Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by VK4HAT, May 30, 2019.
When my fist hurts from slamming it down on top of the keyer because I messed up yet again
I'd say your way ahead of probably 90% of the OP's who know NONE and will never know any. 73 Rich
Looks like my novice log. Happens. Once you cross the barrier you've erected where you're thinking of it as dashes and dots rather than sounds, it'll all come together quickly.
Morse code is a language, all it takes is a lot of practice and immersion.
Sorry, that makes no sense. It's like saying you want to learn to play piano but refuse to practice scales. Or you want to run a marathon but refuse to do any runs shorter than 26.22 miles.
You might find this helpful:
Or maybe not.
You don't need a computer or a person (present). The best receiving practice is off the air (with QRM and QRN). If you can receive W1AW's practice runs, use those. If not, copy QSOs. Always use QSOs where the ops are going just a little faster than your comfort speed. Sending? You just need some time on the key. Either sending pages of text from a magazine or working lots of CW on the air. How did I get my code speed from 5 to 13 wpm and beyond? That was a long, long time ago, but mostly I got on the air and worked a lot of CW. That was the main thing. Before taking the 13 and 20 wpm tests I did use W1AW code practice runs. You'll get there if you set your mind to it OM.
Oh, and forget dots and dashes. It's unfortunate you've fallen into that trap. Morse is SOUND. Luckily, the person who taught me CW, W4SLJ (SK, my father), steered me away from that. When he saw me studying a chart showing dots and dashes, trying to memorize the characters, he was very emphatic about that.
Finally, when I say get on the air and work a lot of CW, I mean everyday if at all possible. If the dog is a distraction, use headphones. In fact, use headphones even if Mr. Dog isn't having a fit. I've always preferred earphones for CW work.
It isn't a trap. He is re-training his mind to become familiar with "the sounds". Once he regains that immediate recognition, he can progress to aural recognition.
It's not different than me attempting to play music after 40 years away. Once upon a time I played 5 instruments, read treble and base clef notes. Now I must pause and count lines again up/down from a note I recognize. If I do this a few times, it slowly comes back and I can begin to read again by sight.
No trap. Stop telling people the "only" way to do morse. Especially at an advanced age, when they previously were proficient. Aging DOES slow and limit our rate and capacity for learning; especially after age 45.
Sorry OM, it most assuredly is a trap. I guarantee that if you learn the sounds from day one rather than dots and dashes, it will go much easier with no "retraining" required. You tell them your way, I'll tell them mine, which is by far the easier way and something you can be sure I won't stop doing.
1. The reply was made to a full adult who knows morse code and who simply needed refreshing of his memory to get back into the swing.
2. At some point you will need to learn that S is three dits. Certainly it won't work to 'sound it out" like phonics or draw dashes and dits at 20wpm, but in the first few days of memorizing the characters, it is reasonable. Use steps of progression. We don't teach infants to run marathons, before learning to take the first step.