24 Jan

Today I finally found out how to delete old blogs. Just finding the link in the maze of options was a formidable task. The essence of this blog was imported from my original W7MAP blog and I left it there for six months just to be sure folks that may wish to find me with a new call can do so. My son is indicating that he may wish to pick up that call if and when he gets his license so it may make a comeback someday.

Not much new to report around these parts. Life goes on (thankfully) and practice continues with the code. I am beginning to think I may try a keyboard for sending. At least on those days when my personal equation suffers (i.e.) high sending error rates. In fact someone just yesterday was trying to figure out what type of key produced the least error rate while doing Morse. There are a plethora of options involved in that question. The elements include:

Mechanical, mechanical at different speeds, operator coordination, fatigue, mind drift (my personal fav), age, musical proclivities and a cornucopia of keyer attributes like Curtis modes, Ultimatic, bug emulation, Accu keyer etc. etc. ad nauseum. I am sure I missed a bunch of attributes that lead to errors.

All I have truly found out about myself and Morse is that if my mind is wandering I do poorly. If I have a good concentration day I do well. The rest is a blur to me with little definition as what exactly contributes to errors and if so how much? How do you measure this? I don’t know and it seems daunting. Years ago there was a project to identify error rates with typists.I believe that the typist project was the first “Time and Motion Study” ever attempted. It was done way back in the 20’s or close to that time frame. I envision that that is the type of project it would take to mange this sort of inquiry. Saving time for typists was a productivity enhancement back then and could be justified. Doing something like that for hobby Morse ops is highly questionable and has no financial rewards. So I seriously doubt anyone will do more than speculate. I will say that having those answers would make practice more productive.

I would like to find a program which allows one to capture sending from your chosen device (say an iambic paddle) into a capture buffer for analysis. As far as I know there are no such programs. Imagine practice by sending into your computer and being able to understand and be told by the program your propensity for spacing errors (guilty!) actual keying or spelling errors, character element spacing problems etc. etc. You against the machine perfect code. That would be a hoot. If anyone is aware of such a chunk of software please send along a note. Bye for now…

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG


Posted by on January 24, 2010 in Radio


3 responses to “Housekeeping

  1. Paul

    January 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Chas, It would be nice when a call sign can stay in the family. Sometimes I think about to ask for my fathers old call sign. He is a silent key. We both were active as radio amateurs for years. Though, I like the new call sign as it is. What you write about errors in CW, in the early days I first started with a straight key (who doesn’t) then I was going to use an electronic keyer (EM-2b) which I still use. Now I bought a straight key again (Bencher) but oh boy, where are my fist skills? What happened? After 35 years of electronic keying I lost my skills. It’s a sloppy kind of CW. I am getting old (which I want to deny of course) Even my electronic keying are with faults now. A Dah or Dit to much. I don’t like that at all. Now sometimes I use keying software. It sounds so beautiful. Also use the keyboard for CW sometimes. And really, I like it. 73 Paul

  2. Larry W2LJ

    January 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm


    I have found that my CW copying ability changes from day to day, also. If I am too rested and alert, I tend to do poorly. If I am just a bit tired (not too much) my brain tends to be a bit more relaxed and I can actually copy faster speeds.

    That probably goes against conventional wisdom; but in practice, that’s what I find.

    Larry W2LJ

  3. w5pg

    January 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Larry. I seem to be able to receive most of the time just fine. Should I be on a marginal path and miss some characters I can generally fill in by context. Mine is one of variable error rate on the send side. Paul pointed out that he (and I ) are getting older and to expect error free code form old minds and bodies may be too much to expect. Maybe I am conscience of the sending more than receiving because its my signal that others can hear and that isn’t a factor in receiving unless I’m so hopelessly lost that I cannot respond to some questions or queries sent by the other station. šŸ™‚ In any event I’m positive I will work through this and certainly will not let it stop my having fun. Best, Chas W5PG


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