Author Topic: Thoughts on learning Morse  (Read 10441 times)

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Offline apellyTopic starter

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2016, 07:46:56 pm »
In 3 weeks I was past 12 wpm and passed the test.  Passed the 20wpm test after just a little more practice on the air.
Interesting endorsement. I won't be buying training material however.

I find it interesting that the most popular training software is all closed source. I'd imagined that the HAM community would have been more sharing. All those home brew radios didn't get invented individually. There is some open source stuff, but the commercial or donationware stuff seems much more complete.
 

Offline apellyTopic starter

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2016, 01:24:31 am »
Well, progress has slowed.

40 days in and I'm only up to 34 characters. And I've had to slow the effective speed right town to boot. Sigh.

The last few (5?) characters just aren't going in. Well, I know them, if I have time to think, but that's not the point of this exercise. Don't know. Perhaps I didn't learn some of the earlier ones well enough.

At this stage I'm thinking I'll persist with what I'm doing, even though it's not ideal, and practice copying interesting stuff later to speed up.
 

Offline rob77

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2016, 02:52:40 pm »
when i had the feeling the new characters are not going right, then i switched back 2 sets of characters. it's much less time wasted to restart with 2 groups of characters less  than pushing hard while it's not going as expected ;) i did it in less than 1 month , but i had that time more or less dedicated to learning morse  training 4+ hours a day during a military service. if you're learning along your job & family , then few months could be a reasonable goal ;)
 

Offline apellyTopic starter

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2016, 06:03:53 am »
Progress!

After 50 days or so I found my motivation lacking, as I noted earlier.. I experimented with some other tutoring software, morse and Teach4. They work in a similar way, by weighting your shittiness with each character and biasing random character generation accordingly. Their characters were in a different order from the software I was already using so I was introduced to the remaining half a dozen in just a couple of days.

I'm still shit, but I hacked together some python to grab rss feeds and have been playing those for a while. This was where I saw magic. I had just started doing this and when I looked up at the screen I had created information!

Apparently today: monday, 02=7ar/ , 0109 hrs men shot didg sydy siege xaan is in a stand-wit olict a sydne y factory where a man was killen nd o thers injud in a trile (Monday, 07/Mar/16, 0409 HRS \BT Three men shot during Sydney siege \BT A gunman is in a stand-off with police at a Sydney factory where a man was killed and two others injured in a triple shooting. \BT)

Need work you think?  :-DD

Yes, I know it's shit. And that was only at 11wpm, but it's a damn side more rewarding than random characters!
 

Offline @rt

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2016, 10:56:17 am »
Hi :)
I have not started yet, but only because I don’t have a key i’m satisfied with.
I see what you mean, just a brain learning trick, would be like learning times tables, etc.
But you could think of it as the most effective and reliable communication over distance.
It’s an upgrade you can’t buy... well you might want a CW filter lol :D
 

Offline @rt

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2016, 10:58:49 am »
That was your output? It’s not normally be so verbose like that ever since telegraph charged per word! :D

 

Offline AustinTxBob

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2016, 05:49:07 am »
I can't imagine trying to learn at 13 WPM.  I did it at 5-7 and then worked my way up on the air.  To learn it, you need time to hear the letter, translate it, and write it down all before the next letter arrives.  That is why the 20 WPM character speed and 5 WPM rate is a good way to learn.  Once the letters become "fluent", you can easily get past the 12-13 WPM barrier.

That being said, no one sends farnsworth so learning the code and then copying from the air are different things.
 

Offline Co6aka

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2016, 03:25:06 am »
FWIW, initially I learned by SWL-ing the commercial ship-shore "VVV beacons" or whatever they were called. (Damn I'm OLD! WTF happened???) That led me to realize as others have written that the character speed should be high but the spacing slow, so you learn the musical rhythm of each character. Don't learn dits and dahs because that limits you to two letters. ;) The repeating/looping beacons made it easy, so perhaps set up a loop of text in a CW practice app, like others have mentioned.

Another thing I initially used to remember the characters was "the tree of Morse" like this: http://www.learnmorsecode.com/pix/learn.gif

Once you learn/remember each character it gets really easy. Also, learn is to skip characters you miss because if they're words you'll understand anyway. The next step is to learn the rhythm of common words. Eventually Morse will sound as if someone was speaking to you in letters instead of words... Aay, Bee, See, Dee, Eee, Eff, Gee, Aych, Eye, Jay, Kay, Ell, Emm, Enn, Ohh, Kyou, Are, Ess, Tee... Well, you get the idea. (Watch out for that damned Pee, it tries to run down your leg!)

Listen to pileups when there's a DXpedition on the air. :popcorn:

Then, when you're able to hold QSOs, go on a DXpedition yourself... :box: I only went to the Bahamas, twice, but by the time I returned from my second I was a fluent 45 WPM, both RX and TX.
Co6aka says, "BARK! and you have no idea how humans will respond."
 

Offline n9zl

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2016, 10:28:10 pm »
I learned CW for my Extra class upgrade just before they got rid of the code requirement.  I studied for an hour 3 times a week for a month using Gordon West's W5YI tapes at 13wpm/5wpm Farnsworth timing. After 12 hours of practice, I passed the test easily.
 

Offline apellyTopic starter

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2016, 11:56:29 pm »
Well, things are improving slowly. Three new characters are slowing me up at the moment I think -' and " I always miss a couple of characters after them. I'm not so hot on the numbers either, although my python script includes the date and time so I get to practice them.

Everything I read says to immediately skip characters you don't recognise, but how do you learn them if you do that?

Something else I've noticed is I seem to have learned to associate the sounds with keys on the keyboard and not the letters. Maybe I'm a slow learner, but when I practice copying in my head I can do about 5wpm, but the longer the word is the less chance I'll make it out. On a keyboard I'm practising at 10wpm, but I have no idea what I'm writing until I look up and read it. Is this normal, or am I a lousy speller?

I'm not practising as much as before. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes every second day at the keyboard and maybe the same just listening to the news. At the moment it takes a very long time to get through the news!
 

Offline AustinTxBob

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2016, 09:36:34 pm »
Sometimes reading what you're copying can be bad while learning.  You anticipate the wrong letter because you think you know the word being spelled out and when the letter is not what you expected, you can get lost.  So I wouldn't worry about not seeing what is being copied.

Do you plan on copying with a keyboard or paper/pen?  I would practice via whatever method you think you will use IRL.
 

Offline jeffsf

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Re: Thoughts on learning Morse
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2016, 05:58:18 pm »
I agree with all the comments about learning at speed. If the speed is slow enough that your brain can even think of a sequence of di/dahs instead of the complete sound of the character, you'll hit a plateau in speed that is very painful to get through. You've learned a completely different skill than that of high-speed Morse operation. I went through that as a kid getting from 13 WPM for my General to 20 WPM for my Extra. I eventually worked up to copying 40 WPM and that was easier than getting to 20 WPM. I could hear and understand faster, but my fingers couldn't write fast enough to get the minute of solid copy that the ARRL wanted for the certificates back then.

There are many good code-practice applications out there now. Much easier than in the days when you got 5 minutes a night from W1AW, propagation permitting! Plenty of "free" options for Windows, as well as Mac, Linux, iPhone, and Android.

The "Koch method" seems to work well for many people -- learning only a symbol or two at a time at full speed. It may be frustrating to only get brief bits of copy of, for example, 40-WPM symbols at 20-WPM spacing. That is, in my opinion, a much shorter path to high-speed skills than starting slowly and trying to increase.

 


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