Drawn out dahs??

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KD8ZM, Dec 30, 2017.

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  1. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, as a new guy I've figured out most cw protocol by now. One exception: what's up with the guys who draw their dashes out, to the point that one can often not tell what they are even trying to say? Some of them have been on cw for decades - have they always sent that way, or is age taking it's toll? Am I a bad person for avoiding them, or for ending a QSO as soon as politely possible when they answer my call?
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    He's running a bug - where you can "linger on the dah" because it's manual. Was VERY common in the 1970s and was often called "banana boat swing".

    I hated it as a new Novice at 14 until I got much better at CW.

    Some of those old timers are still out there - used to be a way to "have a signature sound"

    N7ANN, W5BIB and WA7PRC like this.
  3. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hear the occasional "dahhhhhhhhhh-dit-dahhhhhhhhhhh" at the end of an exchange.

    I also sometimes "swing" my Q a little when switching from one bug to another: "da-daahhh-dit-dah". Makes me cringe a little when I do it, so I start paying closer attention and it seems to smooth out.

    Chuck VE7PJR
  4. KQ4MM

    KQ4MM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Isnt that cut for a zero ... long dah ... but yep like Dave said, its their signature sound, cootie guys do it some too ...
  5. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, to each his own. I just avoid them. I hear people using bugs who can send correctly, and of course I don't avoid them.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been active on CW for 52+ years and I avoid them, also.

    For me, it's supposed to be a pleasure to copy code, and it's very relaxing; but not if I have to concentrate on "what the heck is he trying to send?":p
    KD8ZM likes this.
  7. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think most guys you hear sending DITs at 25 WPM and DAHs at 15 did not always send like this, and when they were younger their bugs sounded much more like a keyer, with normal (or at least not objectionably long) length DAHs.

    There are exceptions. Some guys using bugs have never learned to tap the DAH paddle; they press it instead, which makes the DAHs longer than they should be.

    However, I think most bug operators will agree that as we age, we start to have trouble making the taps as brief as they should be. I have to practice periodically to make sure my DAHs don't grow objectionably long; and sometimes, my right forefinger "freezes" for a fraction of a second with the DAH paddle pressed. This tends to happen at the end of my callsign, for example, making me send DAAAAAAAAAAH DAAAAAAAAAH DIT DIT for the "z".

    Some guys probably exaggerate their DAHs because they think "back in the day everyone used to do it;" but some guys are probably embarrassed by their overlong DAH propensities, and some (most?) are in denial about it.

    I also agree it makes for harder-than-necessary copy, just as any tendency to stray from the commonly accepted character formations (such as over-exaggerated Farnsworth spacing on the air, or lack of spacing between words) causes confusion.

    Listen to good code, seek to emulate it, and never give up the occasional practice to keep yourself sharp!
    KD8ZM likes this.
  8. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad to see I'm not alone! I'd bet many of them attribute the lack of response to bad band conditions!
  9. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to admit my own ability to tolerate poorly-sent CW seems to be less than others. I often hear what sounds to me like almost complete gibberish, out of which I can only get a word or two every now and then, only to find when the other OP replies that he has apparently understood the whole thing perfectly!
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    If they are sending "correctly" how do you know they're using a bug? :rolleyes:

    N7ANN likes this.

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