Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K1LKP, Jan 11, 2021.
Back in the day we spent a couple of weeks learning Morse Code, passed our Novice exams and then got our "elmering"
on the air. Nothing like reality as a teacher.
I had to learn by doing myself with the aid of The Handbook.
Would hv been nice to visit a CW man's shack for to see a QSO in progress.
I did however visit the fellow who was teaching a code course at night in '83 to two students.
He had a wire stretched acrossed the gravel road to his barn. Rig was a TS something hybrid.
Not sure what band he was on but he was in QSO with a ham in France.
Wish I knew code bk then. He quit the training due to lack of participation.
Now a days when I get a new HF ham in my QTH I show him how to tune a rig and amp etc.
Not bad to know how to run a tube rig and how to peak a weak signal on a good old receiver...
We learned code ourselves, too, but we were a group of three friends sharing the same elmer. Elmer was another guy our age on the next block. Lots of hams in Chicago in the early 1960's.
I do agree, though, that the best teacher of how to actually operate a ham station was to be able to be in the shack with another operator and just watch, listen, and then after the QSO, talk about it. Nothing can replace that sort of experience.
I taught myself the code out of the dictionary. Practiced sending on a crappy hand key and a buzzer. zero help. It takes some daily practice for a month or so and then once you have basic skills, you improve on the air.
It’s not really that difficult. I’m all for new tools but you don’t need to invest a lot of money. You just need to invest in regular practice time. If you have a helper - great. If you don’t, you can still learn it.
I got my Novice ticket in the mid-80's. We learned the code via cassette tapes. They had "beginners" tapes where they taught the code, then they had tapes at various speeds after you learned all of the characters.
But after learning the code I found W1AW Code Practice a lot better than tapes. But what really helped was there was also a group of us Novices would meet on 80m weekend mornings (not a net, we just kinda ran into each other and kept meeting there and more people joined in) and just shoot the breeze via CW.
It was a lot of fun!!!
Learning to Copy CW
I just listened to novice band QSOs with my Hallicrafters S38D.