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Author Topic: spacing  (Read 5208 times)
WX7G
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Posts: 6332




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« on: December 25, 2010, 02:42:49 PM »

I'm noticing more and more stations are crowding their letters together. Turn up the keyer speed a notch and add a bit more space between letters.
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KC2MJT
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 05:51:47 PM »

I've noticed the same thing. It's like the staccato of a machine gun, and just as irritating.

Nate
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NI0C
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Posts: 2437




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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 10:53:24 AM »

One cure for that is to sort of "calibrate" one's ears by frequent listening to W!AW bulletins and code practice, or text from online sources such as Learn CW Online: http://lcwo.net/

If you know what proper spacing sounds like, you can try to emulate that in your own sending.  I find it very helpful.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 12:00:12 PM »

If one has a transceiver with a CW text decoder (the K3 has one) they can see if it can copy their own code. I've set my K3 to try to copy some of the spacing violators and it cannot.
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2010, 05:19:43 AM »

I'm noticing more and more stations are crowding their letters together. Turn up the keyer speed a notch and add a bit more space between letters.
I don't think more keyer speed helps what is somewhere between "defective keying" (this puts the blame on the equipment) or "operator incapable of keying at that speed" (putting the blame on the operator). Really, putting the blame on the equipment is being too forgiving.

I notice this most when stations send their own calls in an indecipherable manner.

IMHO: Recommending that keyer speed be turned up to solve this problem, is like recommending that cars drive faster so they don't run into each other so often.

This problem was around back in the days of the novice band when ops trying to send at 5WPM were running their call signs together so simply slowing down isn't the solution either.

The staccato machine gun CW most often issues from contest stations or from contest-style operating outside a contest, stations that somehow believe they are enhancing their rate by sending their call at 50 to 60WPM.

Tim N3QE
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2010, 06:59:19 AM »

What I mean by turn the keyer speed up is this. Some operators set the keyer to 23 wpm but space such that they are sending 25 wpm. Instead, set the keyer to 25 wpm and send 25 wpm.
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N3QE
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Posts: 2426




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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2010, 10:00:36 AM »

What I mean by turn the keyer speed up is this. Some operators set the keyer to 23 wpm but space such that they are sending 25 wpm. Instead, set the keyer to 25 wpm and send 25 wpm.
Again, this is like suggesting to a teenager that if he can't leave a safe following distance in front of him at 55 MPH that he should drive 65 MPH.

The issue is, the operator was driving (or sending Morse) faster than he could reliably do so, to begin with.

Don't get me started again on the topic of folks using bugs at speeds they are incapable of. There's this EA on 30M right now, calling CQ and sending 8 to 9 dits every time he sends the numeral in his call. Should I suggest he adjust his bug to a faster speed? :-)

Tim.
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KC2MJT
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2010, 02:03:31 PM »

Yeah, a St. Louis swing with a bug does not endear any op to me. I'll admit it is kinda musical but trying to copy a bug op with a swing is like trying to decipher the metallic voice on the drive-thru intercom or listening to the dialog at a drive in movie; arrrggh!

Some of the machine gun guys have the keyer set at 30 wpm and can only send and receive about 12. Maybe they think they're getting a free lunch.

Of course, when the bands are quiet, I'll try and copy any of these guys and still wear a smile in the attempt. CW rocks.
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NK6Q
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2010, 03:35:22 PM »

Hey, don't blame the bug for bad sending.  Bad sending is bad sending, bug, electronic keyer, or straight key.  I've heard plenty of ops scattering dits like so much pepper. Pretty awful stuff; not to mention the lack of proper character spacing.

There are ops I worked where I couldn't even tell they were using a bug: their CW was that clean.  Well sent, properly spaced code is a joy to hear and copy.  Maybe that's why people with experience playing musical instruments seem to be able to send with proper weight and spacing.  It's all in the timing, guys.

And a one, and a two...

Bill in Pasadena
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NI0C
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2010, 05:35:42 PM »

I've lived in St. Louis most of my life and I've never heard of a "St. Louis swing," at least in terms of bug sending.  Most of the bad sending I've heard is stuff that's run together on a modern iambic keyer.  For example, some W0's will send their callsign with little or no pause between the W and the zero. 

Back when I was in high school, a local old-timer called me up after tuning 20 meters one evening and asked: "Chuck, what country is a YH? There are YH's all over the band."  I laughed and said, "those are K6's!" 

I suppose some people think its cute to run characters of their callsign (as well as other stuff) together.  Or, perhaps they don't realize what they're doing.  In any event, the result is poor communication. 

Just as spoken words need to be enunciated clearly, Morse code characters need to be sent as uniformly as possible.  Save the originality for what you say, not how you say it, if you want to be understood.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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S51M
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 01:13:14 AM »

On the other side there are OP's i worked, where his letters speed was about 50 (or even more) wpm
but the true keying speed together only about 35 wpm.   

Many microcontroller electronic keyers have built-in automatic letters spacing. Very useful to get absolutely right spacing. Morse paddle is very important by high speed CW.

73 DE S51M,  Bruno
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KC2MJT
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 06:32:32 AM »

Many of the new rigs allow the op to change the spacing of dits and dahs. Some ops may be shortening interval this without increasing the wpm. This may be the staccato effect.
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W4PC
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 08:49:54 AM »

1 dit spacing for letters, two dits for words, thats what Ive always done. 

I think some of the issue might be these guys using software and RTS/DTR to send and the program doesnt know about spacing. Ive seen that in everything from HRD to other programs. 

Could be in the radio's too with the memory keys, but yes, Im hearing that more and more and from some old CW ops..

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K7KBN
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Posts: 2838




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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 11:54:01 AM »

1 dit spacing for letters, two dits for words, thats what Ive always done. 

I think some of the issue might be these guys using software and RTS/DTR to send and the program doesnt know about spacing. Ive seen that in everything from HRD to other programs. 

Could be in the radio's too with the memory keys, but yes, Im hearing that more and more and from some old CW ops..



I've always used one dit between letters and one dah between words.  Keeps the 1:3 ratio as a constant.  I've heard examples of the 1:2 ratio you describe, and it just doesn't sound quite "right" to my ears - but that may just be me.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N3QE
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Posts: 2426




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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2010, 05:19:05 AM »

On the other side there are OP's i worked, where his letters speed was about 50 (or even more) wpm
but the true keying speed together only about 35 wpm.  
The idea that the intercharacter space can be twiddled to taste and skill, seems to be very popular with the younger generations and is called the "Farnsworth Method". I think that technically the "Farnsworth method" only lengthens the intercharacter space when you're learning, but after you learn with it fungible in that direction maybe your brain never really adapts to the "correct" spacing and you don't realize you're fudging it in the shorter direction.

It's in contradiction with what I was taught forever ago (that you should learn sending and receiving with well-formed slow CW and not bad fast CW) and I don't personally agree with the end result. Folks should learn with well-formed CW, not poorly formed CW. Just me being an Old Fart maybe, certainly all the young guys swear up and down that Farnsworth Method is the only way they can learn.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 05:21:08 AM by Tim Shoppa » Logged
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