Great BBC story on morse code from 2008, mentioned on the FT817 email list by Joe WB7VTY:
Samuel Morse was born 219 years ago. But of course credit for devising the code that bears Morse’s name goes to his assistant (machinist & inventor) Alfred Vail. His birthday is 25th September 1807.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
But make sure to check out the new training section on the SKCC site featuring mp3 files prepared by John KF7BYU.
So far the following texts are online, some in speeds ranging from 5 up to 50 wpm, along with text files:
The War of the Worlds, The Gettysburg Address, The Jabberwock, The Night Before Christmas, Hams Christmas and The Raven.
“You can copy 25 wpm in three weeks, with just 15 min a day practice. Start at 35 and work down… You listen, and listen some more. Use the W1AW practice run that starts at 35 wpm. After a few weeks, 25 wpm will sound slow, and you should be able to write the characters.”
Ron on the CW list describing how he broke through his own plateau. Extreme Farnsworth.
Quote of the Day from David N1EA in an exchange on the CW list about the merits of a CW newbie starting with a straight key or jumping straight onto a bug or paddle:
“A paddle and speed key in the hand of someone who has no feel for Morse sounds pretty ugly when they start sending with no spaces or extra dots and dashes. Kind of like running a rotary floor buffer the first time!”
David argues “with a straight key – especially on the lower frequencies – 1.8, 3,5 and 7.0 MHz – you can customize your sending to match the conditions. Sometimes sending “fatter” dashes gets the message through.”
“…do yourself a favor, and learn with a straight key. Learning to be proficient in sending and receiving “good” code, is not magic. It takes a little dedication, and lots of practice on a regular basis. Check out youtube and you will see more than one “cw op” who thinks he is the cat’s meow on a bug or paddle, little does he know that what he is sending is considered “poop fist” material. By learning slowly with a hand key, you will learn proper spacing between characters and words. When you get to the point where you can set the gap on your hand key at a “hairs width” and send with it perfectly at 15 to 20 wpm, you might then give a paddle a try.”
Amazed at the continuous record of publishing online since 1996 and the simple but powerful commitment to have at least one CW QRP QSO every day (a little like the necessary resolution of any half serious blogger!). What a model!
And what a wealth of good info there is online for the CW and QRP fan. Which makes the challenge of actually getting on the air and operating even greater!
Looking forward to exploring the K3WWP site further.