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Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W9QK, Jan 18, 2021.

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  1. W9QK

    W9QK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I’m a new ham, got my ticket in October 2020 and I upgraded to Extra on December 2020, while the knowledge was bouncing around in my head, also to avoid the fees the FCC is implementing. I’ve always been interested in Morse code but don’t know how and where to start. As a kid I learned how to do SOS. Just because it’s such a international language that if I ever found myself lost somewhere in the woods or locked somewhere in some building I could use a flashlight or tap SOS. I’ve been doing some research and I keep getting mixed messages. Some people say learn by ear other say you have to learn by writing it down. After my exhausting research I was left confused and pulling my hair. So I figured I ask the people with actual experience with Morse.
    Where to begin? Any devices that help? Any instructional books or vids? Writing it or learning by listening to it?
    Anyone in the Orlando FL area that it’s willing to help?
    Thanks for any advice,73.
  2. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I couldn't get my hands on the telegraph until I started studying on this site The main thing is half an hour, but every day and start at a speed of 15-16 WPM. I wrote it down. Then I began to take it by ear. In any case, you need to constantly listen to the air and memorize short phrases like CQ, DE, QRZ, QSO, 73, GL... And when all the letters are known, start working on the key, first without going on the air. Good luck!
    K4KKQ, WN1MB, NG9F and 1 other person like this.
  3. PY2RAF

    PY2RAF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    +1 for Also going down this road at this very time.
    W9QK and NG9F like this.
  4. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Write stuff down. At least whilst you are learning. Doing so will allow you to check your accuracy against what was sent and doing that will measure your progress. There are plenty of learning resources on-line some of which involve using the PC instead of writing - and will check your progress/accuracy automatically..

    Proabably the best thing is to find someone whose able to teach you, such as you may find in a club.
    W9QK likes this.
  5. WS4K

    WS4K Ham Member QRZ Page

    The best thing you can do is join the Long Island CW club. They are "Teachers of Morse Code." The instructors there are wonderful and they have a phenomenal amount of resource material and information.
    M6GYU and KK9W like this.
  6. KD2RDG

    KD2RDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is a lot of conflicting advice floating around on the internet. Here is my two cents.

    1) Identify your goals. Is it to be on the air making contacts, or to achieve impressive speeds listening to recordings? Do you like ragchews or prefer to contest?

    2) Consider the source of the advice. If you plan to use your morse code skills for radio, then listen to elmers who do radio.

    3) If you want to be on the air, all you need is the ability to send a CQ and to decode up to six characters (one call sign) at slow speed. I recommend doing this as soon as possible, so that it does not become a big deal in your mind.

    4) Keeping a handy quick reference with the dots and dashes nearby will not hurt you any more than learning to read sheet music hurts a musician. The same goes for using a pencil and paper.

    5) Learning slow will not hurt you either. Most of the ops on the air learned slow.
    KI4ZUQ and M6GYU like this.
  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amendment. You have to start at a speed fast enough that you cannot count the dits and dots apart. Only the sound of the whole sign.
    WA1GXC, KP4SX, PU2OZT and 2 others like this.
  8. KD2RDG

    KD2RDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I disagree. Start slow, ramp up quickly. Learn from other humans. Don't waste six months trying to copy 20 wpm characters from a computer.

    Where did you hear this thing about being able to count dits and dots is bad?
    KI4ZUQ and M6GYU like this.
  9. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Once you start counting dits you will never be able to get to the point of hearing the whole character.
    N7BKV, WA1GXC, KP4SX and 3 others like this.
  10. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    How quick is you now? I`m 30 WPM

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