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Author Topic: How clean is your CW sending? Do you know how well your sending is?  (Read 6696 times)
N2RRA
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« on: October 19, 2010, 08:55:24 AM »

This subject is to remind operators that if their going to send CW.....make an effort to clean up your sending. I'm not trying to discourage new operators, or insult anyone. This is only to raise awareness that in weak signal conditions this couldn't be more important not to mention increase enjoyment for both parties.

Since I've been a HAM I've gone through my improvements over time reaching 30wpm on my Iambic keys and at least a very clean 15wpm+ on straight key which is difficult. Far from learning to send 15wpm on an electronic key. The reason why I'm mentioning this is I hear a lot of straight key and Iambic operators sending horribly. Forums like these allow to reach out and address to community than individually.

If your going to gain experience and improvement try to take time to improve sending by:

A. Making your Dot's and Dash's sound for what they really are. Improve the distinction between the two.

B. Proper separation between each letter to create the word and spearation between each word in a sentence.

C. Send at the speed that your most comfortable at and not faster to accomadate the other station.

D. Send at the speed that your comfortable at either writing, or reading in your head. Continue till you improve clearity and distinction of letters. Do not increase speed sending 10wpm+ even though you can read it till you improve on your sending.

E. If you can't improve your sending at 5wpm+ then results will be catostraphic at any higher speed.

So if anyone has questions, or other methods to mention to assist in helping in CW sending improvments please share them.

73!
N2RRA

P.S.

   I can't stand to go through another teeth crunching horrible QSO with poor sending skills. CW sending is an Art in itself!!!
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K3STX
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 09:04:42 AM »

an eye opening experience to me was when I recorded my own sending of some text into a tape recorder (remember them!), waited a few days to forget what the text was about, and then played it back to myself so I heard my own fist "fresh". Very humbling experience. Also on air QSOs are good if you actually trust the guy you are talking to and trust he will be honest with you.

paul
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1967




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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 02:36:34 PM »

The answer to good cw sending is keyboard sending. Yes that will do it, perfectly spaced computer generated CW.

Everyone sends a little different with a key/paddle. It is part of the ham personality. Some oldtimers still use a bug or straight key. A iambic sender sounds different from a single paddle op. Some of us send great CW, some don't. Oh and those cootie keys...

Personally I like them all, especially someone who has a nice swing. I do not expect my ham friends to send perfect code since even after 50 yrs of doing it I ain't perfect either.

Speed is a different story. I just do not have the patience for those 12-15 wpm guys.

If we all used keyboards, everyone would sound great on cw, and it would be very easy to send 20wpm. Hey just use macros like the digital guys, a complete qso can be had just using macros. Perfect cw too...

 Wink Wink Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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W5HTW
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 07:29:28 PM »

an eye opening experience to me was when I recorded my own sending of some text into a tape recorder (remember them!), waited a few days to forget what the text was about, and then played it back to myself so I heard my own fist "fresh". Very humbling experience. Also on air QSOs are good if you actually trust the guy you are talking to and trust he will be honest with you.

paul

This is probably the absolute best way to figure out if others can read your code - if YOU can read it after a week. 

Send into a tape recorder, or into the sound card of your computer, and save the file.  But send text you are not familiar with.  Something from a news story on the internet, for example., or segments from the newspaper  A week later, pull that file up and try to copy it.  As noted, it can be an extremely humbling experience!   Send it only once, so you don't memorize any portion of it.  It should be two to three minutes long, longer if you wish.  Keep the original newspaper article around for comparison.  I bet you will be amazed! 

Other points are valid.  Don't send faster than you can copy.  That tells the other guy you can copy faster, when really you can't. 

Don't get too fast on the straight key.  I know people who can use one very intelligibly at 20 wpm, but most people can't.  15-18 is the top range of "good" sending.  We had some professional operators with the government, and none of them could get much above 20 wpm on a straight key.  One could send at about 25, but it took a lot of his concentration.  Yet he could copy at 40 wpm, full copy, no guessing. 

It is easy to get too fast - and too choppy - on the bug.  Try to avoid that.  Keyers are not as likely to get choppy, but can stumble a lot, and you can make a lot of mistakes if you don't pay attention. 

With keyboards you don't need to know the code, so I won't discuss those. 

Ed


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K3STX
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 05:55:58 AM »

Ed,

I also bring out the old tape recorder (wow, I am dating myself!) and record myself sending calls of stations in my logbook (from OLD QSOs). I am working on QRQ, so send them at 40+ wpm and listen to my sending. That too is good practice. It is also harder to memorize callsigns, and fun to hear how much nice DX you worked.

paul
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 10:38:29 AM »

"If we all used keyboards, everyone would sound great on cw, and it would be very easy to send 20wpm."

Why not use a CW reader as well so you don't have to learn Morse at all? Hey, why not use FSK in lieu of OOK in order to get improved copy? Heck, why not add in a little FEC to improve the weak signal performance? If we did that we could probably increase the speed as well.

Oh, that would be close to many of the present digital modes wouldn't it?  Grin
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AB2T
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 01:26:35 PM »

Okay this is n00b, but how do I set up a sound card based morse code reader to "listen" to my paddle sending?  I'd like to get my code to the point where the code reader can easily decipher what I'm sending.

