Prejudices against keyboard CW?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by AB2T, Oct 21, 2011.

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  1. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All

    My friend PZ1AC couldn't use his paddl;e anymore after having anastatic and surgery, he used a keyboard and sometimes a straight key.
    He did the decoding with his ears, and we had a lot of fun together.
    If you also RXed with a computer I think you could better do PSK or so.
    I wouldn't mind if someone used PC in RX or TX, but I think it would not be as fun with the brains at work, using a PC would just make it another digital mode.
    For me using thekeyboard would only make things worse as with the paddles, though my fine motor is not good at all and I still make many mistakes on TX in CW.
    I can RX faster and easyer as I can TX in CW.

  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Having rheumatoid arthritis, it can get painful to use either a straight key or a keyer for long periods of time. Therefore, I gave up using either a straight key or keyer, at least for any real length of time, several years ago. I still use the cerebral method of copying. I can type for long periods of time but have problems using the manual methods.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't mind copying a 'keyer' / keyboard, if the character / word spacing is good. Solution:... Have a 'straight key' plugged in along with the keyboard. Every now & then, send a BT or sum-such with the straight key & then go back to the keyboard!! You'll have 'em all scratching their head!! wtf...:p:D yuk yuk...
  4. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even weirder, the BT will be waaaay slower than the computer code ... imagine 25 wpm suddenly dropping to 13 wpm and then going back up to 25 wpm. That'll get 'em wondering for sure!

    Some ops, though, have a tendency to sent a whole string of BT's as an cw equivalent of a verbal "uh ..." I always find that a bit annoying. At most I'll send BT BT.
    73, Jordan
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  5. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    Good insight. I've noticed the same thing.

    Maybe we need an new Q signal that means "OK, can't think of a thing more to say, your turn to keep this QSO going."


  6. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I missed this thread so I will voice my thoughts now.

    Why would anyone on the other end be offended by copying perfect code sent with a keyboard? :confused:

    Years ago I had an old AEA PK64 which did packet and also did RTTY/CW with the right software, using the old Commodore 64.

    That modem copied good well, if it was sent well. Bug code, not a chance. Hell I can't copy bug code.

    One night I was on 40 late at night and heard a CQ at about 40 wpm. I tuned it in and the PK64 copied it perfectly. So I went back to the call. Come to find out that the other op was sending with a keyboard, copying with his ears.

    He told me that him and a group of his friends all used keyboards to send because they liked working high speed CW and the keyboard sent perfect code. That made it very easy for those guys to copy up to 60 wpm :eek:

    So it seems to me that using the keyboard is just fine, just don't tell anyone. They will just figure you have a perfect fist. I use it once in awhile with a Winkeyer. I don't do much CW, I also have Bushwhacker single lever paddle I can use.

    Like others said, if someone doesn't want to work you because your code is perfect then they can move on and you can work someone who does.
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I prefer to use a keyboard. Indeed, I'm scrambling to get a new interface finished in time for Sweepstakes. I have carpal tunnel on both hands, but I've used a keyboard off and on since I was a kid.
    I think I send OK with the paddles, and that's my only option when mobile, but I'd rather use a keyboard for ragchewing and contests.
  8. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In commercial CW the 'BT' was used mainly to separate portions of a msg. ie; heading from text, text from signature. If an operator needed to pause whilst in the middle of a msg, he would send 'BT' followed by 'AS'. If he needed more time, a 'AS1(one)' was the same as saying 'wait a minute'. In hamming, I use the 'BT' more to give the receiving operator a 'pause' than myself. (I know what I'm sending, He doesn't!)
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I finished building my WinKeyer2. It seems to work with the logging software I'm using this weekend. Now, I just need to clean up the shack and get everything tested. We'll see if I can beat my last SS, which was all manual.
  10. M0WAN

    M0WAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting discussion.
    I am a big fan of CW, but am pretty poor at sending and even worse at reading it, but hey, I'm practising.

    I see no problem at all with an operator using a keyboard if there is a good reason and the op knows the code, as in the examples above.

    Morse Code has always been a manually sent and read mode. What I don't like is the thought of Morse getting into the hands of those who have not bothered to learn it, and who send and decode using a computer - surely that's not in the spirit of Morse, is it? I'm sure in the early days of the telegraph the operators would have given a leg for automatic sending and decoding, but that's not the case now.

    To my mind, Morse is a manual skill and this would be spoilt if keyboard use by non-code ops becomes very popular, and I sincerely hope that never happens. With the ever-increasing ease with which non-phone modes can be decoded using software, I'm afraid that may happen, and that would be a shame indeed.

    There's amateur radio, and then there's Morse code.
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