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Author Topic: All it takes is EFFORT.  (Read 453 times)
KD5RJZ
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Posts: 4




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« on: September 29, 2005, 01:34:03 PM »

When I was around seven years old, my father gave me a copy of the ARRL's CW practice tapes.  (This was circa 1989)  I tried desperately to learn what seemed like random beeps to no avail for the next month or so, getting frustrated and giveing up time and time again.  In 2002, I was at a Hamfest for other purposes (PC related) and decided I should try the Technician test, and passed it that day and became a Ham.  The next several years I always said the code would be dropped and  we'd all get a free General upgrade eventually.  Then came the news that the FCC was actually going to drop the code test.  I decided that if I EVER was going to get ANY respect from any of the OM's, I was going to have to have atleast a petty element 1 under my belt.

Two weeks ago, I took the element 3 test at a Hamfest in Jacksonville, AR; that gave me the incentive, I had 365 days to pass the element 1.  That night when I got back home, I got serious and downloaded the ARRL's  newest practice CD's (What a joke, don't waste your money or bandwidth) and got some other practice mp3's as well.  Needless to say a week later my friend K5BCT and myself took and passed our element 1's at the American Airlines ARC meeting.  ONE WEEK is all it took of several hours a day actually MAKING THE EFFORT and learning the code.  CW isn't math, it isn't science, it's memorizing beeps.  How hard would it be to learn less than 40 words in a foriegn language?  Not very.  

I've already used CW twice in my six days of being a general to make contacts where (due to lack of power) SSB wouldn't get through.  Everyone whining about how code needs to be done away with needs to make some effort and learn it.  If I can, anyone can.  My only regret is that I didn't make a little bit of effort and do it years ago.

For learning aids, I reccomend Tom White's "Mind Control Method" of learning CW
Available for FREE at http://www.alterworld.net/ke5ehx/

73 de KD5RJZ
Tulsa, OK
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20545




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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2005, 10:22:04 AM »

Congratulations!

But I must say, listening to MP3s, no matter how great they are, isn't a way that works for everyone.

For one thing, because it's not interactive, it can get boring very quickly and many people would zone out within minutes.

And a second point: *Listening* to code, even if that builds your "copy" speed up to 50 wpm, isn't the same as sending it.  It doesn't help improve sending ability in any way, and the ability to send code well is very important if one ever intends to actually use it.

As such, I've always emphasized the "send and receive" strategy in teaching code classes.  Everyone who attends the classes ends up copying 15-20 wpm very quickly, and just as importantly, ends up being able to send it very legibly at the same speed.

WB2WIK/6
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KD5RJZ
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2005, 03:53:26 PM »

I agree that sending code definately requires practice all on its own.  What I liked about the listening method I used was simply that it was developed for learning code without having to write it.  Very useful when you want to study while driving or doing any other activity that requires use of your hands.  

I send one letter, pauses a second, then tells you what letter it just sent using NATO phonetics.  There are also mp3's of 2-5 charactor groups, available in 5 and 12 wpm.  They're also generated randomly every morning at 2:00a central time, so every morning there's a new set of mp3's to practice with, and also it's free.  That was my main reason for using them.  

For practicing sending, I used a couple of local CW practice nets on VHF in my area, I've found them most helpful, and hope to get more practice on them as I try to help some other hams in my area with their code tests.

73
Mike KD5RJZ
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N8CPA
Member

Posts: 87




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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2005, 11:50:47 AM »

I also believe in learning by sending and receiving, because it most closely matches the way infants learn language--ditto for people of any age learning a foreign language. They hear, they imitate.  By such an approach one has greater sensory understanding of what's being communicated.  It easier to understand what your ears are hearing if your own muscles can relate to how it's sent.
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K3AN
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Posts: 787




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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2005, 01:25:59 PM »

OK, but why is it necessary to learn this skill just to communicate on HF?
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AG4RQ
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Posts: 301


WWW

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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2005, 10:06:02 AM »

"OK, but why is it necessary to learn this skill just to communicate on HF?"

For the same reasons it is necessary to learn more than rules, regulations and operating procedure to become a ham. You can also argue:

Why do I have to learn Ohms Law?
Why do I have to learn electronics?
I'm never going to open my radio to work on it.

Why should I learn about third party traffic?
I'm never going to use it.

Why should I learn about space stations?
I'm not an astronaut.

How about this one:

Why do I have to learn art, music and a foreign language in school?
I'm never going to use it.

Because it is part of the curriculum. It makes for a well-rounded education. In the same way, learning all the technical stuff and Morse code, even though many will never use these things makes for a well-rounded ham.

73 de Mark
AG4RQ
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AG4RQ
Member

Posts: 301


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2005, 10:20:00 AM »

"OK, but why is it necessary to learn this skill just to communicate on HF?"

K3AN, I'll take it one step further. According to ULS, you've had your call since 1998. In addition to all the technical stuff you had to learn for your Extra ticket (which most hams never use), you also had to pass a 20 wpm code test. Why did you do all that? For the privileges.

"OK, but why is it necessary to learn this skill just to communicate on HF?"

Same reason. For the privileges.

73 de Mark
AG4RQ
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K7FD
Member

Posts: 13




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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2005, 04:33:01 PM »

Like BB King says, you can let the guitar master you or you can master the guitar. It's the same with cw and most other challenges in life.
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N7ESE
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2005, 08:07:18 PM »

It is fun!!! If it were easy(speaking voice), I would not enjoy it! To each his own. Tom ( Don't own a mic )
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