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Author Topic: Learning Morse code  (Read 4026 times)
KC8EQF
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Posts: 16




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« on: April 01, 2013, 12:53:44 PM »

  I had a traumatic head injury from a motorcycle accident. Because of that, I have a difficult time remembering details and suspect ADD. I would really like to learn code and become proficient in using CW. If anyone can suggest learning resources for overcoming this disability and using CW, it would be appreciated. I want to get on 40 meters and home brew a QRP CW  transceiver.   73'S KC8EQF Frank
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 01:41:09 PM »

Well, unless that took you a long time to type, seems like the ol' noggin is working okay for you!

I always think it's easiest to learn the code with a partner, so you can practice it together, like back and forth across a table with two keys and an oscillator.

Any chance you can do that?
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 988




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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 12:25:56 AM »

an article I wrote years ago on learning the code verbally with a partner might help...

http://www.aralb.org/Commitees/Morse_code/index.htm
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M0JHA
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Posts: 646




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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 01:09:31 AM »

Well first thing is decide if you really want to learn it . Sounds daft but you need to be dedicated in learning the code , half baked attempts won't cut it ..If you do that's half the battle . Code isn't hard , just something new and like lots of new things we may not understand it at first.

Start learning the alphabet and numbers , no slower than about 12-15wpm DONT use any visual aid and DONT count dits and dahs ..

I started off with the alphabet IN ORDER for a week , yes i knew what was coming next after a while BUT it still went in , after that i mixed them up and found it worked for me ..

have a large space between characters to give yourself time to de code before the next character is sent ..

basically start at the beginning , a-z then 0-9 progress onto abbreviations, short words commonly used etc

use the available pc programs to pump out random characters etc and qso's when you get that far ..

just do it methodically , theres no point trying to read a word for example if first you don't know all the alphabet etc ..

above all , try and enjoy the learning experience , don't see it as something that's hard and tiresome , enjoy learning that new letter etc and don't be in a rush to be 100% copy at 40wpm in a month as some would have you believe they did .

good luck .

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M0LEP
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 02:58:02 AM »

I started off with the alphabet IN ORDER for a week , yes i knew what was coming next after a while BUT it still went in , after that i mixed them up and found it worked for me ..

I wish I'd started like that, with the whole alphabet in one go. For me the learn a character, add a character iterative process became less effective almost exponentially as characters were added.

DONT count dits and dahs

Personally, I found long gaps between characters counter-productive too, because it gave me time to do exactly that, even though I tried character speeds up to 30wpm. It's a VERY hard thought process to break. Better to start at 12wpm straight than at 20wpm characters with 12wpm gaps, I'd say.

73, Rick M0LEP
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M0JHA
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 05:12:10 AM »

I looked at all the options first then made a reasonably informed decision how i was going to do it . I think it's something that's not a " one size fits all " sort of thing . The main thing is we learn the code in whichever way we as individuals see is the best option for us . I tried a few times going off how others had advised but never got it , when i sat and thought about what it was i was actually trying to achieve and made out a methodical and ( to me ) logical approach i smashed it .

Don't get me wrong it was still a lot of study etc but i made real progress from day one , i didn't see it as a chore , if i learnt one new letter every other day i was happy , i was one letter closer . when i could pick out the odd 3 letter word i was one word closer etc etc ..

as soon as i had learnt the alphabet and nubers that was it i had learnt the code , speed was another matter , as far as i was concerned i had learnt it so that was my first goal sorted , if someone sent me hello at 12wpm i could de code it , i had done what i set out to do , my next challenge was speeding up and getting things to flow ..so on i went on another mission eventually biting the bullet and having a "qso" if that's what you could call it  Smiley so i was going forward in small but positive steps but like i say i just did what i personally thought was working for me .

we all have ways best suited to ourselves for learning all manner of things not just code but i do think one of the biggest hurdles is thinking it is some sort of skill far beyond our reaches because it's so difficult when the fact is it isn't , it's just like everything else new to us .

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M0LEP
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 07:57:57 AM »

Catch comes when you press on stubbornly down the wrong road because folks insist it's the right one. I wasted a year or more fighting through Koch lessons that weren't teaching me anything useful, trying to catch that automatic recognition thing. My brain's a lot more analytical than intuitive, and given a slivver of a chance it will analyse that sound, pull it apart, and only then decide what it was. It's not going to be fooled into skipping the analysis, so Kock's premise is all very well, and apparently works for some, but it was never going to work for me, and I should have realised that a lot sooner...
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3900




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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 09:54:20 AM »

EQF:  After several years enjoying the eHam forums, especially the CW forum, I don't recall ever seeing any information that would help someone learn code that has had a brain injury.

With that being said, I respectfully suggest you spend a LOT of time reading back through the many questions and answers that are archived here on the CW forum.  There is a wealth of information here for you to evaluate.

Whenever anyone has had an injury, then it's up to that person to determine what form of learning or therapy works for them.

Anything you read now, starting from the first post after your question, are simply going to be repeats of what has been said many times. 

I also suggest as you read back through the previous posts here, you keep notes on what methods have been recommended by others. Examples would be the Koch, Farnsworth and direct methods.

Google any terminology you don't understand and then try each of them for a short period of time to see which one works.
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K3VV
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 07:00:05 PM »

Look around the Handiham site and contact them directly if you don't find what you need there.  I checked briefly just now and didn't see anything directly relevant.   They're likely to have experience with this exact question.   

http://www.handiham.org/

Contact page:
http://www.handiham.org/drupal2/contact
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KE6EE
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Posts: 397




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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 03:25:46 PM »

  I had a traumatic head injury from a motorcycle accident. Because of that, I have a difficult time remembering details and suspect ADD.

The recommendations for various approaches to learning code are good and worth following. On the other hand your problems with memory due to brain trauma would not ordinarily be diagnosed as ADD which is another sort of challenge. You might, if you have not already, consult a neuropsychologist who can test you and help you determine what sort of memory deficit you may have and how best to deal with it. It certainly would be of benefit to your memory generally to work at learning Morse (or at learning any new challenging skill). Your courage in challenging yourself to learn new skills is impressive. Best wishes.
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AB9NZ
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Posts: 177




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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 04:18:36 PM »

Frank,
   I think you would be a perfect candidate for Code Quick. Please check out the website http://www.cq2k.com/  and also the reviews here on e-Ham. It worked really great for me.
                 Very best regards, Tom Bruzan, AB9NZ, Mount Prospect, Illinois
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IK0YGJ
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Posts: 43


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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 02:46:44 AM »

Hi Frank,
I had a very similar problem as you: a brain stroke back in 2008. After that I had to underwent a recovery process that inspired me to put down my experience in a book, aimed at learning CW. You can download Zen and the Art Of Radiotelegraphy free in PDF format here:

http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/index.html

The book had a fair international appreciation, and today is translated in 4 languages: Italian, English, German, French.
It approaches learning in a completely different perspective, leveraging the unique capability and ability of our brain to detect, learn and apply patterns.
Let me know any feedback !
Ciao 73
Carlo
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