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Curtis B mode

Neno
 

hi Group!

question : can I start on the beginning to learn Morse by using Curtis B mode ? or shall there be any other mode used on the initial level of Koch echo method ? Thank you.  

Willi, OE1WKL
 

Hi,
That’s actually a very good question! Unfortunately I am not really qualified to answer it competently.
I think that in the beginning it does not make a lot of difference. But it actually depends on which mode you WANT to learn. This could be determined by a radio you are using, if you want to use the built-in keyer (some radios only support Mode A, other only mode B, others again support both).
If you do not want to use built-in keyers, you are also free to use Ultimatic mode (usually not supported by any built-in keyers, but highly favored by a small minors of enthusiasts).

Maybe some people in the group here can elaborate depending on their experience…

73

Willi



Am 30.05.2019 um 11:58 schrieb grebo99@...:

hi Group!

question : can I start on the beginning to learn Morse by using Curtis B mode ? or shall there be any other mode used on the initial level of Koch echo method ? Thank you.  

Max NG7M
 

Hi, Curtis mode be or 'Iambic B' as it's more commonly referred to now is of course related to sending code with a paddle.  Iambic/Curtis B Mode has nothing to do with learning the code by ear... it's related to physical dual lever paddle sending only.  If you are learning to send code with a paddle, I would highly recommend learning to send using your keyer set to Iambic B mode or in the case of the Morserino, Curtis B.  However!  The defaults in the Morserino the last I checked are wrong to make it behave properly for Iambic B sending.  Make sure you set the two options to zero in your Morserino if you are sending in the Curtis B/Iambic B mode:

Set CurtisB DahT% to zero and CurtisB DitT% to zero in your Morserino Setup!  I made a post on this awhile back and suggested that zero/0 be the default for Curtis mode B on the Morserino.  I don't know if the default has been changed.

If you are going to learn how to send via a dual lever paddle and in particular, Iambic... there are 7 letters that are keyed using iambic / squeeze keying (watch my video below).  And in the last 25 years that I have been operating CW, most all keyers and transceivers with built in keyers will default to Iambic mode B when you change to Iambic.  B is the way to go and based on popular demand, Iambic B / Curtis B mode sending is the most popular... if you guest operate or use someone else's key, chances will be high that it's already set to the Iambic B mode.

I made a quick YouTube video a few years back that has been popular on YouTube to show Iambic B keying as compared to single lever keying.  If you are good sending via iambic squeeze keying on the 7 letters in question, you will have no trouble adjusting to a single level either.  And as you can see in the video, you can still key a paddle setup for Iambic keying as though it was a single lever paddle.  I you learn how to send using Iambic keying, you will just be that much more flexible in your operating.  For example, sending CQ is a breeze keying Iambic over single level... again, watch the video and you will see this demonstrated.

Have fun!  Max NG7M

Sverre Holm
 

Nice video demonstrating the speed advantage of iambic keying. But I couldn’t find anything there that said why Iambic A should be inferior to Iambic B.

Interestingly, all the high speed champions prefer single paddle over iambic. Why? Because of its greater tolerance to errors in micro timing. I wrote about it here, as it has helped me send more error-free code also - http://la3za.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-advantage-of-single-lever-paddle.html

Try them all, and choose for yourself!

Sverre
LA3ZA

Max NG7M
 

Hi Sverre, I don't think Iambic A is inferior, but over time it appears to be the most popular.  If you like how Iambic A works as far as the release timing when you squeeze and release as compared to Iambic B, I'm sure there is no disadvantage.  In my experience, Iambic B has been more popular and is usually the default for keyers.

You are right about high speed sending champions preferring single lever paddles in the competitions.  I'm not sure for the reason... maybe it's because they learned with a single lever paddle and have been working on their high speed sending skills for years that way... again, I'm not sure... maybe it's complete control where they won't need to rely on the timing of the release of Iambic keying?  For fills in contests when I'm usually sending between 32 and 38 wpm, I still prefer Iambic keying for the 7 letters in question.  As soon as you get up in the 40+ wpm range on sending, it's another level of timing that is tricky with a single or dual lever paddle!  I do like the flexibility of a dual lever paddle for guest operators too... they can key how they like and send as though it was a single lever and they don't even care or know what Iambic mode is set.  If they like to key Iambic, they are good to go too. 

Have fun either way... dual or single lever, Iambic or not. Max NG7M

Sverre Holm
 

Hi Max, I would think that in the high speed championships, as in all serious competition, they choose whatever technique helps them to win. And that seems to be the single lever paddle, in which case mode A or mode B come out as exactly the same. I think it is the tolerance to small timing errors which makes the single level their choice. But the speed is in the 300 letters per minute range, ie 60 wpm, way beyond me and most others.

By the way, here is an interesting account of A vs B https://ag6qr.net/index.php/2017/01/06/iambic-a-or-b-or-does-it-matter/

sverre
LA3ZA

Max NG7M
 

I agree Sverre, at 60wpm sending is beyond my sending skills, I'm much more interested in copying by ear at QRQ speeds rather than sending.  Iambic A or B obviously is not applicable for a single lever paddle and isn't part of the equation.  I'm aware of the difference between A and B, it's simply related to the release timing and did or dah completion.

I learned on B and when a keyer is in A mode, its very difficult to send the iambic 7 characters.  I'm sure it's the same if you learned on A and try B out.  I don't think one is better than the other, but B is clearly the most common in my experience and is the default for most keyers.

I still think if one is just starting out that mode B makes the most sense, especially if you end up guest operating somewhere in a contest for example, which I have many, many times.

Max NG7M

Neno
 

Max and Sverre, thank you for your view and valuable resources you shared. I started with Labmic B , re-set CurtisB DahT% to zero and CurtisB DitT% to zero (as this was not defaulted). Koch Trainer , Echo Trainer , lesson 4 , speed 22 Wpm :-) .... gradually working with those 4 letters only.