Learning Morse At 64 Years Old -- My Experience With The Koch Method

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by G3EDM, Aug 31, 2021.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-Geochron
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: HRDLLC-2
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
  1. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you set the levels correctly, you can use "acoustic coupling" and just put the code oscillator near the PC's mike. (Provided you have a practice environment with no background noise.)

    Initially, I had similar trouble with Fistcheck. When I set the levels lower, it was easier to get it to work.

    For just checking overall accuracy, without a character element timing plot, I have found CWGet much easier to set up, even with acoustic coupling. It provides graphical controls for centering the audio filter on your code oscillator's pitch and for setting the detection threshold. And it works with direct wired audio or acoustic coupling.

    While it is not intended to be used for perfecting your fist, I find it works just fine for that. It helped me get my bug fist to where I am not afraid to use it on the air now...
    US7IGN and G3EDM like this.
  2. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you, that is most useful and is encouraging me to get back into fist-checking software tools.

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
  3. AB1ZK

    AB1ZK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have tried to learn CW over many years as an amateur radio operator. At the age of 70 I tried the Koch method with the same results...not much over 5 WPM.

    In high school I was un-able to learn the French language and I am convinced that CW is a language and there is a " brain problem" for some people to learn a new language.

    One of my children can learn languages very easy and yet I simply can not.

    Now, I have the ability to learn many other technical subjects but Morse code is very hard for me and I suspect others.

    K8PG likes this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    One thing to remember:

    "Learning Morse Code" isn't "book learning". It's not memorizing facts nor understanding concepts.

    Nor is "learning Morse Code" a single thing.

    Rather, tt's learning a whole set of skills, most of which are rather unique.

    And like all skills, they can only be learned by doing, which means active involvement.

    That's what you're doing.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    DM2TT likes this.
  5. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    =========Warning: This Can Be Eye-Opening

    KEEP CALM BOB and dont becvme discouraged.jpg

    BE POSITIVE 2021.jpg





    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
  6. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    But you can speak English! So you are able to learn a language. (Its just harder as you go beyond your teenage years.).
    US7IGN likes this.
  7. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Didn't have time to read the entire thread, so don't know if it's been mentioned before, but the ARRL has practice files available online.
    Click here: https://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files

    For real-world practice (including QRM, QRN, and QSB), use the W1AW on-the-air sessions.
    Schedule: https://www.arrl.org/w1aw-operating-schedule

    Also, why not join the Straight Key Century Club? https://www.skccgroup.com/ There are almost 25,000 of us world wide.
    The OPs on and around the operating frequencies are more than eager to give newcomers to CW a hand, and will gladly adjust their speed to what ever is comfortable for you.
    Also, there are three monthly "sprints" which are like very laid back contests and an excellent method of practice.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
    G3EDM likes this.
  8. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you. Yes, I followed SKCC with interest when I lived in the States and it is probably time to engage with them now that my basic Morse learning is over. It's a good base, but I just need to build proficiency.

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
  9. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You'll be most welcome.
    HINT: Expect mini-pileups if you call CQ.
    Incidentally, there's a "sprint" scheduled to be convenient for Europeans in the lineup. Click here: https://www.skccgroup.com/operating_activities/skse/
  10. KE8OKM

    KE8OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Martin, I just went through a year of Morse study @ 1 hr a day 99% of that year. (I am still studying)

    I did the (Morse Machine App) 20WPM 15 minutes each day.

    I listened to this,


    hile driving, running etc 20-30 minutes a day and listened to on air QSOs when time permits so about an hour a day.

    You seem to be very motivated. Keep at it. The skills you are learning will open a door to another world!

    After this past year learning Morse I decided to start activating POTAs via CW and just passed 100 CW QSOs. Last year at this time I thought it was a distant dream ~maybe possible?

    My advice is get the character recognition down very solid at 20WPM and then get on the air. There is no substitute for real life-real time QSOs. Your skills will increase quickly.

    The CW community is a patient bunch and has been a blessing to work with as a fledgling phase CW operator.


    US7IGN and G3EDM like this.

Share This Page