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Author Topic: Which of five types of CW sending do you use?  (Read 3383 times)
VK5EEE
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Posts: 1176




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« on: November 11, 2017, 09:21:52 PM »

And how often, e.g. never, always, or regularly...

PUMP (STRAIGHT KEY)
KEYER (ELECTRONIC)
BUG (SEMI AUTO DITS)
COOTIE (SIDESWIPER)
KEYBOARD (COMPUTER)

I don't know yet, but I will take a guess that most people use primarily or only ONE method of sending, and many use TWO methods of sending, perhaps three. I think it will be rare to find those of us who enjoy and regularly use four methods, or even five.

As Original Poster here let me say this is not at all a competition nor does it mean that anyone using only ONE method is a lesser operator. There are many reasons people have for using one or two methods only: ranging from like, preference, ability, convenience, equipment, etc.

I'll start the ball rolling: I use Pump, Keyer, Bug, Cootie. My choice is sometimes convenience (e.g. which I have hooked to which rig and where),  and sometimes choice mood, speed, QSO partner. When I am active on air I tend to use all of them a lot but my preferences also depend on speed: for really slow I like Pump, for really fast, I like keyer. For mid range I enjoy bug, cootie or keyer.

I have used keyboards for QRQQ e.g. 50-80 WPM but not often enough to mention.

I can make them all sound the exact same within a certain speed range e.g. 18 to 22 WPM, but above this I generally use different styles: on keyer I often like to aim to send so the sound is like as if generated on a computer, as that has a nice rhythm and tempo. I love the bug as it is easy and I can then vary the CW to have a "swing", I'm still relatively new at side swiper, but I enjoy the method of keying (surprisingly easy to take up, I thought it would be nearly impossible before actually trying it -- there is an easy way to learn, e.g start with numbers and dahs first). Straight key I don't use quite as much as the others, but when it is QRS e.g. below 16 WPM I prefer the straight key/pump.

And what other types of keying may they be? Oh: Microphone button! I sometimes key CW that way when mobile if my keyer is not in the car, but I do not enjoy it! Also "button pushing"  Shocked e.g. the "straight key" on the QCX is a little lever over a button, it is not a thoroughly enjoyable experience using it, but, much easier and less awful than one might expect! Here is a photo of the key:



And, voluntarily, how tolerant do you rate yourself of CW flexibility? TOL n where n is:

1: It has to be near perfect CW otherwise the operator needs to make more effort to send better
2: I generally don't answer or tune away from, or finish QSO quickly, if the CW is not to my standard
3: Fairly tolerant, probably in the middle
4: I put up with most types of CW but draw the line at the unintelligble (or too slow, too fast)
5: I even try to read the unreadable and see it as a challenge, if I have the time

For me TOL = 5 on a good day, 4 on a bad day.

Again this score is not something that should be held against anyone. Those who appreciate music, and the best musicians, can be found  with a TOL = 1 -- it's a personal choice as it is a wide hobby. No one has to enjoy DX, QRP, signals in the noise, poor CW etc.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
W1JKA
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Posts: 2088




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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 06:44:11 AM »

I'd have to rate myself as always straight key #4
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KQ4MM
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 07:15:42 AM »

1. PUMP (STRAIGHT KEY) -   95% of the time
2. COOTIE (SIDESWIPER)  - 5%, in the process of learning, very fun, will likely soon replace #1
3. BUG (SEMI AUTO DITS) - On my bucket list to lean, still surfing eBay for a deal on a bug
4. KEYER (ELECTRONIC)  - 0% I have a bencher BY-1 I used years ago, but don't use it now
5. KEYBOARD (COMPUTER) - 0% Rig not interfaced for this, likely wouldn't use it anyway if it was ( as a IT guy I already spend too much time behind a screen  and keyboard anyway... like now..LOL)

Tolerance, I would consider my self 4, will answer just about any CQ unless of course it too fast, which is most of the time at the moment or just too hard to copy ( haven't actually had that happen yet). Im pretty slow, but always always answer super slow CQs as I remember well being so nervous.

