOVED_ACCOUNT_2015-01-09 on January 05, 2014, 08:25:16 PM
22 wpm is a good conversational speed.


Hi,

I have a simple question : what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ? ("RST, OP es QTH" QSOs, and DX pileups)

For DX pileups, I suppose the best is to read at 35-40wpm to get callsigns properly. But for an ordinary use, what speed is the mostly used ? I need to train as I do not practise for a while and, instead of using morserunner (fantastic software, btw), I prefer to improve my reading the right way to follow most of the common CW QSOs (i.e. learning most common CW words at the right speed without writing anything but the important info, such as name, QTH, rig and... callsign !).

Thanks in advance. 73. Nick


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: GW3OQK on January 06, 2014, 02:09:39 AM
I use 22 too.

And I try to send error free morse.  The more mistakes made, the more repeats, the slower becomes the speed of communications. 

When I answer someone who is sending faster than me I do not want him to QRS for I would not have answered if I could not read it. Same if a slow station calls me, I dont QRS unless asked. 

Andrew


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AXW on January 06, 2014, 08:12:00 AM
Quote
what speed is necessary for an ordinary CW use ?

I've held off commenting on this question for a long time and should really move on but I just can't.

What kind of question is this?  What ever happened to learning the code, getting on the air and finding a contact that operates at YOUR speed?  What ever happened to making more and more contacts to let your speed increase naturally? 

There IS NO ORDINARY SPEED for CW use!  It doesn't exist!  What is ORDINARY for you probably isn't ORDINARY for me.  Extrapolate this to infinity and you'll understand this.

Now if you want to know the AVERAGE speed then that would be different.  I'm sure if a poll was taken an AVERAGE speed could be determined.  But even that is fluid.

Then we come back to the original question.  What speed is necessary for average CW?  The only speed NECESSARY is the speed required for you to make that particular contact.

Talk about over-thinking something!  Daymn!!

Al - K8AXW


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on January 06, 2014, 08:27:13 AM
I've held off commenting on this question for a long time and should really move on but I just can't.
Al - K8AXW

I couldn't wait that long!

I made pretty much the same comment the day after he asked the question:

The best speed for CW is the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W1JKA on January 06, 2014, 09:32:25 AM
Re: N0IU

" the speed at which you can most comfortably send and copy"

Just averaged out all my contacts for last 3 years and that's the speed I came up with also.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WA9CFK on January 06, 2014, 01:09:17 PM
I think anyone who can hand copy 20 + wpm code is exceptional. I hang on till about 10- 12 wpm but my writing is terrible. I suspect most begin to copy in their head or on a keyboard.

Since my objective is a casual chat, I really do not worry about speed, those who want to slow down will and those that won’t move on to someone at the speed they like.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AXW on January 06, 2014, 05:26:42 PM
IU:  While your answer was very good I felt that it didn't cover the specific question.  What I hoped to address is why some want to make a big hairy deal out of nothing.... or something that shouldn't even be considered.

I got the distinct impression the OP wanted to get his code speed to an accepted "ordinary" speed before getting his feet wet.  This is silly!  The name of the game is to be able to copy at any speed and get in the game and have at it. 

Just think of all the fun he's missing!

Al - K8AXW


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 07, 2014, 03:33:34 AM
I got the distinct impression the OP wanted to get his code speed to an accepted "ordinary" speed before getting his feet wet.  This is silly!  The name of the game is to be able to copy at any speed and get in the game and have at it.  

Just think of all the fun he's missing!

Al - K8AXW

Al, that's a view I've seen expressed frequently. Now, I'm a total beginner here, in the middle of my code-learning journey. So I feel a bit presumptious, but I will say: in my opinion the answer to the OP's question is: "It depends."

If you hew to the "new fangled" Koch method, the answer to the question is very clear: no slower than 12wpm or even 15wpm. That of course doesn't preclude going QRS in answering someone who's going slower.

If on the other hand you tend toward the "tried and trusted" older code-learning methods, then your (K8AXW's) answer (i.e., that there is no such thing as an "optimum speed") is the correct one.

This is not "over-thinking." Code learning, especially when done in middle age, is quite a major undertaking and "thinking about it" seems like a good idea to me!

I will add one more thing. I have been monitoring the bands a lot over the past few weeks. Few QSOs are slower than 12wpm. I am not sure about this, but I suspect that with the demise of the code requirement and the Novice license and sub-bands, the environment for slow code is less well-developed than it used to be. Of course I am hearing quite a lot of slow code, and a lot of Elmering of slow-coders, but it is still a small minority of the code I hear on the air. Was it like that in the Olden Days? You would know far better than I.

See my separate thread, "Scientific Evidence on Morse Learning."


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: M0LEP on January 07, 2014, 04:08:26 AM
I will add one more thing. I have been monitoring the bands a lot over the past few weeks. Few QSOs are slower than 12wpm. I am not sure about this, but I suspect that with the demise of the code requirement and the Novice license and sub-bands, the environment for slow code is less well-developed than it used to be. Of course I am hearing quite a lot of slow code, and a lot of Elmering of slow-coders, but it is still a small minority of the code I hear on the air. Was it like that in the Olden Days? You would know far better than I.

I suspect you could get quite a good idea of the prevalence (or otherwise) of slow code by analysing data from reversebeacon.net, but it might need a fair bit of data reduction. My "wet finger in the air" guestimate is that less than 10% of the Morse on the air is under 20wpm.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 07, 2014, 04:18:14 AM
I suspect you could get quite a good idea of the prevalence (or otherwise) of slow code by analysing data from reversebeacon.net, but it might need a fair bit of data reduction. My "wet finger in the air" guestimate is that less than 10% of the Morse on the air is under 20wpm.

