[CQ-Contest] CW Accuracy

Craig Cook craig.n7or at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 15:35:34 EDT 2006

Something funny is going on. I honestly used to think that I was slightly
above average. In other words, if there were 1500 entrants in a CW SS, my cw
skills would be among the top 750. I always thought that if I was ever in a
position to upgrade the hardware, then my scores would only get better from
there. As if it would be a reciprocal thing. The more stations I could work,
the more practice I would get, the better my CW would get, the more staions
I could work. Repeat. As if that was the main thing holding me back. Lately
it seems like I can't copy or type very well at all. Last SS my report was
pretty bad. I do have MorseRunner, but no motivation. My memory is getting
worse, too.
73, Craig Cook - N7OR in Sandy, OR
"You should be ashamed of yourself"

On 9/11/06, W4ZW <w4zw at comcast.net> wrote:
> After reviewing a few of my past log UBN reports, I decided to find out
> where I was busting calls.  So I started working out with RUFZ-XP and made
> several interesting discoveries.  The first culprit is my typing ability,
> or
> lack there of.  I never learned touch typing and have adopted the hunt and
> peck method until I feel fairly comfortable, but limited by speed.
> I switched to computer logging completely about 15 years ago, although I
> wrote programs to do computer logging on DEC, WANG,  and DG minicomputers
> a
> jillion years ago for FD and SS.  I'd never noticed a large error rate
> until
> studying my UBN's.  I have enough hearing loss in my left ear at certain
> frequencies such that often sounds seem "muddled" and I do miss calls when
> doing SO2R and have returned to basic SO1R because of it.  But I wanted to
> see exactly where I was making the errors and I discovered several
> interesting things.
> My typing errors were the first and most obvious culprit when I simply hit
> the wrong key. But I also discovered that I almost always get the call
> right
> if it's a "standard" call, that is a 1x3 or 2x3 or shorter because I have
> it
> in my head cache at speeds up to about 50wpm.    But if it's a
> XX7/anything
> I have a momentary mental blink and miss the complete call.  Also
> sometimes
> have a mental blink and a degree of error with the Call/QRP.  And last, at
> speeds over 40wpm I mix the "S" and "H", and that from a guy who was K4HHG
> for 40 years.  Also found certain "mental stops" with repeated characters
> and certain  letters like "T", e.g. copy "UTU" as "VTU" or just "TU".
> When I stir this all around with my poor typing, I can see how my UBN is
> higher than I want.  I also think some of this has to do with aging,
> because
> I remember how clearly I could grab calls in my head when I was younger
> (especially in my teens when my head cache was really BIG)  and putting
> them
> down with a pencil.  I tried using a pencil with RUFZ and discovered that
> my
> accuracy did improve, but not enough to give up the wonderful advantage of
> computer logging.
> Anyone else notice this aging by-product?
> Jon Hamlet,  W4ZW
> Casey Key Island, Florida
> "A little piece of paradise in the Gulf of Mexico"
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