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Author Topic: Need help with learning CW.  (Read 21909 times)
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2012, 10:15:47 AM »

If one can learn how to speak, that person can also learn CW at any speed.
If one can't learn CW, that is only a complete lack of interest.

73 Imi HA7AP
Nope, I disagree
1. learn to speak is evolutionary dedicated, over 250 000 years. You are predesignated to speak, how bad your intellect is, you will learn it at age 1 to 3. Look at this forum and you see the proof.

2. Learning to speak at age above 15 is very difficult because the evolutionary dedicated adaptation for learning speech is a limited time span, that time is then  passed, it never comes back.

I know that also proven by practical experience :
a) because Hungarian immigrants in Holland in 1956 were far from  stupid but had a very very hard time to learn Dutch.
b) I see a lot of guys long time not active in ham-radio, coming back after retirement and catching up fast to their PREVIOUS youth CW speed, not above that. Increasing your copy speed when you are over 70 yrs old, takes daily half an hour and the progress is at most 3 wpm per year. Even with modern computer aided methods, and the knowledge how to study. (In my case).We learned it in a few month at age 16, without any aid, just a printed code page and a BCL radio without BFO. and with reasonable speed between 15 and 20 wpm, not that stupid rediculous 5 wpm USA test.

Bob
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 10:40:46 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2012, 10:19:48 AM »

I don't think anyone can learn CW.

But anyone can learn Morse code. Wink

CW is a mode.  "Learning CW" is like "learning RTTY." Tongue

Please don't place haloween cheese faces, I understand written text, not the cheese language, I am not an ape.

I respect your opinion, but nitpicking is not the way to gain or improve that respect.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 10:30:55 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2012, 12:47:30 PM »

WIK:  I just got off the phone with my lawyer.  You wouldn't happen to be one would you?

BLAH: 
Quote
I see a lot of guys long time not active in ham-radio, coming back after retirement and catching up fast to their PREVIOUS youth CW speed, not above that. Increasing your copy speed when you are over 70 yrs old, takes daily half an hour and the progress is at most 3 wpm per year. Even with modern computer aided methods, and the knowledge how to study. (In my case).We learned it in a few month at age 16, without any aid, just a printed code page and a BCL radio without BFO. and with reasonable speed between 15 and 20 wpm, not that stupid rediculous 5 wpm USA test.

With a few exceptions, you're absolutely correct!  Been there, done that, got a T-shirt! 
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LB3KB
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« Reply #78 on: April 19, 2012, 02:00:44 PM »

Correct or not, it's not useful to think about that if you are older.

FWIW, there are PLENTY of seniors using Just Learn Morse Code to learn as well as practice, so there are definitely possibilities regardless of age for people who have a proactive mindset.


73
LB3KB Sigurd
justlearnmorsecode.com
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M0LEP
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« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2012, 03:37:50 AM »

Start out with K and M.  Each time you hear K, say "K" inside your head and hit the K key.  Do the same for M.  How on earth would that not work, and allow you to add the third letter after one or two sessions ?

I've worked through a few. Two characters, no problem. Three, not so good. Four, worse. My problem is with having to type as I listen. I can type words well enough, if not that fast, and I do make quite a bit of use of the backspace key, but if I'm trying to type random characters as I listen to Morse then there isn't time to correct my typing errors, and they add to my Morse-reading errors, making the whole process twice as frustrating. If I write long-hand then, even though I sometimes write somewhat illegibly and have trouble reading back what I've written, I'm not making typing errors and trying to correct them as I listen, so my Morse copy is more accurate, and that makes the learning process less frustrating.

I was able to use "Morse Machine" (aka C2) to learn characters because it waited for me to de-construct the sound, decode it, and then find the correct key on the keyboard; Morse character speed, 20, 25, even 30 wpm, but effective speed more like 3 or 4 wpm. That kind of learning is, however, pretty much useless on-air.

The main reason I want to learn Morse is for use outdoors, away from keyboards and computers. Ideally I need to learn to head-copy, but written copy is at least practical outdoors. I'll use a computer where necessary for learning, but in a "listen and write, then type afterwards" way or a "read and listen" way, but not a "listen and type" way.

73, Rick
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LB3KB
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« Reply #80 on: April 20, 2012, 07:54:45 AM »

You're touching the obvious there, Rick.  Don't correct mistakes.  Whenever you become aware of a mistake, forget about it by focusing on what you're hearing and move on.

