Re-learning CW

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K1RDD, Mar 12, 2017.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Code Quick isn't quick, it's pretty silly. Actually, the U.S. Army Signal Corps used to use something very similar decades ago (many decades ago) and I witnessed this at Ft. Monmouth in the late 1960s.

    I thought it was really stupid then, and it didn't get any smarter over time.

    Any time you have to hear a character and then think what it reminds you of is a pretty big handicap; kind of like speaking a different language but thinking every word or sentence in English first, then translating it in your head. Not too quick, and it will never make you fluent. You're not fluent until you think in the language you're speaking.

    Same with Morse code, but Morse is so much easier, since there's only about 40 words in the whole language. Who the heck can't learn 40 new words?
    NK2U likes this.
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow, how do you unlearn something so stupid? Maybe a bout of heavy drinking to see if you can kill the brain cells responsible for holding that nonsense ;)

    FWIW, a method that I've found useful is to spell out things you see, text from road signs, just about anything with text on it as you look around a room. You don't have to say anything out loud, just sound out the dits and dahs in your head, ideally with fairly fast character speeds even if overall word speeds are slower. As you get comfortable with this, try to spell things out mentally in day to day situations like driving down the road, try to spell out a highway sign before you pass it. Spell out the license plate of the car you're following, stuff like that until the letters and words become natural and flow.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes,
    NK2U and W5BIB like this.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page


    what the wha?

    oh my... the key to learning CW WELL is listen, send it, repeat. Just like ANY language. Immersion and repetition.
  4. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've struggled with learning French. After years of work, my French wife says I speak French like a native.............. of Houston!

    I took one semester in college, was lucky to escape with a passing grade. I listened to tapes, CDs, watched French In Action until I was sick of even watching the delightful, alluring Mireille, and even spent an entire summer, and many other several week visits, at my wife's village in the Bordeaux wine region. I have made some progress but it isn't easy.

    Maybe you have to learn French like the French do, being beaten by nuns as a youth.

    There is doubtless some degree of talent, natural ability, involved in CW excellence, but you make up for less talent by more practice.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm bad with languages also and found the only way to learn for me was to visit the country where it's spoken and use nothing but that language for weeks.

    Read the local papers, go shopping and explain what you're looking for, etc -- all in the language of that land. It doesn't take long before you're thinking in that language and not putting together sentences by thinking them in English first.

    With books, tapes, CDs, etc, I was never able to do that.
  6. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Who in the world came up with that mess? What a disservice!

    Learn Morse code by forgetting that there are things called dits and dahs. Each letter has a unique sound. You'll eventually get that by listening to Morse code characters at no less than 20 WPM. Later on you'll start to recognize multi-letter groups.

    Think unique sounds. Each sound immediately forms the letter or word. No 3 or 4 party translation required.
    NK2U likes this.
  7. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, 11 years after using those stupid code quick lessons the sound alikes are still in my head but thankfully only when I'm sending.

    I wrote how I unlearned that during copying when I rebooted my Morse code journey a year and a half ago.

    Richard AA4OO
  8. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I mastered code way back in 1989 using Gordon West tapes - pretty sure they came from Radio Shack. Then I taught code classes for my local club where I would send them something, and they'd each take turns responding. That more than anything helped me build my speed. It was fun as a 13 year old teaching code to much older hams :)
  9. K1RDD

    K1RDD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's how I learned French. Maybe I can find a French nun who will beat me with a straight key!
  10. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    sounds expensive :p

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