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Author Topic: Copy CW in your head  (Read 14498 times)
W9OY
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« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2011, 02:00:14 PM »

I learned to head copy by going CW mobile and started making contacts.  It was trial by fire.  You either got the hang of it or no one would talk to you. 

73  W9OY
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PA7WWO
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« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2011, 08:53:10 AM »

Hi To All

It took me about 8 yrs to get me to not write every word on paper.
And my max speed at that time was abt 30 WPM.
 
And now I sometimes do not write in a QSO at all except the call and QTH off the other station I am in QSO with.
But that QSO has to be in my home-language in Dutch.
With making QSO's in English or German, I still have tor write more but not everything,
I also cannot sent as fast in English or German as I can in Dutch.
Standard speed in Dutch is 27 WPM lately (if the other station can copy that high speed)
But standard speed in foreign language is about 22 WPM, because of all the extra translating being done in my head.
Of course in standard QSO's that is not a great problem, but I almost never make standard QSO's

Also the received signal has to be strong enough with weak Sig's and QRM I have to write again, I get lost in the QSO if I miss to much letters, when I write I don not have this problem

It was just practice practice and much more practice that got the job done.
When I am tired I do need to write again.
Because it takes a lot of concentration to read morse-code in your mind.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2011, 09:13:04 PM »

Can you agree that CW is much more fun when you are able to copy in the head??  :-)
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PA1ZP
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« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2011, 09:13:28 AM »

Hi All

No CW is great fun .
Copy in head or on paper the fun is and was always great.
CW is much more fun then SSB.
The feeling still is that CW is a bit extra and special in compare with CW.

73 Jos PA1ZP (PA7WWO)   
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2011, 09:32:59 AM »

Can you agree that CW is much more fun when you are able to copy in the head??  :-)

It's a lot easier, at least.

But I learned code without using any paper to begin with so don't recall ever writing much down except log info.

I work mobile CW and don't ever write anything down.  I think my auto insurance company is happy about that. Wink
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VK5GI
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« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2011, 12:25:11 AM »

One day, I simply lost the shack pencil, and forgot to get another!  After a while, it wasn't too hard  to copy code in my head.  I work around 20 wpm.  So, moral of the tale is - lose the pencil!
Best of luck
Norm VK5GI
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2011, 04:53:21 PM »

Yes, lose the pencil, then:

While (Still not reading in head)
   {
   Practice;
   }

cout << "Yeah I can do it";

One thing I found (and still find) useful is to visualise each character on a mental blackboard as it is received.
Even though I can now receive in my head up to about 38WPM, I still use this technique when receiving very slow morse ( for example 5 WPM), and if I am drifting out of concentration.
This technique helps to focus your attention, and may only be required for a while from time to time.
The nirvana which comes eventually is that you "sense" the words and don't even "read" them.
The biggest problem I have when in this state is doubt and the desire to "double check" the words, which normally ends up in the conscious mind hobbling the copy.
Eventually, you will become like experienced drivers, who get to a destination without remembering the trip.
Believe me, this goal is very worthwhile, making receiving morse about the same as listening to an SSB qso.
And because of the use of abbreviations (tu, cul, tmw, .....etc) the speed is quite similar to voice in essence.
In the end, it is training the brain to make this an automatic skill - you will get there, just practice, then one day will come the breakthrough.


73s es gl
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N4KZ
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2011, 07:38:29 AM »

I started doing head copy of CW around 1980 -- mainly out of necessity. I could copy CW faster than I could write it down. Once I decided that writing it down was holding me back, I just put the pencil down, began leaning back in the operating chair to relax my mind and just listen to CW. But as a previous poster said, the biggest requirement is good short-term memory so that once you begin copying a word in your head, you don't forget the earlier letters by the time you get to the end of the word.

I do recognize some short, frequently used words by their sound. I tend to hear those as a single sound in my mind rather than individual letters. The, name, rig are such words. But for the most part, I am still copying letter by letter -- just retaining the info in my mind rather than writing it down one letter at a time.

How do you get there? Practice, practice, practice. Copy CW until it's coming out your ears. Uh, wait a second. Don't let too many letters fall on the floor. Try to keep as many as possible in your head. Strung together, they tend to make words.

73 and GL,
N4KZ
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W0BTU
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« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2011, 10:02:58 PM »

What is the easiest way to learn to copy CW in your head? 

