Increasing CW speed for new op...request recommendations

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W7MDN, Jul 18, 2021.

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  1. W7MDN

    W7MDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    New ham as of last August, newer CW learner purely for the purposes of SOTA. I can just get enough out of a QSO to get the callsign and signal report required for the SOTA QSO to count, sometimes their QTH. Everything else is a blur up to '73'. Sending at around 14 wpm and copying about 30% of what's sent. I'll frequently send Q...R...S... with pregnant Farnsworth pauses which must frustrate the heck out of the poor soul at the other end. Need some ideas...

    I was able to learn the CW characters through a few LICW classes and LCWO, but seem to have hit a learning plateau. I've signed up for the fall semester of CW Ops but meeting at a regular time is near impossible with my work schedule. I also don't have a ham shack at the house and only use QRP about once a week when activating for SOTA.

    Are there other stand alone programs which can help one get better at comprehension in receiving? Would anyone recommend 100% head copy to start?

    Open to ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  2. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are a few diy methods. My favorite is Consoli’s Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy.

    RufZ and Morse Runner and G4FON are all good PC applications.

    Plus, give websdr a try.

    Jim KF9VV
     
    N2EY likes this.
  3. MW7SRA

    MW7SRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can you copy at 14 wpm? Only asking since if you send at that speed people will assume you can understand at that speed. Perhaps you need to send slower, or at least with as much Farnsworth spacing as you need to understand say 95%.

    There are several programs and apps that would help you. Morse Mania and CW Trainer comes to mind, as well as G4FON morse trainer. These can do call signs, words or even any text you give it, and some of them can also simulate more realistic conditions with less clear code.
     
    KB3FEI, K2CD and M6GYU like this.
  4. W7MDN

    W7MDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Definitely cannot copy at 14 wpm. Currently using the QSO mode on Koch Trainer, managing about 60% at 8wpm with Farnsworth set to 8 as well.
     
  5. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are plenty of apps you can use to increase your morse speed which are downloadable onto your phone. But practicing once a week will not likely work. You need to practice every day until you are comfortable reading and copying 95% of what is being sent before you increase the speed by a word or two a minute.
     
  6. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you have "hit a plateau", you are probably left in the counting of "dots and dashes". This effectively prevents the perception of the Morse characters as individual sounds. The Koch method which is the foundation for the G4FON software is specifically designed to avoid this.

    I would recommend using the G4FON or similar software to re-learn Morse from the beginning to a level where you feel comfortable. Usually this is around 15 or 16 WPM.

    And, by the way, there is by definition no such thing as "head copy".

    You either write down the received text without reading it, which is the literal meaning of "copying", or let it pass through your head. It is considered a "cardinal sin" in professional or military Morse to become interested in what is received, because then people start to anticipate what is coming.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    US7IGN, WZ7U, W1BR and 5 others like this.
  7. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Big pauses are not a big problem as long as they are constantly the same length pause
     
  8. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The simplest way to improve your skill is to listen to as much live code as you can. Live code means ongoing communications on the air. The psychological draw (and enjoyment) of deciphering a CW conversation is a critical part of psychophysiological enhancement of the learning process.

    Possibly also useful is NOT to write characters down as you hear and understand them but to keep them in memory. After all, the goal is to develop your memory of the meaningful sounds of Morse Code. This is also known as "head copy" which, if anything, is a very confusing way to think about it. Your head is a memory device, the best such device ever. Automatic and extremely efficient. Use it and you will learn very quickly. Learning via dependence on some computer program will only make learning more difficult and lengthy.
     
    KA3BQE and W1VKE like this.
  9. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Increasing CW speed for new op...request recommendations

    HI MATT,

    I AM HAPPY TO READ THAT YOU ARE JOINING
    RANKS OF BRASS POUNDERS.......BRAVO.......

    THE ZEDDERS HAVE PROVIDED U WITH TOP
    NOTCH SCOOP.....

    I RECENTLY PLACED A POSTING THAT SHOULD
    PROVIDE YOU WITH A LITTLE MORE INSIGHT
    REGARDING YOUR CW SPEED.

    https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/solid-copy-july-2021-now-avail-for-download.772711/

    IF TIME ALLOWS, DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT AND
    HAVE FUN READING THE SECTION I HAVE NOTED.

    MY GOOD FRIEND BOB HAS SOME HELPFUL INFO FOR YOU.

    ========== BOB positive_attitude (2).jpg

    positive attitude and_inspiration 2021.jpg

    =============== LIKE I LUV CW & CW OPS & CFO.jpg
     
  10. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My speed proficiency increased as I made realtime contacts on the air, which I strived to do every day. Not just exchanging call signs and signal reports, but by actually conversing with other ops. I was absolutely petrified the first time someone answered my shaky 5 wpm CQ call. I was tempted to turn the radio off and flee the room. I stuck it out however and very gradually over time I began to speed up, without hardly realizing it. Forgive me for saying this, and I hope you are not offended, but you might just be putting the cart a little before the horse. Operating SOTA is commendable, but akin somewhat to a baptism by fire. Until you get proficient with regular every day chatter you might have a hard time. If you're generating pileups, even more so. I wish you the best. Hang in there, try rag chewing at the speed you are comfortable at and you will begin to copy better.
     
    N2TSO, AJ6LB, WA9UAA and 1 other person like this.

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