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A new way to learn CW

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K6TRY, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. K6TRY

    K6TRY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Learning Morse Code (CW) is more fun with friends. In San Diego,Ca. a group is learning CW with a friendly interactive environment. One hour every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday KB6PJU, Mark, operates a net on the local Amateur Radio Club of El Cajon Repeater and practices with other Hams learning CW. Some participate by phonetically reading back the sent code and many others listen in. On any given day Hams can be heard discussing the code practice with happy voices via other local repeaters.

    This has taken time to develop. Mark was unable to learn morse code due to his Multiple Sclerosis. WA6FFT-Phil, spent a lot of time helping him learn CW while he was recovering from a broken hip. This worked so well on 10 meters that Mark developed a new kind of teaching on the local repeater.
    He built a microphone and speaker stand for his 2 meter rig to transmit tones and set up the program “Just Learn Morse Code” on his lap top computer. The program is versatile and capable of the Farnsworth Method with speed and spacing adjustments on the fly . Thursday meetings are geared to new and returning Hams. The code is slowed to accommodate new learning or just refreshing abilities.

    During practice the members hear five letter, number, and punctuation groups. They then hear common QSO phrases to become familiar with CW QSO's. A member suggested that each session have a grouping of the members call signs. After each transmission several of the group are called on to phonetically read back what they copied. General fun and laughter encourages the shy members. During these read backs members find out what their personal “Kryptonite” letters are so they can focus on their own weaker characters. During the practice members are also taught clear handwriting, net protocol, and common short-cuts that experienced Hams use to make CW more compact.

    This teaching method is geared to be interactive for each person in the group. Practice like this helps any Ham in refining or learning CW . This is learning Morse Code in a fun, friendly participating environment. So far this method has great results according to the members. A.R.C.E.C 2m/440 repeater
    KM4FLJ likes this.
  2. KG4GVL

    KG4GVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back, 12-15 years ago, David Schornak (N1IB, then KG4LSK, now SK) had that Idea for the Atlanta repeater, W4DOC. He was usually on the air, and I know of at least one guy who got his general ticket because David would lead a net with an over the air general practice exam pretty regularly for a while.
    I don't think Dave ever got around to leading the a Morse practice net, but he did build a tone generator to hook into the mic jack on his 2m base rig so that he could plug a key in and tap out on the repeater.
    It's a great idea, and I'm glad to see someone using it! There's a lot more people interested in CW now that they don't have to know it for the test than there was before.
  3. WJ4U

    WJ4U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hmm, I had not thought about CW on 2m repeater.
    I might bring up the topic on the air and see what kind of interest is here.
  4. N4GKC

    N4GKC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great ideas all..... Long Live CW 72/73 Gary N4GKC
  5. WA4TUX

    WA4TUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been participating in Mark's CW code practice sessions when I can, starting in January of this year. Despite a bad spell with pneumonia in February, my progress has been somewhat astounding. I use the free JLMC program in between, gradually increasing speed, but nothing beats copying "on the air". Wonderful program and many thanks!

    Might point out an update here, the practice sessions are now held on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 7 PM, Pacific - still approximately 1 hour in duration. A fun and friendly environment to learn/practice CW!

    73, de W6TUX

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