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Author Topic: How to practically copy CW in your head - for beginners  (Read 12902 times)
K8AXW
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Posts: 3672




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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2013, 09:45:50 PM »

6LA:  Of course you're very correct!  What is going on with the various posts is an attempt to answer questions by providing an opinion and or what works for that particular person.

What the person who originates the question must do is sift through these comments and see if one will work for him/her. 

This is why I've tried to point out for quite some time the best way to learn CW or to head copy is to practice, practice and practice some more.  This means listening and sending or anything that involves the learning process.

I spent 6 months in a military school where CW and its application was "force fed" which is the best way to train many people in a short period of time.  I've been using this 'craft' now for 58 years.

When this is analyzed it boils down to a lot of practice in a short period of time without the need for self discipline.  The discipline is provided for you.

Sure, there are "easier" ways to learn but quite often one spends too much time looking for the "magic bullet" instead of just doing it.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20545




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« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2013, 08:07:55 AM »

It blows my mind when people say just copy words when you’re just starting out to learn code. I have been listening to people speaking Spanish here in LA for decades
but have not learned to speak it… Crazy . 

The difference is, if all you do is listen to it, it's almost impossible to pick it up.  Learn a couple dozen words and start speaking it, and others will coach you through a conversation.  Within a few months, you'll be fluent enough to have conversations without help.

The biggest obstacle IMO is simple: If you don't actually use the language (by speaking it), no amount of listening paves the path for progress.  That's why regarding Morse code, I've always encouraged everyone to start right out both sending and copying.  The sending part is important, and sending "to yourself" isn't terribly helpful.  It's much better to send to someone else, and have them reply.  If you miss 90% of what's sent, that's perfect.  100 "QSOs" later, you'll only miss 50%.  And 1000 "QSOs" later, you won't miss anything. Wink
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M0LEP
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Posts: 200




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« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2013, 08:56:34 AM »

If you miss 90% of what's sent, that's perfect.

...assuming the person at the other end has the patience to send everything ten times (or so)...
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2013, 10:28:02 AM »

If you miss 90% of what's sent, that's perfect.

...assuming the person at the other end has the patience to send everything ten times (or so)...

Not really.  If you're copying telephone numbers or something, then of course you need accuracy.

But in general conversation, you can miss a lot without really impacting the conversation, so no repeats would be required.

A great method for learning to comprehend stuff really well without paying attention to the words is the Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamics course, which I took in school at the age of 14 or so.  What a difference it makes.
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M0LEP
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Posts: 200




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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2013, 04:30:02 PM »

But in general conversation, you can miss a lot without really impacting the conversation, so no repeats would be required.

In general conversation there's a bit of redundancy, but in a QSO some bits of information (callsigns, especially) need to be correct, and can't (usually) be guessed...
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AE5QB
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 04:50:24 PM »

trd tkng mst of th vwls out as i ws tld thy arnt rlly ncssry. Bt I kpt gttng rptd rqsts fr my cll sgn.  Sms thy cldnt fgr out who
5QB is.

73

Tom/AE5QB

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M0LEP
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Posts: 200




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« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2013, 12:03:50 AM »

Sms thy cldnt fgr out who 5QB is.

Heh. Visited a Net recently where the old-timers all just gave their suffixes most of the time. As they all had the same prefix, it worked for them. Wouldn't have worked for me, though... Wink
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M0JHA
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Posts: 647




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« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 09:19:27 AM »

practicing doesn't have to be boring , i noticed a few guys using "just learn morse code" you can copy/paste plain text to this and convert to mp3 files and listen whilst out and about with the benefit of the subject matter being what your interested in.

when i first started using it i was listening to fishing tips, species , tactics etc , as i knew the subject matter it was easier than trying to listen to a totally alien subject .. never gets boring as i can sawp and change files very quickly and i'm always looking for good reading material , i'm listening to jack the ripper case files ,treasure island and robinson crusoe at the moment ...

reading has made the code double pleasurable for me , it's just alltogether more natural feeling  ..
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N3HAM
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 10:27:34 AM »

Go mobile with CW, and I mean actually driving not parked. No way you are going to be jotting anything down. And it makes you keep a call and name in your memory, quite the exercise and fun.
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M0LEP
Member

Posts: 200




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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 01:19:26 PM »

Go mobile with CW, and I mean actually driving not parked.