Cheers

Brian - KQ4MM
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N9AOP
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Posts: 676




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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 11:32:50 AM »

KEYER AND #3.  I can run 25-30 but am most comfortable around 20.
Art
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K0UA
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Posts: 1461




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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 11:54:36 AM »

Straight key some. (25% maybe a little more)
Keyer Mostly.
Keyboard, I have done it, but very rarely.
Cootie Never. the thing makes absolutely zero sense to me.
Bug Never.  I have played with them years ago, and think they are an invention of the devil.  Smiley

Tolerence   2... If you can't send CW that is fairly clean.. Work something else or work someone else. Pobody's Nerfect, but you should try. Smiley
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1461




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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 02:19:52 PM »

I used to use paddles with a keyer.  And I've got a couple of bugs I've always wanted to fix up and try using on the air.  But I've got progressive muscle tremors that are getting much worse, and I can't send clean CW by paddle any more.   

A few weeks ago I set up a "keyboard CW" setup, and that works pretty well for contests and DXing.  My tremors are so bad I can't type a few sentences for a normal chat (just writing this post is taking me 2-3 times longer than it used to.)  But the macro keys let me do CW, RTTY, and PSK contesting and DXing, at least.  No realtime 'chat' but I can live with that.  Better than no ham radio at all!  :-) 

(Yes, I can still work phone but I'm not a phone guy and only use it from the car.  Don't have a microphone hooked up to either of the radios I use at home.)  73!  --ken
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AA4OO
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Posts: 108


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 04:02:46 PM »

1. PUMP (STRAIGHT KEY) -   25% of the time
2. COOTIE (SIDESWIPER)  - 1%, I've used one for a few QSOs but it's not on the desk now
3. BUG (SEMI AUTO DITS) - 50% I love the bug
4. KEYER (ELECTRONIC)  - 24% I use the keyer when working temperamental ops
5. KEYBOARD (COMPUTER) - 0% That would take all the fun out of it

Tolerance: 4, tolerant of most fists except crammed together code

I will often rotate through 3 keys during a single QSO, they're all hooked up and operational



Richard AA4OO
http://hamradioqrp.com
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Lower your Power and Raise your expectations
VK5EEE
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Posts: 1176




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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 05:15:35 PM »

Beautiful contributions from everyone, do keep them coming! May this also help cement the friendship between all types of CW ops!
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 184




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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 05:22:15 PM »

40 years in this hobby, I have never tried a bug even though i am 95% CW ops.  Am I missing out on all the fun?  Just wondering...straight key and BY-1 paddle.  Tolerant of all CW.
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KC8MWG
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Posts: 445




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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 05:26:01 PM »

I haven't used CW since I upgraded to General years ago, but am thinking about getting back into it. unfortunately, I have forgotten most of it through lack of use, so I will most likely be using KEYBOARD.
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AK0B
Member

Posts: 269




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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 05:35:36 PM »

stright key 95 % of the time, a bug sometimes.

been enjoying (ham radio) since 1954, have used a keyer but love the stright key at 12 to 15 wpm.

Stan AK0b
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N4OI
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2017, 05:53:49 PM »

I have a Begali Signature paddle, old Vibroplex bug and a Begali Spark straight key, all connected at the same time and available by just changing my arm position.  The choice is mainly driven by speed:
 
(1) Keyer -- 26 wpm (chats) to 32 wpm (contests)
(2) Bug -- ~23 wpm  (fun watching the mechanics swinging around)
(3) Straight Key - ~15 wpm  (painful but proves key is more than a paperweight)

Speed of the QSO is determined by my mood, the other person's speed, or where I am calling CQ -- for example, using the bug near the SKCC frequencies.

All fun!  73  Roll Eyes
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AA4Q
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2017, 10:06:48 PM »

PUMP (STRAIGHT KEY) nearly all ragchewing and SOTA
KEYER (ELECTRONIC) contesting & DXing
BUG (SEMI AUTO DITS) don't know how to work those things
COOTIE (SIDESWIPER) nor these things
KEYBOARD (COMPUTER) I refuse to send ad hoc text with a keyboard, but I do use the Function key canned message feature in N1MM in contests. I NEVER copy CW with a computer but that's outside the scope of this question.




AA4Q
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GW3OQK
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Posts: 397




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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 04:46:58 AM »

Straight key 100%
Tolerance 4

Ideal speed for sending and writing what's received, about 22 wpm.
73
Andrew

PS, Lou, listened a few times early morning but nil heard from you yet.
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OZ8AGB
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Posts: 347




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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 05:47:44 AM »

PADDLE/KEYER and PUMP
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