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Experienced CW Ops - Question on Copying CW

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K1DNR, Sep 3, 2010.

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  1. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    That depends *ENTIRELY* on what you are doing.

    My "high speed" CW of 25 to 30 WPM was during working nets in the NTS system. I was copying messages that I was to pass along to someone else. I needed a hard copy that was reliable, not something I "thought" I remembered several sentences ago.

    Hence, I copied EVERY word, written down on paper, so I had a record of the message and could pass it along. I didn't want to rely on my memory, having played that game as a kid where one whispers in your ear something and you tell it to the next person, on down the line.

    So I copied by pencil and paper every character, every word. There was no other option.

    It worked well up to about 30 wpm. Being a doctor, I simply couldn't read my writing any faster than that!! :D:D

    I now "ghost" write with my finger in the air to help me copy in my head what I was used to writing down. I admit my habit of writing all those messages down years ago hinders my ability to move beyond 30/35 WPM.

    Except in contests, of course! ;)

  2. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Well, yes and no. In the navy, and, in a different sense, a bit in the merchant marine, We were more often than not copying 5 letter code groups or words that were almost foreign in nature. We wouldnt really know if there were sending errors.. Natureally, the inbound traffic was checked when possible and group counts were confirmed. Commercial traffic is not the same as ham traffic. The broadcasts and press were often machine sent anyhow.

  3. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Sort of the point I was trying for. More often than not, when the code would stop, my fingers would have two lines left to type. The hardest part of passing my 2nd and later 1st telegraph test was writing at 25wpm so that the engineer could read it.. The code was no problem.. Penmanship was a bummer. They wouldnt let you bring your mill.

  4. WA4FNG

    WA4FNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of good stuff here, but no one mentioned that a background in music can help you send better code. At least that's my opinion. I've been told many times I have a very good fist and I really believe that my timing and spacing has a lot to do with playing guitar (finger-style) and piano.

    I often hear CQs from ops using bugs with a v-e-r-y long dash length. If it's too painful to copy I don't reply. If it's an op I know is 90 years old, well I think that's a different story and welcome the opportunity of a QSO.

    73 - Milt
  5. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    I dont discrimintate... I'll try to talk to anybody.. I will admit, if the fist is really crappy, I may just QSB away..

  6. K1DNR

    K1DNR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Having a music background definitely helps me. I time my sending the same way I'd time playing an instrument. There really is no difference. dit dit dit dit is the ongoing count. Dash is three dits, etc. The only problem with my fist has been getting used to paddles again - which is usually overcome by sitting properly to work them properly and comfortably. Thinking ahead about what I'm going send helps too!

    I was in the habit of using the relay to space words. I'm getting out of that habit.

    I think the speed is coming along. I've been listening to practice files from CW Online. That "buffer" is a big thing. There's a real sweet spot where I'm maybe a word or two or three behind... that flow gets broken by unusual characters, unusual words, odd sounding fists, etc... But I think as I get more and more confident and comfortable heading towards 30, i won't get thrown as much.
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