Thank you Roy. The CQWW CW was a really good training regime for me, and I could almost “feel” the speed increasing. I found myself increasing the keyer speed four times over the weekend, from 14wpm to 18wpm, as I kept irritating myself with what started to feel too slow! There were some incredibly fast stations in the contest that I had to give up with, because even after listening to several calls, I could still not be sure I had their callsign 100% correct.
Klaus didn’t reduce his speed for me as much as he normally does when I worked him, which was a good sign, and Dan didn’t seem significantly faster to me as he used to. There’s a lot more to CW than minimum SOTA or contest exchanges, so I have a long way to go yet, but my first obejctive - to be able to chase/activate SOTA CW - has been met.
Interestingly, my son Jimmy M3EYP, is starting to recognise words. He recognises:
M1EYP, M1EYP/P, M3EYP, M3EYP/P, SOTA, TEST, CQ, 599 and 73. He had a go on the Bencher paddle in the shack last night and was able to send CQ CQ at 10wpm after a bit of practice. I think we will stick to learning words rather than letters at the minute and build his vocab up. It would be nice if he furthered his current “passing interest” in CW.