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Author Topic: Questions  (Read 669 times)
KG4BIB
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Posts: 42




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« on: June 14, 2003, 03:19:48 PM »

I am currently a Tech.... I now hope to get off my butt and upgrade since it's been a few years since I even opened a book I have several questions...

1. Do I have to retake any of the test I already have passed or do I just study for the General test and the MORSE code (which has been my stumbling block)....

2. Any suggestions on best way to get morse code it all sounds the same to me... Anyone else have this problem?

 Thanks
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2003, 05:45:54 PM »

So long as your Technician license is current, you will only have to take the General written and the Morse code test.  The current Morse code requirement is 5wpm regardless of license class.

There are a lot of good computer programs out there.  Super Morse is my favorite but it must be run in a DOS window.  This works fine on some computers but not others.

There is also NuMorse, Codequick, and G4FON.  The latter program incorporates the Koch method.  This approach prevents getting stuck on plateaus.

Don't worry about it all sounding alike.  That's true for everyone when they first begin.

The main thing in learning Morse is to have realistic expectations and a realistic practice schedule.  According to the book "Morse Code, The Essential Language" it will take the average person approximately 30 hours of study and practice to get to a reliable 5wpm speed.  The best approach is to practice every day or nearly every day in small chunks.  i.e. break your practice into several smaller sessions, say 15 minutes each with at least a 15 minute break between sessions.  For most people it is best to do only about 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day.  This way you will get your code in only a month or two.  Also don't try to force yourself to learn something too soon.  Follow the method described for whatever software package you choose to use.

Try not to build a lookup table (i.e. dots/dashes or soundalikes, etc) in your head.  The goal is to immediately relate the letter to the sound with no intermediate step.  If the software you choose has such features, turn them off if at all possible.

It's true that some people do get the code much faster than others but don't be discouraged if it takes you awhile.  Ignore the "whiz kids" who say "Oh, I got it in a week".  They are the exception and not the rule.  Remember there is no penalty for taking the time that you need to learn it.  In the end, those who take longer may actually remember it better.  According to the book "The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy", any ordinary person can get to 25wpm if they follow an appropriate training method.
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K1ZC
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2003, 09:33:42 AM »

N8UZE gave you some good advice.  I spent over two weeks just listening to "E" and "T" and never did get it right.  I was using a software that would not let you move to character 3 until you could copy the first two perfectly.

Finally, I changed software.  I downloaded a bunch of programs and tried them out (I finally settled on NuMorse) and started to make progress, albeit slowly.  Six weeks later, I passed.  Find the one that works for you go for it.  Both NuMorse and G4FON have Koch lessons and if I had to do it all over again, I would learn Koch at 20 WPM.  However, don't listen to me or anybody else about which one is best, find the one that fits your learning style and go with it!!!

Just know that some days your head will really hurt, and you will make ZERO progress.  Other days, you will breeze right through and learn two or three new letters.  Just shake off the bad days and keep at it; it does get easier as you go along.  

I also found that listening to random QSO's helps build confidence.  Once you know about half the material, start listening to messages like those on the test (NuMorse will build random QSO's).  You start to hear / guess words instead of individual letters, and you can then see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2003, 01:22:34 PM »

Ouch whoever designed the software that had used E and T for starters and would let you go beyond until you got those two made a big mistake.  Until you've had some practice, those two are easy to confuse. You need to have letters with a little bit more to them.  G4FON starts with M and N.  It's easier to hear the difference between these than between E and T.  Also the G4FON lets you add letters when you want to whether or not you've met the recommended criteria for moving on and adding letters.
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KD5RPU
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2003, 03:23:26 AM »

I recently passed the CW test.  I downloaded several programs from the internet.  I liked G4FON the best and started out with the character speed at 25wpm and the word spacing at 1/4.  (I started to learn CW about a year ago and had the WPM set at 5 and never got anywhere.)  This made it easy to actually listen to the character as it was too fast to count the dits and dahs.  I practiced whenever I could, usually 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day.  after about five weeks I started going to www.aa9pw.com/radio/morse where you can practice random QSO's.  Once I felt confident I took the test and passed.  

I think the trick is to make up your mind to pass the test, and just do it.  Believe me if I can pass it anyone can.
73's
KD5RPU    
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