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This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: TX training - mouse is awkward

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Posted: 2013-08-26 11:08
The "TX training" is a great feature, especially the stats that you display, but
1) the arrow keeps wandering out of the "KEY" square, which results in a sustained tone, and
2) you lose some control by only being able to use one finger on the mouse.

Any suggestions?

Posted: 2013-08-26 11:24
Please create an account for yourself rather than using the "test" account, that way we will know who we are talking to.


Posted: 2013-08-26 12:35
No Colin, you still don't know and you doesn't give an answer either. DJ1YFK allows test users to write here.

I tried the tx training, but it will not work adequatly on my computer.

A valuable training has to include:
1. a translation in readable text
2. The same user interface as a straight key or some paddles.
3. An indication about the quality of your
sending in:
* stability of element duration
* dash/dot ratio
* wordspacing/letterspace ratio
* letterspacing/interletterspacing ratio.
* graphs that show your progress over time

When some designer cannot meet those requirements on line, he better stops wasting time on this useless item, I suppose.

Posted: 2013-08-27 01:08
Thank you for those comments.
No one wants to be a LID, but it seems like there's no easy way to determine your "ratios" or to correct them.
Do experienced hams generally take the time to offer constructive criticism during a QSO?

For the time being, will just try to tap along with the "Plain Text Training" phrases.
Hopefully, this will improve my timing.

What worked best for you when you were starting out?


Posted: 2013-08-27 08:16
Anonymous postings or using the test account here is OK, but I suppose that some people may be more likely to answer if the question comes from a personal account (which may still be pretty much anonymous).

Do experienced hams generally take the time to offer constructive criticism during a QSO?

Some do, most probably don't. Just like people rarely tell anyone if he's got a chirpy signal; maybe because they assume that the other person knows or doesn't care.

I was once, when I was starting to build my speed and my receiving speed exceeded my transmitting speed by quite a bit, told with rather blunt words about my keying style. Back then I was first offended, but later realized that it was right, I was sending far beyond the speed I could properly send, resulting in a terrible rhythm.

Back then I sometimes recorded my own transmissions and listened to them later. It was pretty easy to find out then, what I had to improve.


Posted: 2013-08-27 12:28

Excellent advice from the administrator.

In general people say: delay learning sending, because in receiving you learn the rithm of the code. You learn how the code has to sound en how not, by listening a lot (on this website) to machine generated code.

You asked what I did: I took a simple straight key, a battery, and a carbon microphone and telephone from a junk telephone hook. Hooked them all in series. When the microphone is close enough to the telephone it starts howling. The key switches it on and off. Adjust the key for contact spacing just a sheet of plain printer paper; the spring etc, average, (to be find on youtube demonstrations, US military, and an old japanese guy with an egg www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncOcgarGJHI

You may put the sound in your computer microphone, and use the free program Audacity, to record it. Audacity to be downloaded from
(better don't take obscure other URL's)

Start with one character only, lets say K
repeat KKKKK KKKKK KKKKK , measure the length of dits dahs spaces and correct accordingly.

Do this, when nearly perfect results, with the M and increasing characters with the progress of the lessons with all characters. Keep speed around 10 wpm. Be carefull always to add wordspaces, because omitting wordspaces makes you code hard to copy.

When you start not with a key but with paddles, it is much easier to generate nearly perfect code, because your only care is letter and wordspacing in that case. The electronics take care of the rest.

Learning to use paddles is described by K7QO
in his article


Posted: 2013-08-27 14:14
Sure a mouse is awkward,

I left daily some food waste,provided by British Government, on the floor, and right now I have 7 degenerating mouses stinking on the floor.

Posted: 2013-09-08 12:09
Thank you for sharing the article on iambic keying. K7QO recommends starting rightaway with a keyer. I find this article


very interesting; WB8FSV recommends starting with a straight key and moving to a iambic keyer later. I'd be interested to know other opinions on this issue.


Posted: 2013-09-08 14:59

The guy you referred has an excellent web site. Worthewile to read.

However, he states that it amazes him when somebody can sent faster then 15 wpm on a straight key.

Remember that the passing grade of radio telegraphists was 25 wpm on a straight key.

So it is surely not an key expert talking to you.

Furthermore, when he likes the way you can determine your own dash length (on a bug), I am missing a chapter on the sideswiper or Cootie also mentioned double speed key. Those keys make really music of the code.

When he says that he prefers a hand key above an electronic bug, due to the fact that he wants some personally bound telegraph distortion, I am sure he will advice me to go over to a straight key that I am using already, because my goal is to sent as good as possible undistorted code when I am using a straight key.

Of course it will be a good thing to be able to use a straight key, a bug, an electronic keyer single paddle, or Iambic A or B , or a cootie key just as easy and momentarily interchangeable. So the only remaining thing is the question: what to start with.

Due to the fact that the majority of starters of learning the code never meet the minimum requirements, due to dropping out, the best thing is to start exercising with the cheapest method, and that is the Cootie key made out of a broken hack saw blade or kitchen knife. You easily make 25 wpm, when your straight key speed is limited to 15 wpm.

Posted: 2013-09-08 18:30

I did not know about the Cootie Key, I looked it up and I must admit it is quite ingenious. What I am scared off is developing a habit and not being able to move to a different key. I have a friend who learned with a Iambic A external keyer and now is unable to use any of the integrated keyers, which are almost always Iambic B. I am duly impressed that you can switch easily between different keyers.


Posted: 2013-09-09 11:32
This might be an answer if you feel inclined to build it. I might have a go myself soon


Posted: 2013-09-09 16:50
A decoder is never an answer for deciding the correctness of the transmitted code. That is because there is a decisionlevel of 2 dits to determine soundthing is a dot or a dash.

Posted: 2013-10-05 20:07
On the TX training, I think that making the Spacebar the morse key more accurate. With my mouse, I would unintentionally hold a dit turning it into a dah.....

Maybe the space bar on the keyboard would offer a more accurate solution than the mouse button to solve the problems that some users seem to be having. An option to use for mouse or space bar?


Posted: 2013-10-05 22:54
I do not think that any of the PC peripherals would be appropriate as a cw keyer. The human interface is so much different from a real keyer - I think you will most likely ruin your cw tx style.


Posted: 2013-10-06 01:29
You could make your own cw keyer. It's not that difficult.
You can even make a keyer from something simple as a stapler :)

Posted: 2013-10-06 12:29
Use a regular key, or a well made replica, not something funny. It will ruin your future fist, when you do so. Learn how to handle the key from recently menstioned references in this forum.

Posted: 2013-10-06 19:07
I was referring to the TX training on this WEBSITE. Using the space bar would be another option on that WEBPAGE.

Yes, you are both correct. It would not be best to learn proper technique using computer peripherals.

Posted: 2013-10-16 05:00
Tried it and found it to be a good idea but far from the real thing on the air. The mouse button is not as responsive as a straight key or bug is normally. A reasonable idea would be use the left and right arrow keys to simulate a bug and downward key to simulate a straight key. Not sure of the logistics of this all or programming required. Keep up the good work, it is of benefit to all..

Posted: 2013-10-16 12:54
Are there any plans yet, to construct a 3 button pc mouse made from morse keys?

Posted: 2013-11-02 10:49
i took an old mouse, put in a 3.5mm audio on the side, wired it to the left mouse key, took my straight key and connected it to the audio and hey presto i can test my tx with my straight key, works a treat.

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