While living on Maui a few years ago, I got interested in increasing my code speed. The sunspot cycle was stuck in one of the longest minimums seen in many years. So, out of boredom, i decided I would try to get all the stickers on the ARRL Code Proficiency Certificate. All the way to 40 wpm and I  would do it on a mill or typewriter. Well, finding a real, all caps, 'mill' was not easy and the ones on ebay were expensive so I settled for my computer keyboard. I would practice using the on the internet ARRL Code Practice files and then try to copy W1AW or the West Coast station  during the monthly Qualifying runs.Not easy considering I was 2500 miles off the west coast. I found that listening and copying on my keyboard was not easy to say the least. You have to copy behind but not too far behind or you get lost! I finally got my 40 wpm sticker this month. I recommend this as an interesting challenge for the group out there. Not easy and quickly becoming a lost art.

Joe W3GW

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Hi Joe,

Congratulations on copying with the keyboard  40 WPM. When I was first on the air I used to listen to G3BZU who used to do code practice over here. I managed to get my 15,20, 25, WPM stickers but I could not get the one for 30WPM because I could not write that fast. I had hoped when I got back on the radio I would be able to get that missing sticker but in the time I was off the air  they stopped doing them. Now the RSGB are doing them but I think it will take a lot of typing practice to do what you have done, Rich G4FAD.. 

Hi there,

Interesting post.

I try to increase my speed, and I realized that I'm absolutely unable to write over 20 WPM, and even under my writing is so bad that I have difficulty to read back.

A lot of buddies told me that to reach high speed, you must "copy in your head", but a lot of CW training sessions require that you copy. Also if you wish to enter HSC program, you must jot down enough info so as to be able to answer what the other guy says ans asks.

For instance the French governmental FAV22 code practice sends lessons of 5 letter group, and there is no other way than to write down. I do not know of any guy able to learn 50 or 80 groups @ 25WPM at once!!

So I tried to copy with my keyboard, using NOTEPAD++ as a text software. Well, it is not easy at all, and I have to learn typewriting. I found that the PC keyboards seem to have narrower spacing of the pads than a conventional typing machine, but it is also smoother and requires not so heavy punching! Old secretaries sure had very strong fingers!

Hopefully there are some nice typing lessons over the internet, and I try to use them, but at 65 it's difficult to learn this kind of stuff.

Well, I'll train and hope to be able to join you in ICW QRQ some day!

Gerard F6EEQ

Mon ami Gerard, J'utilise cette programme



Hi Gerard,

I used the Mavis Beacon program to learn how to touch type I found it was very good. I  found that it was best to cover the letters on the keyboard with sticky paper so that I could not see the letters but that became a bind when I wanted to use the keyboard to send an email etc. So I cut the front out of a small cardboard box so that box covered over the keyboard but I could feel the keys but not see them and this way I could not cheat! I also found it useful when watching TV to have an old keyboard on my lap and I would type whatever the people on the TV were saying, this helps to get the speed up but you have to be careful that you use the right fingers for the right letters for example  don't confuse E with I my favourite mistake, Good Luck, Rich G4FAD.. 

Hi Rich

I had a look at Mavis cours, but it seems its on ly for QWERTY key board, and I use AZERTY!!

I found this on the internet, and I began to use it: http://www.dactylocours.com

The advantage is that this is for French speaking;

I have no problems with English, but It will be difficult to learn a new keyboard!


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