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Telegraphy

What do you think about telegraphy? Do we still need it in a world of high speed internet, SMS message and digital modes? Yes, we actually do. CW is an important mode to reach a DX station with QRP or with a small antenna and we shouldn't forget - CW was the most important (and the only) at the beginning of HAM Radio... and by the way you can check your limit. I like to do QRQ. It's amazing to be able to decode a QRQ-signal, it's impossible to listen to single dots and dashs, but at the end you can talk in telegraphy like in your mother tongue. There aren't that many QRQQ-stations on the air, so we need the computer to become faster and to improve our skills. Well, have you ever heard of RufzXP? Or do you know cwFreak? These are great training programs... it's possible to listen to the speed up to 1000 Characters per Minute !! I like to practice with QRQ, it's an Linux-application for improving high-speed-skills, it's written by DJ1YFK. You can see the score-list here: QRQ-Toplist.

Well, how become a QRQ-Operator?
You need:
    • some minutes for practice every day
    • a computer
    • fast fingers ;-)
    • a very good key*
    • some practice texts

    • There are a lot of pages where telegraphy is made to a subject of discussion.


*my favourite key for QRQ is made by Begali. But also Bergsiek-Morsetasten (Schurr) delievers a good quality! In telegraphy the key is your voice. Of course you must have the skill to handle this key, but anyway - you need a good key. My first key was an LTA squeeze-paddle, it was not that expensive and I bought it just because the price was okay for an 13yrs-old boy. My speed wasn't that high at those days, so the key was enough for me. After a few months or years trainig and some QSOs I recognized that this key is good for QSO-speed, about 125cpm, but not for real high speed.
A few years later I bought an MFJ-564, it was about 90$. I thought "great - now I'm able to talk to all my fast friends on 80m with this key" and - nothing happend. The MFJ-key is too soft, it's not easy to adjust and it's not good for high speed, too. Similar to the LTA-Key. Both are good keys, I know it, but not for high speed telegraphy.
So I got a Schurr-Paddle from a friend, I could not buy it by myself because it was too expensive. With this key it's possible to talk to friends with a very high speed. And it's very relaxing to use such a key. It was the first time that I got the feeling 'QRQ is easy to produce' :-).
Later I bought an Kent Single Lever, I switched to single lever, I guess it's better for QRQ for me (don't want to generalize it). I like this KENT very much, it's an affordable good high speed key.
But in Pordenone, where the european championship of high speed telegraphy was held, I discovered a new kind of key: Begali-keys. I spent a couple of hours talking to Piero Begali and tested all his keys. Great! At these days I did know that a good key is expensive, not because of it's brand - but because of it's quality. But I was 18, just finished school, got the first car 1 year before, moved into an own flat... not the ideal condition to buy such an expensive key.... One year later, I met Piero and his wife Grazia in Friedrichshafen on the HAM-Radio. It was great to see them again! Even if I haven't had much money back then I bought an HST Single lever. And it is that best I've ever done! Begali builds the Ferraris of paddles. Great, solid quality, great design, heavy, easy to adjust and outstanding good for talking on the bands and doing championships. His keys are not only for QRQ-Operators or them who wanna become one, they are great for every CW-Operator. I'm telling you, Begali is the best thing you can get ever!
This are some screen-shots of my practice:


Transmitting figures


Transmitting letters


Transmitting mixed


Morse Runner

RufzXP