About ready to give it a try ... here is my template for my first attempt

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KQ4MM, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't have to, and many don't. After the first over or two I usually just use the 'break' ... BK ... Dah di di dit dah di dah ...

    I usually adjust to the other op, figuring if I follow their lead it will be less confusion.

    Yes, BTU is back to you.
  2. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    @ KB1CKT Yep, 40 is here anyway tonight, 2nd QSO ended because I lost him, just faded away ... Did a 3rd with a nice slow gentleman in WI, was able to copy nearly 100%, Im' hooked, but exhausted, didn't realize how tense I was until I powered down the radio ... Whew... Plan to try and do at least 2 or 3n QSO's a night moving forward, then perhaps a SKCC sprint at the end of the month ...

    Anyway, thanks all for taking the time to read and making suggestions, hope to CU ON CW ...
  3. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a listen for you, but QRN and QSB... But I made two of my own. Not bad. Guess I didn't lose too much in my 2 years off. Now I should decide if I should learn how to use a straight key--I'm teaching myself how to send left handed, how hard could left handed be on a straight key?
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sent left and right handed to begin with and yes, it is easy enough to learn, not like writing which I have been an ink-smearing lefty from the start.
    Please get yourself on the air as soon as possible!
    It will be a thrill you won't forget.
    You Will screw it up the first few outtings but that is perfectly normal and any sort of good CW op on the other end will make room for that.
    Sounds like you want everything to be perfect and that's ok to the point where you may over think this and not enjoy trying it out.
    Remember, the kids in the 50's and 60's did this stuff for fun so it can't be that hard....
    Get on the air soon is my advice, if you want it...
    VY 73 de n8aft
  5. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    @N8AFT key word there is Perfect .. Yep, thats what I way trying to do, copy and send 100% perfectly, I said to myself, I could copy LCWO word groups 100%, send nearly perfect on a oscillator , even get in the high 90% on W1AW code practice, but add some QRM, QRN, varying fists and letter speeds .... I quickly found perfect was not going to happen. However, by the 3rd QSO I was starting to realize it was ok if I didn't copy perfectly things like the guys Rig model number or the exact height of his tower, etc... so long as I had the basics I was good to go and in some instances I could fill in the blanks ( and did). And yes, it was a thrill, shook physically the first time, then settled down for the next 2, was done after 3 (3rd one ran well over 30min) and had to take a break and QRT. I read your QRZ page and I too have a Lionel J-38 that I'm ready to put into service, but I treated myself for doing the work and re-learning CW and started out with a Bengali Camelback, man thats a sweet smooth straight key... Not going to say hope to work you, but rather will work you as I will be on the air as often as I can, even went so far as to disconnect the mic and stop it in a desk drawer ( plus side, now the rig cover fits perfectly ..hi hi)

    Thanks again everyone for all the comments, encouragement and suggestions .... Look forward to working each and every one of you on CW someday.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Rules to live by...

    1. There's no cash prize for solid copy
    2. Recognize the sound of letters and words and don't bother writing stuff down

    This, to me (and I've sure "taught" a great many code classes over the years), is why it's important to practice sending as much as copying code. The more you send, the more you recognize words and the more you recognize words the less tempted you are to write any of it down...which leads to much more relaxing operation. Other than the other guy's callsign, band, time, date etc. "for the log" I never write anything down, and really never have (didn't start out writing it down, so never got in that habit).

    You can hear ops making contacts at 35-40-45 wpm...they're not writing down any "copy," nobody can write that fast for long. I can't write that fast for even a minute!

    Relax and start recognizing words (and then, phrases and sentences) and you'll be making contacts when you're half asleep.:)
  7. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    And this newbie CW operator logged CW QSO #2 today, thanks to the skill and patience of AA4OO (located 30miles away, go figure.)
  8. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Problem is making that jump. I'm used to just looking up stuff when I need it, never memorizing it. Even my short term memory is awful (can't remember anything the wife tells me). I get the idea of hearing it at those speeds and immediately recognizing it; but there's a speed which is above writing yet below being able to remember like speech.

    In college I learned by writing down what the prof put on the board. Didn't matter to me if it was in the book already; I processed it by writing it down. Then I could see it all at once. Maybe I should try being blindfolded for a day.

    I did notice the last few Q's I was copying that I was dropping the middle of the word. But it was enough to understand the word. Perhaps that is a stepping stone. I recognize a few words but to be fair, I'm hearing the letters and anticipating where its going based upon what I've copied so far.

    Speaking of sending, I can definitely don't send as fast I can receive, at least not without a keyboard.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's common once you make the "step" above maybe 25-30 wpm to copy better and faster than you can send. I had exactly the same issue, and to some extent still do. I can "copy" 50 wpm quite solidly but if I send that fast I make mistakes. My limit for sending without making mistakes, or making very few of them, is about 40 wpm. It used to be higher when I was younger, but with age came more issues; not sure why.

    The idea of trying being blindfolded might have merit! I learn by hearing much more readily than by writing anything down. When I sit in a lecture, I just pay attention (if it's interesting! -- if it's boring, maybe not) and never wrote anything down. Writing would just slow down comprehension a lot, for me. But everyone's different.

    Something that worked well for me in business was to simply pay close attention to what people were saying, without trying to formulate responses. When they were done speaking, I'd think about what they said for a while without replying at all. "Interrupting" someone while they're speaking has never been anything I've been comfortable with and I can't do it.

    Code to me sounds like someone speaking. I think after all these years I don't even hear dits and dahs, I hear speech in the form of code.:)
    M6GYU likes this.
  10. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    QSL on the mic stowed in a drawer. Haven't used a mic on HF in a yera or more now.
    Yes, the code is becoming words to me now more and more.
    Sure is fun, TX equipment needed is simple, also CW ops are very friendly and knowledgable compared to the phoner crowd.
    Glad I took time to learn Morse a few yrs ago...
    Great milestone on that 2nd QSO OM! Congrats
    KQ4MM likes this.

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