Oh My! There is a keyboard in my future…

09 Feb

Okay, so I stink at sending code. At least I’m getting tired of all the mistakes I make. Bumping 30 wpm is trying my code soul. So today I tried out CW Type. Since I already had N1MM setup with a Digi Keyer interface it was dead simple to just hijack the port settings and go to town on the air with CW Type. Learning to discard the sound of the sidetone while typing however, is another matter entirely. I was sitting on our sked frequency of 10127.5 just fooling around and after a bit I heard some QRQ (?) cw and id’d and asked for a QRS. It turned out to be AB4KX and he and I had my very first all keyboard cw contact. He moved to paddles but I was on keyboard. After a while I got the hang of things and it sounded ok. I was sending at 30 wpm which sounded a lot faster than when I have my Logi Keyer set to 30 wpm. In any event I have now got a backup to my paddles and it works well but will require some getting used to but for now I am pleased. I need to make a box that will allow me to hook up my computer interface as well as my Logi Keyer in parallel so when I tire of one I can use the other seamlessly. Ill have to make a run to the parts shop to find the bits and pieces. The 7800 is so heavy and hard to move on its shelf that I would prefer having a box setup so that handling the big rig is not necessary. Now to find CW Read so that I can copy those really fast guys…..

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG


Posted by on February 9, 2010 in Radio


5 responses to “Oh My! There is a keyboard in my future…

  1. Paul

    February 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I am really try to learn to decode CW with a speed of 28 wpm. Without any software, because I want to decode it myself. I listen a lot with my training program, an I get used to 28 wpm. It’s a way of recognizing. Sometimes I use my interface and Fldigi for CW but it’s strange that I see only the decoding on my screen but I do not hear the sound, and really… I need to hear the sound myself. It’s crazy, when I didn’t hear the morse code, I have to rely on the software. With PSK31 it’s no problem. So I let sometimes run (transmitting) CW with FLdigi, but I do decoding with my own ears. 😉 73 Paul

    • w5pg

      February 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      HI Paul. Im good on receive up to about 35 wpm. My problem has been coordination of my hands to the key. Anything over about 30 wpm and I fail badly. So I downloaded CW Type off of the net and it lets me type like a typewriter. There is a separate program called CW Get which is for receiving. I tried it for the 60 wpm guys but I still use my own ears to copy. As I get older my hands vibrate and so things become difficult with my paddles. Hoping that sending faster with few mistakes will allow us to move up in speed. Hope you are well OM. Best, Chas W5PG….

  2. Paul

    February 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hi Chas, yeah, I know what you mean. The same here. My hands fail with the straight key. Above 18 wpm I can’t use the bencher. The ETM-2b electronic keyer is alright, but I make mistakes in keying when I go to fast. (>26 wpm) Sometime I tried FLdigi for keyboard CW in transmission and that works fine. Surely when I want to rag chew with CW. Have a nice day, Chas. Winter is still going on here. Tonight we had 5 cm snow and temperature was minus 7 C. 73 Paul

  3. Julian G4ILO

    February 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I can’t go over about 12wpm on the straight key and about 16wpm on a paddle. I just don’t have good co-ordination. I can’t copy much faster than that anyway so it isn’t much of a problem. But although I appreciate that a key is a fine piece of engineering that can be a pleasure to operate, I can’t see anything wrong with using a keyboard. In fact – although people will probably start burning my effigy for saying this – I even use macros. I have worked an entire contest just by clicking buttons. 🙂

  4. w5pg

    February 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the comments Julian. I am enjoying sending more perfect code now. One note of concern though, I am struggling to keep conversation going for our full hour of code practice each day now, whereas prior to using a keyboard I had so many corrections that my effective speed or throughput was sufficiently slow that I could manage a good chat. Now with the keyboard my brain gets emptied quite quickly so I find myself scrambling for new things to chat about. I’m sure this too will pass! Best and thank you for your observations.

    I traveled to W1HIS last year to do ARRL DX and as I recall we used N1MM Logger throughout the test and never once touched a key of any sort. Chas W5PG


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