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Author Topic: Android: learn fast CW with Koch method  (Read 26025 times)
IZ2UUF
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« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2012, 12:08:41 AM »

I think PA0BLAH is just trying to be realistic. Look at the various threads in this forum for a large Koch method training website  http://lcwo.net/forum/showall   . The amount of hardship and abject failure is staggering.

Hello Tom.

Learning CW, especially when you are not young anymore, is indeed an hard task. It is one of those goals that require a full and continuous commitment, like playing piano or loosing 50 pounds! :-)
Many people don't have the powerwill needed to withstand all the setbacks and apparent no-progress that this kind of exercises give.
If you keep on exercising, your reflexes will build undoubtedly and you'll start copying CW. The question is: will you keep on exercising enough?
The hard part of a learning method is to keep the trainees involved.

Fundamentally, I don't disagree with PA0BLAH, but I see it in another way: before starting an activity like this, I would reccoment people to self-evaluate their powerwill and decide whether it is a task they can sustain long enough or not. Because with these methods, if you stop at 60%, it doesn't mean that you can handle 6 QSO out of 10. If you stop at 60%, you wasted your time.
I see many people undergoing commitments that I know for sure that there is no way they'll sustain the effort till the end. How many cyclettes, guitars or other "definitive" tools are sold to people that, after a few tries, live them dusting in their living room?

I'm pretty sure the Koch method works, but at the same time I do expect a great number of failures due to the reasons above.

Bye, Davide
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Davide IZ2UUF - FISTS #16285 - SKCC #9531 - JN45nk
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2012, 03:09:57 AM »



Learning CW, especially when you are not young anymore, is indeed an hard task. It is one of those goals that require a full and continuous commitment, like playing piano or loosing 50 pounds! :-)
Many people don't have the powerwill needed to withstand all the setbacks and apparent no-progress that this kind of exercises give.
If you keep on exercising, your reflexes will build undoubtedly and you'll start copying CW. The question is: will you keep on exercising enough?
The hard part of a learning method is to keep the trainees involved.



Wise words.
When somebody says you can learn it in thee months, I know that that is possible. But don't make people believe that is a realistic estimate.

G3TMV is exercising daily, not once a day but often on www.lcwo.net , since May 2010, longer than 2 years already,  about half way (26 characters) now,
so another 2 years to go. He will make it when staying alive, I am sure, just as some other younger guys. PA1FOX did it, and is now active with his cootie key. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29DcBW1XolY Guys with will power. They earn really the congrats they deserve by finishing what they planned to do.

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AB9NZ
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« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2012, 09:41:51 AM »

Quote
Learning CW, especially when you are not young anymore, is indeed an hard task.
  Let me share my experience. I was 46 when I downloaded the Koch software. After the first two letters I became very frustrated and was making almost no progress. I met a guy named Barney from Maine while talking on Echolink. He suggested Code Quick. During a six month period in my life when I gutted my house out to the studs, both my parents and my father in law died, and I had my two little kids running around, I used the Code Quick program. Learning each new character was fun and rewarding. After six months I was copying W1AW at 13 wpm, and had my first qso, a half hour rag chew at 10 words per minute. I need to mention that I have ZERO talent for music and I'm not much of a math guy so the credit really needs to go to the method, not me. In my experience the sound-a-likes don't cripple your copy speed, actually they become truncated to allow phonic copy as outlined by Paul, N6EV in his important piece of work "Head Copy, An Alternate Method: Phonic Copy" http://www.skccgroup.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=898 . This is the way I head copy at 30wpm. To be honest I don't understand the concept of hearing whole words when the code is streaming to you, with phonic copy the Morse almost becomes like speech. I think this would be a good topic for another thread
  For people that don't find success with Koch I would love to see a free mnemonic program developed that eliminates some of the flaws in Code Quick, but really the flaws aren't that bad, and it isn't all that expensive, in fact it's the best money I've ever spent.
   Very best of 73 de Tom, AB9NZ
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N3PDT
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« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2012, 02:30:15 PM »

I learned at age 52. Took a couple attempts, and finally packing my mic away before I got rolling. Took about 6 months. If I had just tossed the mic when I first started, it would have been closer to 2 or 3 months.

Everyone has slightly different learning styles, so I won't say what worked for me is what's best for you. Already lots of advice for that in this thread already. I used a combo of G4FON, on air listening practice, and a lot of sending practice to a code reader. That got me to where I was brave enough to find where the slow guys go (7.114-ish) and start making contacts. My progress increased rapidly with real life QSOs.

