After that first QSO, I had another CW QSO with Unni VU2UKN, who patiently tolerated my sending errors.

I have been looking at ways to improve my sending and I remembered an old document that Chuck Adams wrote on Dual level paddles and the Iambic modes etc. A web search got me the document I wanted.

With the help of that document and a helpful video, I adjusted the paddle for spacing, cleaned up the contacts and got down to learn sending. I was very surprised by what I read. Since I used to use the simple straight key, I was trying to use the dual level paddle in the same way. But that is not how one uses a paddle. The idea is to save as many key touches as possible - in short, accomplish more with less touches, with the help of the iambic keyer (a microcontroller that reads the dit and dah paddle input wires and generates sound accordingly).

It is a lot fun to practice things until one gets it right.. and then keep perfecting it.