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From 30 marginal to 50 wpm??

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K5TSK, May 7, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

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

    The absolute fastest I've ever personally been involved with is contesting - at about 42 WPM which is where I "tap out" at sending on a paddle. And even at that, I can only do that speed for contesting - where you have multiple passes at his call and the exchange - I struggle at that speed for anything but the most basic exchanges. NO WAY could I do ARRL Sweeps exchange at 42 WPM!! Maybe in 43 years I've heard a QSO faster than that but I would have just "spun the dial" anyway, as not able to copy much.

    Most of my normal contesting is 25 to 35 - and normal QSOs are 25 to 28 when I have control of the speed, anyway - before I might hit "QRS 25"

    But I admire the aspiration to attain 50 - that's certainly admirable.

    K5TSK and W5BIB like this.
  2. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Who would you talk to at 50, a computer?
  3. W7UUU

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

    Or another ham capable of doing 50 WPM ;)

    WB5YUZ and M6GYU like this.
  4. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are right of course. My problem at 30 and above is the reason I posted the question. And you are right, start where you are at and then move up.
    The problem is I was taught first memorizing letters on a piece of paper. Then 5 wpm on a code oscillator and then struggling to make 13. You know, the way the service ops taught back in late fifties.
    Now I hear that was all wrong and might be part of the reason I struggle to move up. I was hoping for some advice that was going to help in my quest for the next level.
    The thing about copying on a mill will more or less force me to copy where I'm at and move up.
    Sounds like work, but then, "No one said it would be easy."
    Thanks to you and thanks to W1VT. Yes, contests are an obvious source of faster code, I need to get off SKCC and concentrate on the faster stuff.
    73 to you both,
  5. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Howdy Dave. Those two guys I heard last night finished with the CFO call.
    And I'm hearing somebody that must be doing 60 or better. I can forget that.
    73 all.
    W7UUU likes this.
  6. W7UUU

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

    Well, good luck to you in your quest - I think it's admirable and wish you all the best in achieving your goal

    K5TSK likes this.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use code. A lot.

    I can still copy 50 wpm but can't send it. 20 years ago I could actually send that fast with a paddle and maybe 2-3% errors but today I just cannot; the reflexes and coordination required have faded.

    Used to check in with the chicken fisters on 40m early in the mornings, many years ago -- and they were up early so this was before breakfast and before work. Haven't even looked for them in several years. A few of those guys going 50 wpm were using bugs, which I thought was astonishing. Mostly ex-military ops, WW2 veterans. All are either SK now or so old they're not active anymore.
    K5TSK and WB5YUZ like this.
  8. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am not a member, but I admire their abilities.
    There are some out there. Sadly, yes, the WW2 group is getting pretty thin, but I heard a guy on the other day that was 89 and I envied his fist. I think age is reducing reflex time on a bunch of us, so I would not refrain from listening and I bet they would be tickled to have you rejoin the ranks. Google Chicken Fat Operators. I bet you may recognize some of the calls. Hope so anyway.
    And yes, you are right of course. It's going to take practice.
    During my forties, I road raced like a bunch of other guys my age. Run, run, run. But then there's the genetics also and you simply can't beat that. You have to practice to find the place where you can't do better. I need to get busy.
  9. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The regular CW ops I run into on various nets and hangout frequencies don't seem to be concerned much with speed.
    Many, if not most, want to send as cleanly and clearly as possible, which many take as a constant challenge.

    They also tend not to be competitive contesters so the high-speed early sorting thing doesn't matter to them.
    K8AI likes this.
  10. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    tune around 7.030 - 7.035 there seems to be some higher speed QSOs going on at some point. I challenge myself to keep up with them. I can probably get 60-70% of the QSO - always get the calls (i think I'm trained to get calls from contesting) but following along with the conversation can be tough
    K5TSK likes this.

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