That was a little over two years ago and I've hit a couple plateaus along the way. I still struggle with 20wpm and up, but am pushing myself to get faster. I've found a LOT of fun to be had at 10-15wpm.
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AB9NZ
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« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2012, 05:10:38 PM »

   
Quote
I've found a LOT of fun to be had at 10-15wpm.
   Great to see a new guy.You bet Doug, CW is really a blast. 
    Guys, consider that Davide not only authored this new android program for the ham community, but also that his posts here are written in a second (or perhaps even third) language, and then look at Davide in the mountains -  http://xml.qrz.com/db/IZ2UUF . This fella is really accomplished.
   73 deTom AB9NZ
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K7KBN
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« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2012, 05:54:26 PM »

As far as using USA call signs to determine how long individuals have been licensed, that's long past.  With "vanity calls" being the way to go, any new ham can hide behind what looks like an old timer's call and ask how to build a dipole.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
TPELLE
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2012, 06:42:02 AM »

Davide, I thought you might like to hear a report of my experience so far with your app, and hope that you might give some advice or offer some suggestions.

First, the app is working perfectly on my Toshiba Thrive tablet, running Android Honeycomb 3.2.1. No issues whatsoever. By way of comparison I also have a similar Windows program installed on my desktop PC at home, as well as on my company-issued notebook PC, but your app on my tablet is the one I choose to use, as the platform is so portable and requires no "hookup" of any sort to use. I took it with me on my last trip (I am a control system engineer/programmer for industrial equipment) and after working 10 or so hours in a hot non-air conditioned building it was nice to go back to my room, stretch out on the bed, fire up your app, and put in 30 minutes of study without having to unbag my notebook PC, hook up the charger, etc.

After two or so weeks of fairly consistent use I am up to Koch Level 5. I am running it at 20 wpm with all other settings "normal" with regards to spacing etc. I've tried learning Morse several times in the past unsuccessfully, but it was always at 5 wpm or so, but running the code faster gives more of a sense of the whole sound of the letter and not the individual dots and dashes.

I am trying hard to not start counting dots and dashes, but instead to hear the entire sound of the word. It seems to be working, as the other evening I tuned in to some live cw activity on the 40 meter band, and though I could not copy anything in its entirety I could pick out individual characters and pick out the "rhythm" of people calling 'CQ'. The letters would just "pop" into my consciousness.

Now here's where I could use some advice :

At 20 wpm I am unable to write down the letters that I hear. But, when I run the app and see each letter appear on the screen my mind starts 'filling in' the Morse Code for that letter. If I refrain from looking at the screen and just listen, my mind 'verbalizes' the letter, but not completely as I 'interrupt' myself to start listening to the next letter. Is this the correct way to use the program in terms of the learning process, or should I be doing it differently? (I recognize that it is difficult to explain, and probably even more difficult to get the concepts across to me, as I have no experience using any other brain than my own, nor do you.)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 06:47:32 AM by TPELLE » Logged
TPELLE
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« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2012, 09:42:24 AM »

One other question: Is it a bad idea to listen to code practice files at this point? I downloaded some of the ARRL 20 wpm code practice sessions from the web and installed them on my iPad and was going to play them through the aux port on my truck radio while I drive back and forth to work.
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N4IAG
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« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2012, 10:56:01 AM »

Tpelle, I just wanted to mention, once you learn the code, there's an iPad app called CWText. It's great for 'on the go' word practice. Well worth the 99ยข imo.
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I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
KK4CPH
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« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2012, 02:48:27 PM »

After two or so weeks of fairly consistent use I am up to Koch Level 5. I am running it at 20 wpm with all other settings "normal" with regards to spacing etc. I've tried learning Morse several times in the past unsuccessfully, but it was always at 5 wpm or so, but running the code faster gives more of a sense of the whole sound of the letter and not the individual dots and dashes.

I am trying hard to not start counting dots and dashes, but instead to hear the entire sound of the word. It seems to be working, as the other evening I tuned in to some live cw activity on the 40 meter band, and though I could not copy anything in its entirety I could pick out individual characters and pick out the "rhythm" of people calling 'CQ'. The letters would just "pop" into my consciousness.

Same here but I'm starting at 15wpm.  It does sound "natural" in a way.  At 5wpm I was counting dits and dahs and getting nowhere so I gave up.  When he came out with this app, the slowest setting was 20wpm.  I tried it but wasn't having much luck after level 4.  It probably doesn't make much sense that another 5wpm slower would make a difference but I guess we all learn differently.   Wink  Right now I'm at level 6.  And I think you're right about the rhythm of the code.  Some letters/characters just stand out, like CQ, ?, /, <BT>. 

