Learning Method...?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KM4KWK, Aug 2, 2015.

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  1. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been trying to practice daily for the last few weeks (took last week off, oops), noticed a couple of things, for better or worse.

    If I know it's all numbers, I can copy quite well. I listen for the number of dah's and I'm good. However I noticed while copying some random callsigns this morning that I would confuse say 7 and Z, 4 and V. I don't know how to listen for even/odd characteristics in the character, like what I vs S vs H vs 5 is. I and H are even, S and 5 are odd; but for me to hear to that I practically have to count dits. S and H sound really the same unless if I really concentrate. Sending s and h for me is rough too, on my keyer, at 13wpm I have a rough time sending h's and 5's. winds up being a random number of dits (and if I just send one dit at a time I destroy the spacing).

    Moving on, I do find at even 20wpm I can get a mental snapshot of the character just sent, and will replay it. Unfortunately while I'm relistening to the charcter, trying to determine if it was W or J, I usually miss the next character. I really need to learn to just skip characters I don't hear and immediately recognize.

    Finally, if a word has some E's and I's I tend to blow the word, as I can't write 'em fast enough. An E or I followed by something I don't recognize real well (like V) and I might as well stop.
  2. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've found you can figure out a word easily without copying every letter, based on vocabulary knowledge and context. There are some examples of reading partial words in a sentence and they are easily figured out without the complete spelling.

    The most often used letters in the English language are:, E,T,N,O,R,I,A,S, which might explain your experiences.
  3. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What you are experiencing is an issue which has plagued aspiring CW
    operators ..... FOREVER ......

    You are a COUNTER .... You MUST learn the characters etc by SOUND .....

    I know that you are thinking HOW ? ! ....... I started out the WRONG way too ....

    I used ' flash cards ' .... I COUNTED as well ..... I just found that I ( and others )
    hit the 10 wpm HUMP ...... The 13 wpm HUMP .....

    I finally HAD to learn it all over again BY EAR ..... TRUST me on this one .....

    If you really want to learn the morse code , just give it another shot BY EAR .....

    All of the counting business will go by the wayside ....

    Again ....... TRUST ME on this one ....

    W1AW is your friend ....

    VK5EEE likes this.
  4. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I know I can get quite a bit of a sentance even if the middle letters are missing. But it breaks the notion of full copy at 20wpm, and certainly makes it harder to get callsigns if I can't hear every letter instantly.

    I know I can get by it with practice, I'm just relating what I'm noticing at the moment. At some point I'll stop 100% copy for ragchew, but it seems to me that if I were to get into nets and/or traffic handling then 100% copy is required. So I kinda want to build that skill. At the very least... if I can get close to that, then ragchew at slower speeds ought to be easy!
  5. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know that... geez, known that for years. That is why I practice at 18 or 20wpm. However... I can still count! It's a habit I have yet to quit. My guess is, by constant practice. But after 10min my mind wanders.

    I've tried listening to 25wpm, I can hear a few characters, but not many. Once I get better at 20wpm... I plan to listen at 25wpm and build from there.

    Like I said, I cannot "hear" the difference between even and odd counts of dits. It sounds like a bunch of dits, and requires concentration to hear even vs odd. I'm not sure what registers faster, dit count or even/odd.
  6. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You ARE CORRECT ! !

    When you actually LEARN it ........ What you are aspiring will be second nature ..

    You will be able to copy ' BEHIND ' and copy ragchews in your head ....

    The necessary competence of traffic handling will be a snap ......

    It is a language ....... You will see as you progress ....

    Yet another ....... TRUST ME ..... It WILL happen !

  7. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I started copying 5wpm about 17 years ago... it was not until 10 years ago that I started to get serious about it, and got myself up to 10... about 5 years ago I think I got myself to my current 13wpm level. At this rate I'll have it down in another 10!

    I'll practice for a few weeks, use it for a few months, then stop radio for a few years. Life has been busy...
  8. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am just happy that you do not wish to be BRANDED as a
    No code extra .... I wish you the best ......

    The only thing that bothers ME is that in the old daze ,
    to become an Extra the morse @ 20 wpm was required to
    take the Extra exam ( without the answers ) ...,

    I do , under current rules , wish to be a real Extra ...

    This is a real pursuit .... I applaude you ...

    Remember :

    Get' er Done ! !

    Seriously .....

  9. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You just have to learn by the best way it makes sense to you. Everyone learns differently. I started learning by counting dots and dashes and it worked fine for me, and I still do it.

    Just do whatever is comfortable for you, and things will work out.
  10. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aye. Folk start from different places and learn in different ways. Some folk have a smooth ride. Others find the road full of ruts. Some ruts are hard to get out of, except by riding them til they end...

    ...and advice that's excellent for folk on the smooth road can be terrible for folk in the ruts.
    VP9KS and KB0TT like this.

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