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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: When copying fast do you tune out the message?  (Read 4080 times)

Posts: 2005


« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2005, 08:43:00 AM »

SAIL_AWAY wrote, "...i have a much easier time just leaning back in the chair and listening to the sounds..."

Congratulations! You have just discovered the 'secret' to copying high speed CW. Unfortunately, now we have to kill you!  

Posts: 491

« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2005, 10:34:06 AM »

Sail Away, you sure have the right idea on learning code.  I wish I could have started the way you are.  I started back in the "good old days" when I was taught to learn code at 5 wpm, then to re-learn it at 13wpm, then to re-re-learn it again at 20wpm.  Now that I am finally interested in code and trying to learn it for real this time, it is difficult to forget to hear "di-dah-dah" (counting).  I find myself trying to hear the dits 'n dahs at 20wpm instead of just the "sound".  

I am currently working at the 20/17wpm range with some periods at 25/18wpm.  I make a couple of runs at 25/18wpm, then 20/17wpm sounds slow.  I do wish G4FON had the option you mentioned of setting the "word" speed to 20 or 30wpm, and the spaces between the words long enought to give the overall of a much less speed.

Hang in there and let us know how it goes,

73 de Ken H>

Posts: 21764

« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2005, 03:30:41 PM »

I encourage anybody with a license and HF privileges and an interest in increasing their code proficiency to plan to spend one full, dedicated weekend to working a CW contest.  Including those who don't care about contesting, and don't want to enter.

Download some freeware for contest automation, and install it.  Use it. Even if your rig does not support computerized operation, use it anyway, because all rigs support a key line for transmitting and that's really all you need: That, some software, and a sound card which you already have.

The contest will allow you to "send your contest exchange" at the touch of a keyboard button, so you needn't worry about screwing it all up.  But, you'll still have to tune around and find stations, identify them by copying their call sign, and be able to copy the contest exchange they send to you.  Don't worry if you screw that up, especially if you don't plan to enter the contest, anyway.  It's all for practice.

Make contacts by calling people.  They will hear you, and they will reply.  Serious CW contesters are very good operators, and they will pull your S2 signal out of the S9 QRM level, don't worry about it.

By the end of the contest, you'll have made a couple of hundred contacts, probably increased your DXCC and WAZ totals, and you'll be copying 30-35 wpm solidly.  In two days.  Trust me, it works.  It virtually never fails.  But you have to be willing to dedicate the two days.


Posts: 185

« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2005, 12:30:22 PM »

I generally no longer listen to individual characters when doing CW. I'm copying word sounds instead of the single characters and I'm doing it in my head. I'll write down name, call, and other personal info and then just listen for the words. Writing down the whole QSO when communicating with higher speeds isn't possible for me as the time for writing down stuff puts me behind. I can, on a good day, copy about 25wpm by ear. Maybe a little faster than that, but more than 25wpm requires concentration, and forget about writing anything down.

Amd, yes, practice, practice, practice...


Posts: 3

« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2005, 08:46:51 AM »

Although a longtime ham, I'm just getting serious about cw.  After many years off the air until recently, my skills were a bit lacking.

What I've done is copy a bunch of the W1AW practice runs from the website, converted the mp3 files to wav format and burned cds to listen to in the car.

You have no choice but to copy in your head when you're driving.  I've been using the 15wpm through 40wpm files.  I'm getting pretty good with 15&20 wpm and doing ok with 25 &30.  I pick out a bit here and there at 35 but 40wpm is just a blur.

I now recognize many short,common words but still have trouble constructing longer words in my head.  I often lose it after six or seven letters.  But I've been improving and it is painless practice.

Listening to cw in the car is one thing but how about sending?  My first cw qso when I got back on the air recently was with a mobile station.  I thought he must be the passenger but  he was the driver.  I didn't believe it but his qrz entry described how he has his J38 paddle mounted next to his seat so he can enjoy cw while driving!  I guess it's not much different than talking on your ht or cell phone but the idea did blow me away.

Posts: 29

« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2005, 06:32:37 AM »

"Interestingly I bumped the speed up to 20 wpm characters with a net of 15 WPM and it seemed to get easier. The characters were about as easy to recognize, but there was just a little bit more time to react after the end of the character."

I'm finding this too, as I get into the code - the 15wpm spaced for 5wpm of the standard tapes and test I find it too easy to get into to the "count the . and -" mode - put it up at 20wpm (or MORE) spaced at 5wpm (or slightly more) and suddenly they become - characters!!! and my copy improves dramatically (and I find the same thing with my sending on the keyer believe it or not - the keyer being faster improves my code - and yes, this is sending it to CW get to see what I'm really sending)

I'm actually thinking that we may be doing a disservice to folks teaching/testing them at 15/5wpm, and making the code harder than it needs to be.  Maybe 20/5 or even 25/5 would give better results?
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