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Author Topic: How clean is your CW sending? Do you know how well your sending is?  (Read 6686 times)
W8MW
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Posts: 326




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« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2010, 11:38:21 AM »

Forgive my ignorance but what is 'keyboard sending' ?

How does it work?

I'm assuming some sort of interface between the rig and the computer.

Can it be done with boat anchor rigs?

In recent years the trend has moved toward use of your PC with appropriate software and interface.  There is another technology called the "dedicated CW keyboard".  These became available for amateur use long before personal computers. This is my system of choice.  It is simply a keyboard connected to a small combination keyer and rig interface.  Mine has no text display, it is only a sending device.  It's made by MFJ.

There are lots of other CW keyboards.  Do a search and you'll find a bunch of em.  Most are easily configured for use with grid block keying in boat anchors.

Press a key and out comes the corresponding morse code character.  You can set the output speed just like you'd adjust the speed of a conventional keyer.  Typically a user will type somewhat faster than the selected speed.  This allows them to stay a little bit "ahead" of the output to take full advantage of proper character and word spacing that the unit automatically generates. 
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1953




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« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2010, 03:15:21 PM »

W8MW opines "Press a key and out comes the corresponding morse code character.  You can set the output speed just like you'd adjust the speed of a conventional keyer.  Typically a user will type somewhat faster than the selected speed.  This allows them to stay a little bit "ahead" of the output to take full advantage of proper character and word spacing that the unit automatically generates."

Let us not forget the very important use of macros. Using macros in a casual conversation can get you way ahead of the output. Many digital ops have complete QSO's with macros and never touch the actual keyboard. The same can be done easily with keyboard cw QSO's.

Most really fast cw ops use keyboards as W8MW mentioned. If you want to send really fast (30WPM and up) keyboads are the way to go.

Personally I use a Single paddle with a Logikey K-5 keyer emulating an Accukeyer. Why? Because I started with an Accukeyer and never got the hang of Iambic keying, hence the use of a single paddle.

I do use a keyboard and macros when doing a contest or in a pileup, otherwise I use the paddle..

Neither way is "right" or wrong. If you like a keyboard and macros - use em, straight key, Bug, iambic, cootie, single paddle, they are ALL good.....

Stan K9IUQ

 
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N2RRA
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Posts: 645


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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2010, 12:10:49 AM »

Thanks everyone for their opinions and input!

Using a keyboard may resolve the issue of clean sending to an extent, but the focal point of the thread was clean sending using Morse Keys. Many points were covered and hope this thread reaches those who know need brushing up on their sending, or to those that need to be pointed out they need to improve on their sending. Some may be offended by being told about their scratchy fist and some may embrace it as an awareness and challenge to be that much better than their mentors and peers. We can always be better at anything and everything we do. None of us are born with a key in hand so keep in mind if a brother CW op makes a reference to your sending just take it in stride and chalk it up to a challenge. 

The challenge is, to improve, be better than last year, and improve the art of CW sending via Morse Key.

Think of it as the ultimate obstacle you've ever encountered, or the biggest challenge to yourself.

73!

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NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2010, 04:57:24 PM »

If it hasn't already been brought up in this topic, I'd like to point out the similarity of morse code and another archaic and dying form of communication: penmanship.  With the widespread use of computer keyboards, even in elementary school, I wonder if it's even still being taught (I'm old enough to remember practicing my handwriting in 2nd grade class, one of the subjects where I consistently received a "D" grade). 

Like clean and articulate morse, good penmanship is easy to decipher: letters and words are clear and legible (wow, folks, when was the last time you heard the word "legible"?)  Good penmanship is a pleasure to read.  I'm sure any ham that is, or has been, a school teacher and had to wade through stacks of nearly illegible homework and essays knows exactly what I'm talking about.

