The recent sunspot doldrums produced a lack of on the air QSOs here at my Maui QTH. This lack of on the air activity promted me to take up QRQ CW just under two years ago and led to my discovering this website. One problem I faced was getting proper practice necessary for increasing my speed, what with my inability to check into the QRQ nets or QSO folks interested in QRQ CW. So, I followed AA0HW's suggestions to use Rufz programmed to send from a list of the 3000 common words instead of call signs, and, the program, ebook2cw, as as a means to convert text to high speed CW audio files for study. With these optons, I have made progress getting through the 55 wpm 'brick wall'.
Fldigi, to my ears, sends beautiful CW. Recently, I found myself wondering if I could get Fldigi to convert my text files to CW to take advantage of the program's ability to produce such beautiful QRQ CW. I found one way that might be of interest to the group.
First, I prepare the text by getting rid of all the punctuation, using Chucks suggestion to replace commas with three spaces, periods with seven spaces, and question marks with two spaces than '?' followed by 10 spaces. I find this step to be indispensible to avoid confusion in learning word sounds. 'Town.' at 65 wpm sounds different than 'town' without the period.
The next step is to open Fldigi, click on 'configure', go to 'modems', and than click on 'audio'. Once in 'audio', I make sure my 'Port Audio' playback device is my default modem. I always have to do this when getting set to make a file since my playback audio device is usually set to the 'WS Soundcard' I use for the iCW net ( of course you are set up for iCW, aren't you?).
I than put the mouse cursor on the blue space on Fldigi, right click on the mouse, click on 'insert file' to put the text file I want to convert to CW in the blue space of Fldigi. Make sure you have the T/R button toggled off or the program will start sending the text as CW before you have finished setting up. Than, I set the tone and speed to my preferences.
The next step is to go to 'file' in the upper left hand corner of Fldigi, click, and than click on 'audio'. Check the box next to 'Tx generate'. This will bring up a box that allows you to select a destination folder and name for the .wav file that Fldigi will generate from your text file.
Than toggle T/R to red and listen to the text file being sent in CW with the speed, shaping, and tone you have selected. One little potential bump in the road here is to not walk away while the audio file is being generated. Fldigi will not stop automatically once the end of the text file is reached. It just goes on forever so you have to be there to toggle T/R off to stop the program!
This generates a .wav file which I than convert to an mp3 file by using the freeware program 'WiFF'. There are a number of programs out there that can be used to convert audio files from one format to another. I can than download my new QRQ CW mp3 file to my tiny, portable, mp3 player and enjoy QRQ CW practice on my daily walks around Maui.
I will have to get Chucks advice on how to make a video of these instructions if the group finds this to be helpful.
Aloha from Maui.