73, Jordan
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M0JHA
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 02:42:06 PM »

"If we all used keyboards, everyone would sound great on cw, and it would be very easy to send 20wpm."

Why not use a CW reader as well so you don't have to learn Morse at all? Hey, why not use FSK in lieu of OOK in order to get improved copy? Heck, why not add in a little FEC to improve the weak signal performance? If we did that we could probably increase the speed as well.

Oh, that would be close to many of the present digital modes wouldn't it?  Grin


i have to agree with you there .. keyboards to send cw .. get a grip. if you want to use keyboards and have the rx de coded whats the point..

it makes my blood boil people saying such stupid things.. if your going to use cw learn how to send and recieve using your brain not a micro chip.. a lot of "bad" sending is due to people getting hung up on the speed issue.  using a pc/keyboard really is not in the spirit of morse code as far as im concerned.

billy
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K7KBN
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 07:48:08 PM »

I read K9UIQ's post and was about to comment about "why-not-use-Morse-decoders", but then I looked carefully at the little  Wink smilies he used and realized that his post was intended to elicit exactly that reaction.  Nicely sarcastic, Stan!

73
Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N2RRA
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 10:21:40 PM »

 Roll Eyes Keyboard? Yeahh....Like that's ever gonna happen. LOL!

What happens when you keyboard breaks, keys get stuck, or better yet there's no power to power up your P.C.? Let alone if you wanna enjoy QRP in the great out doors?

All other good ideas guys, but looking forward to hear of any other good ideas that maintain the skill level and art form of CW unless your not a skilled person and resort to non-skilled methods such as keyboards.  Wink

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K0RS
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 01:08:46 AM »

My suggestion would be:

If you’re going to post a message critical of other people’s Morse skills in an English speaking forum, you acquire at least a passing familiarity with the English language.

In particular, throwing apostrophes at plurals where no possessive is intended, inappropriate capitalizations, treating the word "ham" as an acronym, glaring grammatical errors, awkward sentence construction, spelling errors (even with spell check available!), omitting or substituting inappropriate words (Do you know how well (sic) your sending is?), sentence fragments, and the inability to distinguish they’re from there from their make the original post almost as difficult to decipher as poorly sent Morse code. Tongue

In fact I would have to say this post was, uh, "catostraphic." Cheesy

This message meant only to raise awareness and increase enjoyment of all parties participating in the forum, of course.  Not intended to insult anyone or discourage new posters. Wink
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M0JHA
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 02:18:15 AM »

A better way to get someone to send better is to use a paddle . Single or twin, The twin doesn't have to be used iambic, i have a twin lever but use it  like a single lever. The advantage is at least the dits and dahs sound how they are meant to.

Its becoming apparent to me far too many people on the bands sound nothing short of horrendous. I have just come off 40m now with a headache. someone sending a right crock of crap at me with no spacing to talk of and words running into each other.

i think its important that we all as cw ops try and encourage people to slow down to a level they can send good morse instead of having every newbi hung up on speed.

If its going to survive we need people to have a little pride in the stuff they pump out and not just openly send crap.

billy
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N2RRA
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 10:57:09 AM »

OK Larry I'll bite! 

Like many other sarcastic narcissist you've contributed nothing to this post. Shame!!

Would've been better if you actually suggested something that was worthy. Everyone else contributed without trying to showing how much in love with themselves they are and how much smarter than can be than everyone else. Then disguise it in other words (just trying to be a nice guy) Noooot! LOL!

Back to the post at hand!

If there are any new operators that feel intimidated by faster morse and are still struggling with 5wpm or less give me a call for a sched. Sometimes new op's shy away, or quit entirely because there's not enough slower speeds out there to practice with. Of course everyone has struggled in the begining and had to start some where.

So far I've heard of:

A. Recording yourself and play back end of each week or every other to see if there's any improvments.
B. Single lever and dual lever paddles etc.....

We all know with electronic keys the supposed proper way to wire the polarity  is the "dit" goes on the left and "dahs" on the right, but I found it easier to reverse poplarity and do the opposite. So if your having trouble sending one way try the other. There's really no right or wrong. Just clean sending!

73!
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M0JHA
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 12:01:03 PM »

We all know with electronic keys the supposed proper way to wire the polarity  is the "dit" goes on the left and "dahs" on the right, but I found it easier to reverse poplarity and do the opposite. So if your having trouble sending one way try the other. There's really no right or wrong. Just clean sending!

73!

same here, my dahs are on the left. just seemed more natural when i first set up . as you say thats actually unimportant.

billy
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2010, 01:14:12 PM »


We all know with electronic keys the supposed proper way to wire the polarity  is the "dit" goes on the left and "dahs" on the right, but I found it easier to reverse poplarity and do the opposite. So if your having trouble sending one way try the other. There's really no right or wrong.


Of course the the reason for the dit on left and dah on the right is because many old timers (like me) used semi-automatic keys (bugs) before keyers. You could not reverse the bugs, the dits were always on the left.

It would have been very difficult for a bug user to reverse the dit/dahs on a keyer paddle. Maybe impossible.

I still have a bug, and use it once in a while for grins. It takes me a while to get used to it. And then when I go back to the keyer I gotta get used to it again.

Reversing the dit/dahs on the keyer would drive me absolutely buggy  Grin Grin

Stan K9IUQ




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