The Weird Lurches of Learning Morse Language

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N7BKV, Dec 8, 2018.

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  1. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I could do without their colloquialisms at this point in my learning. My ear gets thrown off trying to figure out their non-existent "dah dah dah dah" because their drawl or personalized timing/spacing is unofficial and I miss the real characters, the one or nine or merged "0" and "n".
    N8AFT likes this.
  2. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    From my experience I can say that the decoder only hinders and distracts. The main thing is not to transmit, but to receive. Receive from the air is much more difficult than from the machine. Need more work on the air.
    K4AGO, WA7PRC, N8AFT and 3 others like this.
  3. NG5O

    NG5O XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Right. Sending morse code is serious business - it's a communication medium. The objective is to send clearly using a speed, standard timing and spacing people will recognize and understand. That objective is NOT served by being "creative".

    When I hear that stuff going on, I just keep tuning. Life's too short.
    KB3FEI, N8AFT, W5BIB and 1 other person like this.
  4. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Totally agree. That's exactly what I am talkin' 'bout! The way some are sending just ain't so in the real deal. There should be no mistaking the element groups. "It don't mean a thing, if they try to use that swing".
    N8AFT likes this.
  5. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm also to the point where when I hear someone call what should be CQ something very different due to the horrendous "Swing" that I just keep looking.

    There's just no sense or need in someone sending Morse that cannot be Instantly Recognized.
    It is a selfish bad habit on the hack senders part. Creativity is for art and music, certainly not Morse.
    I sometimes wonder if alcohol is involved with one local op I've learned to avoid...
    Yes, Precise spacing as well as timing is paramount and should be strived for.
    Mimic how W1AW sends code practice to pick up on that skill set and you won't go wrong.

    Learn Morse
    Do CW
    N7BKV likes this.
  6. KB5ZCR

    KB5ZCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that there are some bug or cootie ops that are harder to understand, but truth be told, this seems to work for them so more power to them. I can understand most bug ops up to abt 22-24 wpm but above that I struggle.
    I listened to two bug ops the other night and they we're communicating just fine with each other. One was easier for me to copy, but they didn't seem to have any issues with each other.
    I figure it's my ear that's the issue, not their issue. A good old time op can understand cw with a little swing.

    Although I'm certainly no expert (and still learning), I wish there were more ops close to me so we could have regular rag chews at 26-29 (my current speed) so I could practice more.
    I do have a code mentor that is just up the road and we rag chew a few times per week, without him, I'd still be below 20 at this point. In my opinion, a patient code mentor that you can regularly practice with makes all the difference in the world.
    US7IGN and N7BKV like this.
  7. KD8EDC

    KD8EDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seems to me that if you can read at 1/2 the speed you can send, your best course of action is to modify your approach so that you send only as fast as you can read, and get on the air and PRACTICE WITH OTHER OPS.


    If you're too worried that they'll send back as fast as you send, only send as fast as you can copy.

    Rinse, repeat.
    US7IGN, WB5YUZ, N8AFT and 1 other person like this.
  8. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page


    If you're too worried that they'll send back as fast as you send, only send as fast as you can copy.

    THE correct answer... Thank You.
    WB5YUZ, M6GYU and N7BKV like this.
  9. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    There definitely seems to be an attitude of, "I'll wait until I can do head copy at 25 WPM, and then get on the air, so I don't get embarrassed" among today's learners.

    Can be done, I guess, but doesn't seem to be the best or easiest way. Probably more difficult and not nearly as much fun as getting on the air.

    The problem these days, I think, is lack of significant motivation. We had to learn CW to get our licenses - no choice! Many of us (including myself) swore that once we got our General tickets we would never touch a key again. In truth, in a few months I was back on CW and at least half of my operating has been on CW ever since; I think that happened to many others.

    Lack of motivation, and the comfort level most people have these days with doing everything on a computer, even if the computer is not really the best tool for the job, seem to me to be what inhibits more people from learning Morse as quickly as we did.
    WF7BSR and KB4MB like this.
  10. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are many forms of motivation remaining!

    Such as:
    1. Being able to run a QRP rig in the field.
    2. Able to have QSOs that are not disruptive to the rest of the folks in your house.
    3. Doing something that requires a significant commitment to learning.
    4. Learning to concentrate on operating and not equipment.
    5. Getting into contesting.
    6. Being the CW hero at field day.
    7. Having the joy of participating in something that is intense enough that you cannot think about anything else at the same time.
    8. Honoring the long history of the mode.
    9. Works perfectly WITHOUT a computer.
    10. Enjoyment of the long path of discovery that is CW.

    Oh, I am sure there are many others. With the exception of #6, all of the above personally apply.
    US7IGN and N7BKV like this.

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