Learning Code

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N4QFY, Apr 11, 2016.

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  1. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also, let's not forget that the purpose of Koch is simply to learn to recognise Morse characters. That learning is only the first step. The student also needs to learn to send Morse characters, and then to read and write using Morse characters, and then to learn to use the abbreviations and protocols involved with CW communication. Only when all those have been accomplished can the student claim to have mastered CW.
    VK5EEE likes this.
  2. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    GE/GM again and sorry for my poor memory! I had forgotten this conversation, sorry to say, my bad. Yes that explains your experience, and I'm really sorry to hear it. For sure it is easier for some and some method may work better for others. I was lucky in that I learnt it at a very young age, just by listening to live stations on HF and MF, primarily commercial ones. I hope you are finding it fun in spite of all you went through to learn CW. And apologies for my asking the same questions more than once and forgetting the answers!
  3. NB8F

    NB8F Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I will put my 2 cents in since I just recently started really getting into CW.

    Practice, Practice, Practice.

    I got an app for my phone. I got one that simulated QSO's, Callsigns and even just words. First I learned all the letters. Then I started getting into words and then QSO's.

    The biggest thing is listen to the rhythm of the letter, not the dits and dahs. Think of it almost like music, then try to picture the letter in your head when it comes out and soon you will be decoding CW.

    I listen to CW A LOT on the air. Even while I am sitting at my desk. Try to copy in your head as much as you can.

    Join the SKCC, FistsNA etc., and get on the air. Most of the ops on SKCC and Fists will slow down to whatever speed you are comfortable at.
    K7TRF likes this.
  4. N4QFY

    N4QFY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Koch trainer was working fairly well but I am a learn by doing person so I found the http://morsecode.scphillips.com/trainer.html site and have been picking up so much faster by using my key along with the lessons. Every new phrase it gives me gets a few listens until I can recognize what letters re what and the sound of each letter then I "send" the same phrase in repeat until it sounds like the computer's sending of the phrase. Letters are easier to learn and I'm retaining the information more.
  5. KM9R

    KM9R Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK not so bad after all was it. The YK-88c is if you have not learned yet is your 500hz (the bandpass of the filter) cw filter and if you had it the YK-88cn is the 270hz cw filter which an even narrower filter. The 500hz filter should be more than sufficient for now and a quick glance at the manual for the radio implies that you can have only one cw filter installed at a time. There is a rocker switch (just to the left of your mode buttons) on your radio labeled "wide" and "narrow" With the wide mode selected, for both ssb and cw the IF receive bandwidth is 2.4 KHz which is quite wide. Not for receiving SSB but definitely wide for receiving cw. Since you have the YK-88c installed (btw TRIO is the Kenwood brand), when your rig is in the cw mode and when you move that rocker switch to the NAR (narrow position) it will engage the 500Hz cw filter. That will not eliminate all of the other cw signals close to the one you are trying to receive, but it will do a heck of a better job than a receive bandwidth of 2.4 KHz. If you do not have one yet, this appears to be a real good link for your manual http://www.manualslib.com/manual/86427/Kenwood-Ts-430s.html
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  6. KM9R

    KM9R Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is a very good idea to practice sending while you are learning the sound of the individual characters. It will reinforce what you have learned and good job of placing an emphasis mirroring the sound of the computer generated code. I did the same back in the day but I was mirroring the sound of the code tape.

    Bottom line, the goal is to have the character sound associated with the character become second nature and that comes with practice , practice and practice. As you already stated, any king of counting is bad ju ju. Do not translate the sound into a symbol and then that symbol into a character ( i.e. sound = -… = B ) in this example sound = B and nothing else. That association needs to become second nature.

    Keep with it. It sounds if things are going well for you.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  7. N4QFY

    N4QFY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have played with it some. Just today I stuck my dipole out of the window and was shocked at how quiet the bands all were. I was starting to get used to the S7 worth of static and noise all the time. I wasn't able to find any CW while I was on today but I don't work tomorrow so I'll try again.

    I had my dipole run along the top of my bookcase upstairs on the 3rd floor. I stuck it about 10 feet out the third floor window with it on fishing poles to keep it straight. For now that is all the antenna I have. I'm in apartments and I'm moving soon so I'm trying to figure out a solution for both here and the new place that is being remodeled before we can move in. I have a few ideas that I'm rolling about in my head to improve that.

    Now that I have gotten rid of so much noise I'll tune around and listen more. I've not progressed to the point of being able to send code on air yet so I won't worry about tuning. I still need to find an old set of headphones I can steal a cord and 1/4inch plug from to hook up my key to the radio.
  8. KM9R

    KM9R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok well your antenna should be more than sufficient for what you are presently doing. Tomorrow you will have the best luck on 20m and 40m. If you get up early, there should be plenty of cw ops working 40m (7.000 to 7.100) on the east coast till at least 10am and they will be plenty more on 40m starting around 6pm. Concentrate on 20m (14.000 to 14.070 ) from 10am till 6pm. Also, go to this page http://www.cwops.org/roster.html and you may be able to find an active cw operator near your area who would probably be thrilled to give you a hand with your learning and you may meet a great friend in the process. Keep in mind they may have other things that they may be busy with but you would probably one of the first to ask them for such help in a very long time and my guess is they would be thrilled with the opportunity to do so.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  9. KM9R

    KM9R Ham Member QRZ Page

    One more quick thing about filters. while they are great for receiving the cw signal you are trying to copy and rejecting the unwanted signals , another good skill set for you to have as a good cw op is the ability to isolate a specific cw signal in a crowd of other cw signals without the use of a filter but you can learn that skill after you have mastered a good working ability with sending and receiving code.
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  10. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's how you hear the rare one starting to call CQ 5 KHz off and pounce on him before the pile-up starts.

    I learned the "wrong" way, from an easily memorized phonograph record (think I still have it). It didn't matter; in three months I had passed my Novice test. Then I started copying QSOs off the air and in another year I was up to 15 WPM and had my General.

    Many tens of thousands of others learned from records. Frequent practice and a desire to learn allowed most of us to overcome incorrect methodology fairly easily.
    Last edited: May 19, 2016

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