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Author Topic: Bad fist and what to do about it?  (Read 1330 times)
EXWA2SWA
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2005, 10:39:21 AM »

Like K0EWS, I've worked more than one op who has stated bluntly that his CW stinks, whether new to CW, coming from a long layoff, or learning to use new paddles or keyer, etc. One of my most treasured QSLs is from a VE6 station who offered his sincere thanks for me hanging in there with him while he struggled with his new gear. That made my day, and makes it easier for me to try to copy the fists that are as bad as mine.

Without knowing the circumstances on the other end of the QSO, it's hard to decide whether or not to give copying a try, but it's almost always worth giving it a shot. Generally, if I can hear you and at least make out your call sign, I'll respond to you. It may take me a turn or two to get it right, but that's a part of the fun. If it was all perfect, we'd turn on the code readers and leave the pencil in the drawer.

73,
Jim
KE5CXX


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WA7CC
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2005, 03:57:28 PM »

A few times, I've recorded a wav file and sent it to the person with a simple, "Thanks for the QSO.  Thought you might like to hear what your signal sounded like".
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2005, 09:02:39 PM »

This is very frustrating.  I do my best to copy bad fists, but it can drive you crazy.  It sure makes you appreciate the really good fists, and there are many of those.  I think you just do the very best you can, and move to the next contact as politely and quickly as you can.  

Rhythm, timing, and spacing are just so critical, but not everyone seems to understand that.  The worse the other guy sends, the better I try to send, to at least give them something with good meter, spacing, and timing hoping it can rub off on them a little.  Sometimes it works!  I think practicing off the air is great fun, and it pays great dividends in the long run.  Like some of the other posters said, at least they're on the air.  
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K9JAD
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2005, 01:57:08 PM »

O.K.  Let me turn this around for a minute.

I am one of those with a bad fist; too long a layoff, age creeping in, learning to key with my non-writing hand, first time using #%$^&* paddles and keyer.  Right now my code is so bad that I will not permit it on the air - at any speed....

I seem to have lost that sense of pace and timing to send good code.  Because of the paddles and keyer, I find myself struggling at times to send quality letters (hopefully continued practice will cure this).  I am looking for ideas on how to recapture that sense and feel of flow.  

Years ago, we learned our code in classes taught by the local ham club and usually by very skilled cw ops.  Nowdays, it appears that many are learning by themselves and alone.  I am sure others could use these ideas also.  

So all you old cw trainers, I need some ideas on how to recapture the old 'magic'.

Thanks,

John
K9JAD
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2005, 09:18:26 AM »

John, I would recommend a couple of things.  First, don't worry about sending on the air for a couple of weeks.  Carefully tune around and find a QSO in progress between two good CW ops.  Don't even consider this copy practice, but instead look at it as a way to get good rhythm and spacing in your head.  Try to find QSO's to listen to that are a little faster than you usually copy.  Do this for thirty minutes a day for two weeks.

Get a newspaper or magazine, I usually use the Editorial Page, QST, or something like Newsweek.  Relax and don't put any pressure on yourself.  Practice sending off the air for at least 30 minutes a day for the same two weeks.  Don't worry about mistakes because it will put pressure on you, just do the best you can.  Make it fun instead of work.  Gradually push your speed up and then go back down to the speed you generally run.  Think about words instead of individual characters.  I'm lucky to have perfect pitch, and I've been a musician for 35 years.  It has helped tremendously.  Not everyone is so lucky, but with dedicated practice, we can all max out the abilities we do have.  Good luck!
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K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2814




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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2005, 12:29:03 PM »

M0CUQ - I can empathize (or empathise) with you about the 'SO....LID COPY' -- I heard that several times in the late 1950s when I was a Novice.  The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that it was my own mind inserting the long space, anticipating something like 'SO HW CPY?'
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2005, 02:34:11 PM »

I agree with the advice from N5XM.

I think one problem today is that too few amateurs
have a code practice oscillator. I built a simple
one from an old 1976 ARRL Handbook. I noticed that
my 2003 Handbook doesn't even have a circuit for a
code practice oscillator! The circuit from my 1976
Handbook is a popular one that uses a 555 timer.
The same circuit also on the web at:

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~antoon/gadgets/555/555.html

(near the bottom of the page and labeled as Fig. 6)

I built the CPO to work on my bug technique as I
wanted to learn to send with my Vibroplex Bug.
I practiced sending text from a magazine for a
few minutes each evening for several days before
becoming proficient enough with it to try using it
on the air.

73
Scott
W5ESE



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K5DVW
Member

Posts: 2193




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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2005, 10:00:50 AM »

"SO....LID COPY"

That's hilarious!
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K9FV
Member

Posts: 480




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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2005, 02:02:24 PM »

As I've said before - the best way to get the spacing and develope a GREAT fist is to use your computer and a receiving program such as CWGet to monitor your sending.  IF the computer can copy your code with correct spacing and words - you have a GREAT fist.

A code osalator (sp?) isn't required as much today as in yrs gone by due to the ability to use the transciever as a code practice.  Just turn the "break" (or depending on what it's called) to the OFF position so you can send without keying the transciever.

Main thing - have fun!!!

73 de Ken H>
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N4KZ
Member

Posts: 599




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« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2005, 05:54:29 AM »

There's not much you can do in this situation -- if a person is sending horrible CW and you can't copy it, you just have to bow out gracefully. I've had it happen to me.

I heard a fellow on the other night sending terrible CW. Like some people have a tin ear when it comes to music, some folks don't have a good ear for what good CW sounds like. Too bad but a fact of life.

73, N4KZ
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