Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

Thoughts on learning Morse

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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.

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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