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: Request Advice on "Head Copy"  (Read 1188 times)
N8UZE
Member

Posts: 1524




Ignore
« on: November 13, 2002, 05:39:22 PM »

To those of you who basically copy in your head, what hints and tips can you pass along to help develop this skill.  Of course I know just practicing it is a biggie but what I am looking for is how to best use that practice time so that it is productive.

I can do it for a few letters but not for long and also do not catch "whole words" at a time with the exception of "test".  Even I get that as a word!

Thanks for any tips.
Logged
KC0IOX
Member

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2002, 01:26:07 AM »

Sounds to me like you're on the right track.  I believe that the skill is something that develops differently in each individual. For me, what worked was a LOT of listening.  I'd just turn the rig on and passively listen to any CW that happened to be on.  Funny, the less I "tried" to make out, the more I picked up.  Also, get on the air and operate as much as you can.  This helps a great deal.  
I still have a pencil and paper around, but mostly to remind myself of the other person's name and call.  You will find that once you reach speeds of around 20 wpm, copying with pencil becomes more of a distraction than an aid.  If I'm in a slow speed QSO, I do write it out to help me remember everything, but anymore I prefer to copy in my head.  
Anyway, do keep listening, and operate.  Things will start to come together, like QTH, RST, QRZ, etc., and then other things will also come in gradually as well.  I was where you are now only about a year ago or so, and now I'm very comfortable with it.  I wish you the best of luck in this. 73
Logged
W4YA
Member

Posts: 317




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2002, 05:58:34 AM »

KC0IOX is correct. Once you routinely have QSOs at speeds over 15 WPM, I am sure that you will find that you are writing less and less. It just takes time.
73, Jim W4YA
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2002, 11:29:43 AM »

As one who has taught this to an awful lot of "students," I'd recommend just a few things:

-Put away the paper and pencil and leave it put away.

-Don't just listen, or "copy," but actively make contacts, the more the better.

-Try to make contacts at above your comfortable "copy" speed.  If you can only copy 5 wpm right now, make contacts at 10 wpm.  If you can copy 13, make contacts at 20.  You'll only get a little bit of it at first, but keep making contacts.  There's no law about not copying what the other guy sent.  If you get his callsign and one other piece of data such as RST or QTH, it's called a "contact," whether you get anything else or not.  Even if you never get his callsign straight, there's no law against trying to.  Ham radio's history is filled with millions of incomplete contacts.

-Get on the air, and make more contacts.

If you cannot copy CW in your head comfortably after making 500 real contacts on the air, I'll buy you dinner at the restaurant of your choice.  500 contacts is only 1/2 of one ARRL logbook.  I go through one ARRL logbook (40 sheets, 25 contacts per sheet) about every four to six weeks, and have for many years.  I just started logbook #251, and have them all back to #1.  At least half those log entries have been CW, and I couldn't even tell you how many are "incomplete contacts..." it really doesn't matter.

Keep up the good work!!

WB2WIK/6



Logged
N3CJN
Member

Posts: 34




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2002, 01:36:41 AM »

I've always practiced using the W1AW code sessions.  When they run fast to slow, listen - don't write - from the fastest speeds down til near your upper limit.
Try to pick out whole words.  As the speed decreases, you'll find you can make out more and more.

When it goes from slow to fast, on the slowest speeds
practice copying BEHIND what is being sent - by a couple of characters.  This is to force you to remember what has been sent as you copy the live characters.  I also use this as a chance to practice writing copied code in script, not printing.  Moving from printing to script lets you go faster.
Logged
JA1NUT
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2002, 10:35:49 PM »

My advice is to make a regular sked on CW with someone. It will force you to copy somethig different from routines of QSOs. It is interesting and keeps you go on practising. Ask your partner whatever you couldn't copy until you grasp it perfectly. Head copy practice with a computer is too boring. I agree with the principle of no paper/pencil on the shack desk. Just go on practising it on the air.

Shin JA1NUT
Logged
N2XE
Member

Posts: 19


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2002, 01:30:36 PM »

Go mobile young man... go mobile. I was stuck at around 20 WPM, the limit of my transcribing skills.  Once I put the HF rig in the car and had QSOs while driving, my speed skyrocketed to 40 WPM, all head copy.

73,
N2XE
Logged
N8UZE
Member

Posts: 1524




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2002, 08:28:26 AM »

FYI to N2XE.  I am a YL not an OM.
Logged
N7JI
Member

Posts: 8


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2003, 11:48:04 AM »

I have to agree with N2XE.

Going mobile did it for me, too, as I jumped from 18 WPM to about 40 WPM in about a year.

The keys to success?

1) Time on the air, either listening or (preferably) operating.

2) Not having a crutch available (no paper - esp. when driving!)

3) NOT OBSESSING OVER CHARACTERS YOU MISSED!  Same as always, if you miss a character, you've missed one character.  If you worry about it and say, "what was that???," you've missed the next three as well.

4) Cut yourself a break!  You weren't born copying code, and we're all wired differently; if it takes a month, great - if it takes three years, that's great too.  For me, it was 11 years between my Novice 5 wpm exam and the day I realized I could copy 40 wpm.  In the interim I'd made literally thousands of QSOs and couldn't understand why the speed wasn't coming.

Then one day, it just did.

Scott N7JI
Logged
N7JI
Member

Posts: 8


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2003, 11:50:26 AM »

Say what you will about contesting -

But they provide a great chance to practice sending and copying with some really good operators.

(and you can get closer to WAS and DXCC at the same time)

Scott N7JI
Logged
N0XAS
Member

Posts: 71


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2003, 03:30:48 PM »

For me it was code tapes while mobile.  Everywhere I went in the car, the code tape was playing...  if I never hear Gordon's voice again it will be too soon, but I could sure as heck head copy at 13+WPM by the time I was done!

73 es GL,

Dale - N0XAS
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!