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Author Topic: Suggestions please  (Read 387 times)
K7UF
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Posts: 19




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« on: June 19, 2006, 06:26:28 PM »

I need some suggestions as to where to go from here.

Here being that this weekend I took VE test for elements 1, 3 and 4. 3 and 4 were no problem at all.

1 Was a real problem.

I had been practicing at 10/22 and doing pretty well. Then I slowed it down to 8/20 in preperation for the test, and was getting 100%.

When the test started at 5/15 it was so S L O W that I just couldn't get the rythm, I was having to remember the dot/dash sequences and replay them in my head to recognize what the character was -- by which time the next one had started ... it was a total disaster.

One of the testers was sympathetic -- said it was a relatively common occurence that people who learned faster, so that they picked up the letter sound had problems when taking the 5 wpm test.

Anyway -- any suggestions as to how to go about improving my slow speed copying? I was thinking of simply going back to my morse program and progressively slowing it down until I got to 5/15.

Any other suggestions?
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W5RB
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Posts: 564




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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2006, 03:05:00 AM »

 VE teams have always offered to accomodate various handicaps and " special needs "  in their testing .It might be the first time ever that they've been asked to SPEED UP , but , in the circumstances , if they're willing , I believe it would be perfectly legal to offer you a test at an increased speed that you're comfortable with .There may be better solutions , but I'd consider this one if it came to my team .

Russ , W5RB
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AE6RF
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2006, 07:49:56 AM »

>Anyway -- any suggestions as to how to go about improving my slow speed copying? I was thinking of simply going back to my morse program and progressively slowing it down until I got to 5/15.


I wouldn't put in that much effort. Just plunk it down to 5 WPM and practice for an hour or two.

If you really have the code at 10-15 WPM you should be able to get used to it at the slower speed pretty quickly.

The problem is that if you've learned the code by memorizing the audio equivalent of "bit maps" in your head, moderate changes in pitch or code speed will completely throw you off. Hopefully that isn't the case here...

I feel your pain. Changes from a Farnsworth-style speed to a "true time" speed throw me for a minute or two as well.

73 and good luck,

-Donald
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006, 09:21:11 AM »

Just go ahead and set it at 5/15, relax, and practice.  You shouldn't need to gradually slow it down.  In a week, you should be ready to go back.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12832




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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2006, 06:42:55 AM »

Are you sure that it was Farnsworth 5/15 and not plain 5WPM? I'm surprised that you had a problem if the characters were really being keyed at 15WPM.

At any rate, just practice a little at the same method & speed that they use for the test and you should be ready to go in short order.
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AE6RF
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2006, 07:14:42 AM »

>Are you sure that it was Farnsworth 5/15 and not plain 5WPM? I'm surprised that you had a problem if the characters were really being keyed at 15WPM.

Yeah, as in my previous comment, I'm right there with you.

This raises two concerns. First, that the VE was using 5 WPM "true time" rather than Farnsworth. While this might be a favor to most people (slower characters to make "dit-dash" counting easier) it would have been a hindrance to you.

Second, you may have memorized the code as "audio bit maps" in your head. How do you do at 10/20 when the pitch is significantly changed?

I just fired up "Just Learn Morse Code" (a really nice code training software package that will do Koch and many other methods) and tried 5 WPM true speed, 5/15 and 10/20 plus 10/20 with 400 and 700 Hz tones.

The 5/5 was REALLY slow, and almost forced me into dit-dah counting because the intra-character spacing seemed like inter-character spacing. But it was still (painfully) copyable.

Tell ya what. Change the tone of your 8/20 or 10/20 and see if that causes you the same sort of problems and get back to us. That will tell us if it was more likely to be 5/5 or you have memorized "bit maps."

Good luck!

Donald
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AD5WN
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 11:07:21 AM »

I'm sure most of the old timers know this story but I'll tell it anyway.

I entered the U S Army's code school at Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1961.  They sat us down at a room full of cubicles where we started out on code at 2 1/2 WPM.  They would give a test every hour and when you passed you moved up to a highte speed table.  We sometimes sat at the cubicle for eight hours a day.  If you stay at it long enough everyone will get it but some learn faster than others.  I started moving on to the higher speed tables in short order.  When I got to 10 WPM I stalled out and was stuck there for two weeks.  I later discovered this is the point where you stop thinking about dot dash sequence and begin to hear the total sound of the letter/number.  Its like when you learn the word "Mike" as a baby.  The child does not think M-I-K-E but thinks of the entire sound.

While in the radio school a number of lads decided they didn't like the code and went to the First Sgt. begging for a transfer.  They said they heard code in their sleep from sitting with the head phones on for so long.  The First Pig said, "Don't worry about a thing boys, we have a nice soft place for you over in the Infantry".  They all returned to class and were now motivated to pass.  13 WPM was passing and most of us went beyond that.  Motivation and determination coupled with hours of study are what is required to pass the code.

If you can understand English and pick out words, you can learn the code.  Each word is different in language just like each character is different in code.  You can do it!
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K7UF
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2006, 07:15:58 AM »

That wall was exactly what I was trying to avoid by using higher speed (Farnsworth)character speeds, with the inter-character speed at lower rates.

The problem seems to be that (for some people - me) at least, that wall operates in reverse too.

The character speed was just too low for me to recognise the characters without trying to pick out the dots and dashes and re-play them in my head -- which is not a good technique (just in case you were wondering :-).
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