Welcome to Straight Keys

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA7BQ, Jul 28, 2015.

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  1. W0AZ

    W0AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Russian ops still make me feel like a slowpoke.
    W1BR and AJ6KZ like this.
  2. KX5ALC

    KX5ALC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today is the first time I sat down with a cup of coffee to read this thread. It's been interesting reading what all of you have said.

    I'm 76 years old. Even though I've had my Tech-ticket since 2008, I'm just getting started in amateur radio. (long story not worth telling) I set up a small 2-Meter mobile radio with power supply "shack" and within 6 months have found myself bored. I'm hard of hearing and even with wearing hearing aids have a terrible time with accents (even local ones) and muffled or slurred speech. Some folks speak too fast or slur their words for me to easily decipher. Then I heard CW over the air. Hmmmmmmm...........no accent, no slurring. ;) I can even hear it clearly because I can wear earphones and crank up the volume. Cranking up the volume doesn't always help with slurring and hard to understand accents.

    Too busy with a tilting mast project right now, but the minute that project is behind me, I'm starting a class with the LICW Club. (probably within the next month) There seem to be a lot of training programs out there and I've had recommendations for them all. But for some reason, the LICW Club attracts me. Surprisingly, I'm initially interested in learning how to "read" CW more than "send", and from what the guys in my club are saying that's the right attitude. I want to be able to read it much faster than I can send. Voice on the air doesn't seem to "grab" me because I, like so many millions of other people, use my voice on a cell-phone all the time. Maybe that's why voice over the radio bores me. But there's just something sort of magical about the sound of CW..............don't quite know how to explain it. I like the hypnotizing rhythm. I've got a beautiful J-47 key I refurbished. It started out as a J-47, but I hated the Bakolite base, so removed it and made a replacement.


    Also have a Vibroplex Presentation Bug I picked up for a "song". Will probably sell the Bug and go with something different if I ever get fast enough to outrun the key..................which I highly doubt will happen.

    So, long-story-short, you may hear me on the air someday. I'll be one of those newbies on the "turtle" frequency tapping out painfully slow code. But I'll be having fun, for sure. And I have a distinct feeling I won't be bored!!!!!!!!!!;):D:)
    KY4ID, W4AUT, KC7JNJ and 3 others like this.
  3. NS4Q

    NS4Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    W4AUT likes this.
  4. NS4Q

    NS4Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    Tnx for your post. You are doing good things already! I’m a cw retread and I found a little practice every day at the same times helps. Helps create a habit. For me, making note of chararacters missed during copy then wear out your key on each character . One at a time on each practice session. For me, using a straight key provides tactile feedback that speeds up the learning process.
    Note that learning on a straight key does not preclude using paddles/keyer later. You do not have to unlearn straight key sending. There are 20000 members in SKCC promoting and helping people learn cw. No high speed needed to get started. https://www.skccgroup.com
    Great key and base. J47 with some original patina is classic. The base looks like a burele wood.
    Beautiful. Remember this: you ar not alone. We all have some limitations that can be overcome for the joy and fun of cw. And it spreads the joy to others. Post your progress here.
    73 Larry ns4q ..
    W4AUT, KX5ALC and KC7JNJ like this.
  5. KX5ALC

    KX5ALC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the encouragement, Larry. The wood I used was Curly Bubinga and Macasar Ebony. I'm a retired custom furniture builder and have a large amount of exotic woods to choose from. I'm familiar with the SKCC group. They seem like a good bunch.............much like most of the rest of the amateur radio community.
    AD5HR likes this.

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