I have recently become interested in CW and have started to try and learn all the letters, got about 5 so far lol. Just wondered how many young hams actually do CW and got any tips for learning it.
Cheers and 73,
I do some, can usually go pretty fast for DX or contests, but for ragchewing around 10wpm.
For learning it, split the alphabet up into 3-4 different sections.
Just work on a few at a time.
The real CW gurus around here are Calvin, K0DXC and Brennen, KI4PRK.
Best of luck!
True freedom is having a 3rd choice.
I've found the G4FON trainer to be quite good, quite customisable to suit your style. can set it so you can learn from 2 characters each session then gradually build more onto it whilst revising ones previously learnt. Can alter effective and actual speeds of CW as well...
Slán agus beannachtaí
Jon, MI0JVI & EI7GNB
Beware the lightning that lurketh in an undischarged capacitor, lest it cause thee to be bounced upon thy buttocks in a most ungentlemanly manner.
Member of: The Radio Society of Great Britain, The Irish Radio Transmitters' Society, The Straight Key Centurion Club, The European PSK Club, The 30m Digital Group.
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I learned CW using the Gordon West tapes that were available at Radio Shack. West included motivational narrative and humor into the mix that made it easier for me to learn.
To increase my speed, I purchased an electronic code tutor from MFJ. At that time it was a metal cased rig with several buttons on the side. The newer model is smaller and has an LCD display.
The best thing to do once you know the basic characters, punctuation, and numbers is to listen on the air. The addition of static and fade made me concentrate harder speeding the learning process. Listening to actual qso's also made it more interesting.
You should also considerer joining FISTS or one of the qrp groups. They have code buddys, on air sessions, and contests that help to get the speed up.
Remember, sending quality is just as important as copying. You need to work with real ops to insure that your sending is up to par.
Originally Posted by M3SPF
CW is a great mode, I was actually believe it or not HORRIBLE at CW when I actually started using it one the air.
I had a little sheet with all the morse characters on it next to my pad of paper and would slowly decode what was sent with my little "cheat sheet"
There is TONS of DX on CW, in fact, some DXpeditions are CW only. Contests are also a great thing to get into.
Tips for learning CW? Simply get on the air and use the mode. (after you at least know most of the letters though, don't do this now as the results probably wouldn't be to good.)
I hope to work you using this fine mode someday. 73 es best DX!
I also suggest trying to get a little bit familiar with some of the most common CW abbreviations, most of the ops use them a lot.
Hey Cal... I hear you on 14.248 right now.. heh I'm just above you on 14.250
73! From Jimmy, K5OP
Magnolia DX Association
Originally Posted by M3SPF
first, congrats for the decision to learn CW. Once you have gained some proficiency, you'll love it.
As for tips for learning; the Koch method (used by G4FON's trainer, mentioned by 2I0JVI) is probably the way to go. It helps to minimize frustration while learning, by not making the learning curve too steep, and it utilizes the Farnsworth method, which means you hear the characters itself at a high speed, with long pauses. This way you'll recognize the letters by their sound (not as a series of dots and dashes) right away, which is very important.
One you have mastered most of the characters, start to listen to "real" CW on the bands as soon as possible. Even if you're only SWLing, it'll be a big boost for your motivation if you realize that you can actually follow QSOs on the air... and you'll want to make QSOs by yourself.
And yes, there is quite a number of young hams all over the world enjoying CW. The youngest ham I ever worked in CW was 9 years old and operating from a club station in Serbia. Many active young CW operators are into contesting, most of them are members of the WWYC club (World Wide Young Contesters).
I wish you good luck and hope to hear you on the bands in CW soon!
Originally Posted by KB5FSV
Yeah, I've worked 144 guys on phone so far, I quit an hour ago. I'll be on 30 and 40 meter CW tonight.
Weekends I'm not on the radio to much, but I'm generally on most of the weekend.
I give extra effort to NOT post in the youth forum because I feel it is YOUR area, and I not longer have youth. HA HA!
But when reading your post I was compelled to reply... Welcome to CW, myself and many other ops are thrilled you decided to pick it up so there will continue to be a pool of CW ops to work!
Fair warning, once you start getting good with CW, its HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, and you will find any other mode just not as much fun.
73 & GL-