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Copying on Paper - Best Practice?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KN4I, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The catch, whilst learning using a method like Koch that sends random characters, is that there's no way to check whether you copied what was sent unless you do write all the random characters down, and if you don't know what mistakes you are making you won't be able to fix them, so you have to figure out just how fast you can write or type, and then use that as the limit for your lesson speed.

    I use my normal handwriting for taking Morse copy.
    WS4JM likes this.
  2. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    For amateur practice, what Steve said makes a lot of sense. I take notes during a QSO, but rarely write down anything other than salient facts for the log and comments.

    However, back in the day when Uncle Sam taught you Morse, code, and you learned or else, he also taught you a method of printing, similar to this one, which was supposed to allow you to print both quickly and legibly for purposes of what we used to call solid copy:

    N2EY likes this.
  3. VK2WP

    VK2WP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    For taking down Morse use my normal handwriting. When a youngster in the 1950's was taught a cursive script which we called running writing.

    This script can be pretty quick although find it hard at times to write out everything at say 25wpm.
  4. KB0TT

    KB0TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well ....... I just know what worked for ME ...

    Cursive ( without crossing the T's or dotting the I's ) is
    faster ...... It still resembles ' chicken scratch ' at speeds above
    25 wpm ......

    Jim ( N2EY ) is ADAMANT about block printing ...... He and I have
    agreed to disagree on this subject ....

    He hasn't checked in on this thread ..... YET ....

    BUT , I just KNOW that he will .....

    That is all ...

  5. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the key to successful deciphering of high speed Morse Code. Alfred Vail learned this while he was working on Samuel F.B. Morse's paper tape translator.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    converted to blank space.
  7. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or, like notes taken with black ink on black paper,...or blue ink on blue paper,...or white ink on white paper,...or...
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You don't have to buy it, nobody's selling it.

    But I never wrote anything down at all until I found out when taking my first test (Novice, in 1965) that you actually did have to write down the "copy" for five minutes. Oops. Somehow I missed that in the Novice study guide.

    My friend David (who became WN2WND same day as I got my license) and I used to practice Morse code just vocalizing it, walking to and from school in 8th grade. We didn't even have a code practice oscillator or anything. I'd just say, "Didididit didit dahdidit didah didididah dit" for Hi Dave and off we'd walk about a mile to school, vocalizing the code like that as we walked -- no regular talking allowed, at all. We did this for a couple of months and found we were going so fast our mouths could barely keep up.

    Made arrangements with W2NVA (who became W2NR) to give us our Novice tests. We studied the manual and knew what was needed to pass the written part, but the code part came first. Frank gave me a key, connected to an oscillator, and asked me to send something he had printed on paper. I did that, kind of shakily, since I'd really never used a key before. But 5 wpm is really, really s-l-o-w and you can be pretty bad and still pass this.

    David did the same. Then he started sending to us. We both copied fine in our heads but had really never written anything down, so this was a first. We passed, mostly because Frank sent at only 5 wpm and we were used to "copying" at probably 15 wpm, so it sounded really slow.

    I've taught code classes for 25+ years on and off (mostly back when the code test was required, not much since then) and never gave any of my students anything to write on. The ones who actually showed up at least four classes in a row all copied 10 wpm without writing a thing after the fourth class.
  9. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I do slash my zeros and put a horizontal base under my ones to make them stand out.

    I write down Times, calls, names, QTHs, club (SKCC, FISTS ETC...) numbers. The Stuff that goes in a log book. If you get a QSL card (or E-QSL) how do you know it's legit if you don't keep a log of some kind?
    When I am rag chewing with someone I copy in my head anything that is just a conversation. I do keep some notes about what we are discussing, so I don't forget to respond to a question .
    The idea that it is BAD to write anything down is just plain silly !
    KB0TT and W5BIB like this.
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Old ARRL CW training books showed a method of writing characters with the least amount of movement....such as a backwards 3 for an E, etc. I still use them all!

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