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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Absolute CW Beginner's Questions  (Read 6631 times)

Posts: 5688

« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2007, 11:25:37 AM »

Learning to copy before sending is indeed the faster approach.  

Doesn't develop bad habits on the key, which are often twice as hard to get rid of after they are ingrained in the muscle memory.  

Don't ignore the AERNT character learning method, it has been proven time and again to get entire classes from zero to copying all characters at 5wpm in one week's time with fulltime classes.  Part time, give it two weeks, maybe three at most, depends upon you.  


Posts: 18

« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2007, 05:43:36 PM »

Thank you to everyone who replied, it's great to get so much support!
It seems that almost everyone suggested G4FON, and after taking a look at it I must say that it's a great place to learn code.  Also, spending 10-20 minutes at a time several times a day seems to be the recommendation as well, so I'm going to schedule myself this time daily.
Again, thanks for your help.


Posts: 209

« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2007, 04:38:00 AM »

Send me an e-mail if you want to schedule a QSO.
I can slow down to help a new guy get started.

Posts: 2855

« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2007, 05:53:08 AM »

> so I'm going to schedule myself this time daily.

You'll succeed if you do that.  Even if you have to cut a session short, for some pressing problem, do _something_ everyday and then go back to your schedule.

This is a memory exercise, pure and simple.  Get after it every day and the next thing you know, you'll be experiencing a very interesting world.

Posts: 37

« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2007, 11:48:25 AM »

When I was learning code (still am)  I used the G4FON program.  What I did was to set the speed one notch above what I could easily copy.  When I started to copy those letters at that speed I would add a few more letters.  When I got good at that then I would bump up the speed a notch.  When that all went well then I would add a few more letters.  At this point in time I can copy all the letters, numbers and characters at 13wpm.  Now the speed I receive isn't so important to me.  What is important is that I copy the characters as sounds and not the dits and dahs.  it's like the difference in reading letters vs. words.  The next thing I want to do is to learn the common words/Q signals as phrases instead of their individual characters.

Posts: 103

« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2007, 04:06:59 PM »

I loaded G4FON on my computer at work and practiced over my lunch hour every day.  I used headphones to avoid anoying my co-workers (a must!) and practiced for 20-30 minutes of my hour lunch.

This may not work for everyone; some employers won't allow unauthorized software to be installed (no matter how innocuous it may be).  Others may not have computer access at work.  But for those who can, your lunch break is a great time to practice.

Scott kc9hoz

Posts: 1

« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2007, 11:16:23 AM »

I have been trying to find more information on the "AERNT" method for learning CW characters, but I am having a hard time.

A search through a few major search engines gives me useless results, most related to people misspelling the contraction for "are not." I have tried numerous different phrasings and mixtures of terms with no luck.

Any assistance as to locations of further information on this method would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Posts: 5688

« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2007, 06:06:24 PM »

>>by KI4WNO on September 18, 2007  
I have been trying to find more information on the "AERNT" method for learning CW characters, but I am having a hard time.  <<

As I mentioned earlier, the good old Morse Academy trainer uses the AERNT US Military methodology in its training system software:

Pay attention to what you have to do to get the old software to run under XP -- it is easy and it works.

Another slightly different naming convention for the same process is sometimes called, "ARANT" although I see google doesn't bring up much web information on that one, either, but the first return does mention Morse Code.  

This may be something that is going to be lost to the ages, a pity, for the Armed Forces turned many a young man and woman into pro level CW ops or receiver copiers in very short time with the method.  USAF receiving stations in EU during the Cold War, many copied the Russian's CW 24/7 using typewriters, character for character -- and most had no idea what was being said, paper passed to translators.  None other than the famous Country Western songwriter and singer, Johnny Cash was a USAF CW copier during the cold war, relating how he copied the first airborn CW messages from Russian aircrewman about the first Soviet atomic bomb test, remarking that the airman had a straight key, presumably strapped to his leg and sent "machine like code" to describe what he witnessed for his masters.  