By following the great advice in this free downloadable book, The Art & Skill of Radio Telegraphy: http://www.qsl.net/n9bor/n0hff.htm. That's how. :-)

If your goal is to enjoy CW, then I guarantee you will fall in love with this publication. The author did a great service to us by making it available as a free download.
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AE6ZW
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« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2011, 10:17:41 PM »

I too having difficulty copying CW in my head, but one things it helping me some what is picture a letter in my head as I hear the code, like  when I hear  [ .- ]   image 'A' in my head. 
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2011, 12:11:14 PM »

CW is much more fun then SSB.
New op, but plugging away. For me even a brief CW QSO is more satisfying than a long visit on SSB; oh, right, I don't do long visits on SSB. I have been in my upstairs commo bunker before bedtime, reading a book or finishing up something else and I wouldn't think of putting on a SSB ragchew in the background. A late-night well-conducted CW international chat on 10m or 17m, well I could listen to that till ...

ZZzzzzzzzz............ZZzzzzzzzz

(sound of book hitting floor)
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
WB2WIK
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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2011, 02:22:54 PM »

I too having difficulty copying CW in my head, but one things it helping me some what is picture a letter in my head as I hear the code, like  when I hear  [ .- ]   image 'A' in my head. 

That might help many but it will certainly slow you down, as it's an additional process; kind of like asking a CPU to perform extra tasks -- it can, but it'll slow down all of them to some degree.

I think simply using the code -- a lot -- by both copying and sending it; and doing so every single day if possible; and doing that for at least a few months without writing anything down almost assures all the bad habits will evaporate and then it's just like listening to someone speaking.  Once you hit that point, the only limitation is how fast you can distinguish a dit from a space or a dah.  For younger folks, that's usually very fast.  For older ones, possibly not as fast but there are lots of 70 year-olds who can copy 60 wpm easily.
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AK7V
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« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2011, 07:43:22 PM »

I started out writing things down, but once I got to about 20wpm, writing slowed me down.  So I just decided to stop writing things down.  It wasn't that hard.  At first I'd miss things now and then, but nobody ever jumped out of the radio and rang my neck for it.  Now it's no problem - I can copy faster than I can send with paddles.

One thing I haven't been able to do, though, is explain to the YL what I'm QSOing about while trying to send/receive. 
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K8AXW
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« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2011, 09:17:27 PM »


One thing I haven't been able to do, though, is explain to the YL what I'm QSOing about while trying to send/receive. 

You will no doubt fail in explaining this because women can't understand this.  If you've ever 'monitored' a group of women talking, they all talk and once and they all understand what everyone is talking about.

This is because women can use both sides of their brain simultaneously.  Men can use only one side at a time.  Of course this allows men to focus or concentrate better but you'll never convince a woman of this either.

This is the time to just pretend you're stupid.  She'll accept that without question.  :-)
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PA0WV
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« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2011, 02:14:59 AM »

What is the easiest way to learn to copy CW in your head? 
 

Lynn, that question is very difficult to answer, because everybody who is able to do that learned it in one OR other way but did not do it in both ways,  hence can't compare methods to determine what was the easiest way.

Easiest may be when it doesn't take time.

I learned it up to 25 wpm many years ago. by putting a prerecorded morse cassette tape in my car radio. Every day half an hour to the job and half an hour back. listening to the code. Important is, as I know from later experience,  that it is always the same text (untill you know it nearly completely by head)

Lately I read an article from Jim Reid about copy in the head, his advice is to let the xyl or some other aid let spell the newspaper and you, hearing that, try to understand it.  Nice but the xyl will do that for one night, not every night for many months.

For that reason I home brewed a gadget "the Speller" which spells an ASCII text just in plain language not in Morse code  That is not fast enough. So I designed a one character display, which shows the character just after finishing transmission of it in Morse code.

I did not spent much time with it because I designed a gadget "Kujer2" (pr QRQ-er) which transmits a random selected  word out of the 4000 most used words in your language, in adjustable speed, repeats them widely separated, and when you have decoded the presented one, you can either press a knob to get the next one (random selected) or you can wait for the adjustable number of repetitions. The maximum length of the words is selectable between 4 and 16 characters.  After finishing the repetitions the text is displayed on an 16 character wide LCDisplay.
It is very helpfull after decoding , to listen to the remaining repetitions of the word.

When I compare the 2 different methods (car listening up to 25 wpm and QRQ-er up to 50 wpm), this one turns out to be most effective.
A lof of gadgets that I designed are published in ham magazines and the collection can be found on www.xs4all.nl/~pa0wv/zelfbouw.html


Not hardware but Internetbound you can do this kind of exercises om www.lcwo.net in the chapter "Words"

55
PA0WV
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Using an appliance without CW is just CB
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