starting with HAM radio I was looking into this so called CW thingie… Just kidding.
CW is the one mode that is well known by all ham operators. Actually in Germany there is no need to learn CW. The Advanced Licence (Klasse A) does not require you to demonstrate your ability to use CW in an exam. There is only a voluntary CW exam.
Nontheless I wanted to look into CW, just for the kicks and I got confused. Seems like OMs are using all kinds of support devices, like electronic keyers, memory keyers, dual paddles, and so on.. But the usage of computers is frowned upon. If you are allowed to use memory keyers in a contest, to get as many QSOs as possible, why the fck wouldn’t you allow a PC to send those CQ messages ? I don’t get it.
One thing I looked into was how to start with CW. Until now I don’t even have a licence so there will be no on band training for me. Also I have no key, paddle, keyer, radio or whatever. I briefly thought about connecting some dual padles to my PC to train, even going so far as of thinking about if I could write my masters thesis with CW to get the practice. But then I realised that paddles are really expensive! Whatever.
During all this I began to think; “what if I use my PC to send CW ?” would it really be that bad if I cannot decode and encode CW by hand and ear ? Somewhere across those lines I saw that CW can really get very fast actually, around 20-30 WpM (Words per Minute) are possible with a bit practice and there are ppl using it way up to over 60 WpM according to those pages I’ve read.It even goes beyon 200 WpM on extreme high speed cw contests.
That was the point where I was wondering if I could even type that fast on a keyboard. Again just for the kicks, I tried it. I tried typing in random word shown on the screen on a webpage and the page measures your WpM speed. I am at a consistent 29 WpM in all the three languages that I can read, write and speak in. That’s a pretty bad score actually, considering that I am a software engineer, or at least a computer scientist, of some kind and spending all my life in front of some kind of computers.
This rises another question:
Will I ever be able to send CW faster than I can type ?