Precisely. So here's my question for the OTs: if given the choice between
(a) spending a few months learning the code to a decent speed (15wpm to 20wpm) and then going on the air at that speed, or not much lower than that speed; or
(b) "just getting on the air" and then scrambling around to find equally slow/novice-fist hams:

What is a modern-day ham to do? Yes, I know that in the Olden Days you would find plenty of other Novice slow-coders and have a lot of fun, but that does seem to be a lot harder these days. On the other hand my receiver is a primitive homebrew thingy, so perhaps I'm just not hearing all those slow-coders out there....

And, yes, I realize that any civilized OT will QRS when in a QSO with a slow-coder. But why should us new code ops start out with the handicap? Doesn't it make sense to target a speed that more closely matches the vast majority of the QSOs on the air, even if it takes a few months longer to learn?

Plus, I'm not even mentioning the OTs who won't QSO with slow-coders. I know that they exist, because I've seen them admit to it -- and in some ways I don't blame them. I find slow code (below about 10wpm) extremely difficult to copy, and I'm just a beginner.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AXW on January 07, 2014, 06:38:41 AM
WSY:  You point out some very good observations and have some very good opinions on CW operating.

I'd like to re-emphasize a few things.  A new CW OP might feel more comfortable jumping into the fray and a "ordinary" speed.  No doubt.

However, "back in the old days," you will recall from what you read, the Novice test included a 5 WPM speed test.  The norm in those days was for the OP to get his Novice ticket and get on the air ASAP.  Of course with the Novice class of license there were many more 5 WPM operators than there are now. 

However, there are many slow code operators that hang out on specific frequencies.  To wait until you exceed the speed of these existing slow coders your losing out on a great deal of fun, not only in making contacts but also practicing procedure and enjoying the unconscious and automatic tendency to increase your speed.

Kock recommends 12 WPM.  That's reasonable for a flowing contact.  However, it isn't necessary to MAKE a contact.  While I have to jerk my memory back 57 years I do recall hearing many QSOs at a much slower speed than 12 WPM. 

I do think many are "over-thinking" this CW thing.  Are you sure that you're not just making excuses to stay off the air out of "mike fright?"  If you know the code, get on the air!  QRP operators quite often work hard to make contacts, or contacts that they are particularly interested in.  So why don't you work hard(er) to make contacts with someone that is at your speed?  The side benefit of this that you will be helping TWO people!

Code and swimming are similar in that once you find out that you're not going to drown, the process of becoming a better swimmer gets easier each and every day.  If nothing else the "nerves" portion of a wireless contact diminishes.

Get on the air!

73

Al - K8AXW


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 07, 2014, 07:01:07 AM
Are you sure that you're not just making excuses to stay off the air out of "mike fright?"  If you know the code, get on the air!  QRP operators quite often work hard to make contacts, or contacts that they are particularly interested in.  So why don't you work hard(er) to make contacts with someone that is at your speed?  The side benefit of this that you will be helping TWO people!

Nope, that's not it. I don't really care how awful my skills may be. I long ago pretty much stopped caring what other people think of me! Plus, I happen to think that, in the sections of the code I've learned so far, my skills aren't so bad -- and this is confirmed both by the "continual assessment" that is inherent in the Koch method, and also by my ability to copy fragmentary QSOs through heavy QRM and QSB.

But because I'm using the Koch method, I don't "know the code." I only know just over half of it (my score is only firm on 23 elements out of about 40; I tried to "rush ahead" to 33 elements but was beaten back to 23 because I rushed things too much). That's just the way his method works. As I explain in the other thread, this constant drumbeat of advice to "just get on the air" completely defeats the purpose of the Koch method. "Just get on the air" is deeply incompatible with the Koch method. It's as simple as that.

Now, could I ignore this fact and "just get on the air"? It's not physically impossible. I could build my transmitter, erect my antenna and just plunge in. But with only half the characters learned, it's hard to see what on Earth the purpose would be. What am I supposed to do, ask the other OP to please use only half the letters of the alphabet and only the numbers "zero" and "five"????

I totally understand why you, and so many others, are keeping up this drumbeat of "just get on the air." It has worked for you, and for hundreds of thousands of other hams, especially back in the slow-code Golden Era when everyone went through the Novice 5wpm apprenticeship. Indeed, it would work today, if I employed the older code-learning methods. But I've now invested 2.5 months of my own time in doing it the Koch way, so I'm committed so seeing it through.

I would urge anyone who still thinks I should "just get on the air" to do a little bit of research about the Koch method. In many respects, it is the opposite of the way Morse code used to be taught. Is it the best method? I honestly don't know, but I had to start somewhere, and much of the "modern" advice is to use Koch.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AXW on January 07, 2014, 07:21:22 PM
Martin, perhaps it's time to dump the Koch method?  It looks as if it's letting you step forward two steps and jerking you back at least one step.  Any kind of process like this, to me, is questionable. 

However, if you insist on staying with Koch  fine.  I wish you the best.  Only you can determine what is best for you.

The rest of us can offer only what we've learned. 

73


Al - K8AXW


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 07, 2014, 07:25:16 PM
Martin, perhaps it's time to dump the Koch method?  It looks as if it's letting you step forward two steps and jerking you back at least one step.  Any kind of process like this, to me, is questionable. 

However, if you insist on staying with Koch  fine.  I wish you the best.  Only you can determine what is best for you.

The rest of us can offer only what we've learned. 

73


Al - K8AXW

And I thank you very much for it. I'm sticking with Koch for the time being ... we'll see how it goes.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W7UUU on January 15, 2014, 10:05:18 AM

[/quote]

And I thank you very much for it. I'm sticking with Koch for the time being ... we'll see how it goes.
[/quote]

Hey there Martin!

Good luck in your continuing CW pursuits.  I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).  For contesting, it just depends
on the contest.  If a detailed exchange is required (S/N mostly) I keep it to about 30 WPM.  But for
easier exchanges (callsign + 599) I easily run up around 40 with no issues.

Dave
W7UUU


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 15, 2014, 10:58:08 AM
Quote
  I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).

