QOTD straight vs paddle

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.”

Another adds:

“…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.”






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