My CW Journey

VK4JE:

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Bencher Paddle
2 / 4
GHD GT-503A Straight Key
3 / 4
GHD GN-607DXF Paddle
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Begali Pearl Paddle with Palladium Base

Hope these Links and Information Help you.

These notes, links and documents I have found helpful on my CW journey. This page was not designed to encourage debate, it is provided to be helpful and supportive as you start or continue your CW journey.
With the introduction of the Internet there are now dozens of options to learn Morse Code, take your time and find the method that suits your CW Goals.
For reasons best known to others Morse Code presents itself as a very scarey and fearful thing therefore it is Important to remind yourself
'Fear is only Temporary - Regret is Forever'

Normally I would say, It's not the Destination that is Important, it's the Journey. However when it comes to Morse Code I would say, It's all about the Destination.

From what I have read no one loves the Journey, in fact the Journey can be so tough that a vast amount of Amateurs fall by the wayside or never start the journey. Which includes me for the last 36 years.

Given Covid and Old Age marching ever so closer, I decided to make 2022 the year that I get right on top of CW, by right on top I mean solid head copy at 12 - 15 WPM or better.

I already had most of the requirements, Morse Practice Cd's, Head Phones, Straight Morse Key, Bencher Paddle, Radio with Mode B Iambic Keyer, I needed to purchase some Exercice Books and Pens.

I started on the Gordon West CD's, for me they worked well, I installed them onto this website to avoid dragging out the CD player 4 times a day to play them, if you want to give the CD's a go drop me an email and I will let you have the password: vk4je@vk4je.com

Remembering by goal, I decided to take the easiest route to reach my goal, I decided to stay well clear of the Pro's and Con's for Straight Keys, Iambic Electronic Keyers, Paddles, Keyboards and everything in between and just concentrate on the end goal of solid head copy at 12 - 15 WPM.

After re-learning the Code using the Gordon West CD'S and writing the copy down, I have moved to ICR (Instant Character Recognision) using MorseCode World which is recommended by CW Academy.
I followed the recommendations of the CW Academy and set the Character Speed to 25 WPM with a initial Farnworth Spacing speed of 4.
It is all fairly straight forward, however if I can help drop me an email.

After some months of struggling on my own, I decided to abandon trying to progress my CW skills without formal, structured help and enrolled in the Basic CW Class offered by the CW Academy it's a 2 month full on CW course.
I also get the feeling that once you have been accepted into the course it's hard to leave, which I think is great.

My course started on Tuesday 03rd May 2022. I will expand this web page as I progress through the next 8 weeks.


I found this article on the correct method to use an Dual Paddle with an Imambic Keyer by K7QO both useful and interesting. At first there was no way I could do the 'Thumb and Index Finger Touching' the Paddles 100% of the time, however after a few weeks of sending Morse Code using the paddle in Mode 'B' anyway I could to acheive an accurate character the Thumb and Index Finger touching has started to become achievable.

My Keys and Paddles

My wife, Marion gave me a new straight key for Christmas 2021, a GHD GT-503A to replace the brass key I purchased 35 years ago, the GHD GT-503A is a huge step up for me and I am sure it will be in residence here for a very long time, in fact the 503 inspired me to retire my Bencher Paddle and replace it with a GHD GN-607DXF Paddle.
More recently I have read and heard that Begali Paddles with magnetic return are the 'Bee's Knee's', so I have purchased a Begali Pearl Paddle which has proved to be another step up from the GHD GN-607DXF. Put simply without getting too carried away, The Begali Pearl is bueatiful in looks, feel and operation.
Morse Code Key wise I should be set for a very long time as all of these keys are very well made.

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