Learning CW, it just doesnt stick!

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by SA7CNG, May 21, 2020.

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  1. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Increase the speed of the characters with longer spaces between. This is termed Farnsworth timing, sometimes shown as a ratio - 20/15 would be 20 wpm characters with 15 wpm actual speed.

    While it is not proper Morse, it is considered by many to be an effective learning tool. It can be combined with the Koch sequence.

    If you find yourself still counting character elements (dots and dashes) at 20, increase it to 25. The speed has to be fast enough that you can't count the elements. Eventually you will hear the "sound", rather than a pattern that you have to mentally visualize before you recognize it.

    Then, after you have learned a few letters, decrease the length of the spaces until you can do those at standard timing. That is, you work up from 20/5 to 20/10, 20/15 and eventually 20/20.

    At this point, add another letter or two and go back to Farnsworth timing so you can copy them all.

    This "combined method" takes a lot of time, but it is a lot less frustrating than listening to something you can't follow because it is too fast.

    If you don't have something which can do both Koch and Farnsworth, I recommend G4FON's trainer for a PC or Wolphi's Morse Trainer for Android phones.
  2. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    ^ THIS! ^
    I believe there is too much analysis paralysis and far too many "methods" and "miracle cures" floating about that obscure the obvious.
    KD1JT and WA1GXC like this.
  3. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    ^ ^ ^

    The operator above just gave you the best overall insight--

    Don't over-think the path you're on. Learning 'The Code' requires lots of practice--moderate frustration--lots of practice--moderate frustration--then, finally, like

    magic, noticeable progress.

    There are no shortcuts, no new theories of learning to embrace. Practice, hard work, frustration, and after even more practice, good results. It was always thus.

    A number of suggestions have been offered, all in good faith, and a few might even prove helpful. But ultimately the human brain hasn't changed materially in the last 5,000 years.

    We acquire Morse in much the same way as we acquire foreign spoken-language and music. The brain takes a while to change its inter-connections with little progress apparent at

    first, but then encouraging results.

    All of us here want you to succeed. Don't give up.

    You can't master Russian in your sleep or lose 5 kg of body weight by eating pizza and beer, although there are always individuals who will try, for money, to convince you otherwise.

    One small tip--always copy code with headphones, not a speaker. A speaker gives you
    echoes and delayed reception time at each ear that is confusing to the brain. The effect
    becomes more pronounced as speed increases.

    Good luck.


    N3FZ and NK8I like this.

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