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Author Topic: Suggestions for unlearning CW, learned via Code Quick  (Read 6313 times)
N5ATM
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« on: July 06, 2012, 04:40:49 PM »

I know this has already come up but I'm lazy and didn't want to muddle through all the old post.

I learned Morse Code via the Code Quick program.  It worked very well...too well.  I now find myself being slowed down by the fact that I add another step to the character recognition process.  I can't help but do the "sound alike" with the character as I learned it.

1) Ears hear character "R".
2) Brain then does the sound alike "brr rabbit".
3) Brain translates it to "R".
4) Fingers write, or more often, type "R".

For the life of me I can't seem to drop step 2!!!  It's seriously slowing me down and like most new opps...if I l get behind a character or two, the train comes off the track and I have to start over.  I'm probably solid copy between 5 and 10 wpm and can send faster but try not too so others won't speed up on me.

Any others have this problem?  Have you been able to "Unlearn" it or train it out?
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 06:36:53 PM »

Welcome to the world of "alternate learning!"  I've been advocating for quite some time about simply learning code the time accepted way instead of learning by some alternative method including Koch and Farnsworth.  Tack this one on as well.

All of these methods eventually require "unlearning" the process in order to increase speed and or copy code under the "on the air" communicating conditions with people from all over the world.

So, with that being said, my advice to you is simply immerse yourself in code.... stay off SSB as much as possible and simply bite the bullet and unlearn the Code Quick method. 

I continue to say, "There isn't an easy way to learn code."  You either do it the time accepted way or you go through an unlearning process which in some cases takes as much time as you "saved" by learning by an alternate method.  IMHO

I now have my "flame" retardant suit on so bring it on!!

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AB9NZ
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 08:52:33 PM »

  For me Code Quick worked great. You have to learn the characters before you can do anything. A constant parade of ops come to this forum and announce they are  going to learn Morse and are never heard from again. People are constantly being told to learn at 20-25 words per minute, and when not getting good results they are even urged to turn up the speed. I wonder what the success rate is for this method. I would bet money that before suffering irreparable brain damage from Code Quick the op downloaded and tried a free program. How'd that work out for ya?
 As far as "the time accepted way of learning Morse code" considering that there were so many classes of license for people that could only copy 5-13 wpm, it makes me think that most people wish they had learned at high speed, but had in fact started slow and worked up to their ultimate speed.
  Vince, in my experience as you build speed the sound a likes fall away, not a problem. Put 500 ragchews in the log and I guarantee you'll be head copying at 25 words per minute.
  This is not a condemnation of the the wonderful Koch programs out there. Download one or many, give them an honest try. If you can't get the code to stick, don't reconcile yourself to modem noise modes or a ham career as an (argh) phone op, Give Code Quick a try
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AB9NZ
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 09:06:59 PM »

Sorry Allen, I misread your post, I guess Koch-Farnsworth isn't your view of the time accepted method.  Best of 73 Tom AB9NZ
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N4IAG
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 09:56:54 PM »


30 years ago I ordered Code Quick, taught myself the code and passed the 13 wpm test. So I can't say too much bad about it. Without it I would have never become a ham.

I never had to unlearn anything. As mentioned, you have to start somewhere and with more practice under your belt, you will naturally become faster and the "sound a likes" will disappear and not slow you down. Good luck to you.


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I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
M0LEP
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 02:10:26 AM »

Seems to me all of the code-learning methods involve some "unlearning" somewhere along the line.

If you learn slow and then build speed in the old-fashioned way then you need to unlearn the stage that translates dots-and-dashes into characters to get past the 10wpm wall.

If you use Code Quick (or any of the other mnemonic sets) you need to unlearn the mnemonics as well.

Koch is merely a way of ordering the learning of the characters, so its main risk is that you don't know the later characters as well as you know the early ones. No obvious unlearning there (except, perhaps, a tendency to jump the gun because you've heard, say, "S", and you get caught out because it's actually "H", "V", "3", "4", "5" or whatever,) but it's usually combined with some form of speed-skewing like Farnsworth.

If you learn with Farnsworth timing then you need to unlearn the part where you rely on the long gaps to decode the characters.

