Monday, April 29, 2024

My quest to learn CW (5)

The bands are really open these days if I look at the DX that I've worked lately. Even 6m is awakening around this time. We had excellent propagation to RSA and Namibia last evening. Now I have the Begali simplex morse paddle,  I also practise sending morse. I noticed it helps me also decoding CW. If possible I try to practice both decode and code morse everyday. After I do some practising text I always send CQ CQ PE4BAS TEST (not really on-air), still that I find very difficult and I do not master it at all. But in the end I hope I will get it. I completed my task to finish all 40 lessons with a speed of 28wpm and 8wpm effective, my goal was doing lesson 40 without faults at this speed and I did. I started all over again now with speed 28wpm and 9wpm effective. I also practise callsign decoding, words and complete sentences. I think I will get better but it goes very very slowly...

I still think about re-adjusting the Begali paddle, I think it is very touchy. However I'm not shure, it might be something I have to adjust to. Mike VE9KK tells me he has adjusted his one because he has a heavy fist and pounding the paddle is his thing. Not shure what I have. I might get aggresive in a pile-up and have a "heavy fist" ;-)


MadDogMcQ said...

Hi Bas, personally, I find it much easier to have that sensitivity rather than have to hit the paddles hard. Most of the pro-guys at the Club prefer it that way too, but it’s all about personal preference. You probably need to give it more time before opening up the gap.

Maybe it’s harder to learn with a sensitive setting, but ultimately better in the long term - just like it’s better to learn code at 20wpm than 10 or 12. Just guessing tho, lol.

73, Tom, M7MCQ

VE9KK said...

Good morning Bas and it's great to see that you are improving and yes you are correct it does take time. You may even find for a short time you go in the opposite direction. Not to concern yourself about this as this is how the learning goes. As for the key contact gap adjustment just keep practicing and you will find your sweet spot for and if you need to adjust the key. For me I like to keep both fingers about 1/2 an inch away from the simplex key. The best way I can put it is there is (in time) a rhythm that starts to happen over with your fingers and the key fingers. I find that when my fingers were to close to the paddle and the key was adjusted very tight I would by mistake send letters and also send to many dits now and then.
I have gone on YouTube and typed in CW contesting and watched the pro's use their key and how they sent.
Have a good week

Rob PD0RZH said...

Hi Bas, before entering the CW exam I used to whistle everything that came on my path. License plates, city names advertising on cars and shops. I still believe it was much of help in both receiving and transmitting CW at that time

PE4BAS, Bas said...

@Tom and @Mike I don;t think I will adjust the gap after reading your comments. I think it is just a matter of getting used to it. Still I find it hard to send words correct. It is all a matter of practising of course.

@Rob, bedankt voor je reactie. Ik doe dat ook vaak maar fluiten doe ik niet. Wel spreek ik de code als di-dah uit. Ik ben overigens niet van plan examen te doen, althans op dit moment. 73, Bas

Anonymous said...

Het fluiten zorgt ervoor dat je went aan een toon. Di dah heb ik nog niet uit een luidspreker gehoord…….

Anonymous said...

Hoi Bas, Frank hier, PF5T

Hi Bas. At the time I started practicing morse code just like you, I bought a dual lever paddle from a Duth HAM. I also noticed the narrow gap it had. Luckily I never felt the urge to adjust this narrow gap an that's becouse I did some reading.

I highly recommend you this paper from Chuck Adams K7QO. It's written in a way it more-or-less draws you into his story. Take some time to read this paper and soon you start to build up a decent way to use the paddles.
file is located here:

Anonymous said...

Hoi Bas, Frank hier, PF5T.

Dear Bas. Please take some time to read what Chuck Adams K7QO writes about sending morse code with the dual lever paddles. His story (9 pages, with code practicing) can be found here:

Also there is a nice movie on Youtube that shows you why a narrow gap is important and also shows you how to send code in the same way as Chuck Adams promotes in his story. The movie is here:

Hope it helps you and brings the fun into sending morse code. Best 73 de PF5T

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Bedankt Frank voor de links. Heb het al eerder bestudeerd. Het is een kwestie van oefenen natuurlijk. Ik ga er in iedergeval mee bezig. 73, Bas