Interesting to hear that you don't like standard spacing either within your characters or between characters!  Lots of luck in finding people to talk with.
73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 15, 2014, 03:34:07 PM
Quote
 I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).

Interesting to hear that you don't like standard spacing either within your characters or between characters!  Lots of luck in finding people to talk with.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

For what it's worth, in my sending practice as a Morse newbie (on a straight key) I find it very hard to get even close to 3:1. It's either way above, or way below, and it varies within characters. If the character ends with a dah, I tend to make that dah much longer than the others (I've been analyzing it with software that gives a graphical picture).

I'm in the process of setting up a system where I can hear "perfect code" in one ear of my headphones, and have the code oscillator in the other ear. I'll try to "emulate" that "perfect code."

73 de Martin, KB1WSY



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W7UUU on January 15, 2014, 08:46:16 PM
Quote
  I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).

Interesting to hear that you don't like standard spacing either within your characters or between characters!  Lots of luck in finding people to talk with.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

Huh??? are you saying 4:1 you can't copy, and criticizing ME?  WOW.

Been doing CW at 22-30 WPM for forty years.  I have more QSOs in CW in my log
than any other mode.

Don't be rude.  You know NOTHING about me.

Dave
W7UUU


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 16, 2014, 04:08:16 AM
Quote
 I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).

Interesting to hear that you don't like standard spacing either within your characters or between characters!  Lots of luck in finding people to talk with.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

For what it's worth, in my sending practice as a Morse newbie (on a straight key) I find it very hard to get even close to 3:1. It's either way above, or way below, and it varies within characters. If the character ends with a dah, I tend to make that dah much longer than the others (I've been analyzing it with software that gives a graphical picture).

I'm in the process of setting up a system where I can hear "perfect code" in one ear of my headphones, and have the code oscillator in the other ear. I'll try to "emulate" that "perfect code."

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Your efforts to send "perfect" code using the straight key are commendable, and it sounds like you have found a clever way to practice this.
73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 16, 2014, 04:21:39 AM
Quote
  I ragchew around 22, with Farnsworth spacing (my keyers
are all set for a 4:1 ratio instead of 3:1, which I pretty much hate!).

Interesting to hear that you don't like standard spacing either within your characters or between characters!  Lots of luck in finding people to talk with.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

Huh??? are you saying 4:1 you can't copy, and criticizing ME?  WOW.

Been doing CW at 22-30 WPM for forty years.  I have more QSOs in CW in my log
than any other mode.

Don't be rude.  You know NOTHING about me.

Dave
W7UUU
No, I can copy just about anything that people want to send as code.  If what you mean by Farnsworth are code characters sent at a certain speed, with long pauses between characters, then I find that excruciating to listen to.  I understand that many people learn code that way, but it doesn't sound good on the air.

Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 16, 2014, 04:31:11 AM
Your efforts to send "perfect" code using the straight key are commendable, and it sounds like you have found a clever way to practice this.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

This technique is described in Chapter 9 of "The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy":

It is, of course, impossible to send absolutely perfect code [using a straight key] ... but we should learn to imitate perfect sending as best we can. If you have an instructor, he should demonstrate quality sending for you.... Another way, which can be used without a teacher, is to use split headphones: one phone carries the recorded code signals, while the other phone lets the student hear his own sending using an oscillator as he reads from a printed copy of the recorded text. He endeavors to send in unison, and can compare his own sending with that of the recording.

I haven't set it up yet, but it's an easy rewiring job that won't take more than a few minutes.

I find that sending is deceptively "easy" to learn especially if you are doing it on your own. But when I then use software to analyze my timing and the dit/dah ratio, it's pretty awful. It's not worse than some of what I hear on the air. But I've found that "sloppy code" on the air is difficult to copy, at least for a beginner like me. As I've said before, I find well-sent faster code easier to copy than badly sent slower code.

Once again, I hesitate to criticize ops who are way ahead of me: they learned the whole code and got on the air! But, for instance, a few days ago I heard someone who made almost no differentiation in length between dits and dahs. Totally unreadable. The sending speed was slow, but it was the bad ratio that made it unreadable.

One of my problems with sending, at the moment, according to the software, is that my dahs are uneven: for instance dah-di-DAAAAH-dit, dah-dah-di-DAAAAH. Isn't that also how some other people actually send it, or is my "ear" deceiving me?

As for Farnsworth spacing: more experienced ops would be more authoritative than me on this subject, but if I'm not mistaken, it's used on the air (at least in a subtle manner, slightly exaggerating the inter-character and inter-word spacing) by a fair number of ops. The other day I had an email exchange with a very experienced CW op who told me that he has a sked with a friend in which they both set their keyers for 30wpm but actually send at more like 25wpm. I don't know much about keyers, but that sounds like Farnsworth spacing to me. If both parties in a QSO are happy with it, I don't see how it can do any "harm"! It's ham radio, not commercial telegraphy!

I do, however, think that *learning* with Farnsworth spacing (which is a good learning technique initially) is likely to "contaminate" your sending later, unless you make efforts to counteract this effect. I'm hoping that the above-mentioned "dual headphone" setup will help me with that. Another thing you can do is gradually eliminate Farnsworth spacing even as you complete a Morse-learning course. I'm in the process of doing that right now: I have deliberately reduced the Farnsworth spacing from a 15:20 combination to a 17:20 combination, on the way to something like 18:18 by the time I get on the air.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W4KYR on January 16, 2014, 04:43:37 AM
Your efforts to send "perfect" code using the straight key are commendable, and it sounds like you have found a clever way to practice this.
73,
Chuck  NI0C

This technique is described in Chapter 9 of "The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy":

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


The "The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy" is a FREE download at

http://www.tasrt.ca/TASRTVersions/TASRT.pdf


"The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy
A Manual For Learning,Using,Mastering And Enjoying The International Morse Code As A Means
Of Communication William G. Pierpont NØHFF “What Hath God Wrought!” Third Revised Edition
July 6, 2ØØ1 Copyright © 2ØØ1 William G. Pierpont,NØHFF"




Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on January 16, 2014, 04:54:09 AM
Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

So if there is only one proper way to send Morse code, why do keyers have adjustments?