That might, I guess, work once you've reached a certain level of proficiency, but if you're still at a stage where listening to Morse takes concentration then it's probably better if you're not trying to drive at the same time...
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W3TTT
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2013, 02:11:29 PM »

Not everyone is born with the same "code intelligence" just like not everyone has the same strength or intelligence.  Personally, I am very good in math, programming, but maybe not so good in CW code.  It doesn't matter if I listen all day, for months, I still will not be as goood as some.  Fact of life.  All those that say "just listen in your head..." and so on, don't get it.

BTW the CNN server is:
http://cw.dimebank.com:8080/
; Smiley Smiley
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AD0AE
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2013, 07:55:10 AM »

One thing that would be nice about that CNN website is if the format wasn't exclusively for Mac products. I understand that .m3u only works with Itunes.  It would be nice if maybe the format was something that could be opened in Chrome.

Maybe there is a work-around, but I have tried to open this using Rythmbox on ubuntu and got a bunch of garbage.

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DJ1YFK
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Posts: 182


WWW

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« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2013, 01:05:05 PM »

One thing that would be nice about that CNN website is if the format wasn't exclusively for Mac products. I understand that .m3u only works with Itunes.  It would be nice if maybe the format was something that could be opened in Chrome.

Maybe there is a work-around, but I have tried to open this using Rythmbox on ubuntu and got a bunch of garbage.

M3U is an open format for MP3 playlists, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3U

In those M3U files on http://cw.dimebank.com:8080/ there's just one line in each, pointing to the URL of the actual stream. E.g. http://cw.dimebank.com:8080/CNNfast.m3u contains in plain ASCII: http://cw.dimebank.com:8080/CNNfast

All media players that support streaming media should support it in principle. Unfortunately those streams are using a 8kHz sample rate which many MP3 decoders choke on. With a default mplayer on Ubuntu I get very garbled audio, whereas VLC appears to handle it just fine.

73,
Fabian DJ1YFK
(who, by the way, uses rss2email & cwbiff for news headlines in CW)
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K7RNO
Member

Posts: 279




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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2013, 09:52:44 AM »

To add my own experience and to ask a question, please allow me to resurrect this sleeping thread.

I was an active radio operator in the German Navy about four decades ago. I always had to deal with the problem that my brain was adding letter to letter for each word as it progressed, causing a problem when the word did not turn out what I expected it to be. In such cases, I lost at least one or two letters. To avoid this issue, I had to force myself not to read the evolving word but just each sign, one at a time.

So my question is, whether this would not also be a problem for anyone who prefers to copy the words in the head and not the signs on paper (or computer).
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 854




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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2013, 07:26:52 PM »

To add my own experience and to ask a question, please allow me to resurrect this sleeping thread.

I was an active radio operator in the German Navy about four decades ago. I always had to deal with the problem that my brain was adding letter to letter for each word as it progressed, causing a problem when the word did not turn out what I expected it to be. In such cases, I lost at least one or two letters. To avoid this issue, I had to force myself not to read the evolving word but just each sign, one at a time.

So my question is, whether this would not also be a problem for anyone who prefers to copy the words in the head and not the signs on paper (or computer).

I also had this problem, and still do to some extent.
It is a normal human attribute to draw conclusions from content as it comes in, and is the reason that people learn by code groups.
Unfortunately, code groups are boring and random, something which in one way, appears pointless to the human brain.

The way to overcome both this problem, and to gain proficiency in reading in your head is simple.
Increase the speed and difficulty in reading morse, until you simply enter a state of mind where your conscious mind cannot calculate and think ahead.
In this state, at first you will receive almost nothing, but gradually your subconscious will take control and you will gradually hear it like a conversation.
In the end, you will not even think of morse at all, but just hear content, like when we listen to other people talking.

This is why CW ops who can read at 45wpm, sometimes find it more difficult to read 15wpm.
The reason is the 15wpm, for them, releases the conscious mind to interfere with the process.
What I do in this circumstance (slow morse reading) is to visualise the characters being written on a blackboard as they come in.
In this way, my conscious mind is sidelined as my imagination and right brain uses its imagery to read slower morse but still not write it down.

Anyone who does enough morse listening WILL achieve this state - the only variable is how long it takes.
Also, do listening online, to real conversations, with real static and fading - this will help you to learn even more.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.

Then grasshopper (for those old kung fu fans), you will have achieved the zen state of morse mind.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:33:09 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
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