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Author Topic: Write or type?  (Read 747 times)
AB0SI
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Posts: 79




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« on: August 17, 2004, 09:46:27 PM »

Hi, friends. I am the lightest of Extra Lites. When I got my ticket 3 years ago, I learned code just well enough to pass the 5 wpm test and have never used it.

For the past several weeks, I've been unlearning what I did to pass Element One (count the dit and dahs) and ahve begun to to try to really learn code.

Does anyone out there think it makes a difference whether I write my copy or keyboard it? I am led to understand that to really learn the code and to copy at a reasonable rate, I need to learn to "copy ahead." It seems that would be easier on the keybaord than with a pencil.

Any and all comments gratefully accepted. Rants on Extra Lites in general, me in particualar, code testing, etc..... please start another subject <grin>

thanks e 73

Paul AB0SI
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2004, 08:50:13 AM »

Can you touch-type without thinking about it? If not, forget the keyboard.

BTW, there is an excellent article here on eHam by WB2WIK/6 on learning CW that provides good ideas on the subject. Look in the past articles section on the main page.

Lon
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2004, 09:53:05 AM »

For high speed code (over about 25wpm), you will either need to copy in your head or on a keyboard.  People just can write any faster than that.

However for speeds below 20wpm, either writing or keyboarding is fine.  It's also good to eventually learn to head copy (I'm still working on that).

You might want to learn to both write it and type it as you may not always have a keyboard available.
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N8UZE
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2004, 09:53:55 AM »

I meant "People just CAN'T write any faster than that" in reference to 25wpm.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20540




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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2004, 12:34:31 PM »

I strongly believe that becoming fluent in code requires one to feel so at ease with it that there's no reason to write or type anything.  Just *listen* to it.  Really listen.

I've verified I can type code copy at 55 wpm (actually, I can type twice this speed, but can't copy code faster other than bursts) with almost 100% accuracy.  But having done so, "why bother?"  I guess in a bona fide CW emergency, it might be a good talent, but I haven't ever run across one of those!

It's much more pleasant and enjoyable to sit back and listen to the code, just like sitting back and listening to someone speak.  And, after a while, it's really the same thing.

It's *much* easier learning to do this if you can work with another person having the same interest, so you practice together.  Since you already have a ticket, you can do it on the air!  Make contacts.  Lots of them.

One thing I always challenged my code students with, and I haven't lost this bet yet: "If you make 500 contacts on CW -- log them all, I want to see who they are -- and aren't going 20 wpm, easily and without working at it, after that time, I'll take you and your family to Disneyland for the weekend."

Never had to make the trip, because I've never found anybody who could make 500 CW contacts and not be doing 20 wpm (without thinking about it) by contact #501.

WB2WIK/6
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AB0SI
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Posts: 79




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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2004, 03:48:20 PM »

Thanks to all who have commented. A special note to WB2WIK re: bet about Disneyland. Well, ya, if I had to go to Disneyland if I failed, I could learn to send Arabic code at 102 wpm while holding my breath and peeling kumquats. Most anything is better than Disneyland. <grin>

As no one seems to think there is any negative regarding keyboarding (I can touch type easily enough - I am dyxlexic but that is equally bad keyboarding and writing)I am going to go that route.

To thsoe who suggested "just listening." Ya, well,l eventually that is the goal, but I need a method to get there. Also, I can't remember callsigns in SSB, so I have to at least take notes for any QSO, any mode.

I've signed up with FISTS as a member and requested a "code buddy" (a wonderful idea and service). Copying code in SWL-mode (ARRL and "reading the mail") is nice, but I know I'll learn faster with the pressure of having to respond. <grin> Also, while I've praticed with a paddle, I stil haven't actually Txed any code, so while I think it is ok, for all I know, it is completely unreadable.

THS e 73

Paul AB0Si
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20540




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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2004, 04:52:59 PM »

I'd be happy to sked with you, if you like and we can find a mutually convenient time that has propagation.

I'm usually on the air, or could be, after office hours, and before dinner, which is 2330 to about 0100 UTC during weekdays.

In CW, you can tell me why you hate Disneyland so much!  Did you get attacked by a giant Mouse as a kid? LOL

Actually, I prefer Disney's California Adventure (other side of the park from Disneyland), it has waaaay better rides, and I'm a roller coaster fanatic.

73 & Good Luck!

Steve WB2WIK/6
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K3ESE
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Posts: 57


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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2004, 08:11:03 AM »

I TOTALLY agree about Disneyland! I call it "rodent world."  lol...it's so rare to find folks who feel that way, though...perhaps we could start an email list for CW ops who hate the rodent...

   I suggest writing, with a pencil, until you get to about 18-20 wpm, then gradually just make a note of what you might want to remember for your log, such as name, QTH, etc., and just sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the head copy for the rest of your ragchews.

  LL
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VE3WMB
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Posts: 282




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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2004, 10:27:26 AM »

It looks like this thread might be a bit stale but I thought that I would add my $0.02 worth.

I learned to copy code using Farnsworth and I printed every character because I heard characters. Now I can copy in head pretty well at 20 to 25 WPM but somehow I developed a mental block and still have to print not write if I want to copy on paper and that is pretty hard for me to do at 25wpm.

I guess one good question to ask is do you plan to do a lot of portable operating? If so you might go with writing rather than typing unless you plan to bring a computer or typewriter with you. Once you can reliably head-copy it doesn't matter much.

I wish you the best of luck. CW is a very magical mode and you will be glad that you decided to unlearn and relearn it correctly.

Michael VE3WMB
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