Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by 2E0LPL, Apr 11, 2019.
I thought that was cheating ???
I have a MFJ 452 keyboard/keyer I bought to mess around with. I have used it a few times. I am a touch typist which is probably a basic requirement needed I believe, vs "hunt & peck". I have used it a few times ON AIR but I really was not able to ever warm up with it. I'm not sure why, maybe I did not give it enough time. As a touch typist one knows when they make a error, without looking of course. With the 452 most of the time I am typing into the buffer, since I am typing a bit faster that the code I am sending (generally to match the other guy) . My maximum CW copy is 21 ish, with perfect computer code being received by me, with less than perfect CW my copy ability goes down and if its real bad it goes to ZERO. The times I have used it on air I have been in the 17/18 wpm range. My complaint is that while typing into the buffer, and you do notice a error, I have not been able how to figure out to to backspace and remove it. Yes, I can backspace thru the text and correct it but it sends the mistake anyway.
I got a bit discussed with it and may be a lack of understanding on my part. The instructions which are included are very difficult to understand, for me anyway. It appears I should be able to backspace to the error in buffer and correct it with proper text. Even if I were able to figure that part out I doubt I would use it, its just not my thing after all. I have never owned a reader, and evidently that is not your intend either so using a keyboard to send may be OK. I would not consider a keyboard as a learning tool for CW. Take the time ane learn to send it with some sort of key, paddle or the like....... then if you want to mess around get a keyboard. just sayin...... 73 Rich
So Nick by glancing at your QRZ photo page I did notice a straight key on your desk. Have you had time to work on learning your CW yet? 73 Rich
Without wanting to hijack this thread I'd be interested to know how you can tell if someone is using keyboard to send CW.
Are there any 'clues'? How, for example do you distinguish a good paddle operator from someone using a keyboard. Is there a delay in answering quickly? I can imagine regular extra spaces if someone double clicks the space bar for example or presses a completely wrong letter say an 'I' when they meant to press 'K', a mistake you'd not likely make using a morse key.
Keyboard cw ops use vowels and punctuation marks to create complete words and sentences....
Dave with a keyboard the op has NO, absolutely NO control of the spacing of the code being send. Other than the initial setup of code speed and weight every character will be sent identically, without variation, as will the spacing. Its almost "monotone" in sound. No matter the proficiently of a paddle OP, it will always have some variation in the spacing, someplace.....having a human factor involved in the basic sending of it. It will sound more dimenial for this reason.
My first encounters with a keyboard CW OP I could not put my finger on just what sounded different about his CW, not knowing he was on a keyboard. Having purchased one, I realized that is what I was hearing. I'm not sure a person would pick it out as a keyboard if you were not familiar with the sound of a keyboard but I believe a even marginally seasoned OP would detect something different that the normal. All the other functions a OP uses ie pro signs...punctuation...error dits (8) are all within the programing, you would not know it was a keyboard, its the monotone spacing. A letter pressing error should be correctable before it has been sent, unless you are a "hunt and peck" typist since generally you are typing into the buffer and not "live", giving you time correct it, provided you know you made it.
Hope that helps some, 73 Rich
I've tried using the Fldigi software as a Morse keyboard/decoder, it works fairly well and allows you to backspace over typing
errors without sending them. That said, as far as I can tell from the documentation, it can't send the composite Morse
characters like (D E) (SK) (BT) etc, so it's kind of hard to carry on a normal Morse conversation. I get the feeling that
Morse is a fairly low priority for the Fldigi developers, it does a great job with psk31, Olivia, RTTY etc.
The Morse decoder side works OK if you have a narrow filter on your receiver and the sender has good timing.
I definitely had the feeling that I was "cheating" using the keyboard instead of my keyer, but it was a fun experiment to try.
There is a tab for Prosigns in the CW mode configuration -
The prosigns are generated by typing the character shown in the box. So, to send <AR> you type ">".
Fldigi has a "drop down" for these, which allows some user control of which typed character generates each prosign, but the ability to define new prosigns is not supported, nor are all characters available for mapping a particular prosign.
For this kind of flexibility, you can use CWType. That program allows complete control over prosigns, including the characters used to display them. For example, if you use lowercase to show Morse (like PSK31), you can define the prosign AR to show as uppercase AR. Or you can mimic Fldigi and define AR to show as <AR>.
D E can be handled in either Fldigi or CWType as part of a macro, such as the typical 3 x 2 call (CQ CQ CQ DE <callsign> <callsign>). This sends the characters with proper spacing and does not turn sequential characters into a prosign.
One of the nice things about CWType, in my opinion, is that it does not have to be run with a Morse decoder. It is just a Morse keyboard emulation. However, if you want to run a decoder, it will run alongside CWGet.