Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KC1ACL, Aug 1, 2014.
what is the best way to learn cw??
Use it.......Works really well..
The way that works for you.
Put in the time, keep at it, and take most of the advice you'll get from folk who say you must learn this way or that with a pinch of salt...
Lots of different ideas but I will suggest just a few things to make life a bit easier. 1. Get someone else to learn and practice with (more fun and a bit of competition helps) 2. set up the standard groups like E, I, S, H, 5 which is all dits ., .., ..., .... and ..... You can do this with T,M,O, 0 which is all dah etc. You get the idea. once you get a few groups you can make words. I also suggest you get a receiver to listen to and don't worry if you only catch a letter here and there. It will come with practice. Work on the receiving before you worry much about sending - most people send faster than they can receive which is not a good thing but common. You'll like it once you get your feet wet and make that first CW QSO. 73, Dick KLH2G
What worked for me, after learning with tapes (dating myself-the original Farnsworth), I was at a solid 5wpm. I vowed to put my mike away and make one cw contact a day. I met an older gent on the air and we started meeting for a ragchew on 80 2-3 times a week and I kept up with at least one contact, even if just a basic exchange, after two months my elmer said go down and test we've been at 15wpm for the last twenty minutes, two days later I had my advanced, four months later my extra.
PS: probably lucky to do 10 now
This is akin to asking what color to paint your house. It is a pretty subjective thing. Google is your friend so look around and try a few different things. I will say this. Start at 20 wpm. No slower. I am using the G4FON software (because it can closely simulate band conditions) and LCWO.net and I find these to be quite effective. I also like to tune through the bands and listen live.
These days, get some software based on the Farnsworth method. You work on recognizing letters based on their sounds at around 20WPM character speed - not the individual dits and dahs. Usually you work on a few letters during a "lesson", and add new ones as you progress.
But whatever works for you!
Another vote for Farnsworth. That's how I got my speed up high years ago (I chat around 20-25 and
contest 30-35). But I originally learned code by rote visual memorization - despite all the "sayers of nay"
for me it worked just fine. I was sending and receiving "secret messages" with a buddy using J38s and
code oscillators, running 10 WPM before I even knew what ham radio was. So I'm proof you can still
learn code doing it what many consider to be "entirely wrong"
So try a few popular methods and just figure out what works best for YOU
But stick with it - it's a really fun mode I've enjoyed for a great many years
Mine was a vinyl LP:
IIRC, it sucked. I'm glad my retired Navy Radioman instructor (aka dad) stepped in.
I personally found the ARRL audio files to be helpful:
I'd listen and copy as much as I could, then check my work against the written transcript.
I also spent a lot of time just listening to actual QSOs and copying as much as I could. I would not write anything down though. I'd try to do it in my head. It gets progressively more fun as you go along. Progress can be slow though (at least, it was in my case). Perseverance definitely will pay off though. Learning CW was the best investment of time and effort I've ever made in ham radio--or any hobby.