Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KD8ZM, Aug 24, 2017.
That's a great start!
Spacing is everything.
Same here, thank you.
I hear a surprising number of people on the air at about 5 wpm - usually around 7040 to 7060.
If you use that KMT app every available moment it won't take long to get your speed up. It's exhausting at first but then something clicks and suddenly it no longer is. I think that click is when it drops into your long-term memory bank.
I only own a straight key, so no temptation to go with a bug. I have a feeling right now it's not the hardware holding me back! hi hi
The "flub ratio" may go down over time, but it never goes to zero ... at least not in my case
GL CW ES 73,
I figure the flub ration will decrease over time, I just want the nervousness to go away, I still get nervous answering or even calling CQ at 5-7 WPM. I have the same nervousness on phone being s a shy person my nature, I was hoping it would lessen on CW since I didn't have to have the gift of gab there. Fingers crossed it will lessen ...
One trick for spacing (I think) is to listen to the relay in the rig. If you have semi-QSK you can set it so that it clicks on about the space you want between words.
I run my paddle through my K1EL keyboard sender, and usually watch what I'm sending. It gives me indication if I'm running stuff together, or using decent pauses.
I think all of us who were not trained by the military suffered from this when we first began having QSOs. It goes away fairly quickly.
I lost my nervousness on CW after a dozen or so QSOs when I had my Novice ticket, and then it started all over again when I got my General ticket and started working SSB.
I'm starting to get past the point of making a mistake. If I send "FIR" instead of "FER" these days I'm starting to just ignore it and keep going. Whoever is receiving it is going to already know it's a mistake and apt to ignore that goof. Only if it's pretty bad do I send a string of dits. Usually a pause and resend if it's only "so-so" bad.
Keeping to the usual flow for a QSO also helps. If the first go around is always RST, QTH and name, it becomes somewhat easier to decode bad sending, as one expects to know what will be coming. Failing that: "SRI OM QSB ES QRM ES QRN ES XYL CALLING 73".
Still a little jitters after six CW QSOs, but I'm settling down. My copy is better than my send, but then again, I've practiced copying more than sending, so it's to be expected.
Ordered a practice oscillator so I can practice anywhere; I anticipate that in a couple of months my sending will be up to par, and not nearly so painful to listen to as it is now.
@KM4DYK ... I'm just the opposite, I can send 2X faster than I can copy, have about 20 QSO's under my belt now and had something happen for the first time Friday that was awesome... a free style (rag chew) 1+ hour QSO that was totally off script ( QRS to boot) .. We exchanged the basics as first then it was all of the top of my head...Took a few rounds then it started to flow for me. Guy offered to do it again anytime and I plan to take him up on it... I can see this really helping speed, copy, and head copy... I still used some abbreviations but a lot was just plain text (both ways) it got easier as it progressed as you do start to recognize words and start relaxing.
But yes, I still get the jitters a first every time ... physically tremble...part excitement, part nervous ...
73 DE KQ4MM