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Author Topic: tips for learning CW  (Read 1614 times)
KB9YTQ
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Posts: 21




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« on: September 09, 2002, 09:33:29 PM »

I'm trying to learn CW for my 5 WPM test.  Now I know, you older hams think that's too easy. Well, do you have any tips for learning the code without tapes and while trying to master French at the same time?  I'd appreciate your help.
73's,
KB9YTQ
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K1ZC
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2002, 09:38:17 AM »

I am not sure I can help you with the French, but I have a few suggestions on the code.

For most folks, receiving is the tough part.  If you can copy at 5 WPM then you will probably have no problem sending at 5 WPM which is why they no longer have a sending test.  The only way to learn how to receive is to listen, and for that you need a practice tool (computer software, tapes, etc.) or a patient Elmer that will teach you.  While the code test is at 5 WPM, the characters come at you at 13 WPM with Farnsworth spacing between the characters to give you a little extra time to recognize them.  Learn the code a bit FASTER than 5 WPM (maybe 8 WPM) and the test will be easier.

I prefer the computer programs that generate random sequences because students tend to memorize the tapes.  There are lots of good programs out there; a complete list is available at www.ac6v.com.  Each program has a different style, some will work better for you than others.  Download five or six and see which one fits YOUR learning style the best.

Then practice, practice, practice.  If you dedicate just a few minutes a day (20 minutes or so) and do it every day, you will be able to pass your test in a month or so.  Three days at 20 minutes is much more useful than one day at 60 minutes.  Like French, you will make rapid progress some days and other days it will all sound like noise in the headphones.  Ignore the bad days and keep going; you will get it eventually.  
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2002, 12:46:35 PM »

There's nothing as good as interactive study, if possible.  Interactive in this case means having someone else studying with you, so you can send code to each other (using hand keys and oscillators, or whatever) and correct each other's mistakes.

In my experience of 25+ years teaching code classes, two students who participate in interactive study for 30 minutes daily can accurately send and receive code at 5 wpm within 3-4 days.  Either of the same two students individually practicing by just "listening" to code often can't get there in even 3-4 weeks.  The difference with interactivity is enormous.

If possible, find a friend who's also interested in obtaining a ham license and work together.

P.S. - Interactive study works better for French, too, n'est pas?  Bon chance!

WB2WIK/6
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PA5LS
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2002, 02:17:26 PM »

Hello Mark,

try to do something EVERY day. It depends on your daily schedule, try to fit it in before or after something you usually do at the same time, such as diner. KEEP ON GOING, even if you can't copy anything, it will come back after a day or so. Don't try keying until your quite happy -be honest to yourself- at 5 wpm. If you work with a pc, let someone else type your lessons.

Good luck,
73'Leo.
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NEW2HAM
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Posts: 3


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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2002, 04:33:10 PM »

I'm also starting to learn Code and I have been told to practice by soooo many HAMS.  I have also had 2 free downloads pointed out to me that seem to work pretty well.

"NU MORSE" is one and "Koch CW Trainer" is the other.  Now I just started with the Koch CW Trainer, so I haven't got it all figured out, BUT it gives you code speed options, noise options, and even signal strength options.  You start with 2 letter and when you can copy at 90% accuracy, move to 3 letters, etc...

Nu Morse is pretty good as well.  You can actually type in the letters you want to hear, and go through drills and learn from pre-programmed "courses" built into the program.

Both are FREE, but Nu Morse requests you send money if you like it.  And there are not lock outs if you don't pay, so use it and learn code. The free download is in the section named, "Just Curious?"


Nu-Morse - http://www.nu-ware.com/NuMorseP/nmpdload.htm

Koch CW Trainer - http://www.g4fon.co.uk/

Good luck to everyone...

73,
kd7srq
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N9XNJ
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2002, 01:05:12 PM »

I know you said no tapes, but the Code Quick 2000 program is, in my opinion, the best there is.  Having been an educator for 28 years, I can tell you that this program applies the best practices we know from educational research to learning the code.  Check it out at www.cq2k.com.

73
N9XNJ
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KG4USI
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2002, 10:32:29 AM »

KB9YTQ, I want to thank you posting this question and I also want to thank everyone who responded.

I had thought I'd be content with operating under my Tech ticket longer but learning CW looks like the best thing for me at this point and I'm checking into the various ways to go about it.

I've heard of the Koch method and folks have recommended the Gordon West tapes (which I'd like to find a CD version of).

Important points I'm picking up so far are (1) Find a method that suits the individual; (2) Try to work with a friend; (3) Keep at it.

Where would be the best place (freq.) to go to "listen" to active CW?

73s

KG4USI
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K4NR
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Posts: 32


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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2002, 09:34:30 AM »

KG4USI

Try listening in the Novice / Tech subbands on 40 and 80 meters or on the upper ends of the General portion of the bands.

Once you pass Element 1, get on the air and make QSOs.  Making QSOs (interactive as WIK pointed out) is the best way to learn  / improve your Morse skills.

If you really want to get the speed up, play around in a few CW contests--your Morse will be better after one weekend.

GL es 73 de Tom, K4NR/5
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K6SDW
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Posts: 70




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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2002, 01:18:35 PM »

Practice, practice.....and practice!!

Be listening fer ya...73 /k6sdw
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KG4USI
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2002, 11:31:45 AM »

Thanks Tom.

73s

KG4USI
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2002, 05:20:44 PM »

Also do not be discourage if it takes longer than you think to get it down.  Yeah some people get it in a week but that is NOT typical.  According to the book, "Morse Code, The Essential Language",  the average person will need 30 hours of study and practice.  Thus a typical bell curve distribution would mean that while some can get it in half the time or even less, others will take twice as long.

The key is short, daily or almost daily sessions.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9908




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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2002, 07:20:59 PM »

go to  http://www.g4fon.co.uk/  and down load his free  soft ware.  there is also a program there you can use to type in on the computer and it scores for you too.  this is the koch method. you start with 2 characters at 20 wpm, thenlisten and copy for 5 minutes.  when you get 90% on the two, add one letter and go again.  when you have all of the 46 numbers, prosigns and letters learned, you know code at 20 wpm, which is useful, and you can pass the 5 wpm test in your sleep..  Ray has made this a great program  73  tom N6AJR
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N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9908




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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2002, 07:22:48 PM »

go to  http://www.g4fon.co.uk/  and down load his free  soft ware.  there is also a program there you can use to type in on the computer and it scores for you too.  this is the koch method. you start with 2 characters at 20 wpm, thenlisten and copy for 5 minutes.  when you get 90% on the two, add one letter and go again.  when you have all of the 46 numbers, prosigns and letters learned, you know code at 20 wpm, which is useful, and you can pass the 5 wpm test in your sleep..  Ray has made this a great program  73  tom N6AJR
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 123



« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2002, 04:26:48 PM »

this is a test. pls ignore

Mike N2MG
webmaster
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 123



« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2002, 04:29:22 PM »

sorry for the trouble...another test
Mike N2MG
webmaster
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