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Increasing CW speed for new op...request recommendations

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W7MDN, Jul 18, 2021.

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  1. AJ6LB

    AJ6LB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am a bit confused by this. W1AW code practice uses Farnsworth spacing (at least up to 15 wpm).

    The problem I’ve had not using Farnsworth is that the individual letters sound wildly different at 5 wpm versus 20 wpm.
  2. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, I have to apologize. I had forgotten W1AW had switched to Farnsworth spacing for QRS practice transmissions.

    However, the bulletins do not use Farnsworth, nor does much of anybody else. If you send at 20 WPM with 10 WPM spacing, most people are going to reply at 20 WPM with 20 WPM spacing. The problem is, we cannot all adapt our sending the unique requirements of each individual. Quite the contrary; we need to seek to make our sending style consistent, so as to keep it from becoming such a conscious act that it interferes with our ability to be fluid in our exchanges.

    I have long suspected that Farnsworth could become a crutch, like counting dits. It's not fatal; most of us counted dits at some point in the process of learning code. But we learned to move past it through practice. In this case, I think the best thing you can do is listen to the on-air QSOs around 7055 for fifteen or thirty minutes three or four days a week. After a week or two you will probably start to get a feel for low-speed code should sound.

    In any event, I am confident that once you are not sending faster than you can copy, you will enjoy CW much, much more.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  3. K8PG

    K8PG QRZ Lifetime Member #333 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    As said …..

    and More PRACTICE .
    On the air operating / listening /

    Paul K8PG
    KE8OKM and W9RAC like this.
  4. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    ...which is one reason why learners seem to be steered towards using Farnsworth rather than going full QRS in the early stages. They learn how the characters sound at 20wpm or so, and all that changes is the gap between. That is supposed to make it easier to get up to 20wpm without hitting "it all sounds different now" walls....

    On the flip side, the way keyer speed is too often buried under seven layers of menu hell in some modern rigs, going Farnsworth is sometimes the easier way to "QRS"...
    KD2RDG likes this.
  5. N0NC

    N0NC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I participated in the K1USN SST for the first tine last sunday evening, made a few contacts, plan to make the weekly event from now on. See for more info. SST (Slow Speed Test) has a speed limit of 20WPM, so you won't find all the 35+ WPM stations like in regular contests.

    I noticed when working on code to get ready to upgrade to general, that you get used to copying with Farnsworth spacing at slower speeds and all of a sudden you get to 13 WPM and the extra space is gone, you notice it very quicky.

    When I was trying to get ready for the extra code test, I copied the ARRL bulletins at 18 WPM no Farnsworth as preperation. It was a great help toward passing the test.

    I guess what I mean is Farnsworth is a great tool when learning the morse, but eventually you have to take of the training wheels and go for it.

    73, Chuck
    WZ7U likes this.
  6. N1RBD

    N1RBD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I'm running a POTA/SOTA pileup and get a slower operator, I will use farnsworth. I run at 20wpm. Easier than changing the keyer speed, especially on the MTR.
    MW7SRA and KD1JT like this.
  7. N9AED

    N9AED XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since upgrading the firmware a couple of versions ago, I sometimes set the multifunction knob on my IC-7300 to adjust keyer speed directly.
  8. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I find the IC-7300's keyer adjustment easy to reach (if not quite as easy as the KX3's). The FT-817's, on the other hand...
  9. KE8OKM

    KE8OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your story echos mine exactly (QRP-learning for SOTA-Always portable in field operating)

    Check out the Kurt Zoggleman series on YT. There is ALOT of material from basic to advanced. I have spent much time in my vehicle alone listening to his YT videos. Listening over the last couple of months has really improved my head copy.
    N1RBD likes this.
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Listen when ever you can on air to code that's faster than you can copy without writing anything down. Pick out what you can when you can. Since you are not in the conversation getting lost wont matter. Keep doing this and word sounds will build in no time. You have to stay with-it, taking long breaks for days will stop the learning and set you back. Have fun, 73 Rich

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