Maybe you can tell me who to vote for in the next election. Heaven forbid I should express my own individuality!


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 16, 2014, 05:19:40 AM
Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

So if there is only one proper way to send Morse code, why do keyers have adjustments?

Maybe you can tell me who to vote for in the next election. Heaven forbid I should express my own individuality!
I prefer to express my individuality in other ways (such as by what I actually have to say in a conversation).  Setting one's keyer up to send goofy code is another way, I suppose. 


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 16, 2014, 06:47:17 AM
Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

So if there is only one proper way to send Morse code, why do keyers have adjustments?

Maybe you can tell me who to vote for in the next election. Heaven forbid I should express my own individuality!

Keys are adjustable, because your transmitter may shorten  the timing of your signals. The first dit or dash may be shortened due to mechanical relays and also the length of next dashes and dots with another timing error. With an adjustable keyer it is possible to compensate for that. Such that in the air your sigs are perfect timed.

Furthermore adustments are possible about the timing of dot and dash memory. But that does not distort your signal, mistiming may lead to a missing or additional undesired element.

Transmitting with distorted signals is not only to express your personality, but also to make sure human beings can copy you by brain and no code hams with some  decoder can't. Just like about some websites you have to read and type over some distorted characters in order to prove you are human and not some spam robot.

Furthermore are very weak signals better to copy with heavy weighting, so adjestments have more sense than the arbritrarily supposed expressing of personality.



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on January 16, 2014, 07:41:56 AM
I understand the reasons for making adjustments to one's keyer, but according to Chuck, adjusting your keyer in a manner which is not agreeable to his ear is not permitted because it is "goofy".


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W1JKA on January 16, 2014, 08:17:08 AM
  I always get a chuckle out of listening to a QSO when both parties are sending perfect code (to me) obviously with some type of keyer at about 25 wpm and during every exchange they are asking each other to repeat something.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 16, 2014, 08:33:54 AM
Strange is the fact that we all learn in school reading and writing. The difficult part is reading hand written text, especially a birthday card from some old aunt, written in long hand, because her life experience has matured her writing slowly to something you immediately recognize as her hand.

So we have printing for mass distribution, no distortion by aging and handwork whatever.

Although in this PComputer there is a large number of fonts available. Is it to express your own personality? May be, you also can look at a page of typed out text, with some graphic work, like photo's and drawings, and it just makes a good and nice impression or just not when you take a glance over it. Then you can change the font, in order to get a product that you like more.

May be it is possibly not to impress other people or to express your personality, but just because you like your own product more with another font.

May be that is another way at looking to deliberately off timing of Morse signals?

A lot of people like sideswiper code more than straight key produced code. Is it due to the off-timing?

When we look at music the timing is factors of 2,      1-0.5-0,25-0,125 NOT 1:3.
So music that is created to suit your ears and mind, is NOT 1:3.

May be that a couple of persons deliberately shape the code more music like to a 1:4 ratio?
That makes the code really more music then it is actually often said to be.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 16, 2014, 08:50:36 AM
When we look at music the timing is factors of 2,      1-0.5-0,25-0,125 NOT 1:3.
So music that is created to suit your ears and mind, is NOT 1:3.

May be that a couple of persons deliberately shape the code more music like to a 1:4 ratio?
That makes the code really more music then it is actually often said to be.

Well, it can be either binary or ternary. A waltz is in 3/4 ...

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 17, 2014, 09:14:41 AM
I understand the reasons for making adjustments to one's keyer, but according to Chuck, adjusting your keyer in a manner which is not agreeable to his ear is not permitted because it is "goofy".
This is a complete distortion of my opinion.  Morse code was invented long before I was given ears to hear it, and there are agreed upon standards for how it should be formed. According to an earlier quote from Pierpont (N0HFF):

"It is, of course, impossible to send absolutely perfect code [using a straight key] ... but we should learn to imitate perfect sending as best we can. If you have an instructor, he should demonstrate quality sending for you".   

I'll leave it to those who disagree with how Morse code should be transmitted to make their case.  Meanwhile, I'll do my best to stick to the standards as I was taught over 50 years ago.   
73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on January 18, 2014, 05:09:02 AM
I understand the reasons for making adjustments to one's keyer, but according to Chuck, adjusting your keyer in a manner which is not agreeable to his ear is not permitted because it is "goofy".
This is a complete distortion of my opinion.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

How so? It seems to be a fairly accurate reflection of your opinion!

You said:

No, I can copy just about anything that people want to send as code.  If what you mean by Farnsworth are code characters sent at a certain speed, with long pauses between characters, then I find that excruciating to listen to.  I understand that many people learn code that way, but it doesn't sound good on the air.

Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

You learned Morse code 50+ years ago and have been using it that way ever since and I am sure you are quite adept at it. But Chuck, this is a hobby. It is not the military or some other commercial application of Morse code. There are people at all skill levels in amateur radio today and we should be happy they are using Morse code at all!

If I were one of these newer ops reading your posts, I would be scared to death to work you in fear that you would be hyper-critical of my sending abilities. I have only been doing this for slightly over 21 years, but my fist still may not be good enough for you. You are not in my log, but that's OK since I have thousands of other CW contacts in my log to make up for it.

I remember when I first got into amateur radio, I never had a problem find someone to work at my speed and would tolerate my erratic timing and spacing and I am grateful for their help. This is what newcomers need, not someone telling them there is only one way to transmit Morse code and any other way is unacceptable.



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on January 18, 2014, 05:49:11 AM
I understand the reasons for making adjustments to one's keyer, but according to Chuck, adjusting your keyer in a manner which is not agreeable to his ear is not permitted because it is "goofy".
This is a complete distortion of my opinion.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

How so? It seems to be a fairly accurate reflection of your opinion!

