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Author Topic: Learning to send CW  (Read 1145 times)
KB1HJW
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Posts: 70




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« on: November 14, 2001, 02:01:54 PM »

I am in the middle of studying for my Tech+, and can receive pretty accurately at 3.5wpm, so I'm about half way there. I started thinking that there is no way I could send at that rate. I seem to be able to recognize code by the sounds, but I really need a way to practice sending. Is there a computer program (I'm using CodeQuick to learn) that you can key in code (either through the keyboard, or an external key) and it translates to type so you can see your accuracy and speed?
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KC0IOX
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2001, 04:13:37 PM »

Good question.  Yes, I do this quite a bit.  I use CW Get, and run a line from the speaker out jack in my rig to the line in jack on my computer.  From that, I turn on the rig to where it cannot transmit(turning the break-in mode OFF); I then turn the RF gain down, and have at it.  The computer picks up everything I send like it's recieving it.  On a keyer, it's easy; but on the straight key, it's actually very, very telling to see what the computer "sees" in your fist.  Good luck on your code practice!  You sound like you are doing fine!  73
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K6RAS
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Posts: 78




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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2001, 06:56:06 PM »

Congratulations on your decision to work toward quality CW.  CWGet, or a similar software program, can really help you develop a "fist" to be proud of.  If you tune across the CW portions of the various bands today you will often find a CW operator who, while quite proficient in speed, has a "swing" to his/her sending style.  For example, "Y" (dah-dit-dah-dah) may sound like a long "T" followed by a "W"  (daaaaah-dit-dah-dah)   -  that's poor morse.  Those operators need some of the practice that you're already recognizing will help.
Best of luck.......  Go get 'em
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KB0LUR
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2001, 01:56:27 AM »

Check out:

http://www.seanet.com/~harrypy/MorseMail/

You can 'send' with it using your mouse but it will also recognize a key connected to your mouse (serial/PS2/USB) or joystick port.

Other than that, it's a pretty cool program that allows you to swap 'morse mail' with other users, 'receive' any text of your choosing, or connect to other morsemail users through the morsemail 'repeater'.  I don't think it has a Farnsworth setting but then I haven't bothered to look.  Very readable code - a lot like having a personal W1AW.

Good luck on the code.  It was hard work for me but having the desire to get better makes a lot of difference.

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W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2001, 06:31:13 PM »

Here is my suggestion, and it is based on fifty years experience as a CW op. Take your key and put it in a closet or let a friend hold it until you have reached your target receiving speed, that is, continuosly with no errors.

Then you can get your key. You will find that you will be able to send good CW at your target speed without practice.

You cannot learn to send properly before you can receive!!!!! When you finally send the code, it will tend to sound like the receiving tapes that you studied. If you start with the key too early, it will sound like QLF (left-foot keying.)
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N5JOB
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2001, 02:10:57 PM »

I learned CW a long time ago.  There were no such things as personal computers at the time.

A good, simple way to learn to send good CW is to send along with a tape.  If you've copied the code, just rewind the tape and send with a practice oscillator along with the tape as you look at the copy.

I am sure you could do this by using your computer to play back CW for you.

I'm sure there are lots of other ways, and this is just one suggestion.  I thing the purpose of CW is for communications not requiring "high tech" gear.  But - to each his own!
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KD5QPF
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2001, 10:46:29 AM »

A suggestion: I'm in the process of re-learning code (passed Novice in early 80's). Previously I learned code at the required 5 WPM to pass the test. At that speed it was easy to fall into the trap of listening to each dit/dah and then 'translating' each dit/dah into the character. The result was it was VERY difficult to increase my speed later because I found I couldn't NOT listen for each dit/dah.

This time I'm approaching it differently. I'm using (IMHO) a very good PC based code program (NuMorse32) to learn/listen to code at 18-20 WPM but SPACED for 7 WPM. That way I learn the sound (or more accurately, the 'rhythm') of the character but not at such a 'full bore' speed that it's incomprehensible at this point. Once I get the 'sounds' imbedded in my brain I'll decrease the spacing. Hopefully this will enable me to just skip any potential future speed plateaus.

On a side note just for fun/giggles one night I decreased the speed to an actual 5 WPM and good grief, I felt like could almost take a nap waiting for the next character Wink

I hear (and agree) pre-recorded tapes/CD's are not the best way to learn code because you tend to memorize the tapes/CD and thus can anticipate the next character.  This time around I chose a PC based program (NuMorse) because it is structured but random and can also generate random callsigns and short/med/long QSO's. While actual listening is best, at least NuMorse allows you to specify characters that always appear in the generated QSO (prosigns, punctuation, etc.) which may/may not be present in actual QSO's.

Long live CW!
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KE6TNN
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2002, 02:39:47 PM »

I found that after a while I knew which character was going to be sent next on the practice tapes, but with NuMorse, my learning has become much more efficient.  It helped a lot to be able to listen to a particularly troublesome character on demand, instead of having to rewind a tape.
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