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SKCC • View topic - Drawback to Farnsworth

Drawback to Farnsworth

Moderators: W5ALT, AC2C

Drawback to Farnsworth

Postby N6EV » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:37 am

73
Paul N6EV
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Postby KC9KHG » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:04 pm

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Farnsworth and Communication

Postby N0SSS » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:56 pm

Foremost, I want to say that I agree ops should have tried to QRS when asked by your student. I think anything less than their best effort to QRS and establish a "link" of communication may discourage new ops. And that is unacceptable. Now that I got that out of the way, I'd like to add some perspective to this issue.

I have multiple perspectives on this, having experienced the role of your student and much later the role of communicating with ops using farnsworth spacing.

As a student, I remember being "blown by" from ops not emulating my farnsworth spacing. However, I actually did not want them to emulate my farnsworth, only my speed. Thus, I was using the QSO as training more than communication.

I have met 50 yr cw veterans using farnsworth. Why? Just a few days ago one such op was just beginning to learn the bug. Hence, his use of farnsworth. I have met other old timers that elect for Farnsworth perhaps to ensure clear communication. Clearly, if I was uncertain about the exact timing between letters, I'd elect to over compensate the pauses between letters than to accidently sqaush them all together and ruin the goal of communication. In both cases, I do not need to send farnsworth to these FB ops.

Another issue clouds my decision to send farnsworth. Its actually very hard for me to send farnsworth now that I've grown out of it. The beat of morse compels me to send the next letter at a precise time. Trying not to send at Standard Speed takes quite an effort.

So here is the problem as I see it:
1) In practice, the difference between Farnsworth Spacing and Regular Spacing is one of degrees. How far does the farnsworth spacing deviate from regular spacing?2) Farnsworth spacing is used by both veterans and newcomers to cw.
3) Is there a correlation between degree of farnsworth spacing and copy skills?
4) Some veterans may find farnsworth spacing hard to send, due to the fact that they may relegate all keying to the subconscious mind, rely on beats, or use other obscure mechanisms to key the code.

Thus, at the beginning of most QSOs I simply do not conjecture, unless its outright obvious from letter substitution mistakes (R/K, E/T, F/L, A/N, etc) or a HUGE farnsworth space that the op is a newcomer to cw. Thus, in most cases, I await them to communicate to me if they want me to QRS or change to farnsworth.

Obviously, on 7.114 I always try to send farnsworth. Sometimes my concentration slips momentarily and I find myself not using farnsworth. But my intentions are good. I think the 7.114 elmer frequency is the best solution to this issue. The only other better solution I can think of---is being the teacher, inherently knowing the needs of your students before the QSO even begins.

I will try to make a point of asking obvious farnsworth ops, "M y s p e e d o k ?" whenever I talk to them now, just to be sure.

Thanks for bringing this issue up as well, N6EV.

73,
adam nosss
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Postby N6EV » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:32 am

Good points Adam. Thanks for your perspective(s). Since he first complained, he has had better success. I don't think his degree of Farnsworth sending is excessive or overly exagerated. And perhaps that's part of the problem. He may at times (like all new ops) be sending faster (less Farnsworth spacing) than he should be for his copy skill, giving the other operator the false indication of how fast to send, and expected spacing.

Nancy Kott, WZ8C (North American FISTS coordinator) wrote an interesting article about 'instant recognition' which I'm sure applies to some extent: http://www.kl7kc.com/FistsCodeCourse/instant.pdf

This student and I just had a good session tonight at our fastest speed to date.. somewhere around 11 to 12 WPM. So the Farnsworth spacing is just about used up. Pretty soon I'll start transitioning him to non-Farnsworth copy to see how he does.

Thanks again for the feedback. If anyone else has any thoughts, please join in.
73
Paul N6EV
SKCC 3358T / FISTS 1407 / NAQCC 2247 / CWOps 380
http://www.N6EV.com/
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