Straight Keys? CW Proponents?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WA7DU, Jul 28, 2015.

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had a pal on 7120 last spring that was using a keyboard. I had QSO'd with him in the months prior and found it odd for him to suddenly use a keyboard. Yes, I did miss his usual fist. Came to find out he had made up the keyboard and keyer for a friend of his who could no longer manipulate a straight or a bug anymore and was trying it out with me... Okay, 77!
    VK5EEE likes this.
  2. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love it Venn people do that. :)
  3. W5UXH

    W5UXH Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been CW only since my Novice ticket arrived in 1960. I quickly moved to a paddle (two Navy keys back to back on a block of lead) and have been using "electronic" devices to key ever since. I enjoy qsos with good ops at any speed, preferably at or above 20 wpm. I also enjoy "higher speeds" up to 65 wpm or so, but certainly am not able to use a paddle at those speeds. I know a few Europeans who actually can send readable (and conversational) code above 50 wpm, but my ears prefer clean code that I can copy without a struggle, so I also prefer keyboard sent code at any speed above the point where the other op's paddle fist is degrading too much for my ears.

    I can appreciate a really good straight key or bug fist, but I do not need "personality" in the cw, I want pleasant qso's that just flow in my head like any other conversation.

    Unfortunately, there seem to be too many CW ops out there who like to interfere when they hear "keyboard" code at speeds like 60 wpm. My guess is they think it is "computer to computer / decoders in use" and thus feel they should illegally interfere. I have heard many CW ops comment on forums that they "know" there is no one who can copy such speeds. So we suffer from their "knowledge" when trying to just enjoy a nice rag chew. Oh well, such is life. We have dealt with this for decades so I have no idea that it will ever go away. It is just a real shame that there are otherwise reasonable CW ops who think their way is the only way.

    I have built keyers, and later keyboards, for decades because I enjoy hardware (and now software) that generates CW. I recently have played with software on ChipKit boards (some folks call these PIC32 processor boards "Arduino on steroids"). These 32 bit / 80 MHz processors are great. I decided to add decoding to the software, strictly for the fun of playing with the software. The higher the speed, the more of a distraction it is to have a decoder running, so I have to disable it for speeds up around 65 to 70 wpm. But it is fun to have it available to measure the speed from the other op, since I usually am not able to judge the difference between 55 and 65 wpm when in qso.

    I know ops who can easily copy 80 wpm, and a few in the past who could copy normal qso conversation, full qsk, over 100 wpm. So for the non-believers out there, the Bell curve really exists.
    AJ6KZ, W1ADE and VK5EEE like this.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think this is just great to have Finally a real CW Forum on QRZ.! Thank You!
    The CW Forum page on that 'other website' can be rude and crude. Let's all strive for friendly and civil comments Please and Thank ou.
    77 and VY 73 from lane in Ohio. de n8aft sk ..
    VK5EEE likes this.
  5. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there a relationship between one's speed at sending and receiving code, and his or her speed at whacking someone over the head with a stick?
  6. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Indeed, same here, can copy plain text English language CW well over 50WPM (used to be up to 65WPM when last active 20+ years ago), and agree, for me at that speed very well or even keyboard sent CW isn't an issue, sending however I could never get past 45WPM and I discovered only recently why :-( IAMBIC. I started off and got used to iambic, but it simply isn't possible (for even normally exceptional humans) to go much faster than that in iambic mode. Should have been obvious, but never thought of it.
    77 de VK5EEE
    And WOW we have really adopted a new code?! This is in line with the Zen and the Art of Telegraphy where he rightly shows how the Morse Language is evolving. We'll start spreading around 77 then with FISTS and others, I think it's already caught on!
  7. W5UXH

    W5UXH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I could never get past 42WPM with an error rate acceptable to me and that was right at the edge. 40WPM was good years ago when doing a lot of mobile, but in recent years I just do not get enough practice on the paddle and I have to slowly increase from 32 up towards 40 on a good day to have much chance of keeping the error rate down. I never used "squeeze keying" but of course used keyers with "iambic" features. One of my earliest keyers was a homebrew W9TO and the back to back Navy keys. I developed the habit of letting the dash override the dit in characters like V which meant that when I first used a Curtis "Mode B" chip, I could not get above 32 wpm because too often there would be a trailing dit resulting in VE. So I can only use "Mode A" algorithms in keyers with double lever paddles.

    With advancing age, perhaps it is good that I learned to type in high school. I agree with W5BIB that "perfectly sent" CW from a keyboard is un-natural. I think one only hears that from someone who is typing way ahead in a buffer and correcting errors before they are transmitted. I do not like the sound of that at all. For all ops I qso who are trying to learn to use a kbd, I strongly encourage them to type in "real time", copying what they are sending, hearing mistakes, and correcting them after the fact. It is necessary to learn to use the spacebar at the end of most words so that when you slip up and start into the next word too soon you do not run words together. I also hear ops who are typing blindly, making all sorts of errors and are blissfully unaware of the lousy code they are sending. Not much fun to copy!

    I do not care for "monologues" in conversation either, there is way too much of that these days. For me, the only enjoyable style of qso is one topic at a time, frequent back and forths on each topic, full QSK so if I hear a slight pause from the other op and jump in to start a comment in reply to what was just said, there is no chance of doubling. The typical "boiler plate" QSO with random contacts who have no interest in trying to find topics of mutual interest and get to actually know the other op have caused me to stick with a few long time friends for the most part in recent years. But the pleasure of a qso with someone new to me, who likes the same "style" of qso as me, has never gone away in these 55 years of loving CW!
    W1ADE, W5BIB and VK5EEE like this.
  8. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great idea Lou. I'm thinkin' the salutation "77" (Morse Forever) should be adopted
    by the ham community Worldwide !!! Perhaps with some help from SKCC, NAQCC, FISTS, FOC, CWOPS & others, this won't take very long at all !!!

    I'll be sending a msg to FISTS (U.S.) to let them know of this new FORUM on along with the proposal to adopt '77' as a unique salutation for MORSE OPERATORS everywhere.:)

    I think that VK5EEE should receive credit, where credit's due !!!:cool:

    77 es 73
    VK5EEE likes this.
  9. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Steve, it'd be great to have such a code for CW operators "Morse Forever" or "Long Live Morse" or "Happy Morsing" it could mean any/all of these things.
  10. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an Ultra Picokeyer -- for $30 amazing value. It has 5 modes: Iambic A, Iambic B, Iambic Ultra, Cootie (side swiper), and "Bug". I find bug (for me) doesn't work well on an electronic paddle, is that just a lack of practice or is it inherently difficult to send bug morse on a keyer making the dash side manual? Anyone know or have experience? And, what is the difference between the 3 iambic modes?! I'm still trying to figure it out, all I know is I've obviously been using "B" (I think) all those years because as soon as I switch to A or U, I make lots of mistakes, it doesn't behave the way I expect. BUT it does not seem to have an option to switch iambic OFF. Is that because maybe its superfluous on a twin paddle, if you want it to be off, you simply must avoid squeezing? All I know is I read a good article recently, can't remember where, which explained that for QRQQ you have to use a non-iambic keyer. So I'd like to try to make the switch to non-iambic, is that perhaps "Mode A" or none of the above? 77!

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