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Learning CW

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by WL7COL, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. KB0TT

    KB0TT Ham Member QRZ Page

    SIXTY +

    I am IMPRESSED by your code prowess ! :cool: :cool:

    I quit at 35 wpm . Fast enough morse ( for me ) .

    Sixty WPM is not my forte ...... Sixty ( not computer generated ) , is a struggle ! :) :)

    If I DID need 60 wpm , I ran RTTY . Good for you though .

    I went to a 'fest one year and the winner was ....... 100 wpm CW .

    I am NOT that good . Twenty-five to thirty - five cruising speed was OK .

    With QSB and QRN , I still miss many sentences ( NOTE: not characters ) .

    I guess that I am still a ' Light Weight ' . As stated , over 35 wpm , it is a struggle .

    I still have problems attempting to copy bad code at 5 wpm . New EXTRA's you know .

    Again , 60 wpm , I will go to RTTY baudot !

    Good for you !


    P.S. I hope you understand .
  2. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Comes a point where the limit is how fast you can write. About 70 characters per minute is my limit for hand written random code groups. That's somewhere about 14 wpm. I doubt I'd ever pass a Morse test faster than that because there's no way I could write down random groups any much faster...
  3. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Aww Heck you guys!,... A real Morse operator could carry on two (2) QSO's at the same time (2 different rigs). Sending with either / both fists. Bug on the left / right,... straight key on the right / left. 10-25wpm with the strait key & 50-60wpm with the bug!! Also, carry on a conversation with another person in the room & chew gum at the same time while working on a crossword puzzle!!! NOW ur talkin' CW operator!!!:p :D dit dit
  4. VK2FAK

    VK2FAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all...

    Well I was just reading what a real CW Op could do, and thought my practice is on track towards that,,,,but then I read, I would have to chew gum at the same time......thats just going to far...

    you want my leg to twitch and my mouth moving at the same time....come on be real...

  5. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    John. Twitching & Chewing at the same time go hand-in-hand. The twitching; to help with rhythm. The chewing; Keeps your ears 'popped' open. BTW; After a lengthy Morse QSO with a lot of twitching & chewing, you may want to wait a while before appearing in 'public'.;)
  6. KI5VY

    KI5VY Ham Member QRZ Page

    When you lear CW you are essentially learning a new spoken language like Chinese. The great thing is that the learning process is also identical as it applies to word recognition.

    When you listen to two Hispanics have a conversation almost all of us can instantly recognize and understand at least one or two words, such as Buenos dias. It jumps out at you when you hear it. You may not understand anything else but you catch that word. This is due to sound recognition.

    The same thing happens with CW. Think of the letter F as a sound, not dit dit dah dit. Easier said than done. So we turn to the same principle as is used in learning the spoken language. We learn the 'sound' of F. In fact if you listen to the letter F for about a minute then listen to 5 minutes of random text you will be able to hear every F in the text, and at a fairly high speed. What you are doing is caputuring a 'sound' that means F. We do the same thing when learning to least now a days. In the past we learned phonicly pronouncing the string of letters making up a word. Now they teach sight reading. I used to do this with my little girl when she was 2. I sat her in my lap, opened my bible and pointed to the word JESUS. Then she could point to every instance of the word JESUS on every page. We started with one word then two and kept increasing the list.

    The Koch method is a wonder method because it first familiarized you with a letter sound then asks you to recognize that sound from among other sounds. So when you first learn K and M you learn the sounds then you practice differentiating those sounds from each other. This is taking advantage of the recognition principle I mentioned earlier with the spoken language.

    I teach CW with Koch trainers but I add the additional practice of recognition among vast text not just a few letters. For example when you have learned each letter's sound practice recognizing that sound from a long random text. For example after learning K and M and have practiced differentiating between those two sounds then listen to random text to capture just those two sounds...none others. Keep adding to your list. After learning 10 letters and being able to differentiate between those 10 then listen to 5 minutes of random text for recognition of just those 10. By the time you get to 26 letters you will be able to copy text at moderate speed. Then slowly increase the speed of the text. Also, dont do this at anything less than 20 wpm element speed, and maybe 25. This is too fast to let you count elements which forces you to hear the entire sound.

    The great thing about this is that you can use on-air CW stations for recognition practice. By doing it this way (Koch and recognition practice) you wont count elements and will hear sounds.

    By the way, the next step will be to hear elementary words such as 'the', 'and', etc. Try listening to 'the' for about a minute then listen to 5 minutes of random on-air conversation. The sound of the word will jump out at you everytime you hear it.

    You will be amazed how quickly you pick up the language. And it really doesnt matter that you are visual with your sending. There is a different mental process involved in sending and recognizing. When I send an F I have a quick mental image of the .._. . And I do it. And I can send really fast...alot faster than I can receive. So can most of us. The trick is keeping your sending at the same speed as your receiving for the benefit of the other guy.

    You can get to the 70 or 80% point in about 10 hours of work. The reason is that you are only talking about 30 sounds with CW. With Spanish it would take you a couple of years to reach a 80% point with the Spanish vocabulary.

    Good luck

  7. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess that's why I'm struggling. I'm no good at all at learning languages...

    Now that sounds like a useful additional exercise...

    Hmmm... For me, that threshold is nearer 30wpm.

    I've wondered whether Koch trainer programs would be more effective if they made use, at last some of the time, of actual words rather than random jumbles of letters.

    Oh I wish.... I figure I've spent at least that (probably nearer twice that) and I'm no more than 10% of the way to learning to read morse. :eek:
  8. VK2FAK

    VK2FAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    HI all...

    Not sure which program you are using , but the 2 I have , you can select words or Text Files not just the random letters..

    I mentioned this on the other thread...I changed the CW pitch and was surprised I was listening much better and made a big improvement in copying..don't know why...but could not hurt to try a few different Pitches and see if it makes a difference....I went lower in pitch..

  9. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have a Windows computer, and I've not found anything that works reliably for the Mac, so I've been using most of the time. I've asked for a word-and-callsign option in the Koch trainer there, but I don't think the site's owner has had time to work on it recently.

    Yep, I've tried pitches betwen 300 and 900, and things work best somewhere around 400 for me.
  10. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    After a particularly frustrating session going backwards on Koch lesson 5, I took a break and read back through this entire thread. One comment stuck out:

    I'm thinking it may be time I gave the Koch method a swift boot into the garbage bin; I'm really not making any measurable progress with it. I've no idea how else to go about learning morse, though...
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