I was playing around with the bug some more tonight; and had a nice QSO with Paul AA1LL from Mason, NH.
I noticed two things in particular, which has got me thinking that I might be crazy, or maybe just a little odd. There might be some people out there who would gladly jump at the opportunity to agree with me on that assessment.
However, the odd one first. I seem to do better on the bug I keep my eyes closed while sending. This allows me to send without any visual distractions and allows me to concentrate more on the sound and rhythm. OK, maybe not so crazy after all, after thinking about it for a few minutes.
Secondly, I do much better when I place the bug at a 45 degree angle in relation to how I face the shack bench while sitting. I found that if I point the base of the bug between the 10:00 and 11:00 positions, that I have better control than if I place the bug straight on (12:00 position) or straight across (9:00 position).
My biggest hurdle, even after practicing on and off these many months, is getting it into my thick skull that there are not going to be any automatic "dahs" made via the bug. Sometimes old habit guides me, and that first "dah" ends up being REALLY long! Then it's a Homer "Doh" moment and I swing back into rhythm again.
It's a lot of work; but I think it will be worth it in the end.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!