A Modified Koch Method for CW Practice?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by W0XI, Jul 27, 2010.

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  1. W0XI

    W0XI Ham Member QRZ Page

    ;D Most if not all of the programs touting the Koch method for CW practice allow for one WPM rate for the characters and another WPM rate for inter-character and inter-word spacings. . The idea is to allow one to hear the characters at a desired speed but provide for extra time to decode each. This works well for characters. However, I think, it makes the words - at some intermediate rates - sound odd, not like they'd sound when characters and all spacing are at one faster rate. So, I've been looking for a program that sets the full WPM rate desired for characters and intra-word spaces but allows for the variation of the inter-word rate (not as above with Koch). I've not found such a program yet.
    However, I've found a way to control the inter-word rate using two programs: Justlearnmorsecode and Morse-Mail. Here's how I do it:

    • [li]Use justlearnmorse code to generator a partial list of the 100 most common words for practice, set at 25 or 30 WPM (for my goal).[/li]
      [li]Then use Morse Mail to convert the words to the morse mail (coded) file format[/li]
      [li]Then copy that coded message to notepad (a text file) and search and replace ALL of the inter-word duration entires - a number -with the new desired inter-word number (rate) desired. [/li]
      [li]Then copy that back into the morse mail message windor and run it[/li]
    <p>So far that is working for me and I’ll will report back if it seems to work better than using Koch alone for word practice. I’ve been making up batches of word files at 30 WPM, where the content is the same but the work spacing is different. 73s. Phil. WØXI.
    <p>PS: Copying behind becomes a problem when the inter-word spacing approaches 12-14 WPM. That’s where the learning begins and that’s where the acknowledgement of the last character begins to compete with the next character. One can inch this boundary up during practice. I plan on trying it with text too, where’in the mind aids in combining text in expected sentence syntax. A goal down the road is to “listen” to articles from magazines in CW rather than read them. 73s. Phil.
  2. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have heard several guys on repeaters say they are learning code using the Koch method. They say it is supposed to get you right up to 30 words per minute copy.

    Thirty WPM is pretty hard. I can't see getting there quickly by any method unless you are still a teenager and your brain is like a sponge. A lofty goal may require more time and dedication than a lesser goal. Plus, how many great QSOs might you be missing with some stations that regularly work between 15 and 20 WPM?

    I look forward to hearing of your success; I may need to re-think my views.
  3. W0XI

    W0XI Ham Member QRZ Page


    TNX for your response. You may be right; it may require "more time." My son-in-law, a prof in cell biology, thinks (per his linguistic studies) that there is no golden bullet and that it will just take a lot of drill. The engineer in me wants to find an algorithm that will enhance the time process for learning to listen and comprehend at say 25 to 30 WPM (without writing or typing the copy).

    I have found - for me - when a word is sent at two different speeds, particularly when those speeds are quite different - say 14 WPM and 25 WPM - "they" sound different. This implies one might have to "learn" or at least relearn the same word at these quite different speeds. So....why not simply start with 25 WPM. I may be suffering since I could readily copy at 13 to 16 or so before starting this new practice. IF....if....I stick with it, yes, I'll post my experience. 73s. Phil, Lawrence, KS.
  4. AC0H

    AC0H Ham Member QRZ Page

    With the Farnsworth method individual characters are sent at the target speed, but extra space is sent between characters and words to slow the rate at which you have to translate. As you improve the extra space is decreased. This way you learn from the beginning how each character sounds at the target rate. Translation becomes more of a reflex.

    If you're target rate is 25wpm and you are spacing the characters to slow the overall speed you are using the Farnsworth method. Characters at 25wpm spaced for 10wpm total.

    Problem with the Farnsworth method is the translation part. If someone sends 25wpm character speed spaced for 25 wpm and you're used to 10wpm spacing you've got no chance. You can't "translate" fast enough to keep up thus the infamous 10wpm wall.

    The Koch method teaches you two characters at your target speed and you add another when you copy those two 90-95%. Using the Koch method the character speed is 25 wpm (whatever your goal is) spaced the same. You learn the whole character set at 25 wpm spaced for 25. No translation, you learn the sound of a 25 wpm F or L or Z

    Anything else is NOT the Koch method.
  5. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sure glad I learned code when I did, and therefore didn't have to worry about "Koch" and "Farnsworth".

    Just Morse.
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