Monday, March 07, 2011

There was a saying

on a little plaque that my Mom gave me for my car, when I was younger.  "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly."  I would have to say the same applies to some of the fists I am hearing on 40 Meters CW tonight.

Before I continue, let me be the first to admit that my fist is FAR from perfect.  And there are nights when my hands just won't work and my fist is atrocious.  But when that happens, I try to slow down a bit and do my best to make it sound good.

I guess what I am listening to is some guys who fancy themselves as fledgling QRQ ops.  Wow!  In an effort to increase speed, it appears that spacing has gone out the window.  What's the point at going a blazing 35 - 40 WPM if you leave the guy on the other end shaking his head because he can't quite make out exactly what you're sending?  And if you have to send a "?" or "......" indicating an error every third word or so, what's the point?

Slow it down a tad, and remember that spacing is as important if not more important than the lengths of your dits and dahs.  From time to time, I send into my own laptop through the soundcard.  If CW Get can decipher what I am sending, then I feel I am doing pretty well.  Before the dawn of computers, I used to use a cassette tape recorder to record some of my own sending for my own critiquing purposes.

The FISTS motto is one to live by and remember - "Accuracy transcends speed".

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

PS:  The streak is intact!  Worked K6JSS/7 - Randy K7TQ in Idaho during the ARS Spartan Sprint on 40 Meters. On the flip side, 4A4A was loud on 20 Meters but still couldn't break the pileup.  My turn will probably come towards the end of the DXpedition, when they are begging for Qs.


  1. Good evening Larry, I hear you as I have had in the past were the CW seems to blend together and there is no spacing at all. It is very confusing and I find myself trying to figure out a letter and by then a whole wake of CW has already flown past me. It just leads to a frustrating QSO.

  2. Hello Larry,

    I agree 100%.....spacing is everything, especially when someone is throwing in abbreviations that are confusing.

    Sometimes, I find myself scanning the bands and will purposely avoid a "sloppy fist" which would normally be a good "distance" contact. As you said, its just too frustrating to try to follow some operators.

    Great advice to all....

  3. Anonymous11:10 PM

    There's a lot of badly sent code on the bands. I'm pretty good with a straight key up to about 15wpm, but have been sending some rather bad code recently in my attempts to learn the paddle. It bugs me because I have a good sense of the rhythm of good code, but am still mastering how to send it with the paddle.

    There is one particular op who purposely sends a little faster than he knows I can receive. His intention is to keep me on my toes and help me improve, but the result is that I go to pieces, lose most of the copy, and then attempt to match his speed when I send. In doing so, my sending goes to hell in a hand-basket.

    It bothers me to send less than good code, but I want so much to be able to send well with the paddle that I'm pushing myself through this in the hope that my paddle sending will soon shape up.

    Have to agree with you that imperfect code leads to many errors in copying and more requests for repeats than is necessary.

    Here's too well-sent code. It's a beautiful thing!

  4. Hi Larry, I agree with you. Last week some one came back for me but I couldn't take decipher his CW. Very sloppy without spacing. Oh boy, I must let him go. No QSO, sorry. 73 Paul

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