Posted: 2010-01-23 06:37
I am busy studying for the tech. license and learning the code at the same time. Right now, I just really want to get into cw. This website is good for learning how to listen to code, but what should I do to learn how to send code? I would like to learn how to operate cw before I buy a rig. P.S. I was thinking of starting out with the elecraft k1. (Yes/No)?
Everyone's opinion is greatly appreciated.
Posted: 2010-01-23 11:59
You'll probably hear many different opinions on the topic of sending code, and the right time to start learning it.
1) Straight key vs. paddles/elbug. My opinion is that unless you really plan to use a straight key a lot later, there is no reason to start learning to send on one. Start right away with an electronic keyer.
Other people claim that if you don't start with a straight key, you'll "never get the rhythm right" etc. IMHO it's actually more likely to develop bad habits on a straight key than on an electronic keyer. And, that's true for both ways, it's always a good idea have a mentor locally, who can give you hints about problems in your sending. If unavailable, one of the common CW decoder programs (like fldigi, MixW, CWGet) may be useful to check your own transmission. There are also programs which implement a keyer on the computer (e.g. KV by DF4KV, CWT by DK5KE for DOS, and I think F8EHO for Windows), which also immediately decode what you send.
2) When to start sending? Again, 11 opinions if you ask 10 CW operators. My opinion: Start as early as possible, while you learn the characters. The processes in the brain for sending and receiving are very different. At slow speeds, you'll find sending probably easier. It's a bit like a reverse-lookup. It's easy to find someone's telephone number in a phone book, sorted by names, than finding someone's name, based on the number. I think it helps the learning process, also for receiving. It is also a nice change in training, ideally a lot more relaxed than receiving exercise.
About the Elecraft K1: I have no first hand experience with it, but my main transceiver is an Elecraft K2, and I have had good experiences operating both the KX1 and the K3 from Elecraft, and they were all great transceivers. The reviews at eHam.net for the K1 are pretty good too: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/846
Good luck. and let's see what the others think...
73, Fabian DJ1YFK
Posted: 2010-01-23 15:19
you can exercise with KMUR, the characters you recognise right now, on a dual paddle.
Omit 3-wheel bicycle riding and start 4 years old on a Suzuki Hayabusa, because that is where you finally end up anyway.
May be it makes sense to urge the local primary school not to learn the kids handwriting with a pen but start direct with a keyboard. Better readable, no bad habits, and you end up there anyway, don't you?
Posted: 2010-01-28 22:32
I just finished the development of a keyboard.
microcontroller AT89s8253. It takes the signals of an old PC-AT keyboard.
- buffer 80 char.
- 32 chars on LCD display, also fonts for the prosigns. On LCD is the not yet transmitted contents of the buffer.
- buffer editable with backspace (one char)and del (last word)
- Also Feld Hell mode build in
- morsespeed adjustable with Alt-figure-figure between 6 and 99 wpm.
- Pause key stops transmission
- 12 Fn keys can contain fixed EEPROM messages.
Read in buffer out of EEPROM: press Fn.
write memory (EEPROM) by hitting Pause, filling the buffer with desired msg; editing as required; and then Alt Fn with n=[1,12]
- 7 prosign keys
- modechange keys (hell or morse)
- LED on when buffer >7/8 full.
- parameters morse-speed and mode saved in EEPROM
- MAX232 RS232 interface with ASCII output of all valid typed in ASCII characters 9600 bps
- 250 Hz sidetone (half of context switch frequency).
Just abt $20 parts and some scrap from the junk box, so you may omit the straight key and paddle stage and go just direct where you finally end op in the speedrange of 70 wpm and higher for rag chewing.