That is where your focus should be anyway.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #81 on: April 20, 2012, 09:23:38 AM »

You're touching the obvious there, Rick.  Don't correct mistakes.  Whenever you become aware of a mistake, forget about it by focusing on what you're hearing and move on.

That is where your focus should be anyway.

I agree 100%.

There's no prize for perfect copy, and if there was one it wouldn't be much.

Unless you're copying the phone number of the surgeon who is going to save your life right at the conclusion of that QSO, who cares? Wink

Just focus on understanding what's being sent and when you miss stuff forget about it.
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M0LEP
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« Reply #82 on: April 20, 2012, 10:47:29 AM »

You're touching the obvious there, Rick.  Don't correct mistakes.

Sure, I try not to. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. My main point is that trying to listen and type (rather than listen and write) roughly doubles the number of errors I make. Yes, my typing's not great. Trying to improve my typing while also learning Morse isn't a good idea; it's just adding another layer of frustration...

73, Rick
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #83 on: April 20, 2012, 06:41:07 PM »

On the point of age based learning slowdown, I have to agree to some extent, but I don't agree that learning anything at any age is impossible.
My maximum morse speed when I became inactive was about 32WPM.
Fourty years later, after training myself for about a year I am reading close to 50WPM, and am entirely comfortable at 45WPM.
As regards languages, I knew two (English and German) as a youngster, but as a middle aged adult taught myself Japanese and Spanish.
My next language to learn is either Russian or Mandarin.
I succeeded through perserverence and the will to succeed, two attributes which will help anyone accomplish morse proficiency.

The human brain starts off as a baby with twice the number of neurons which will eventually exist as an adult.
In the next five years or so, there is a sculpting process taking place, which will mold the brain into an efficient mechanism for dealing
with the environment that particular individuals find themselves within.

Neurons are dropped as they are no longer needed in the same way that a sculptor starts with a block of stone, and chips away bits
to finally reveal the statue within.
The adult human brain is setup with about the number of neurons it will have for life, perhaps falling by 10 percent at age 90.

But the story is far more complex and sophisticated than simply the number of brain cells (neurons).
Einstein for example had about the average number of neurons in his brain, but it was discovered that the number of interconnections
between those neurons was above average.

The brain is very plastic in that it makes new interconnections all the time, and allows unused ones to slowly break.
These interconnections are what gives the brain its power, and mean (excepting disease), you can learn just as well at 80 as you
could at 30 years of age.

What hobbles most people is their worldview and self view.
Western societies tend to devalue older people, since they are now no longer reproducing or "giving value" to the workforce.
If you are immersed in this toxic view, and are older, you will attribute every forgotten thing to "age" and forget that you were
also losing your car key when you were thirty.

It is sad to see some posters attributing age to lack of learning ability, since this is simply not true.
We must all guard our minds diligently, to avoid fifth columnists invading them, and telling us what we can or cannot do or learn.

73s
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 07:14:36 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #84 on: April 20, 2012, 09:25:17 PM »

STAYVERTICAL:

Quote
It is sad to see some posters attributing age to lack of learning ability, since this is simply not true.
We must all guard our minds diligently, to avoid fifth columnists invading them, and telling us what we can or cannot do or learn.


You was doing fine until you made this statement!  While I will agree that we shouldn't let someone else tell us that what we can and can't learn or that we should simply forget learning or learning something new.... which I don't think is the case on any post here.....
it is a proven fact that as one grows older the more difficult it is to learn!  And the reason being the fewer neuron connections you mention. 

I also think there is a psycological reason that older people can't learn new things easy. It is because there is less motivation.  This could be caused by health problems or simply not being able to answer the question, "why?"

An active mind is a good defense against "oldtimers" disease.  An active mind is also a good defense against bad health to a degree.  A man needs something to occupy his mind or it atrophies.
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #85 on: April 20, 2012, 09:46:52 PM »

K8AXW - I was not referring to any of your posts.

I think we agree in principle on the major points, (here comes the but), but I have seen so many older people who simply don't need to be old in mind,
and so many old people who are incredibly young in mind and body.