You said:

No, I can copy just about anything that people want to send as code.  If what you mean by Farnsworth are code characters sent at a certain speed, with long pauses between characters, then I find that excruciating to listen to.  I understand that many people learn code that way, but it doesn't sound good on the air.

Additionally, setting up an electronic keyer with a non-standard ratio of dash to dot may help you achieve a desire to be non-conformist, but I'd suggest that Morse code timing is not the best place to express your individuality.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

You learned Morse code 50+ years ago and have been using it that way ever since and I am sure you are quite adept at it. But Chuck, this is a hobby. It is not the military or some other commercial application of Morse code. There are people at all skill levels in amateur radio today and we should be happy they are using Morse code at all!

If I were one of these newer ops reading your posts, I would be scared to death to work you in fear that you would be hyper-critical of my sending abilities. I have only been doing this for slightly over 21 years, but my fist still may not be good enough for you. You are not in my log, but that's OK since I have thousands of other CW contacts in my log to make up for it.

I remember when I first got into amateur radio, I never had a problem find someone to work at my speed and would tolerate my erratic timing and spacing and I am grateful for their help. This is what newcomers need, not someone telling them there is only one way to transmit Morse code and any other way is unacceptable.


Again, you have distorted and extrapolated my remarks.  I was only critical of those who, having their own idea of what Morse code should sound like, setup their keyers improperly.  I have no problem with bad fists, mistakes, etc. 


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 18, 2014, 06:23:39 AM
OK gentlemen, in order to decide for yourself about the possibly severe distorted signals of N0IU I
made an mp3 file with "the quick brown fox..."  with dashlength and letterspacing 4 times the dot time
starting with 5 wpm and ending with 80 wpm. So decide for yourself.

May be I made an error in this quick not debugged design , please check the timing with an audio program like audacity

http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/test.mp3

73 PA0WV 30

EDIT: the mentioned speeds are based on the dotlength, the streched dashes will make the mentioned speeds lower.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W1JKA on January 18, 2014, 07:23:13 AM
  Since the OP Topic question was quickly and correctly answered in Reply #6 (N0IU) and since  moot, the Topic has now drifted over to the proper character spacing/time interval between issue of which is defined by many hams as being what ever prescribed method or type of schooling was involved in his learning CW. Fact is there is no one common proper Fist or spacing interval. As for straight key, amateur and professional CW ops have no common fist and spacing alike, for the professional this is accepted since many operators can instantly identify many others by variations in their (non perfect) fist alone long before station identification (ship R/Os ?). For amateurs most will admit that the best way to learning and copying on air CW is by listening and working the wide variations on non perfect CW (it all averages out in time). Now for the Keyer boys, what is a keyer other than a device used to send the operators definition of whatever He thinks consistant proper spacing etc. is. As we have all heard at one time or another a ham with keyer can be just as disastrous as an OT novice first time out with a straight key. So weather sk or keyer get on the air have fun and 98% of your contacts will copy your imperfect spacing while the rest are still in search of the Holy Grail of proper spacing, fist etc.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 18, 2014, 11:48:43 AM
OK gentlemen, in order to decide for yourself about the possibly severe distorted signals of N0IU I
made an mp3 file with "the quick brown fox..."  with dashlength and letterspacing 4 times the dot time
starting with 5 wpm and ending with 80 wpm. So decide for yourself.

Listening to your example, I find it slightly harder to copy than the "normal" 1:3 ratio I've been learning with. The added difficulty is minor. When I'm more experienced with CW, it's likely that I'd have no trouble with it at all.

I have far bigger problems in copying ops who have irregular sending (varying dah-lengths and varying speeds), or whose dits and dahs are too similar in length.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 18, 2014, 01:57:33 PM
OK gentlemen, in order to decide for yourself about the possibly severe distorted signals of N0IU I
made an mp3 file with "the quick brown fox..."  with dashlength and letterspacing 4 times the dot time
starting with 5 wpm and ending with 80 wpm. So decide for yourself.

Listening to your example, I find it slightly harder to copy than the "normal" 1:3 ratio I've been learning with. The added difficulty is minor. When I'm more experienced with CW, it's likely that I'd have no trouble with it at all.

I have far bigger problems in copying ops who have irregular sending (varying dah-lengths and varying speeds), or whose dits and dahs are too similar in length.

Tks QSL
With the G4FON software you can add noise . bad fist, chirp QSB and QRM. Chirp you will hardly hear anymore on the bands,
That was more with a 813 tube as oscillator and final in a one tube transmitter.

You know Morse Machine? It generates characters and when typed in the next one or a repetition when wrong.
PA0WV 30


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: M0LEP on January 19, 2014, 01:08:13 AM
With the G4FON software you can add noise . bad fist, chirp QSB and QRM. Chirp you will hardly hear anymore on the bands,
That was more with a 813 tube as oscillator and final in a one tube transmitter.

It's a pity that kind of adjustability isn't present in most of the other Morse training programs. I find it  much easier on the ear when the tone isn't a pure computer-generated one.

You can still hear chirpy signals at times, usually (at least here) from stations in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 19, 2014, 01:56:20 AM
You can still hear chirpy signals at times, usually (at least here) from stations in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

My regenerative receiver adds chirp of its own! If the signal is strong, it "pulls" the oscillating detector, producing a quaint and fairly extreme chirp! Good copy practice for me! (I think this can be solved if I add a one-transistor RF isolation stage in front of the detector.)

With the G4FON software you can add noise . bad fist, chirp QSB and QRM.

I really like G4FON. The only problem I'm having with it is that it is relatively inflexible in setting speeds. For instance there is no intermediate character transmission speed between 15wpm and 20wpm. I would have liked having 17wpm or 18wpm for instance. I'm using a 20+17 setting right now, and I would have liked to eventually switch to 17+17 or 18+18 to eliminate the Farnsworth spacing. But the only two choices I have seem to be either 15+15 or 20+20. The former is too slow, the latter is too fast, in my current learning stage. So when I finish learning the entire character set, I will probably stop using G4FON and switch to a program that has finer-grained speed settings.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: M0LEP on January 19, 2014, 03:08:10 AM
I really like G4FON. The only problem I'm having with it is that it is relatively inflexible in setting speeds.

