I have grown tired of reading about how to learn CW and decided to start actually doing it! I am using the "Just Learn Morse Code" program and I am on my fourth letter after my first session using a 20WPM character speed and a 15WPM spacing.
I get very anxious when going through the exercises, and if I get stuck on a character or doubt my answer, I dwell on it causing me to miss even more characters. I expect the proper thing to do is just to "let go" and not worry about that lost bit.
Does anybody have any alternate suggestions or ideas that might help?
I too am determined I WILL conquer this code thing. I've been using Just Learn Morse Code program also. THANK YOU SIGURD!
I got up to 8 characters at 20 WPM copying by pencil & paper. Lots easier to learn it at 20wpm now, rather than 10wpm, then try to speed up later (after knowing all 40 characters)
Then I came across a forum thread discussing the merits of loosing the pencil & paper, and instead, copy in the head. I've become a convert, because I saw my own inability to comprehend what I was writing in real time. It's like I had an AUTO HAND, that was mindlessly scribbling. I was way to concerned about writing & not comprehending. (pencil hand kinda cramped too)
Isn't comprehending what code is all about? A poster on this forum said he saw himself doing this with a typewriter, also. He, being very accurate, but having NO IDEA WHAT the meaning of the text was that he was actually typing.
I have had to REALLY SLOW down in learning code, to build my mental buffer not only build my letter recognition, but assemble WORDS in my mind WHILE listening to 4, 5, & 6 letter groups (which are actually words). Loosing the pencil and using word groups make it much more fun, and give me the ability to copy ANYWHERE, anytime, while listening to my mp3 player. It seems as though my time expectations have lowered (when I'll be done and on the air), and my code learning has overall drastically slowed! Oh well, maybe by the time I'm ready to kick the bucket and got arthritis, I'll be ready to have my 20wpm or higher CW QSO's doing QRP. So what, the learning is fun, and the goal is to not struggle later.
I took the letters "kmrsuapt" (the ones I knew at 20wpm) and threw in the letter "o" and "e" and put them in a SCRABBLE WORD FINDER and out popped a huge list of words. I filtered out the obscure ones and mixed them up and came out with...
(I'd recomend NOT throwing in the "e" without really thinking about it tho, because it is a VERY fast letter, and offers you NO TIME to think about it AT ALL)
arts paste turks pause peats taker pesto kraut poems poets ramps makes poker prose pukes maker saute serum rakes takes setup tamer mopes rapes tames skate tamps parks taper parts tarps smart paste taupe smear teaks metro pause teams smoke tears peaks opera smote tempo sorta temps pears spare terms peats spark armour rates pesto tears speak tempo spear mares temps sperm reams terms poems proms kaput reaps poets remap spoke spore sport mutes poker repos tours spout pokes toker marks tramp spurt pokes pores trams pores meats moats porks roams stake stamp ports karts roast stare pours tromp porks ports romps stark peaks pears steak erupt pouts trump arose steam traps ropes stoke treks marts stomp route mates stork storm strap strep pours pouts rumps prose strum stump pukes super mouse outer sutra upset autos morse proms
take oaks rake park ramp part same maps tame make past mare atom sake pats rums seam peak oars taos sear mark rams tamp mart stop marst rape pear ears peas raps peat rasp kept smut tape mask perk mast trek mate seat auto taps amok tare rate soak perm mask mast tarp soap trap rats oats mate peso pest east soar rust tusk some mats step meat teak mesa pets task ream sump user reap poem amps team reps sort poet moat eats opts tear repo mope sore mops poke pore ruts pork rest temp soup roam more arms sour most teas mote port pose post term romp sure apes muse rope musk toes spar ours must spam pots pour rote spat pout muse true rots musk spot tope arse oust toke must prom stem puke pure rout mute tops star muts tour rump puts arts spur outs
muskrat upskirt tourism airpost parties pasteur stamper irksome tempura pastime stomper pasture impetus stumper pirates imprest posture mistake primate promise mortise supremo traipse upraise
amuser armies armpit aspire atrium autism eskimo esprit europa impart import impose impost impure impute kaiser kermit market markup masker master mature merits mister moirae mouser muskat musket opiate ouster pastie pastor peoria permit persia pirate poster pouter praise presto priest primus purest purism satire septum skater smoker soaker sortie sprite sprout stoker streak stream strike stripe stroke tamper tapers tempra topeka troupe truism trumps umpire upmost uprise uptake utopia
I put the above text word files into Just Learn Morse Code program, and generated the audio files. Then I loaded them onto my mp3 player and now LISTEN to them RELIGIOUSLY on my daily bicycle rides. I really get in the groove much more than sitting at a desk for some reason. Don't ask me why, but It works and I enjoy it HUGELY.
I have many more word groups using less or more letters if any peeps need them.
Here is a frequency of use list (from wiki) for each letter of the alphabet by percent...
E12.7% T9.06 A8.17 O7.51 I6.97 N6.75 S6.33 H6.09 R5.99 D4.25 L 4.025 C2.78 U2.76 M2.41 W2.36 F2.23 G 2.015 Y1.97 P1.93 X1.5 B1.49 V.98 K.77 J.15 Q.095 Z.074
I'm not sure why the various Kotch programs choose the letters "U,M,P, & K" as some of the first to learn, when they don't fall into the higher used common letters. The letter "U" is the least frequently found vowel in the most common words in the English language.
I can see the "K" as important to hams though, because of its use in callsigns. If the higher rated words were used (and learned) first (within reason) you could possibly find more words to generate by the online scrabble word finders, and add to a Morse learners audio file. Doesn't matter much as you have mastered the alphabet. I'd save the longer letters like "P" for later tho. Makes you wonder though. There must be a good reason for the letters used in the progression while learning.