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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. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I started this thread, I had some kind of idea in my head that there must be some kind of training regimen or manual that is standard procedure on how to progress from the 25-30 wpm range of copy to the 50s or 60s. I think that was what I was looking for. All the computer OS have manuals and dummy books galore on how to go from basic key presser to computer programmer. When I took taekwondo, there was a path. When I bought numerous Runners Worlds, there were schedules on how to walk, then jog, then run. Systems to go from a 10 min/mile to a 7 min/mile and all was fairly basic information. Only after getting to the upper echelon of your abilities was there need for an individual coach or teacher to tell you what you were too close to yourself to see.
    I had hoped for a system. I guess the system is just 'immersion'. Soaking non-stop in code. I can do that.
    I appreciate all the web site references and the frequency tips. The most pertinent response was one that I didn't particularly care for, but it made me think. Why did I want to go 50wpm. Recently heard again about another James Ricks, who also loved CW. I suppose I was wanting to live up to the name. Not going to happen. I share genes with a lot of Ricks'es in this country. A really good chance I share some of his, because I tie genetically with the northern as well as southern branch of Ricks'es. BUT I'm me and I need to be me. If that means I love CW, so be it.
    I'm hoping to receive a really nice Leonessa this next week. It will switch single or dual function. I have once again partaken of their wonderful service and fully intend, given the chance to wear that sucker out. I will be practicing with oscillator and rig sidetone. Going to be 'reading the mail' as ole Jake used to say almost every time I asked what he had been doing. IN the old days it was a mark of a good ham to listen, listen, listen. Jake did. He 'read the mail'. I'm going to emulate. Funny, he's been gone a long time now, but he is still teaching.
    So I'm going quiet for a bit. Got a lot of work to do. Not for awards, membership, wall paper, just because I want to do it. Going to do it the old way or not at all. Receiver, key, oscillator. We'll see what happens.
    Thank you all. 73's,
    Stick a fork in it.
  2. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sometimes there aren't paint-by-number guides for doing things.

    I haven't yet run across instructions for covering my rig's front panel with fur.

    Or chocolate-coating my antenna.

    Probably, as with other matters, there isn't a great demand out there.

    When you arrive at 50 wpm you can write the instruction manual.
    M6GYU likes this.
  3. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    You will reach 50 WPM just like you reached 30 WPM. Find a QSO partner that can do 30-50 WPM and keep bumping the speed up a few WPM every week or so. It takes time to become accustomed to how words and sentences sound at QRQ speeds. They are short duration patterns. They sound different. However it's the same process as learning 30 WPM. Sending 50 WPM with a paddle will also be a challenge that will take time and require good fine motor skills and relearning muscle memory for each character. Again, a few WPM increase each week or so and you will get there. If you think you wont reach 50 WPM then you probably wont ! Having a positive mental attitude is more important than practicing the code. Hope to work you some day soon. -Joe N3HEE
    K5TSK likes this.
  4. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't stay hooked up here all the time. Check in from time to time and thought this thread was done, but was checking another thread and saw your positive feedback. Thank you. I learned cw by receiving a piece of paper that had e, i , s, h, 5 one week. Next week, t, m, o, 0. You get the idea. Been in and out of ham radio so much I don't know how I got to 30, other than CW always being my first love and remembering W1AW. Making my first 30 qsos on cw before I ever hooked up a mike this last time around. Frankly, I was about to just say 'quit' the silliness. Then two or three nights ago I was listening to a 30 wpm qso down around 7.029 or so, then they moved down to the extra.. Heard one station really well, and the other on/out. But I heard the loud station saying something pretty close to what I had posted here earlier.. Became evident the other station was able and willing to copy as loud station sped up. He went to 35 wpm for a little bit. Then he sped up and was sending 40 according to his calibration, then 45, then 50. All on a paddle. Then he sped up and lost me completely.
    I copied most until he tried over 50. My jaw dropped. Wasn't aware a paddle would allow that. More so, I never dreamed I could copy near that. I didn't sleep much that night just thinking about what I had heard and copied. Next day I was missing stuff from another op at 35 wpm. Not sure what kicks that switch on/off, but I like it better when it's on. I will listen a lot more. I'm not getting on the air with Leonessa until I get a few hours of practice under my belt. You are right about qsoing at speed and working up.
    When I was attempting road racing in my forties, you did your base work for the vast majority of running, a little fartlek, if that was your pleasure, a wee bit of speed work at the track, then road race to confirm your present fitness. It's not the same as cw, but I think you will hear me at 15, 20, 25, later 30 and up when I get my fist going. We'll see what happens. I'm 72. Need to be realistic, but who knows.

    Thank you for the positive feedback and thank you for the past qsos.
  5. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. N0NC

    N0NC Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of my CW mentors here in Newton, Iowa had a regular sked with Bob Denniston VP2VI (SK) (W0DX) when he lived in the British Virgin Islands. He said when Bob thought you seemed to be copying him 100%, he would speed up and make you stretch for it.

    K5TSK likes this.

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