Yeah, the inflexibility was one of the reasons I gave up with it. The other was that it didn't really get on with WINE on linux or MacOS, and tended to hang at random (probably a WINE issue, though, as JLMC did similar things)...


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB1WSY on January 19, 2014, 03:39:37 AM
I really like G4FON. The only problem I'm having with it is that it is relatively inflexible in setting speeds.

Yeah, the inflexibility was one of the reasons I gave up with it. The other was that it didn't really get on with WINE on linux or MacOS, and tended to hang at random (probably a WINE issue, though, as JLMC did similar things)...

Rick, remind me, what did you switch to? Or perhaps you dumped Koch altogether, I can't remember ... I can't remember much at all, nowadays!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: M0LEP on January 19, 2014, 10:12:17 AM
Rick, remind me, what did you switch to? Or perhaps you dumped Koch altogether, I can't remember ... I can't remember much at all, nowadays!

I dumped Kock altogether, and just tried learning the whole character set in one go. However, programs are handy for exercises. I fell back on lcwo.net, which is the only cross-platform option that actually works on all the systems I use. At present I'm using its word and callsign training options.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 19, 2014, 12:26:28 PM
While it is difficult to avoid the learning "style wars" my philosophy is one that nature seems to prefer.
Take the lowest energy route, and improve on it until you reach an equilibrium point.

So taking a sword to all the trendy training methods and getting down to the basics it is ridiculously simple.

...

Take any morse sending program which gives you a speaker output option (CWtype for example).
Adjust the speed to just a bit more than you can read comfortably.
Then cut and paste in your text and listen...listen... and when you are done ... listen more.

When you are comfortable at that speed, increase the speed by 1 to 2 wpm - you won't even notice the difference.

Repeat until you have reached your target speed.

...

On the average speed for CW - nominally 17-18wpm in my experience.

During contests 30wpm +++.

...

On CW fist style - there is only one style - the correct spacing and element length - anything else is corruption.

In my opinion CW style is an artifact of too many operators using bug keys poorly, or who are just bad straight key operators.
Mercifully, the "swing and style" crowd is dwindling these days, and with the advent of keyers in rigs the number of
good CW sending ops is increasing.

Just yesterday I worked a very experienced CW op who's sending style was so terrible I prefer to go to the Dentist than work him again.
It changed a chance for a nice qso into the CW version of waterboarding.

So to CW beginners - always go for perfect CW spacing and timing as goal.
If anyone tries to convince you that having a distinctive fist is a good thing, it is like a smoker trying to convince a non smoker to take a puff.

Above all, immerse yourself in CW - keep it on the receiver in the background as you do other things for example.
Like being in a foreign language country, you will eventually pick up the language and be able to enjoy the experience.

Good luck and 73,

Rob


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 21, 2014, 01:11:28 AM

So to CW beginners - always go for perfect CW spacing and timing as goal.
If anyone tries to convince you that having a distinctive fist is a good thing, it is like a smoker trying to convince a non smoker to take a puff.


Convincing other amateurs not to let them  being  convinced by other amateurs is inherently a contradiction.

Wim


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: ZL1BBW on January 21, 2014, 01:12:54 AM
OK gentlemen, in order to decide for yourself about the possibly severe distorted signals of N0IU I
made an mp3 file with "the quick brown fox..."  with dashlength and letterspacing 4 times the dot time
starting with 5 wpm and ending with 80 wpm. So decide for yourself.

May be I made an error in this quick not debugged design , please check the timing with an audio program like audacity

http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/test.mp3

73 PA0WV 30

EDIT: the mentioned speeds are based on the dotlength, the streched dashes will make the mentioned speeds lower.
I thought it sounded terrible.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: GW3OQK on January 22, 2014, 12:08:47 PM
Those long gaps make it wierd and unpleasant to listen to.
Andrew


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: PA0WV on January 22, 2014, 02:12:46 PM
Those long gaps make it weird and unpleasant to listen to.
Andrew

Mni tks rprts.

Well, the long gaps between the words are not of value, the words itself are 1:4 in timing, made in order to demonstrate the effect at any speed so that readers of this thread know what actually  was talked about..

73 Wim



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W3HKK on January 23, 2014, 03:02:19 AM
Rule #1: Match the DX station's speed.

If you are CQing, then you can always go a little faster than your comfort zone, for  DX type contacts.  Most are in the 25-35 wpm range.  The Big Guns go 35+

These days with memory keyers and a speed control, it's a matter of turning the knob Hi Hi.
With a bug its more complicated.  Running the dit setting for 35 wpm makes your calls at 20-25 wpm  awfully rushed, but it works if you compensate with longer spacing ( more think time.)

Good luck.  Just get in there  and listen to the guys having success.  they can teach you what works..    Mainly, Listen to hear who the DX station is working, and on what freq. and if he is  sliding up, down, or replying to stations  on the same freq.

Good luck!


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: GW3OQK on January 23, 2014, 10:12:19 AM
OK Wim, the characters with 4:1 spacing are perfectly readable.

I dont try to match any station's speed if its faster than my comfortable sending speed. I send at what's comfortable for me. Contest stations sending at 35 still answer my 24 wpm sent on my straight key.   
Andrew


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WB2QIG on February 13, 2014, 03:34:21 PM
Your speed determines my speed. As fast or SLOOOOW as you wish.

Thank you very much. Getting back into ham radio at 65+ years old I hope to have my station complete by this Spring (its  money available thing). The last time I sent & received CW was over 50 years ago. Now when I listen to CW using a wire stapled to the inside walls as my antenna I still have the piece of paper with all the characters in my hand.