When I'm sending code, I try to work on my "penmanship".  My handwriting may be a mess to comprehend, but I hope my CW is clean and clear.
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N2RRA
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2010, 11:13:18 PM »

If it hasn't already been brought up in this topic, I'd like to point out the similarity of Morse code and another archaic and dying form of communication: penmanship.  With the widespread use of computer keyboards, even in elementary school, I wonder if it's even still being taught (I'm old enough to remember practicing my handwriting in 2nd grade class, one of the subjects where I consistently received a "D" grade). 

Like clean and articulate Morse, good penmanship is easy to decipher: letters and words are clear and legible (wow, folks, when was the last time you heard the word "legible"?)  Good penmanship is a pleasure to read.  I'm sure any ham that is, or has been, a school teacher and had to wade through stacks of nearly illegible homework and essays knows exactly what I'm talking about.

When I'm sending code, I try to work on my "penmanship".  My handwriting may be a mess to comprehend, but I hope my CW is clean and clear.

LOL!

Actually that has not been brought into the discussion, but I think it goes hand in hand with one another. Maybe the reason some operators have poor sending habits right from the start is due to poor "penmanship" habits. Is this a plausible theory?

 

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K3STX
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Posts: 993




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« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2010, 05:38:22 PM »

If it hasn't already been brought up in this topic, I'd like to point out the similarity of morse code and another archaic and dying form of communication: penmanship.  With the widespread use of computer keyboards, even in elementary school, I wonder if it's even still being taught

At least here in Maryland it is, my son is in the first grade and they do work on handwriting in public schools.

paul
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KB6YH
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2010, 11:02:38 AM »

It should be ...."Do you know how good your sending is?"  Smiley 73 Bill
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2010, 08:53:26 PM »

One thing about starting out with a straight key is that you have to learn proper spacing of characters and words unless you want to sound like crap.  When you transition to a paddle, you have a head start with the spacing problem right off the bat.  On the other hand, you cannot legislate the pursuit of excellence.  When you really love something, it isn't work.  Many modern rigs have the ability to record what you send, and the memory holds a lot more than you might think.  My Orion allows me to record five minutes or so of code, and I used to like getting a book and recording my code and playing it back to listen.  You don't even need a tape recorder to do this.  Most QSO's I have are between 24 and 30 wpm.  When I start practicing, I start at 35 wpm and gradually go up to about 50 wpm.  After 45 minutes of this kind of practice, when I get on the air, 30 wpm seems slow, and I can do 25 wpm so easily it's silly.  I'm not saying this to brag on myself, but because this system works!  If you do this every day for two weeks, I'd almost guarantee that you can easily gain at least an improvement of at least 7 wpm. 

     For me, working someone with a great fist makes contacts so much more enjoyable than when you have to struggle to copy someone.  Face it, sending is just as important as copying.  It will improve the entire experience.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2813




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« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2010, 07:10:58 PM »

It should be ...."Do you know how good your sending is?"  Smiley 73 Bill

Not necessarily.  I've heard some fists in the past year or so that sounded really sick -- i.e. not well at all... Grin
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N2RRA
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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2010, 03:43:38 AM »

When I start practicing, I start at 35 wpm and gradually go up to about 50 wpm.  After 45 minutes of this kind of practice, when I get on the air, 30 wpm seems slow, and I can do 25 wpm so easily it's silly.  

I agree with this technique, because it worked for me. It's not how started learning CW, but I think this approach might actually be the most effective to increase speed once your up to 5wpm. Certainly this is why I'm up to 30wpm.

Each day I tune into stations that are faster than I can read presently and start by picking out letters I recognize. By doing this I can learn what they sound like at over 30wpm and see how many times I can pick out those same letters. Once I can do that I listen for other letters I recognize ,or try figuring them out. I'll do this while working around the shack and even turn the volume up so I can hear across in other rooms like listening to music.

As for straight key sending.....Morse is like music! You need to get the rhythm of each letter and stroke of the dits and dahs to be able to send clean CW.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 03:45:39 AM by eric j cuevas » Logged
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