There was a well known study in which teaching Nuns were studied with regard to illnesses, alzheimers, dementia and so forth.
Genetically they should have been succombing to mental diseases which are traditionally regarded as those caused by old age.
But in fact, they either did not contract these diseases, or they had a much later onset.
This effect measured against a control group of non teaching Nuns implied that the active intellectual life of the teaching Nuns,
who taught till extreme old age, had a very large effect on their physical well being.

I understand that many older people are tired, chronically ill, and lack support both from family and society as a whole.
But I have met 93 year old guys who are as sharp as a tack, not suffering from grumpy old man syndrome and cheery in personality.
I have also met 43 year old guys who act like the classic grumpy old man.

It is not my intention to deny that as one gets older, there is a big adjustment both in physical and mental outlook, but there are
many exceptions out there who refuse to let life's obstacles get on top of them.

Paradoxically, some of the most cheerful people I have met have had the worst diseases.
I suspect these people have realized how wonderful life really is - and don't waste a minute of what precious time they have left.

We could all learn something from these people.

73s
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 09:58:08 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
VK2FAK
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« Reply #86 on: April 21, 2012, 03:22:00 AM »

Hi all...

Well after that bit of excitement.....has anyone come across the problem of having trouble sending a combination of letters or numbers or the such...

I have just had some dinner and now sitting here doing some repetitive send practice.......I have trouble with the combination........say a few Dah's   followed by a couple of dits to start the next letter......for example......sending my call......the 2F is giving me hell.....it sounds jerky and sometimes the hand just misses.......same applies to say   "OF".....its like the hand gets used to the DAH's and then DIT's just messes it up...lol

I really don't want to have to change States just to get rid of the 2 from the callsign...lol

Oh...both the 2 and F can be sent easy enough by themselves or with other letters..

John
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #87 on: April 21, 2012, 05:49:01 AM »

Hi John,

I have had the problem you mention (and still do sometimes).
It happens to me particularly on double letters especially PP LL etc.
My solution is to send the letter combination where the error happens repeatedly and by itself (LL PP ...) until it is
absorbed by the brain-hand section of my brain.

Also, if necessary, reduce speed and just send 2F until you get over the block.
I also used to have trouble with the letter C for some reason when I was starting to send after a long absence.
This was also a problem since I have a C in my call as well as CQ.

I am sure some of the other guys with more experience in correcting sending blocks will have some more advice,
but this works for me.

I would also aim for perfect morse first, even if sending speed suffers - each practice session will give you a benefit,
and like an air hammer may not appear to break the rock, until it finally splits.
The compliment I most appreciate on the air is to have the guy on the other end say " I thought you were using a keyer"
when I am on the hand key.

I hope you don't have to move qth to get over the problem (hi),


Good luck and 73s
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 05:51:50 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #88 on: April 21, 2012, 09:19:29 AM »

STAYVERITCAL:
Quote
I think we agree in principle on the major points, (here comes the but), but I have seen so many older people who simply don't need to be old in mind,
and so many old people who are incredibly young in mind and body. (ETC, ETC.)

I agree with your post 100%!  Very well written.

John:  On the problem you're having.... I've experienced this many times and after some diligent analysis, I concluded that my mind was having a difficult time going from a number to a letter with the end of the number elements different than the beginning of the letter element.  This continues to show up when I try to send the combination TH7DX (my antenna).  My solution was to deliberately extend the normal space between the H and 7.  Not necessarily a character space but simply a longer space. 

Since we send a receive almost unconsciously, it becomes necessary deliberately focus on this troublesome combination.

On the receive end it should be hardly noticeable.  Try this. 
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #89 on: April 21, 2012, 09:47:43 AM »

Sure,

I was going to learn Iambic B, because my 2-tube elbug build 57 yrs ago was left dots and right dashes, and that's it. Why iambic-B and not A, because K7QO wrote an article about it, how to do it. http://www.morsecode.nl/iambic.PDF Looks a correct method, and it is,  except that he urges you to keep always your fingers in touch with the peddles, he argues it but he argues wrong, due a limited model.

Look at HST champion guys, they are far away from his advice.

OK, I had problems with the L, and when I sent fast "quick" in the fox, the QU combination  gives problems. They are indeed solved when you deliberately lengthen the letter space.

However: Nowadays guys have receivers with Morse decoders K3 and the like, and those insert a space when the letter space is more than 4 or 5 dits. So be careful and watch your own transmission on a decoder, hopefully you don't become ashamed.

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