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Author Topic: Learning CW on PC - I don't do windows.  (Read 1935 times)
K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« on: June 06, 2008, 11:52:06 AM »

My Gateway finally came to its final resting place after a long and troublesome life.

My new PC runs Linux Ubuntu, so I'm looking for a very good CW, uh, I mean, Morse Code, tutor program to get me past 5 WPM, which would run on the new OS and hopefully be *free* open source software.

Can someone share their experience with this sort of code-learning software to run on ubuntu or linux? I know there are a lot of choices, and probably even more opinions, but I'd like to hear them anyway.

Before you say it, I plan to get on the air and QSO with a couple of local hams who are also learning morse code, until I get past 10 WPM, mainly as a courtesy to the "real" CW operators. We may even do this on 2 meters. Sure, why not?

After 10 WPM I will feel better about hitting HF looking for a good DX. I just don't want to cheat and use a PC as a backup for real on the air CW operation. It would be far too easy to become addicted to the software and never really learn code very well. That's just being honest with myself.
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LB3KB
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 12:50:38 PM »

According to feedback from several users, Just Learn Morse Code works just fine on Linux using the Wine emulator.  That is, the executable works but the help file does not.

Whatever you decide to use, don't waste your time on anything slower than 12/18 WPM.


73
LB3KB Sigurd
http://justlearnmorsecode.com
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W5ESE
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 02:41:35 PM »

> My new PC runs Linux Ubuntu, so I'm looking for a
> very good CW, uh, I mean, Morse Code, tutor program
> to get me past 5 WPM, which would run on the new OS
> and hopefully be *free* open source software.

I just run linux also.

I've used use a very simple one called 'morse',
which can send a text file piped to it in morse
code. There is a related package called 'qso',
that will burp out a random sample qso. So
you can pipe the output of 'qso' into 'morse',
and it will send a sample amateur transmission.

$ morse < qso

It's available here:

http://catb.org/~esr/morse/

You can also download and play morse mp3's from
the W1AW code practice transmissions at:

http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/morse.html

73
Scott
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AB8XA
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 07:21:59 AM »

I've run G4FON's Morse Trainer with WINE since Ubuntu 6.

http://www.g4fon.net/
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KB1OOO
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Posts: 214


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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 02:02:40 PM »


For linux (also works with OS X), there's a great program called CWIRC which let's you do CW over the internet via IRC (internet relay chat). It also has a good trainer.  It's great for what you want to do regarding practice QSOs before getting on the air.  You can have low pressure QSOs over the internet.

http://myspace.voo.be/pcoupard/cwirc/

Another Koch trainer that works in linux is one called morsepractice.  

http://www.geocities.com/w3hf/morse.html

73,
Marc
 
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KQ6UP
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 05:15:03 PM »

I also use G4FON with wine, and it works perfectly.

Chris KQ6UP
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KQ6UP
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 05:17:48 PM »

PS congratulations on kicking the windows habit ;o)

Chris KQ6UP
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 07:30:23 PM »

quote,
"congratulations on kicking the windows habit ;o) "

Some people swear by Windows. I've been swearing AT it for a long time. Running linux now is a breeeeeeeze. It looks like Windows, except it works. It's so-o-o-o-o nice, like the first time I... oh, nevermind that.

Back to the topic, I'm assuming these practice softwares are interactive? I mean, you type as it sends, and slaps you or gives you a good electric shock whenever you make a mistake, right? LOL.

A local Elmer told me today about RufZ. It sounds like a good one. My understanding is it sends slightly faster than you can copy. I guess that is like a CW carrot on a stick.
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KQ6UP
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 07:35:55 PM »

I would wait on RufzXP it is more designed at getting your speed up for contesting.  It sounds like you are just starting out.

I have found some invaluable advice here:

http://aa9pw.com//morsecode/so-you-want-to-learn-morse-code/

Chris KQ6UP
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AK7V
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Posts: 251




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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 01:55:38 PM »

Rufz is great once you know CW already.  There's a linux version called qrq.  It's here:
http://fkurz.net/ham/qrq.html

I haven't had much luck getting RufzXP running under Wine, but I hardly use Wine so haven't spent much time configuring it.  The original DOS Rufz works with dosemu in linux.

I wouldn't suggest playing around with it much until you're comfortable at a given speed.  Then it'll help boost that speed copying callsigns.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 03:26:13 PM »

Thanks for the responses.

So when it is OK to move to RufZ?

Right now I can copy 5 WPM from the W1AW files with, say 95% accuracy. I noticed I am finishing the words sometimes before all the letters are sent. For example, "ante.." and I write down "...nna" before they are sent. Not a good example, but you get the idea.

I tried 7.5 WPM a couple of times. I'm missing a few characters, and it seems to snowball when trying to catch up...I keep fighting the urge to go back and fill in the blanks. Bad idea, I know, especially just practicing.

Seriously, CW/morse code is why I decided to finally get into the hobby. I realize ham radio is many things to different people, but DX CW and even with QRP is what ham radio is all about for "me."

If I can QRP (no beams) CW on 80 meters with 7 continents...would be awesome. For me it is not the contacts as much as it is the challenge and hurdles necessary to make the contact. So I'm weird.
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LB3KB
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2008, 01:23:21 AM »

I suggest you start over, and relearn it properly at the speed you want to operate at.  Nothing less than 12/18 WPM is a good starting speed.

I recommend the Koch method, slowed down with Farnsworth for initial learning (if necessary).

73
LB3KB Sigurd
http://justlearnmorsecode.com
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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2008, 10:18:21 AM »

I second the lat comment.  It would save you a lot of frustration to start over with the Koch method.  Start at 20wpm character speed, and 12wpm character spacing.  This will be fast enough to prevent you from building a mental look up table.  However, you might have already done this.  If you have, you find a hurdle to get past 10 wpm, but that hurdle is nothing compared to 20-23 wpm one where your mind needs to start recognizing words instead of characters.  It might only hold you back for a couple of months, where the later held me up for about 10 months.

Good Luck,
and keep at it.

Chris KQ6UP

p.s.   I love G4FON is a awesome cw learning tool, but as soon as you can get on the air and make real QSO's because your real on the air speed will be about %20 slower with all the noise and sloppy sending.

73's
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 11:49:08 AM »

OK, so you are saying recognition of words is not good? Or? I'd been told to learn to listen for words and not letters, and especially not a mental "lookup table."

Confused by what you mean start over and learn properly. Please tell me more specifically what you mean.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 12:24:04 PM »

Thanks for the link to the article on the Koch method.

Now I think I understand what the others are saying about what I'm doing "wrong."

GMTA... I am so glad you pointed that out. THAT is the biggest complaint I had about the ARRL 5 WPM speed broadcasts. I wanted something sending short segments of characters, but sending the characters at a more real-world speed.

It just made more sense to learn the characters at a real speed, but in short groups, and build from there. At 5 WPM, the diiiiiit, dahhhhhhhhhhhh is so slow my mind was wandering. ha.

Is that a fair summary of what you are telling me?
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