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Thread: Straight key - how fast ??

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Posted: 2021-10-28 00:08
Hi all.

There is recently some posts regarding straight keys, and now this question comes to my mind...

I know that going fast on a straigth key, will never be fast comparing to paddel, bug og even a cotie..., but how fast should I aim for, and what will be realistic?
I have improved over the last year but I already seem to reach a difficult plateau around 20wpm.

Is it possible to reach much higher speeds, and still making good sounding and correct code with a straight key?

I have already found out that fine adjusting the points and spring tension, makes it easier, and I'm going slightly faster on my Junker, compared to my other straight keys (j-37, Begali Spark and others).

How fast is reasonably possible?

Posted: 2021-10-28 17:08


Posted: 2021-10-28 23:31
Thank you for that one Chris...
I had seen it before, and he is really awesome with that old straight-key...! c;)

Uhm..., I think I will try and ask differently..

What do you guys think would be a more average, obtainable speed with a straight-key...?

Is 22wpm fine enough, or should I be aiming for 25wpm...?

Posted: 2021-10-29 00:29
I remember, when I was young, 80 years ago, the requirement for a first grade professional was 25 wpm plain text on a straight key, but around 20 wpm on a straight key is fine, higher speeds are just like fast walking, tedious and when used for longer timespan can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as glass arm or glass fist.

Above that most hams using CW don't copy above 20 wpm.

Posted: 2021-10-30 14:13
Thank you very much for your replies.

I think that I will try to reach maybe 22wpm then, and keep practicing until my sending is perfect.

Tu es 73 de OZ1SPS

Posted: 2021-10-30 22:06
Hallo Sebastian,

I read the "Bundesgesetzblatt 1977"
for merchant see radio officers.

There was a class 1 and 2 officer.

Class 2)
5 minutes sending and copy
groups of 5, 16 groups per minute
clear text 20 wpm

Class 1)
5 minutes sending and copy
groups of 5, 20 groups per minute
clear text 25 wpm

without listening device and without errors with a straight key!

So with 20 wpm perfect code with a straight key you are already on the level of a professional Morse operator.

No idea, how to reach 25 wpm with a straight key with perfect code, but 1 class officers had to do it.


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