Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Best approach to speeding up  (Read 2636 times)
M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




Ignore
« on: July 19, 2011, 04:49:11 AM »

Hello, im currently at 15wpm and can converse at this speed pretty much ok. I still miss bits here and there but have learnt to just forget missing anything and carry on and to be honest it works pretty well. The bits i may miss will be silly things like it could simply be a word like "maybe" but may get it fine on another qso .. maybe down to just concentration lapses during a qso, anyway it's not a problem.

I feel it's time for me to move up slightly in speed as sometimes 15wpm is starting to sound a bit slow to me .. The thing is i have got to 15wpm without really trying , i simply speeded up a word per minute as like now it's starting to feel slightly sluggish to listen to ..

i have an mp3 player which goes everywhere with me containing normal text regarding my other hobby fishing , it contains species and environment facts etc and fishing tips . i have this at 15wpm and a few files at 16wpm which i can get most of ..

question is should i carry on as i am and naturally get faster or should i push myself and maybe start listening to files at say 17wpm and practice till i start getting most of it ? i tried this but felt a bit disheartened like i had lost what i had learnt if that makes sense as i started to struggle once more .


my goal is 18wpm and would like to stick to that so i can qso with the faster stations but not have to drop too far for slower ones but i'm in no rush to get there..


billy
Logged
AK7V
Member

Posts: 250




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 07:50:02 AM »

I would listen at at least 18 wpm.  20 would be better.  Are you writing down each letter you copy?  If so, stop doing that and just listen.  You may only pick out every other (or third, or fourth) word, but don't stress over it and keep at it.  Eventually you'll get more and more.  And then when you set the speed to 16 wpm, it will seem slow and easy.

Do go back to 16 or so WPM occasionally to boost your confidence and show yourself that you really are improving.  I could see hammering away at 20wpm for days, feeling like you've lost your skills, being disheartening. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 07:51:36 AM by AK7V » Logged
M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 02:39:42 PM »

maybe your right , get out of my comfort zone ..

99% head copy everything .. i just take notes .. i always found head copy easier , writing slowed me down ..

billy
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3879




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 03:32:02 AM »

Getting out of your comfort zone is the key. Listen to stuff that's way too fast (25 wpm) for a while, and 18 wpm will sound slow afterwards.
Logged
KE4ILG
Member

Posts: 150




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 08:05:03 AM »

Two thoughts: Chase some dx.  Its normally faster code.  The dx stations repeat the same information over and over giving you the opportunity to copy. You can copy 30wpm right now under these conditions.  2nd thought: Practice sending at your desired speed so when you get there you are ready to carry on a qso.  Well sent code is welcome at any speed. 

                                                       73, Mike
Logged
KB4MB
Member

Posts: 295




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 11:47:42 AM »

Some might disagree with me, but I think you will find it easier to use amateur radio qsos and text, and it will be more natural.  For the most part, that is what you will be talking about on air, not fishing.  Once you build up speed in normal ham qsos, adding the text from your other hobby will be good as well.


My point is - on air, a normal qso you might feel comfortable at 20wpm, but in a ragchew where things are more unpredictable, 15wpm.

Lots of DX chasers can do DX QSOs super fast, but a normal qso (not even a rag chew) with QTH, Rig Info, WX, etc, they might be down 10wpm or even more.
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3827




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 08:42:06 AM »

I would listen at at least 18 wpm.  20 would be better.  Are you writing down each letter you copy?  If so, stop doing that and just listen.  You may only pick out every other (or third, or fourth) word, but don't stress over it and keep at it.  Eventually you'll get more and more.  And then when you set the speed to 16 wpm, it will seem slow and easy.

Do go back to 16 or so WPM occasionally to boost your confidence and show yourself that you really are improving.  I could see hammering away at 20wpm for days, feeling like you've lost your skills, being disheartening. 

Jason is correct.  However, I would like to add emphasis to one point.  For some reason 18WPM is a very difficult speed to copy.  This isn't just my opinion but is a consensus of opinion from many going through Army code school.  I think it might just be that 18WPM doesn't have a rhythm or has an awkward rhythm.  However, don't skip 18WPM....just understand that you might find it a difficult speed.  If you do, move on UP.


You should push yourself much higher than one or two words per minute.  Once you start to get used to the higher speeds, even if you copy just a word here and there, then you will find coming back to a speed  one or two  words per minute over your present speed will be easy.

Whenever a student got "stuck" on a particular speed and couldn't break out, the instructor would put them on a much faster tape. I think what happens is that when you get stuck on a speed you have developed a tendency to think and or count elements in the character.

