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Author Topic: Learning new characters or more challenging ones  (Read 1617 times)
KD0EXQ
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Posts: 23




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« on: February 28, 2013, 07:56:53 AM »

I made a promise to myself when I got my license a few years ago (right after the no code change) that I WOULD learn code.  As a "senior" and more of  a visual learner, I have found this difficult -  tried twice earlier and not been successful.  I am now on my third attempt - and this time I WILL get it.  I have been at it for a month and am now up to 30 characters.

Now back to the topic. I am using the Just Learn Morse Code program.   I find some characters more difficult to learn, especially as I am getting towards the end.  Lots of practice has helped.  Sometimes it takes me a few days before I can incorporate that new character with the ones I have already learned

What I am finding most useful for those more difficult characters is to use the "selected characters" option and pairing the new/challenging character with others that are similar in sound (like u, v and f), leaving the speed the same and increasing the wpm in increments (10, 15, 20....).  When I do this I start by just watching and listening, as the program puts up the character shortly before you hear the "sound" of the letter). I try to make the sound in my head as soon as I see the character and try to beat the computer.  After I try that for awhile, I will switch to listening (not looking) and typing in the character. 

Anybody else have a tip that can help me learn those new/challenging characters??

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N3DF
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Posts: 252




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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:34:43 AM »

Here's my tip:  a key to becoming competent in cw is to maintain motivation over the long haul.  In my day (45 years ago), code records and tapes proved reasonably effective but ultimately boring.  I presume computer-generated practice is even more effective but also ultimately boring.  I strongly suggest interspersing your practice with on-the-air reception of slow-speed QSOs and W1AW code practice transmissions.  You will feel more like a "real" cw operator.  As soon as you copy 5 wpm reasonably well (and that's a very slow speed), get on the air and make some QSOs.  It is immensely more interesting than computer code practice and will do wonders for your motivation to continue studying.  Moreover, if you make a couple of QSOs each evening you can't help but improve your skills.  Good luck.

Neil N3DF/Miami
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Neil N3DF
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20574




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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 01:55:23 PM »

Here's my tip:

If you don't have a key connected to a tone oscillator and haven't tried sending along with the letters as they pop up, try that.

Sending is "half" of being able to work CW, and a very important half.  Doesn't help if you can "copy solid" at 60 wpm if you can't send.

Sending also helps with "copy."  A lot.
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KB3TXH
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 06:24:58 AM »

I am a senior also, and learned Morse code just 3 years ago at the age of 68, so it IS posible.
 
Don't give up on it, and you will soon be working CW with the other slow code guys like me.

Probably the only advice I can give is to get on the air when you can send and receive at about 5 wpm.

You will find people willing to work you at that speed, and the practice is a lot more fun.


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