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Author Topic: Letter progression question  (Read 4926 times)
AB1TS
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« on: July 26, 2013, 04:29:02 PM »

Like others I am learning CW using the Koch method and mostly G4FON set at 20 wpm character speed and 15 wpm effective code speed. The letter progression seems kinda arbitrary to me that he uses. Could anyone explain this too me?
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M0LEP
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 12:44:42 AM »

Different Koch programs use different progressions, and a few even allow you to choose between a selection of progressions. As the object of the exercise is to train you to hear the sound or tune of the characters and not to analyse the patterns they're built of, the progression is probably trying to string together sufficiently different sounds to begin with, and keeping the more similar sounds for later. Works for some folk, but it's probably better to just run with it, and not to try to analyse the progression.
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AB1TS
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 06:50:22 AM »

Thanks for the reply. I wasn't dwelling on it to much, mostly just curious.
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KD8IIC
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 12:03:58 AM »

 I have found one of the nicest features using G4FON is that you can choose the exact letters and numbers you need to drill on at any time.
 I like to do Z Q 7 X and / set at one minute. Now there's a challenge to writing those down without getting tripped up but it will certainly get one past any confusion after many drill sessions.
 I also like to dial in B 6 H and 5 but any combination of letters and numbers that you find that are not being instantly recognized yet can be drilled in this manner. So the G4FON is the most flexible PC based Morse tutors that I have had experience with in this regard.  73  de  n8aft  sk  ..
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IZ2UUF
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 01:32:37 PM »

I like to do Z Q 7 X and / set at one minute. Now there's a challenge to writing those down without getting tripped up but it will certainly get one past any confusion after many drill sessions.
 I also like to dial in B 6 H and 5 but any combination of letters and numbers that you find that are not being instantly recognized yet can be drilled in this manner. So the G4FON is the most flexible PC based Morse tutors that I have had experience with in this regard.  73  de  n8aft  sk  ..

Hi!
I also tried this technique to drill harder letters, but I found that drilling letters alone seems to be a different exercise. It becomes quickly very easy to work, let's say, on B and 6 alone, but as soon as all the remaining letters are brought back again, all this easiness seems to disappear.
Instead I found much more effective to increase the frequency of harder letters: they are still proposed mixed with the other, but being presented significantly more often, they are trained a lot.
In this way, our brain, which is notoriously very smart and lazy, is forced to expect always any letter and not to rely on the knowledge of the reduced subset.

Davide IZ2UUF
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Davide IZ2UUF - FISTS #16285 - SKCC #9531 - JN45nk
KD8IIC
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 05:46:42 AM »

  Yes Davide ; I usually mix up No Less than five numbers, letters and pro-signs too...As an added challenge, speeding it up past the 'comfort-zone' works well too. 73
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M0LEP
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 06:32:22 AM »

but as soon as all the remaining letters are brought back again, all this easiness seems to disappear.

Aye, looked at the other way round, that's probably my main problem with the whole Koch progressive approach; each time a new character was added it threw what I'd learned of the previous ones into complete confusion...
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IZ2UUF
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 08:53:07 AM »

Aye, looked at the other way round, that's probably my main problem with the whole Koch progressive approach; each time a new character was added it threw what I'd learned of the previous ones into complete confusion...

I usually mix up No Less than five numbers, letters and pro-signs too...

I think that it's all about the mechanism our brain uses to recognize patterns.
Our brain chooses the easiest "signature" to tell which is which among a set of items.
For example, if we start with "M" and "K", our brain could simply say that "K" is the one with something short in it (the dot) and "M" is the other one. As soon as we add another letter, for example "A", the signature "has something short in it" doesn't work anymore: this is why we get in confusion also on older letters.
Our brain will have to rethink some signatures, while other will be still valid. Probably everyone of us will take a different route, making the rethinking process more or less expensive.
This is why I don't like working on subsets to enforce weak letters as KD8IIC does: I believe we should always work using the entire set of letters we know, but increasing the frequency of the weak ones.
For example, if one knows "KMRSUAPTLOWI" and gets confused on "U/W", he should increase the frequency of "U" and "W" to stress them, but never work on a subset like "UWAPK" to avoid developing weak signatures.

73 de Davide IZ2UUF
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Davide IZ2UUF - FISTS #16285 - SKCC #9531 - JN45nk
M0LEP
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 09:30:55 AM »

This is why I don't like working on subsets

The whole Koch system is based on a slowly growing subset. May work for some...

the signature "has something short in it" doesn't work anymore

I eventually had to go for an "everything all at once" approach, and try to sort things out in one big hit. I still have more trouble with "M" than the number of times I've heard it should allow. Mind, I also still make a whole bunch of silly mistakes, especially as the speed get higher; common ones for me are "F" and "L", "1" and "6", "2" and "7", "7" and "3", "H" and "5", "B" and "V", "D" and "B", "U" and "V", "V" and "4", "A" and "N", "E" and "T", "Q" and "Y", "J" and "W"...

...and never mind the characters (often the shortest ones) which just seem to fall into the gaps so I don't even notice I've missed them. A lot depends on what's before and after.
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KD8IIC
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 09:59:19 AM »

  Well, I really don't know what to tell you....what is working great for me, sub-sets and groups of easy to mistake letters and numbers which sound a lot alike, must not work for everyone. My best advice to anyone who has indeed learned Morse is to get on the air as soon as you can and put into practice what you have. It is quite different than listening to a recorded lesson or PC running a program.  Best Wishes to you all and listening for you.  I enjoy slow code QSO's with
 first-timers too. look me up in QRZ for contact info to sked. Cheesy
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M0LEP
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 10:47:51 AM »

what is working great for me, sub-sets and groups of easy to mistake letters and numbers which sound a lot alike, must not work for everyone.

Yep. No surprises there. Folks learn different ways. Trick is to recognise quickly when something isn't working for you, and stop wasting time on it. I was dumb, and wasted two years (or so) on Koch...

...and yes, time spent on-air (even just listening) may well be more useful than time spent listening to the output of computer programs (though they have their place).
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AB1TS
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 12:58:00 PM »

What program allows you to increase the frequency of particular letters. As far as I can tell the G4FON app doesn't have the ability to do this.
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LB3KB
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 02:01:49 PM »

What program allows you to increase the frequency of particular letters.

Just Learn Morse Code allows you to do that.

Select /Source/Selected characters.
If you enter AAAABBC it will use the letters A, B and C - where A is four times as likely as C and B is twice as likely as C.


73
K4NL Sid
justlearnmorsecode.com
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IZ2UUF
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 04:35:22 PM »

What program allows you to increase the frequency of particular letters. As far as I can tell the G4FON app doesn't have the ability to do this.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, my app IZ2UUF Morse Koch CW does support programmable and/or automatic letter frequency enhancement.

73 de Davide IZ2UUF
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Davide IZ2UUF - FISTS #16285 - SKCC #9531 - JN45nk
KF7VUT
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 09:55:40 PM »

Davide, My wife and I are both using that app...it is great!  I can listen to it while driving and really helps the study time.  Thanks a lot for the time you put into it.  I encourage anyone else learning to download the app its by far the best one that i have found and its FREE!

5 stars.

73
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