This is a great app!!  I've been running it on my droid thru the radio.  Just turn up the volume so loud I can here the code and no background noise.   Cool

Eric
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IZ2UUF
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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2012, 03:49:27 PM »

At 20 wpm I am unable to write down the letters that I hear. But, when I run the app and see each letter appear on the screen my mind starts 'filling in' the Morse Code for that letter. If I refrain from looking at the screen and just listen, my mind 'verbalizes' the letter, but not completely as I 'interrupt' myself to start listening to the next letter. Is this the correct way to use the program in terms of the learning process, or should I be doing it differently? (I recognize that it is difficult to explain, and probably even more difficult to get the concepts across to me, as I have no experience using any other brain than my own, nor do you.)

Hello TPELLE.

I really have no idea on how effective can be to listen to morse while reading it on the screen or while "figurating" letters in your mind.
Besides its effectivity, I personally don't like that approach because:
- cheating is too easy
- there is no written feedback proving the actual effectiveness: verba volant, scripta manent.

So we must find a way to satisfy our set of mostly conflicting requirements, which are:
1) playback speed must high;
2) we must have some time to think of the character we just heard without having the others overrun us;
3) we need a way to be able to write down what we heard even at high speed.

The most effective solution to problem #2 is to find a way to eliminate the need of thinking.
I believe this could be obtained by following a few rules.
Rule #1: never ever count dots and dashes. This slows or even kills the learning process.
Rule #2: do not move to the next letter until recognition of the current set is fully automatic.
Start with two letters and go on until your hand writes down those two letters by itself. Then add the next letter, let't say "R"; you'll see that as soon as this letter appears in the sequence, your brain will jam: however, you know that everytime you get a "jam", it must be an "R".
After enough runs, your brain will have related "dih dah dih" to "R" without you even knowing that it is "dih dah dih".
Instead, if you move to the next letter too early, there will be more than one letter able to jam your automatic recognition: at every jam, the rational part of your brain would have to kick in to count dashes and dots.

Regarding problem #3 (difficoulty to write fast enough), you can gain time by enlarging the delay between letters and/or between words.
I found very effective working with short sequences at high speed followed by a long inter-word space, that can be used to write down the sequence. For this purpose, the Android app has also the ability to produce random "words" of given fixed length (for example, two or three letters).

73 de Davide
IZ2UUF
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 03:52:32 PM by IZ2UUF » Logged

Davide IZ2UUF - FISTS #16285 - SKCC #9531 - JN45nk
AB9NZ
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« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2012, 07:42:11 AM »

Davide, the link in your original post in this thread is dead. Just so people know, the download can still be got to from your web page. I believe your the first creator of a Koch program to actually learn Morse code with it, so I'm very curious how your progress with instant recognition is going. I hope to work you on the air soon. Very best of 73 de Tom, ab9nz
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M0LEP
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« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2012, 02:52:30 PM »

Start with two letters and go on until your hand writes down those two letters by itself. Then add the next letter, let't say "R"; you'll see that as soon as this letter appears in the sequence, your brain will jam: however, you know that everytime you get a "jam", it must be an "R".
After enough runs, your brain will have related "dih dah dih" to "R" without you even knowing that it is "dih dah dih".

Nice theory, which works reasonably well while the number of different characters is small, but the effectiveness drops off as the number of characters increases.
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AB9NZ
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« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2012, 04:18:24 PM »

In a press release for his book "Morse Code: Breaking the Barrier" N1IRZ says
Quote
In 1936, Ludwig Koch, a German psychologist, published the results of extensive research on Morse Code proficiency and showed how he trained students to copy at 12 words per minute in as little as 13.5 hours. That is by far the fastest Morse training program ever published.
the press release gets regurgitated all the time in many forms, but oddly the actual research is nowhere to be found on the web.
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KK4CPH
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« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2012, 02:15:36 PM »

Davide, the link in your original post in this thread is dead. Just so people know, the download can still be got to from your web page. I believe your the first creator of a Koch program to actually learn Morse code with it, so I'm very curious how your progress with instant recognition is going. I hope to work you on the air soon. Very best of 73 de Tom, ab9nz

Try this:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.iz2uuf.cwkoch&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsIm5ldC5pejJ1dWYuY3drb2NoIl0.
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