How did you learn CW?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by NU8J, Jul 13, 2012.

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  1. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    78 RPM records. Do not recommenf, as they are to easily memorized and these days a record players is papt to be a "rare collectors item." Heh.

    We had this discussion at our club's open house the other night, and the consensus was (for what I consider good reasons) a computer self-teaching program -- G4FON was mentioned.

    I'll add, actually getting on the air.

  2. N4AJZ

    N4AJZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I learned the code at the U.S. Army Signal School at Ft. Gordon, Ga. in 1965. We learned the code sent in 5 character groups. Very little plain text in the learning stage. We later learned the signal "short-hand" for sending military code. Needless to say, years later(1978) when I got my ham ticket, the code was not a problem.
  3. AA9DD

    AA9DD Ham Member QRZ Page

    BSA Key.JPG

    Once I had my license a

    Knight T-60, 7.162 & 7.175 crystals, Hallicrafters SX-71 and many cold nights in the basement calling CQ.

  4. K9LOL

    K9LOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I strongly recommend the Ham Morse app for iOS. If you don't have an iOS device it would be worth picking one up (such as the iPod touch) because of the amazing variety of incredibly useful apps. A fantastic ham tool!
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Built a simple 1 tube code practice oscillator and practiced sending.

    Built a simple 2 tube regenerative receiver that covered 80 meters and listened to hams using CW.

    Practiced every day until I could send and receive about 7 wpm solid.

    Got Novice license.

    Built transmitter.

    Operated CW on 80 meters and copied W1AW until I could do 18 wpm solid

    Got Advanced license, moved out of Novice bands, continued operating CW and copying W1AW.

    Got Extra license.

    All of the above took about 3 years.

    Did not own a radio capable of voice modes until I'd been a ham 10 years.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  6. K4PP

    K4PP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I learned the numbers and letters using a playback software like G4FON to get to 10 wpm. That was a enough to make good contacts. Once I had 10 wpm, I switched to Morse Runner set initially at 30 wpm, then at 45 wpm and run it any free time I had. It allowed me to ragchew at 25. When I first started with the playback, I had sort out what letter the sound was. After a year of the morse runner it's become more like a aural thing where the letter was just spoken to me. At the high speed most of the common words also have a single sound that seem to speak the word. There is a speed below which I seem to have trouble, and unfortunately if it is not sent properly spaced I have trouble. My method has allowed me to contest great, but I still have problem with some hand sent code if it doesn't sound like the computer I learned from.

  7. VK4KL

    VK4KL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had a friend who is a ham operator teach me and as I went to work each day I would translate the road signs to code much to the amusement of my passengers.

  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    In many years of teaching code classes pretty successfully, I've found that "listening" to the code is just about the worst way to learn it.

    With enough motivation, everything is possible. You can learn to ski by going to the top of a mountain and following others; if you don't kill yourself on the way down, you're learning well. But there are better ways.
  9. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used the sending to get a good idea of what each letter sounded like. That was actually kind of hard since I had no reference just an explaination from a book that described what spacings and lengths were required for each letter. Did not have a receiver during that time and being a young airman in the USAF I had very little resources to buy anything either. Oh yeah, I was married then and had to support a very interesting soon to be future ex-wife. When I did get to listen I found the charaters made sense and actually formed words and complete thoughts. At the time some of it didn't make much sense with the HR, UR, U, CUL and other shortened words. At first I thought I was copying it wrong, but I got used to it and figured out what was what.
    Ahh yes, days of clarity, unlike today where I have trouble finding my car in the parking lot;);).
    Have fun everybody
  10. WA3UCR

    WA3UCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a long time CW op, I would have to agree with this. Listening is no way to learn the code. Sending the characters is the best way to learn. I used a cheap straight key to learn. Once you have a handle on the characters, listening is a great way to improve your speed. I used W1AW quite a bit, but the real deal is to get on the air and practice as soon as your comfortable. Send a slow CQ at a speed that you can copy pretty well and most ops will answer at that speed. Don't be afraid to ask them to QRS if they respond a little out of your comfort zone. No substitute for actually making QSOs to improve your speed once you have learned the basics by pounding out the characters yourself. Best of luck and hope to work you on CW soon.
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