Decency in keying

I often think how to send with decent keying. It may be a pleasure for listeners as well as for myself. Whatever keyer or key we may use in sending code, the principle is pretty simple. Readable code. As less mistakes as possible. Each word should be recognized as it is, that is, small space between characters so far as each character could be recognized. On the other hand, spaces between words should be taken a little bit longer than mechanical proportion orders. These are common sense in sending code.

We often forget emphasizing the space before any particular word which we would like to emphasize. A little bit longer space before such a word would make it sound decent to me. It is comparable to Auftakt in music performance. When some important motif or theme begins in any music, the conductor or the melody player would put a pause or would stress the tune immdediately before those theme/motif, that is, Auftakt as classical players say. In CW sending, we should take this ample pause before starting an important word. The pause may sound as if a part of the message itself you are going to send. For example, a pause before sending your name and so forth.

This pause may attract the listener's attention. The listener wonders what will go on when he/she  hears such a pause at the time he/she might expect an important message to follow. This Auftakt may help the listener to concentrate on the message following it. It also makes sending more decent, I believe. Experienced operators might already do this habit without being conscious of that.

I may add that key board could not make this Auftakt by itself. Such lack of flexibility in sending with key board may be one of the reasons why experienced operators won't use this device.


  1. der Auftrakt

    Upbeat (in music), prelude (figurative)

  2. Yes a keyboard is just a machine with no soul. All CW ops have a distinctive fist when using any type of a key. I can tell it is you calling CQ before you send your call sign, or if I hear you in QSO. It is such a pleasure to copy a good fist with proper spacing between words. It is music to my ears

    161, Steve N6TT