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Author Topic: Learning to send CW  (Read 1795 times)
KB1OOO
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Posts: 214


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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2009, 10:22:51 AM »

Hi K5TAT,

You are to be applauded for very carefully doing your research on these
matters.  A couple comments.

> Some of you implied I will know that I am sending good code after I
> learn good code via G4FON. Probably correct, but do the bad fists know
> they are bad? I think many don’t know.

You are correct, many of them don't know, and encountering a bad fist is
not a rare event.   A good many others were once bad fists until someone
on the other end of the QSO was brave enough to be honest.  DJ1YFK--one
of 2 people on the planet to break 200wpm (that is not a typo) call sign
copy in an official competition--has admitted to being one such op.

Another option that works well if you have access to a linux or OS X box
is CWIRC, which lets you have cw QSOs over the internet.  You can hook
up your paddle / sk via a simple mod to a USB mouse, or via a serial
port.  It allows you to have QSOs in a somewhat less stressful
environment, and has a decoder which is extremely helpful for validating
your sending.  

Best of luck to you,
Marc
KB1OOO.
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N9BH
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2009, 04:49:34 AM »

straight key or keyer, do record and listen to yourself.
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KG6WKD
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2009, 01:27:02 PM »

I'm currently "re-learning" the code with G4FON.  At the same time, I'm learning how to send using a a $17.95 Ameco key, and a great program that DOES give real-time feedback:  "MorseLearner"  (http://www.wxv.co.nz/MorseLearner/).  The first few days, sending seemed more difficult than copying.  But after about a month now I can confirm that it is much easier than copying.  The MorseLearner program makes it really fun, and breaks up the monotony of copying.  I try to limit myself to practicing sending to only every 3rd or 4th session that I sit down with G4FON, since where I really need to progress is on the copying.
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W9OY
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2009, 08:05:42 AM »

congrats on your license and interest in CW

In my opinion learning to send with a strait key is a TOTAL waste of time.  It tends to reinforce the "look up table" method of learning by actually using a physical movement coupled with the sound.  You do all these methods to NOT learn by look up table only to screw it up with a strait key.  You will be having QSO's with a keyer so learn with a keyer.  

Then after you are a CW ACE you can goof around with the anachronistic strait key.

73  W9OY
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N6NKN
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Posts: 425




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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2009, 12:49:38 PM »

I started practice sending by sending the characters after hearing them on G4FON. Once I got that down I sent through my rig with the break-in off ( not transmitting ) and monitored myself on CW Get. I use a paddle and found it much easier to get the correct spacing.

Most of all. Have fun.

Rick N6NKN
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IZ4KBS
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Posts: 94




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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2009, 03:05:27 PM »

=== Another option that works well if you have access to a linux or OS X box
is CWIRC, which lets you have cw QSOs over the internet. You can hook
up your paddle / sk via a simple mod to a USB mouse, or via a serial
port. It allows you to have QSOs in a somewhat less stressful
environment, and has a decoder which is extremely helpful for validating
your sending. ===

I agree. CWIRC is probably the best method to learn CW, both sending and copying. Plus, it also sports CW news channels where you can keep in touch with the world while learning.

just my 0.02
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VE3WMB
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Posts: 286




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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2009, 08:24:49 PM »

I didn't see anyone else mention this so I will.

Whatever you decide to use to send, paddles and a keyer or a straight key, I suggest that you get and read a copy of William Pierponts book "The Art and Skill of Radio Telegraphy".  It can be downloaded for free from :

http://www.qsl.net/n9bor/n0hff.htm

I recall that there is some very good information in this about proper techniques for sending with whatever means you choose.

Personally I found that recording my sending periodically and playing it back later was a good test. If you can't copy your own sending then you need some work. As soon as you feel that you are up to it then try to get on the air and make some contacts. This will help to build confidence and speed.

There are lots of groups promoting CW these days, such as SKCC (Straight Key Century Club), NAQCC (North American QRP CW Club and FISTS.  Join some of these groups and through their online forums you can often arrange slow speed SKEDS with other hams that are in the same boat as you are. FISTS even has a Code Buddy program that can match you up with another Ham who volunteers to be a CW elmer.
There are also a number of slow-speed nets that you can check into as well.

Best of luck and stick with it.

Michael VE3WMB
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AB1JB
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2009, 07:33:13 AM »

I downloaded software from MRX which allows me to use the down arrow on the computer keyboard for a straight key or the left and right arrows for iambic to practice sending.  With a cable sold by Bulldog you can hook up your own straight key or paddles to practice sending with this program (it does not work with the CW Touch Keyer).
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W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2009, 10:25:11 AM »

Use arrow keys to practice sending iambic?Huh Why??

You are getting and giving some of the worst advice that I've ever seen on this forum.
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2009, 12:00:57 PM »

Congrats for caring enough about CW to want to be good at it.  Listen to w1aw as much as you can.  Start out just listening to the higher speeds, and as the speed comes down you will be surprised to find you will start to catch things at 13wpm.  When it gets down to 5wpm, you will feel more comfortable.  Do this every day for awhile and you will be copying words, not just characters.  Listen to CW contests.  By the time I could send and copy 13wpm, my comprehension and speed went up quickly from there.  Remember that tincture of time is the key here.  Get a college textbook or the Editorial section of your newspaper and practice sending that way.  I would work on 30 minutes of emphasis on accuracy, then 30 minutes of speed, not worrying about the errors.  By combining it like this, you get the best of both worlds. Don't allow yourself to get frustrated, just keep plugging on.  Take the long-term view that you will be better in a month than you are now, and better in two months than you will be at one month.  The hardest thing to do at first is learning to relax.  As time goes on, you WILL increase your proficiency, and surprise yourself.  Good luck and good hunting.   73, Rick n5xm
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AB1JB
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2009, 07:12:41 AM »

Try MRX at http://www.mrx.com.au/ for a program that teaches sending skills.  You can use the down arrow on your computer for a straight key and the left and right arrows for paddles.  If you purchase a special cable you can hook up your own strait key or paddles (does not work with the CW Touch Keyer).  The program will gradually require better and better sending on your part as you progress through the lessons.
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