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Author Topic: Teaching CW  (Read 1553 times)
K9BAG
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2009, 12:57:50 PM »

I thinlk I can now believe...just read CH7 of The Art & Skill of Radio-Telegraphy, 2ED, by Wm. Pierpont, N0HFF. See:
http://n1su.com/c07.htm

Here's what I need to abandon coming from pencil-n-paper grounding and thinking only 100% copy is the end goal. The author seems to be talking to me when stating, "As we have emphasized before we must just let it go <of missed code> and keep on listening <not writing>. If we pause try to figure it out at this point, it will divert our attention from reception...." <Comments mine> Yep, he also could have said "This in Not An Accounting Service!"

Nuf said. Gotta start hearing code differently. Been a worthwhile chat session.
--Peter
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2009, 01:11:51 PM »

>RE: Teaching CW       Reply
by K9BAG on March 31, 2009    Mail this to a friend!
I thinlk I can now believe...just read CH7 of The Art & Skill of Radio-Telegraphy, 2ED, by Wm. Pierpont, N0HFF. See:
http://n1su.com/c07.htm

Here's what I need to abandon coming from pencil-n-paper grounding and thinking only 100% copy is the end goal. The author seems to be talking to me when stating, "As we have emphasized before we must just let it go <of missed code> and keep on listening <not writing>. If we pause try to figure it out at this point, it will divert our attention from reception...." <Comments mine> Yep, he also could have said "This in Not An Accounting Service!"

Nuf said. Gotta start hearing code differently. Been a worthwhile chat session.
--Peter<

::Very wise.  I stress that to everybody.  Every one of my code students passed their VE code exams, including the "old" 20 wpm Extra exam, without writing anything down on their papers except their names, and then simply taking the multiple choice test.  They all scored 100% without ever writing anything down.

If I were handling emergency traffic and it involved a phone number, an address and a name I wasn't familiar with, I'd write those down.  But that's likely about all I'd write down.  The rest I can remember just fine, and relate with very high accuracy.

The fact is, most hams will never handle emergency traffic.  Real occasions of this are so rare they make headline news.

But the value of knowing how to use code, and operate CW, is very high.  A perfect example recently:

I was in a round-table SSB rag chew on 17 meters in the late afternoon when in between transmissions I heard someone sending CW.  I transmitted, "Wait, guys, somebody's breaking in on CW," and everyone stood by.

The breaker was Jack, W5FG/MM operating from the high seas off the coast of New Zealand.  He reported he tried to break in many times on SSB, nobody heard him, so he tried CW.  I heard him fine on CW.  He was operating QRP from his stateroom on the Queen Mary II, on a wordwide cruise, using a piece of wire hanging from his window as an antenna.  Way too weak to be copied on SSB, but he came through fine on CW; we found out he was okay, and chit-chatted a bit.

This kind of stuff happens pretty often on the ham bands.

WB2WIK/6

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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3926




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« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2009, 01:17:12 PM »

I think a lot of the focus on "write it down" came from three sources:

1) Military and commercial ops had to do it that way.

2) The amateur tests were given that way.

3) A lot of hams had to be self-taught because there was no one to practice with.

In all three cases, 'head copy' doesn't work. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be used today!

(When I went for my exams at the FCC office, the only way for a nondisabled person to pass the code exams was to produce at least one solid minute of correct legible copy. They gave you a yellow legal pad and a #2 pencil, and when the code stopped you had to put the pencil down or you failed. That sort of thing kinda focused you on write-it-down copy!)

WB2WIK's methods will certainly work when you have two or more people who can take turns sending and receiving. Where computers, tapes, and off-the-air stuff comes in is where a person has to learn alone.

There's also the issue of short-term memory limitations. Tell some folks a ten-digit telephone number just once, and they can repeat it right back to you with no problem. Others have to repeat it over and over to remember it, because their STM works differently. Writing it down can help; this is one reason people keep notes in a class.

IMHO, the optimum approach is a mixture of head copy, write-it-down, sending, receiving, fast, slow, plain language, random groups, code playing in the background while you do other things, headphones, speaker, etc. Use all the available tools!

I think the biggest problem is the idea that there is one best surefire method that works for everybody. In reality, people learn in different ways, particularly when skills are involved rather than book learning.

George Sheehan said and wrote many times "Each of us is an experiment of one". Part of the learning process is finding out what works best for *you*.

73 es GL de Jim, N2EY



 
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