Maxwell


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K7MEM on February 13, 2014, 05:37:33 PM
Take any morse sending program which gives you a speaker output option (CWtype for example).
Adjust the speed to just a bit more than you can read comfortably.
Then cut and paste in your text and listen...listen... and when you are done ... listen more.

When you are comfortable at that speed, increase the speed by 1 to 2 wpm - you won't even notice the difference.

Repeat until you have reached your target speed.

This is the same method I used in 1999 to pass the Morse test for Extra. I used Morse Academy for generating the Morse tests. The only thing that I added was specific content. I knew that the test was going to be a simulated QSO so all my study material was simulated QSOs. I knew the Morse test was 20 WPM, but I wanted a sizable buffer. So my target speed was 25 WPM. Going from 13 WPM to 25 WPM took me about 6 months. Study time was three times a day for 15 minutes and never study when I was over tired. In the end, I passed the test with 100% copy. General to Extra in a single sitting.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K8AG on February 14, 2014, 09:24:43 AM
I think the "average" speed for domestic QSOs is closer to 17 WPM (here in the USA, anyway). You'll hear some in the 20s and beyond, you'll occasionally hear some at 5 WPM, but the majority are between 14 and 20.
This is my experience.  There are the speed demons out there for sure.  Contests and DXers generally run 20 to 22.  But 17 or so seems to be the standard casual conversation speed.

73, JP, K8AG


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K9NZ on March 01, 2014, 07:16:27 PM
I am 99% CW and most of my qso are around 22 to 24 wpm, And it easier copy at that speed than say 18 wpm. I make a lot of mistakes at slow speed because the sound of the character
is off, just saying. 32 wpm are my max and I dont want to do that very long in a qso.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K2ZA on March 04, 2014, 11:00:01 AM
I recently shelved my paddles for a straight key and found out something interesting about myself...

Working CW with a keyer, I can work 20-22 WPM, but I have to think about copying. Cans on the head, quiet room etc., but getting everything that is sent. When I switched to the hand key, my speed slipped immediately, dropped to 12-15 WPM. In QSO, I don't have to think about anything, the sending flows, the other station's code just seems to pop into my head. The whole process feels, for lack of a better term, more organic. Don't need the headphones, can actually have the local 2 meter repeater conversation on in the background, shack dog can bark, no problems copying at all. Some might think that the slower speed is actually where I'm more "proficient" and that may be, but I wonder if the hand sending is using different neural pathways with a side effect effect on receive?

Anybody with an fMRI, radio-opaque dye, and a research grant want to find out?  :)

73 de John K2ZA


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N4OI on March 04, 2014, 07:50:57 PM
I recently shelved my paddles for a straight key and found out something interesting about myself...

Working CW with a keyer, I can work 20-22 WPM, but I have to think about copying. Cans on the head, quiet room etc., but getting everything that is sent. When I switched to the hand key, my speed slipped immediately, dropped to 12-15 WPM. In QSO, I don't have to think about anything, the sending flows, the other station's code just seems to pop into my head. The whole process feels, for lack of a better term, more organic. Don't need the headphones, can actually have the local 2 meter repeater conversation on in the background, shack dog can bark, no problems copying at all. Some might think that the slower speed is actually where I'm more "proficient" and that may be, but I wonder if the hand sending is using different neural pathways with a side effect effect on receive?

Anybody with an fMRI, radio-opaque dye, and a research grant want to find out?  :)

73 de John K2ZA

Don't know about any new-rail pathways...  but maybe at this stage it is just easier for you to copy at those slower straight key speeds?  If so, I suggest you keep challenging yourself with that iambic paddle and keyer until you achieve that level of proficiency at higher and higher speeds.... and not revert back to slow and comfortable.  You will be glad in the long run...   Just saying'

73


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WB5JWI on March 05, 2014, 08:49:47 AM
Interesting thread and comments. I am a member of SKCC and don't really use a keyer at all. I like bugs and straight keys and I can comfortably do 25 WPM with 30 in a pinch. Most contest and DXpeditions are of the "TU 599 K" type so even at high speeds I listen till I have the call correct and then start calling.

Within SKCC we have a full range. I was a first ever QSO for a young lady at about 3 WPM. We have quite a few at 10 or less. Anything between about 15 and 20 is quite comfortable. Really slow is a little work. It can become the 'e, no a, no w, no j, no 1' syndrome but I have never met a club member who would not or did not QRS to the others speed, usually without asking. 

We have some very tolerant EU ops who helped a lot when I first got back into CW. I suspect the "average speed" for a contest/DX is around 30 but for rag-chews I would guess 18 plus or minus a few.

Any new folks who want on-air practice (highly recommend it) should also check out FISTS (although Nancy's recent passing will slow that down for a while) and SKCC. Good folks hang out there.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K2ZA on March 05, 2014, 09:37:24 AM

 If so, I suggest you keep challenging yourself with that iambic paddle and keyer until you achieve that level of proficiency at higher and higher speeds.... and not revert back to slow and comfortable.  You will be glad in the long run...   Just saying'


Actually, I am challenging myself, just not in the way you might think. I also gave up computer logging, LoTW, eQSL, and digital modes in favor of a paper log and snail mailing real QSL cards. I work in high tech all day, every day (programmer) and want to add more "human touch" aspects to my radio activities. Saving pennies in my radio fund for a bug, just want to get much better with hand sent morse before I add that to the mix. Sold off my TS-590s in favor of a simpler radio that I can maintain (Elecraft K2) and I've been spending more time learning to bread board and scratch build with an eye to eventually having a completely home-brew multiband station.

Obviously, it's not for everybody, but whatever blows up your kilt  ;)

K2ZA


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W9MIC on March 09, 2014, 08:00:35 PM
The answer is 23.4 wpm.

That's the average wpm of all the CW QSOs that were captured at http://www.reversebeacon.net (http://www.reversebeacon.net) during a 3 day sample that I downloaded.

