Learning CW

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K2DN, May 26, 2010.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep! Perfect reply.
  2. K2DN

    K2DN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the great replies.

    Ok, I just found out that the "Quote of the day" code that I have been listening to is actually Farnsworth method. Each letter is sent at 15wpm but spaced out to be 5wpm equivalent.

    I just tried to listen to some real 5wpm stuff and I could not even tell what each of the letters were. Ok, I could, but it was painful. That is some long dits and dahs there.

    When making contacts will people put some extra air between their letters if you ask them too, or if that is the way you are sending will they "play along"

    I have a straight key, but I do not think my sending is quite up to snuff.
    Would it be advisable to send with a keyboard and my signalink to get started? Or should I just get on with the straight key and do the best I can?

    I plan on getting a key in the next month or so.

    My radio (Yaseu FT-920) has a keyer, so I should be good there.

    Any recommendations for a first key?

  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, that's the problem with 5 wpm or any slow code. It's painful. Much easier to start out a bit faster, but do what you can.

    Who cares? There's no test at the end of a QSO. Usually good code operators will accommodate whatever you need. Perfect copy is not required, nor even counted for anything.

    I'd opt for the straight key, and doing the best you can. I can send 50 wpm fine using a keyer, but suck on a straight key: I doubt I can send 10 wpm on a straight key, since I never use one...but I used to and was fairly good at it about 45 years ago.:p

    I'd say first key should probably be a straight key for most people, most of the time. Then you can turn the FT-920 keyer "off" and just use the straight key a while. When you find you need to send faster than your hand can pump on a straight key, start learning how to use a keyer and paddles. The rig has a keyer in it, so all you need to procure is the paddles, and they can be found for about $40 used or about $80 new for very good ones. DO NOT worry about sending or receiving accuracy...that comes with time. At first, you'll make mistakes sending, and miss stuff copying. Who cares? Have fun!
  4. AB9LZ

    AB9LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try around 10120+ it seems to be the new slow code watering hole. Like others have said, don't fret the perfect copy, the parts of the QSO that count, like the call, name and QTH are all usually sent twice and no one will think twice about sending a repeat if you ask for it.

    Come visit 30m, it's a great place to start :)

    73 m/4
  5. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd be happy to hand out a QSO at 1 WPM, or whatever speed it takes. Just don't expect me to exchange a lot of information at that speed. :D

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to do it until next week. In the meantime, just go to one of the frequencies mentioned above, and call CQ at about 4 WPM. If you do that a few times, someone will come back at the same speed.
  6. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    I learned the code before the Farnsworth method became well known ( at least by my Elmer and I ! ) That 5 wpm stuff WAS PAINFUL! Very anti-intuitive, because it added an extra step of learning NOT to count the dits and dahs, and just LISTEN to the SOUND of the letters as they were formed. The Farnsworth method preserves the SOUND of the letters, while giving you enough time to recall what particular letter, number , or punctuation mark you just heard.

    After you get above around 15 wpm, the letters start to blend together, and the WORDS start to have a particular sound. You will soon learn "NAME" "QTH" "73" "TNX" etc. When you get to that point, code really starts to be FUN !
  7. WA9CWX

    WA9CWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your right, there is no 'SOUND' to a 5 wpm letter.
    As your speed goes up, a 'sound' will have different meanings.
    At 15 wpm a letter is a 'sound'. at 30 wpm a common word becomes a 'sound'. At 80 wpm, certain phrases become a 'sound'.
    For Steve, there are chapters in books that are just a sound.

  8. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use the straight key! Practice will improve your sending.

    Record youself and compare it with machine-generated CW or the W1AW practice transmissions. Use plain text from a magazine, textbook, or newspaper. Then run imaginary conversations through your mind and send them.
  9. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a fine way to learn to copy. ...BUT,
    I learned by listening to Novice band conversations, (back when there were novice licensees) first I could recognize CQ when I heard it and then tried to copy the callsigns. Eventually I listened in to hear QTH and it was interesting to hear where the station's signals were coming from. Soon I could copy names and the rest of the conversation.
    Since you may want to get a radio soon, try copying signals right off the air, 7100-7125 is a frequency range where you will hear slower stations . This will help get used to what you will actually hear when you do get on the air.

  10. K4RKY

    K4RKY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I began using thr g4fon program . I created a cheat sheet of the letters to carry around with me and in my spare time I would read through them. After I decided I felt ready to copy I started the program, turned my back so I would have to hear and not see the letters I then would write down what I THOUGHT I heard. After about two weeks of ten minute sets I was up to about 8 - 10 WPM and really not breaking a single brain cell. The G4FON really does work. oh and Perfect Copy is not having to say agn agn. (IMHO) 73's, Rick
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