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Author Topic: Morse code question  (Read 7440 times)

Posts: 253

« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2017, 06:21:08 PM »

Yes, 2 weeks to learn about 1 to 10 WPM...and 1 or 2 months for 13 WPM, and about 4 months for 20WPM..

Now, to pass the exam (Back in those days), there was a certain format in which the exam was given, which was a typical QSO..

That helped, as if you were to receive RST report, you knew numbers were coming...

If you heard QTH...You could rest a few letters, and not copy QTH, and get ready for the location

I just past 20 WPM....(As you can tell by my response!)

Having said the above, I have not had a CW QSO, since 1981 ( After I passed my code)...Lets see that would be over 35 years! (I can still copy, 13 WPM...I listen once in a while!)


Posts: 1948

« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2017, 09:19:32 PM »

I have not had a CW QSO, since 1981 ( After I passed my code)...Lets see that would be over 35 years! (I can still copy, 13 WPM...I listen once in a while!)

Back in the day, code was probably not very interesting or exciting to most hams. Passing the license exam required it so people did it pretty much without fuss. Yes, everyone was nervous going into the FCC office to take the test.

After I got my General, my goal was to get on AM phone. AM can have a very mellow and full sound not found on SSB. Anyway I don't remember doing much, if any, CW while a General.

45 years passed untill I took up hamming again. I remembered the code. It somehow seemed more interesting, more classic,
more "real" radio. I've done mostly code in the several years since. When I listen to folks on SSB much of the conversation is, to put it carefully, not very interesting.

Posts: 3508

« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2017, 10:49:03 PM »

For me there was one big difference between military training and ham radio. In the military it was all 5-letter code groups and it was all typed on a mill (typewriter with only capital letters). The code groups provided a constant rhythm (5 letters and a rest) that was easier to keep pace with and you never got distracted by thinking about what was being said because it meant nothing to the operator. I got a top speed of 25WPM in school. Two weeks later I just barely passed the 13WPM General test at the FCC office. Why? I was copying conversation that had varying lengths of words, I was distracted by reading what I was writing down, and I was having to write it down with pen and paper rather than using a mill.

I had my Conditional license (same privileges as General but proctored by a General-Class-or-above, with the results being mailed in to FCC) when I reported to Navy RM "A" school in January 1963.  First day of code training, the first thing we heard was DOUBLE BASIC REEL NO 1, sent at about 16 WPM.  I went ahead and typed it; the instructor said we were going to hear some "really fast" code at first.  So when he took a look at what I'd typed he sent me to the back of the room and connected me to 24 WPM.  Problem was that I couldn't type that fast!  I was doing fine with a pen and paper though.  Well enough that the instructor said I'd met the requirements in spirit, but I would be reporting "upstairs" whenever the rest of the class had code practice.  That was "Code Control" upstairs, where the reels of paper tape were run on the Boheme keyers and patched to the different classrooms.  It was run by a Chief Radioman and anywhere from 8 to 10 sailors who, like me, had typing problems AND had had ham licenses! 

At that time, code classes were never 8 hours a day, more like four hours a day in 15-30 minute sessions.  Between sessions there was electronics, Navy net procedures, formats for messages, antennas, PMS on different equipment, etc.


Posts: 6

« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2017, 04:58:07 AM »

Wow, that is a long time to be at the key! I teach CW through CW Ops, just completing my 10th session teaching / advising Level 1 students. Fun time!  We go from 0 words per minute to 12 WPM in 8 weeks. Level 2 takes it from there, and Level 3 increases speed and accuracy even further. Best part of class is, 1), learning in a group environment 2), lots of support along the way 3), great tools to continue to learn. Check out the web site.
Andy, WB7DKZ
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