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Author Topic: Koch method to learn CW?  (Read 545 times)
AD0AE
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Posts: 78




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« on: October 07, 2009, 01:12:52 PM »

Hey All-

I know morse code isn't required anymore for ham licensing, but I am wondering if anyone has any opinions about using the koch method to learn code? Anyone tried it? Is it effective?

73s
Steve
kb9pzm
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KE7WAV
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Posts: 126




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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 01:43:52 PM »

I learned code as a kid hearing my dad send characters on a set of toy walkie talkies.  I learned and then forgot everything over about 20 odd years of never using code.  Then I went to get my license and wanted to relearn code.  I used a computer program based on the Koch method and it works just fine!  

If you use the Koch method or any other method I highly recommend that you learn with a friend.  Having someone to practice with makes it much easier.  Practice with some homemade oscillators, or whistling, or with some toy walkie talkies; a friend just makes it easier.  

Whatever you do just have fun and I hope to hear you in code!
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2765




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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 02:38:29 PM »

People have been learning Morse code using Koch (and Farnsworth) since before either Koch or Farnsworth was born.  Don't get hung up over the method, just learn the code.

The suggestion to have a partner learning it with you is a good one.  Learn to send while you're learning to receive.  Use a straight key and train your hand/wrist/arm muscles to make your letters/numbers/prosigns exactly like the "perfect" code sent by W1AW, the ARRL bulletin station.  Check QST for the frequencies, times, and the text that's going to be sent.

73
Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KA3DNR
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 06:18:39 PM »

I like the Koch method. G4FON has a nice piece of free software: http://www.g4fon.net/

I put the "Actual Characters Sent" about 15-20 WPM above where I can comfortably copy, and put the "Effective Code Speed" at the lowest WPM end, and work my way up in speed.

You probably know this: Don't try to write down much.

Marc
KA3DNR
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AB9NZ
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 10:40:44 AM »

Absolutely, its all good. However, if you try these methods, and you come away thinking "maybe I'm one of those guys that can't learn code", please dont give up. Give Code Quick a try. I'm very much afraid that we've lost cw ops who quit too early. Please read the reviews of Code Quick here on e-Ham. An amazing amount of guys and even entire families have learned this way.
   Take good care folks, de Tom AB9NZ
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AB9NZ
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 10:49:10 AM »

One other thing, be sure to picture youself as a radiotelegrapher. Buy that key that you like, or put together a qrp kit. Once you know that this is what you want, it's just a process, however gradual it may be.
73 om de Tom, AB9NZ
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LA3AKA
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 10:51:19 AM »

Hi Steve

I have used the Koch method to learn morse code, and I think its a great way.  I can recommend it to anyone.  I used both the G4FON and the JustLearnMorseCode by LB3KB. I found the latter a little bit better because of the flexibility of the program. In addition there is a WEB page by Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK ; www.lcwo.net where you also can learn morse code using the Koch method. This has the advantage that you don't need to install any program on your computer. Great if you want to use your Lunch-break at work to do a little practicing.

Just remember to set the actual character speed to a minimum of 15 WPM and effective speed to at least 12 WPM.  I started at 13/16 and gradually increased to 16/20. I also recommend during the learning stage that you use variable size letter group length instead of the normal 5 letter length code groups.

Once you have learnt the letters start to practice copying words. Start with the 100 most common english words. I usually set up 3 min sessions and practiced 1/2 hour every day. Usually 6-7 3min session per day. In the beginning you should try to train every day. 1/2 hour per day is sufficient.  With longer training periods you tend to loose your concentration.

Today I can copy 20wpm without any problem.

There are lot of ways to learn morse code and people have different opinions on which way is best.  For me it was the Koch method.  Just remember some Basic rules:

1.  Never try to learn morse code by visually remembering the codes as dots and dashes. Never use any visual aids at all.  Learn the code as sound patterns.

2. Never try to learn at speeds less than 12 WPM.  Slower than this you start to count dits and dahs and this make it very difficult to overcome the dreaded 10 WPM barrier.


Good luck in learning Morse code, and remember: learning morse code is EASY, and its lots of FUN.


73 de LA3AKA, Johnny
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