Reasonable amount of time to learn CW for a working adult

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N7NIT, Oct 15, 2017.

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  1. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    It wouldn't happen at all if you stopped guessing and wrote important stuff down.

    Operators names - are important Stu. If not to you, it might be to them.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    In thousands of cw operating hours, I've never been reprimanded for missing the correct name because of QSB or QRM, nor have I felt guilty about it. My license doesn't obligate me to copy perfect.

    By the way, I once knew someone named Char. It was not an abbreviation for any other name.
  3. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree. Anyone who gets in a snit because someone made a mistake about their name, probably spends a large amount of their life being in a snit.
  4. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got corrected once for botching a return to CQ--did something like QTH, name, RST, in that order--it was a "DX" station to me and I was rather excited. Didn't get called a lid but close enough. It smarted but I moved on.
  5. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the day when we were trying to improve our speed in order to get the General Class license. A bunch of us locals used to get on 10 meters after the band shut down at night. It worked pretty good, we'd use something like 28.400 do some CW and then when our turn was done we'd switch to SSB (on the same frequency) and try to decipher what the other person sent.
    After everyone compared notes using SSB then we'd switch back to CW and another person took their turn sending..

    Well let me tell you, it worked. Nowadays you don't need the 5 wpm in order to get on 10 meters. So my advice is to find someone local to practice with and soon you will learn all the characters and get your speed up in no time.

    And if you screw up on the air (and we sure did) it was just between us locals. We were all in the same boat so it didn't matter, that and using a closed band (like 10 meters at night) there wasn't that much nervousness.

    We just used 10 meters because that was all we had in some cases, we used the HTX -100 or the Uniden HR 2600...the ones that had HF rigs just switched it to 10 meters.

    Anyways Good Luck
  6. AH7I

    AH7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't get ung up on competence! As soon as you learn the letters, start using it on the air. If you can find someone to learn with, it will be a lot easier. Friend, coworker, XYL or other family member. Kids love a secret code. It could come in handy with the co-worker. You don't need the whole alphabet to start making words and sentences. Humor helps. XYL learned alphabet on a 5 hour road trip. As a 9th grader it took me a few week ends plus practice trading comments on the YLs during study hall and breaks at school before I was comfortable enough to take the 5WPM test. It would have been easier(as in more fun) if I could have gotten on the air as soon as I knew the letters.

    73, -Bob ah7i/w4
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  7. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I first started on CW I wrote down everything, but when I went from straight key with a 15 WPM maximum speed to a keyer with a comfortable 20-22 WPM speed, I stopped writing everything down and just copied everything in my head. I find it hard to write 20 WPM so it caused more problems than it was worth because if I got behind in writing words down I would start missing what was being sent.
  8. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I must have copied thousands of random 5L groups in the 6 months I was at Ft. Devens.
  9. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's a very good way to get used to copying CW, because if you don't know what random character will be sent it makes you listen a lot closer. But for amateur radio use, I think a good combination is to do both random characters for speed practice, and plaintext for general word recognition.
    M6GYU and KD8ZM like this.
  10. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Totally random from our local paper - the Whitby Gazette:-. Try reading this then with some letters missing:-

    *ARE FO**AGE OF TOW* SET TO BE S*REE*ED Asteriks denote missing letters.

    On balance if you write the above down, as I've done here, you can probably guess what the headlines of our local paper said. But if you were listening and trying 'headcopy' and attempting to guess words you'd miss what is being sent. ;-)

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