But I digress.  AERNT is simply a method of learning the code by starting with the simplest and shortest characters first and their didah inverse.  Then add the next simplest in order of character length and keeping the 5 character grouping until you have all the alphabet, numerals and base punctuation memorized.  

First day in the military, you were taught the AERNT and then proceeded to immediately copy groups of same on the same day.  Next day, next 5 character group taught same way, with end of day being 10 character copy sessions from paper tape code machine, inclusive of yesterday's 5 character group, and so on.  

If you are wanting to learn to copy in the fastest way I know about, downloading and using Morse Academy from the beginning, starting with the first 5 characters of AERNT and learning to hear them and type them into the software is like a computer game.  A week or two of daily drill and fun is all it takes.  

You will find the rest of the character strings in proper order once you start Morse Academy up.  


Posts: 5688

« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 06:14:20 PM »

Just noticed that you can also just hit that Morse Academy link I cited and choose to just download the .pdf manual for the program, under the heading of "Learning Menu" is a printout of the AERNT character order from 1 (A) to 43 (0).  


Posts: 3

« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2007, 06:47:17 PM »

Hi Bill,
   I've been involved with CW since I got my ticket back in 1961. I taught  the entire code to myself in 2 days (because I WANTED to learn it) , studied the novice theory, and then passed my 5 wpm test and received my ticket. I am currently an extra and at my peak , could copy between 30 & 35 WPM on a mill (typewriter), thanks to my training while attending radioman school in the Navy.  
   This is what I recommend. Google Ameco (Electronics). They are located in Mineola, LI, NY. They publish a code book (AM-401).  It costs $3.00. This was the book that I used to learn the code. It breaks up the codes into groups of 5 different letters, starting with the letters E, T, A, N, I . (dit (E)/dah(T) /dit dah(A)/dah dit (N) /dit dit (I).) You have to memorize each group and them move on to the next group. The characters sounds will use the words dit and dah, and NOT dot and dash. You will get confused in the beginning, which is normal.  There is no short cut.  No magic tricks. Just practice and repetition. You just have to stick with it and not get discouraged.
  Stay away from bugs, electronic keyers, iambic keys, paddles, etc. for now. They are both unnecessary and too complicated for a beginning code student to use.In my opinion, these are high speed devices that should be used by people who are capable of copying around 16 WPM or more AND cannot send that speed with a straight key. They are a blessing when used correctly by a skilled operator.  
   Go out and buy the least expensive code practice oscilator and the least expensive straight key. After you have memorized the first group of letters, practice by sending the letters. When you feel confident, move on the the 2nd group, 3rd group, 4th group, etc. Eventually you will learn all of the letters , numbers (they're VERY easy,) and punctuation marks. Just keep memorizing and practicing.
   If you REALLY have the desire and WANT to learn CW, then you will do it.  There is no short cut or magic pill.
   If you have any other questions, just post your reply and I will receive notification. 73's, Larry

Posts: 567


« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2007, 02:25:45 PM »

i'm second on that too

kc9hoz wrote:
I highly recommend G4FON's Koch method training software (google G4FON).  

That how i learn too !!!



Posts: 1842


« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2007, 05:07:51 AM »

Do not use a straight key.  Waste of time.  The only thing it will "teach" you is to wish you started with a paddle.  Use the keyer in your rig or buy a cheap one from K1EL.  For a paddle I suggest a Begali simplex mono.  Your aim is to get to 20 wpm as quickly as possible.  At that speed and above QSO's become conversations.  Much below they become painful.

73  W9OY

Posts: 107

« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2007, 04:33:21 PM »

I could have written this same question.  I was learning the code had made some progress then the FCC dropped the requirement and I upgraded with just an easy 35 question test.  Now I want to get back to learning Morse Code  

I spend some time a few days a week in the gym.  I have an iPod.  I'm thinking that I could use the time even more productively if I put something on the ipOd that would help learn code.   Yes I know the computer programs work but I can't use a computer while I'm in the gym, mowing the grass or whatever.

So... What to load into the iPod?  Possibly I can capture the audio from one of the computer programs?
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