This CW thing is curious. My sending seems to have gone to pieces, and it seems to happen mid-QSO. So this is what I see: I get part-way through a QSO fine, then make a couple of errors, and the nerves mount and my sending goes to bits like I’m unable to put a single word together without the errors accumulating. Same for straight key and paddle. Ugh. I don’t like it at all.
So… More practice. Keep going. I’ll get better.
Given that I could send okay before, I’m wondering whether this is something to do with moving my sending from conscious to unconscious, and I’ve got two mechanisms in my head/body fighting over which mechanism is doing the sending. Some stress and it gets all out of whack.
So, apologies if I work you and I end up beating a hasty retreat with garbled sending. I’ll get better with more practice.
I want to get more comfortable with CW QSOs. I can do a 599 contest or special event QSO without thinking but I bumble around, feel the nerves and basically suck at sending nice clean Morse in a more conversational QSO.
I need more learning and more practice and it feels like that learning needs to be social.
So I’m setting myself a goal.. I want to make at least one real CW QSO per day in 2019. The more rag-chewy the better. So here are my rules:
- Speed doesn’t matter. Good sending does matter.
- Focus on the art of a good conversation, warmth and connection.
- If I miss a day then make it up in the following couple of days. This allows for days away from radios completely etc.
- Contests like CQWW or CWOps CWTs count as one QSO the only.
- The point is to enquire and learn about myself and improve my CW. No slavish adherence to rules is needed.
Other CW learning
I also need to do sending practice. I’m still thinking too hard about straight key and paddle sending. And I’m still enjoy doing an ARRL Morse practice mp3 file at 25 or 30wpm every couple of days for receiving practice.