Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Junker straight key

New in the shack is the second hand Junker straight key. I sold the old key many years ago, now I am happy that the key is back again. The feel is very good, much better than the new Bencher straight key I bought last year. Unfortunately I cannot longer than a half an hour working with a straight key. With the years I grow older I have osteoarthritis of the hands and shoulder joints. It end up with a painful joint. My maximum speed with a straight key is 16 wpm. A electronic key is much more better for me. Only I will give so now and then a dot or dash too much or less. Fine speed is 24 wpm with the electronic key with a minimum of errors. Another method I use is keyboard keying. No problem to send out any speed necessary without errors. Sometimes I use macros to send out CW when I do CW contesting or DX. I use FLdigi to do so. As you see there are different methods to do CW. I always use my ears to decode CW. I can’t do without it because I need to hear CW myself. In the background I use CW Skimmer for decoding. I tried different decoding software and for me CW Skimmer is the best. It's not free, you'll have to pay for it, but it's worth the money. CW Skimmer can be very helpful sometimes especially to monitor 14060 KHz band because it decodes many stations at one time so I can see which station is QRV. Picture gallery of my shack

This morning I worked YU7AE/QRP on 14060 KHz after he worked F/N2UGB Dick. Unfortunately I didn't hear Dick. I made a screen shot of the qso between YU7AE and F/N2UGB.


  1. How about that, Paul. He was a solid 569 most times, I was 559 and no QSB report. I didn't hear you either, but I immediately pulled the plug after that QSO. YL needed some help. the 20M band may be too long for us right now. 73 Dick

  2. Hello Dick, I jumped up from my chair. I heard your call sign, but it was Karolj calling you. He was 599 here. Strong signal for 5 watt. Maybe some Es in direction to Serbia. On 10 meter was Es that direction. Good West-East connections. I am often QRV between 8 and 10 UTC (10 and 12 hour local time) at 14060 KHz. 73 Paul

  3. Good morning Paul, I'm have for some time now been thinking about getting skimmer. What your using it for could come in handy out this way as well. I am like you I have to decode by ear but your use for skimmer got me thinking.

  4. Hello Mike, CW Skimmer and I are good companions. Just this afternoon PJ7E showed up on 14057 KHz. In a moment CW Skimmer decoded 8 calling stations. Impossible to do with my ears alone. Great software. 73 Paul

  5. Hello Paul, nice gallery from your shack, enjoyed it very much. Still like that 450 although I'n not a Yaesu fan. CW Skimmer doesn't work with my computer unfortenately. It gives a error message and that's it. Probabely it's because you have to pay for it before it will work?? 73, Bas

  6. Hello Bas, it's a pity CW Skimmer doesn't work on your computer. It could be that when the trial period is over, it stops working. 73 Paul

  7. Hello Paul,
    As a professional (Naval)wireless operator back in the good old days, when communications where much easier, we only used the Junker.

    And, come you all...learn CW without that hocus pocus-stuff. be patient, comes time, comes speed.
    If the other side is sending too fast, just give him the Q-code QRS. It is a gentleman's agreement to send no faster than the receiving side can decode....I know there are not too much gentlemen left in this world. But most of the CW-operators are still gentlemen.....Keep CW alive 72/73 Wally

  8. Hallo Wally,
    Voordat iemand overgaat tot Hocus Pocus ofwel gebruik maken van de technische vooruitgang, is het aan te bevelen om eerst CW gewoon, ouderwets te leren. Techniek moet een hulpmiddel zijn, niet meer. Een aanvulling. Maar dat is mijn mening. Over 20-30 jaar, als de CW generatie grotendeels onder de groene zoden ligt, dan weet ik niet of CW nog een lang leven beschoren is. Althans de ouderwetse methode. Als je naar de nieuwste Ten Tec transceiver kijkt, dan heeft die al een ingebouwde CW decoder aan boord. Times are changing.

    73 Paul


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