Back in first grade you probably learned a fair bit of stuff using similar tricks. Eventually, with use, you no longer needed them. Chances are the same will happen with the code... hopefully...
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 05:48:30 AM »

  For me Code Quick worked great. You have to learn the characters before you can do anything. A constant parade of ops come to this forum and announce they are  going to learn Morse and are never heard from again.

That is just the point I am emphasizing constantly, but the result is that "they" try to shout me away from this forum.
No chance, because you are trying to shout away a guy that is/was not a professional operator and made the VHSC level without any help or encouragement from the outside world. So no character that is easy to shout away, just as Sigurd I suppose, with his long toes (he has ten toes), only less fat, a lot older, and realising that when I solve a complex problem it is complex for ME and may be not for the more bright guys ten I am/was.

No Hurrah for the starters that announce themself as starter. Probably it are the only Hurrahs they collect in their life.
Starting . collecting Hurrahs, and stopping fast and leaving like a dog with the tail between his back legs.

For me only hurrahs for the guys that made it to reach 12 wpm, as the lower just acceptable level with which you can appear on the bands without spoiling the pleasure of other operators, and pushing them in the ham-spirit-help mode.

LEP is right. We learn Morse code and afterwards we say: we could have done it probably better another way. But who knows? You can't unlearn and start blank another way. Trust the evolution and just go on.

My opinion is that you can start with Koch, write with a pen, typing is not OK, and as LCWO offers start as fast with plain text words based on the mastered subset of characters, words with standard character speed, and repeat them till you copy by head. May be the first only one character, the repeat the second character the next repeat the third character etc. And after copying repeat the word  again a few times in order to read with your mind the sequence of known characters.

The only thing I guarantee is money back when you fail. And you probably will due to the fact that you want and are looking for support and advice.

Remember: Optimistic people has a lot of disappointments in their life and pessimistic people (like I am) have a lot of joy by he fact it was not raining when they expected. (what is dis-disappointment in English?) I expect no answer on this question.

Bob
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N5ATM
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 09:47:11 AM »

All valid points, but I guess I need to be a bit more specific. 

I know the code, that's not the issue.  The "sound alike" method used by Code Quick is great for learning.  But had I known what the end result would be, I would never had chosen it. The extra step of the sound alike that worked so well in learning, is now second nature and I can't seem to stop doing it. Thus the extra step is a serious hindrance in my copy speed. 

The point of my post was not to debate the merits of any of the programs or methods for learning. I was hoping that someone who had learned via Code Quick and familiar with this "sound alike" predicament might have already figured out a way to unlearn or get around it.

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W5INC
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 10:23:19 AM »

 I know people are always trying to build a better "mousetrap" so to speak, but there is no way that 1 method of Morse education is going to work for everyone that wants to learn the code.

 I was started out with a practice oscillator, straight key and a sheet with the letters and corresponding Morse characters on it. I sent these letters on the practice oscillator first, before trying to copy code from listening to it in any form. In this method, you are learning the code by sending it on the key and listening to it at the same time. IMO, the speed of this methods practice code being sent, is allready at a speed the new OP can copy. Once the student Masters sending all of the alphabet's letters correctly on the practice oscillator without looking at his cheat sheet, then the student should proceed to coping code from just listening to it only.

 The newer methods where code is being sent @ 15 WPM for the letters and bigger time spaces between the letters to get to the 5 WPM plateau doesn't work for everyone. More important IMO, to learn the letters first completely and then build your speed up from listening to on the air QSOs or other practice methods.  Smiley
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 10:38:04 AM by W5INC » Logged
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 12:18:25 PM »

All valid points, but I guess I need to be a bit more specific.  

The point of my post was not to debate the merits of any of the programs or methods for learning. I was hoping that someone who had learned via Code Quick and familiar with this "sound alike" predicament might have already figured out a way to unlearn or get around it.



O yes, everybody telling his own pre-programmed story, and you don't get an usable answer.

First of all I have no experience with that method, you have to pay for it, I am a miser,  millions of hams used it, can millions of hams being wrong? Sure they can.

Said is that methods working for one doesn't probably less for the other.

