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Author Topic: Learning CW  (Read 635 times)
KJ4PKO
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Posts: 53




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« on: October 16, 2009, 08:43:30 PM »

I am new to ham radio and have my license and want to learn CW because, for one it would be good to know, plus I think it separates the men from the boys in ham radio.  I only have a dual band hand-held so it is kind of hard to listen to a CW QSO.  What would be a good way to learn it without buying a bunch of CDs?

Thanks KJ4PKO!
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M0JHA
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Posts: 646




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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 05:05:34 AM »

there are a few morse tutors on the web . ( just learn morse code and morse generator ) for two. i like morse generator personally.

i dont think it really matters which method you use as the important thing is actually using and hearing the code. qrp cw kits are not that expensive even here in the uk.. try throwing a little pixie tranciever together ,these can be made for peanuts and i think cost around $10 in the states to buy in kit form.. this will get you on the air to rx albeit only on a spot frequency.

many people learn in different ways, i personally learnt the alphabet by sending on a key and buzzer and once i had the basic in my head then used a morse tutor sending random characters..

the real learning comes on air i think..

billy uk
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W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2009, 11:18:56 AM »

I recommend g4fon.net.  An excellent Code trainer, and it's free!
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W4KVW
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Posts: 501




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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 07:46:16 PM »

I used a program called "CODE QUICK" & passed the code test with STRAIGHT COPY after just 8 evenings of study at 2 hours each evening.Dr.Wheeler(Mr.Code Quick)uses sound alikes for each character & it worked for me & FAST! }:>) If I can do it ANYBODY can!!!!!!

CLAYTON
W4KVW
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WB5JEO
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Posts: 805




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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2009, 07:21:05 AM »

In the links page of the SKCC site, there are a number of software links, including some that generate words or ciphers. You'll note how often people who did it quickly and successfully put in rather long sessions. That means a lot. It keeps you at it long enough for the conscious mind to become fatigued and the unconscious to take over, which is where true learning takes place and the part that has to do the work in reading at a reasonably fast speed.

http://www.skccgroup.com/links.htm
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2009, 10:38:09 AM »

Whatever method you choose, the most important considerations are patience and persistence.  Work on it every day.  It's a language, and like any language, the more you use it the better you get.  Do not neglect practicing your sending skills once you learn the code.  Nothing worth doing happens overnight.  Remember that others don't have more skills because they are better than you, but because they have been at it longer.  Even if they are more gifted, what you can control is that they can't outwork you if you don't let them.  You can do it!  Rick, n5xm
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KJ4PKO
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Posts: 53




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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2009, 07:26:14 PM »

I downloaded G4FON coed trainer and in five minutes I was able to identify m and k easily.
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K4RLO
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 04:56:02 AM »

Samuel,

Congratulations on the new ticket.  The G4FON program is a good way to learn code.

I noticed that we are neighbors.  I'd be happy to loan you a key, code practice oscillator and a receiver if you'd like more practice.  Shoot me an email.  My address is on QRZ.com.

Rod, K4RLO
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KG4DGF
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 08:58:54 AM »

One think i may note is the software can only take you so far.  It is helpful to learn with it, but after you learn the code, make sure to get on the air and have at leas a qso a day.

Having friends nearby helps too.  I have a tough antenna situation on HF, which means i wont always get a qso.  So i have a friend that lives nearby, so we have been practicing on 2M cw almost everyday for the last week or so.  I already have seen an improvement.  It makes it a lot easier because i have someone that can push me.  It is also a lot of fun to have someone to work with and talk on the repeater to critique each others sending and clarify the intent of messages that get lost.

CW is all about practice, and the best practice is on the air.  I highly advise you to look into the SKCC (Straight Key Century Club) or FISTS.  Both organizations encourage CW operations, and will slow down to help newbies, like myself, out.

Hope to see you on the air.

73 de WI3M
SKCC # 5856
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 04:40:45 PM »

Sound alikes is absolutely the worst way to use code if you intend to actually use it on the air.  It creates an extra step in the brain that is unnecessary and will have to be unlearned if you want to increase your speed to typical conversational and/or contest speeds.

Use G4FON.
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KF7ATL
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2009, 12:31:07 PM »

I started with AA9PW.com.  I have a MAC and couldn't use some of the software that's available because it's made for PC's.  After that, the best thing to do is bite the bullet and get on the air.  That's helped me more than anything. I found 99.9% of the guys that I QSO with are very friendly and willing to help a beginner.
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LA3AKA
Member

Posts: 30




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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 07:29:45 AM »

G4FON koch morse software and JustLearnMorseCode by LB3KB are both great programs.  I prefer the JustLearnMorseCode because it gives somewhat more flexibility. another good site is the www.lcwo.net which is an online morse code training site, which also uses the Koch method.  This page is written and maintained by DJ1YFK, Fabian Kurz.  I have used the koch method myself and can now easily copy morse code at 20WPM, earlier I have tried the soundalike method and the visual method, both had me struggle to get past the 10-12WPM mark.  I basically had to re-learn morse code to get over the dreaded 10WPM barrier.

I guess the soundalike is ok if you just want to pass the 5WPM hamradio test, but if you plan to use morse code as a way of communicating its just a waste of time. I totally agree in N8UZE here.

If you want to learn more about learning morse code I suggest you read the following article:  http://www.qsl.net/n1irz/finley.morse.html

I can also recommend the following book available free on the web:

Tha art and skill of radio telegraphy by Willam G. Pierpoint: http://www.qsl.net/n9bor/n0hff.htm

See also my reply under : http://www.eham.net/forums/CW/10337


Good luck on learning morse code

73 de LA3AKA
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K5RIX
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2009, 04:41:20 AM »

There is no way you can learn the code by casual listening. It isn't hard, but you need to make the commitment and get instruction.  Once you learn the code, then listening and, especially, operating will get you on the way to proficiency.

You will reach a point where you are comfy; that's when you want to turn up the speed.  If you do this on the air doing QSO's, you will learn quickly and well.

But you must first get instruction.  Good luck!

Ric K5RIX
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