Going to a much higher speed causes you to react to what you hear and prevents counting or thinking.
Logged
K4PP
Member

Posts: 64




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 10:18:06 AM »


Something working for me to improve speed has been focusing on sounds. I picked the sounds of 25 WPM to learn and with repetitive conditioning the sounds equate to letters or a word. I been slowly narrowing the spacing between letters as I get better with sounds quickly forming a letter. Same for some common words as they also have a distinct sound. I started to treat it like speech. When someone talks to me the pronouncement of sounds cause a thought or expression to form as I listen. CW sort of the same but with a combined effect of letters, words, or prosigns ect. forming the thoughts.

K4PP
Logged
KQ6Q
Member

Posts: 976




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 10:29:58 AM »

Two things that will help -
1 - start copying W1AW code practice and bulletins - several times a week. The code practice alternates between 35 WPM decreasing to 10, and 10 increasing to 35WPM, on alternate days. The schedule is in QST, should be on the arr.org web site.
2 - work contests - you'll be hearing the other station's exchange several times as he works other stations, and gradually your copying will 'sync up'. the CWSS is absolutely the best for this, as there's more detail in the exchange. You'll find that during extended contest operating, your comfortable copying speed will increase quite a bit

My copying speed is similar to yours  - with intense listening to W1AW, I got my speeed up enough to pass the 20WPM at the FCC office back in 1980, but for absolute solid copy, I've got a certificate for 18WPM. I don't work CW as often as I used to - mainly Field Day, SS, and occasional Weekend Sprints and SKN, but it's still part of who I am!

Fred, KQ6Q (previously W7HSS, W5QDL, K(N)6VVD)
Logged
PA0WV
Member

Posts: 133




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 10:53:13 AM »

Everybody has his own advice that worked obviously for him.

Personally 65 years ago I proceeded very fast as a youngster to 25 wpm. Long time QRT. Nowadays due to aging much slower but easier to exercice every day on a fixed schedule.

55 wpm call sign copy on www.rufzxp.net is challenging.

Furthermore I designed and build a gadget named Kujer2 , pronounce QRQ-er. that contains 4000 most used words in your language, repeats a random chosen word below or equal to a choosen length between 3 thru 16characters . Everyday I do an exercise, copy by head,  with that gadget and now I am over 50 wpm ragchew copy by head. So my conclusion is : it works and it works better than everything else I tried before.

More info on my website www.xs4all.nl/~pa0wv/zelfbouw.html

73 Wim
Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
WA6FX
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 08:01:15 AM »

Best approach I have found is to practice copying code at speeds faster than you are comfortable copying.
This can be very frustrating, but if you keep at it you will find you "comfort zone" speeds will begin to increase.
Practice as much as you can stand it.  While you are at it, try to copy only in your head, without writing anything down.  This is also frustrating, so work thru both frustrations at the same time.  As you go back and forth between faster frustrating practice and slower "comfort zone" copy you will find that both skill sets (speed and head copy) WILL improve.  Just keep at it!!
You'll be amazed how well you will do with a little dedication.  Good Luck!  CW has gone from a mode I could care less about to my most favorite and most worked mode.

Scott WA6FX

Logged
M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 08:13:26 AM »

Thanks for the replies lads .. some stuff for me to think about there .. The reason i listen to fishing text is that i really enjoy the ragchew and seem to do a lot of it and these files enable me to listen to stuff that i wouldn't normally hear during a qso .It didn't have to be fishing it could be old news reports out of a paper ..

This has helped me as far as ragchewing  goes as i find people tend to tap whole words out as apposed to abbreviations during a chat ..  I waffle a lot so most of my contacts end up with a chat regarding something or other ..

I fully understand the reasoning behind not going up in speed  in single figures  and this makes a lot of sense..

The only thing i write down is name qth etc and have always head copied .. one less thing for the brain to think about if i don't write it down.

I have been at cw a couple of years now and use cw 100% .. it was a bit of a struggle at first but its nothing more than shear pleasure and has been from my first qso.. that first qso set me as a cw only op , i don't even own a mic anymore


billy
Logged
M0JHA
Member

Posts: 646




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 02:12:48 PM »

well i have re done my mp3 files and changed to 17wpm .. i downloaded an extra chapter of treasure island and with great pleasure found i can copy around 90% ok . i have also changed a few more of my files from 15 to 17 wpm .. in fact it's true what people have been telling me  that going that extra bit faster is indeed easier to copy ..

i was only listening for half hour and when i went on air with the keyer set at 15wpm it did seem quite a bit slower  Grin

im going to buy another mp3 player and get some faster stuff on there as this one is full up .. so on any off days i can go easy on myself ...



cheers for the advice and ill keep at it ..

billy
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!