Think about your problem

First of all it was used in the past as I see on a youtube movie picture. A guy with a military uniform and a military hair cut. An important guy because he has a large bunch of color coded resistors on his breast.
He says a C is a soldier Changing steps, an H is a Horse in gallop didididit didididit.
So there are here a lot of military radiomen hanging around, that obviously learned it that way. Complete with the compulsory way of writing in capitals what limit your speed to 17 wpm. Above 17 wpm they are reaching for  a mill.
Better use a teletype then, then those radiomen can do some senseful work, like cleaning the men's room.

OK, how to get rid of your RRRRabbit or what have you.
You know all the characters, start with plain text words normally spaced characters, take long wordspaces.

Start with a short text of 25 different plain words, use them random, but not more then 25 words.
Try to copy them, no time to think rabbit cuz the next character is already there. In a week you are so used to those 25 words that you read them while receiving without thinking those donkey bridges.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 12:23:46 PM by PA0BLAH » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 03:37:40 PM »

Way back in the military I learned to copy code directly on a mill (typewriter). I could copy 30WPM on the mill but barely passed the 13WPM FCC test because I had to write it down with a pencil and paper.

I think you are experiencing the same sort of problem and the only solution is probably practice, practice, and more practice. Run the code fast enough that you don't have the time to do the extra translation. At first you will miss the copy, but keep doing it over and over and you'll beging to copy without the added step. After a while you'll probably want to start copying short, common words like "is", "and", "the" at quite fast speeds in order to force you to recognize the sound of the complete word in your head so you don't have to write down every individual letter. If you have been on the air much you can probably already recognize things like "CQ" and "DE" much faster than you can copy different text.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 08:03:14 PM »

Quote
. . .
Back in first grade you probably learned a fair bit of stuff using similar tricks. Eventually, with use, you no longer needed them. Chances are the same will happen with the code... hopefully...

Yes -- and I was _young_ then !!!

It's a lot harder to learn, or un-learn, as one gets older, slower, and (I won't say "dumber") more set in one's ways.

"Hearing" CW is a real-time process, like riding a bike.  The younger, the better.

              Charles
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M0LEP
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2012, 01:18:25 AM »

It's a lot harder to learn, or un-learn, as one gets older, slower, and (I won't say "dumber") more set in one's ways.

Aye. I know exactly what you mean. There's no doubt one learns in different ways as one gets older, and some things don't get any easier...
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W5INC
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2012, 10:04:12 AM »

Quote
I think you are experiencing the same sort of problem and the only solution is probably practice, practice, and more practice. Run the code fast enough that you don't have the time to do the extra translation. At first you will miss the copy, but keep doing it over and over and you'll beging to copy without the added step. After a while you'll probably want to start copying short, common words like "is", "and", "the" at quite fast speeds in order to force you to recognize the sound of the complete word in your head so you don't have to write down every individual letter. If you have been on the air much you can probably already recognize things like "CQ" and "DE" much faster than you can copy different text.

 You are very correct here AA4PB, practice will cure this problem in the long term. Learning code is like learning how to spell and write when 1st starting out. You are taught the letters first, individually, before you start putting letters together to form words. Learning the code shouldn't be any different IMO. How can you possibly translate Morse code into words, if you don't know the individual Morse characters/sounds to the corresponding letters? Once you have learned the Morse characters completely, you will gain speed because your brain will bridge the sound/letter connection much faster with practice.

To N5ATM my best piece of advice is to learn not to stop coping code once you have missed a letter. Get over the fact that you have missed a letter and keep going, do not stop. This aspect is hard for some new code Ops to garner as they want to be perfect in coping code. It is sought of like Wheel of Fortune in coping CW. There might be blank spaces in your coping of words from a QSO, but your brain will bridge those letter gaps until you have enough time in the saddle to get your coping speed up to par.  Smiley

 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 10:10:57 AM by W5INC » Logged
N5XM
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2012, 10:34:35 AM »

To learn anything well, it is important to remember that it takes time and effort, and above all, patience.  One of the hardest things is learning how to be focused and relaxed at the same time.  As long as you are working at it, you will be improving, whether it seems that way or not.  It's a series of plateaus.  Just keep at it and remember that your work will pay off in the long run. 
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