Mike
W9MIC


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W9MIC on March 16, 2014, 08:09:39 AM
For what its worth, I downloaded a larger sample (the entire month of January 2014) and computed a few stats and a chart regarding the observed CW speed on the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN).

METHODOLOGY

RBN recorded 8.4 million CW observations in the month of January. However there is a lot of redundant data in this sample. Multiple CWskimmers might observe the same QSO and since the RBN is a collection of data for each 1 minute interval, the same QSO might be recorded in the database several times. I tried to eliminate this redundant data that would skew the numbers. My efforts brought the number of "unique" observations down to 1.3 million CW observations.

STATS

Average CW Speed = 24.5 wpm
Standard Deviation = 5.9 wpm
Min = 1 wpm
Max = 68 wpm

Based on the RBN observations and my meager attempt to eliminate data redundancy, these stats are telling us is that about 70% of all QSOs are occurring between 19 – 30 wpm.

If you are operating above 30 wpm you are in the top 15% of observed QSOs.

If you are operating above 36 wpm, you are in the top 2% of observed QSOs.

PRECISION vs ACCURACY

While these stats might be precise I don't think they are any more accurate than the pearls of wisdom that the experienced CW operators on this thread have already shared with us. I believe these stats are skewed based on the volume of contest operator data points in the RBN database vs rag chew data points.

(http://i1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii595/DutchBoyPics/RBNChartJan2014-1.jpg)

"Statistics lie and liars use statistics"

Mike
W9MIC


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: N0IU on March 16, 2014, 08:21:36 AM
My efforts brought the number of "unique" observations down to 1.3 million CW observations.

But I thought CW was supposed to be a dying mode that no one uses any more?

(Nice work on the stats)


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W9MIC on March 16, 2014, 04:50:04 PM
I thought I would share a few more stats that computed from the Reverse Beacon Network data that I downloaded yesterday. I was interested to see how many CW operators there are from the different continents and which countries have the greatest number of CW operators and was there any difference in average CW speed.

January 2014 "Unique" Spots on Reverse Beacon Network (by Continent of CW Transmitter)
               UNIQUE                                              
CONTINENT   CALLSIGNS  SPOT COUNT      AVG   STD DEV    MIN     MAX
Europe         44,565     754,105     25.1       5.5      1      66
N.America      26,305     405,483     23.3       6.4      1      68
Asia            8,634     119,910     24.9       6.3      1      65
S.America       1,442      17,675     24.2       5.7      2      48
Africa          1,532      15,067     25.8       5.9      2      56
Oceanic         1,463      14,797     24.0       5.7      3      47


January 2014 "Unique" Spots on Reverse Beacon Network (Top 20 Countries by number of Spots)
                               UNIQUE                                            
CONTINENT  COUNTRY PREFIX   CALLSIGNS  SPOT COUNT     AVG  STD DEV    MIN     MAX
N.America  K-USA               23,394     364,869    23.1      6.4      1      68
Europe     UA-Russia            5,630     116,978    27.4      5.5      2      63
Europe     DL-Germany           5,602      88,974    24.4      5.5      1      52
Europe     I-Italy              4,247      58,677    23.2      5.6      2      59
Europe     F-France             3,341      58,603    23.9      5.0      3      51
Europe     UR-Ukraine           2,985      48,410    26.6      5.4      2      57
Asia       JA-Japan             4,239      43,437    21.0      4.9      2      44
Asia       UA9-Asiatic Russia   1,703      40,693    29.0      5.4      1      62
Europe     G-Great Britian      3,010      38,764    21.9      4.7      2      44
Europe     HA-Hungary           1,611      31,598    26.4      5.1      2      63
Europe     OK-Czech Republic    1,425      29,144    25.2      4.8      3      43
Europe     SM-Sweden            1,719      27,988    22.7      5.0      2      54
N.America  VE-Canada            1,447      19,125    23.8      6.1      3      58
Europe     SP-Poland            1,409      19,004    25.4      5.1      3      50
Europe     EA-Spain             1,553      18,011    23.4      6.1      3      66
Europe     S5-Slovenia            661      17,839    27.2      4.5      3      48
Europe     PA-Netherlands         875      13,788    23.8      5.1      2      47
Europe     LZ-Bulgaria            571      13,326    25.6      4.6      2      46
Europe     OH-Finland             848      13,264    25.8      5.8      2      50
Europe     YU-Serbia              525      12,190    26.8      4.6      4      42

Enjoy.

Mike
W9MIC


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: NI0C on March 17, 2014, 11:34:19 AM
Thanks, Mike (W9MIC), for your excellent work on this.  I see that my usual sending speed (23 wpm) is average here in the USA, although I pride myself on being able to copy over 99% of the CW that is on the air. 
73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: K0HB on March 19, 2014, 02:02:08 PM
The RBN analysis is quite interesting but it may be skewed by another issue.

RBN only reports stations sending CQ's, not ongoing QSO's.



Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: WO7R on March 21, 2014, 11:54:04 AM
Even so, it suggests a large DXing community than some thought in other threads.

It suggests that in January of 2014, there were at least 80,000 active DXers, world-wide.  It could easily be double that -- not everyone CQs with any regularity.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: W7WQ on April 01, 2014, 09:30:51 PM
Some number of comments back a person replied " your speed determines my speed."  While I can copy 40- 45 WPM in my head, if you call CQ at 15 WPM, if I answer your CQ it will be at roughly the speed you sent it.  I will QRS or QRQ as requested.


Title: RE: The average speed for CWing
Post by: KB2FCV on April 03, 2014, 07:04:16 AM
Some number of comments back a person replied " your speed determines my speed."  While I can copy 40- 45 WPM in my head, if you call CQ at 15 WPM, if I answer your CQ it will be at roughly the speed you sent it.  I will QRS or QRQ as requested.

X2.. I'll slow down to as low as the other operator is going no matter what the speed. Its just courteous to do that.