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Author Topic: "CW by osmosis" (please read what I mean)  (Read 11434 times)
LB3KB
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Posts: 224


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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 08:18:38 AM »

The instructions are quite clear, as soon as you score 90% or better you should add another character.

The programs could (and probably should, if it's that important) do that automatically.

I don't know about that - the scoring is open to interpretation at more than one level.  When I said that the instructions are clear, I was referring to the percentage at which you should add a letter.

It is possible to get a total score of more than 90% and at the same time get less than 90% on one or more characters.  Some reasoning may be required.  For instance, if you scored close to 100% but missed the only M that was sent - you should move on even though the individual score for M would be 0%

Some programs don't offer grading at all, others have it as an option.  JLMC grades in real time, I don't think any of the other programs do that.  Even when grading happens in real time, you may disagree with the score.


There is also something to be said for not forcing your own ideas on people.  While I believe that Koch's method is the best option for learning Morse code, I created JLMC in such a way that you can use many other methods for learning if you want to.  I don't believe in using visual aids for learning Morse code, but some people want it so I included it (as an option).


73
K4NL Sid
justlearnmorsecode.com
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AD0AE
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 08:33:50 AM »

Hi All-

Thank you for the responses to my post.  I want to jump back in again and just answer what N3DF asked.  Unfortunately I haven't done as much 'on-air' listening as I would like to mainly because I haven't got an antenna outside my place (or inside for that matter).  So that has made just listening a bit problematic.  (If you do a quick search of my callsign on eham you will see me asking a lot of antenna questions particularly about stealth style antennas).  Second, for the most part I have probably spent on average about 5 minutes a day doing Koch code practice.  Admittedly, that is VERY minimalistic.  I would like to increase up to at least 10-15 minutes a day.  I also read somewhere that it can take up to 90 hours to learn at 13 wpm or faster (honestly, I can't remember where I saw that...).

I have found the Koch method useful, and thank you Sid for writing the software.  I have used it and really like it quite a bit!

AD0AE
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N4KZ
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Posts: 597




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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 01:11:35 PM »

I think you realize that 5-10 minutes a day of CW practice probably isn't enough. Try at least 30 minutes a day. Or better yet, get on the air. You said you lack an antenna at present. Put something up - indoors if that's all you can manage - and work some CW on the air. Back your rig's power down to 10 watts or so. You can make contacts at that power level and probably avoid RFI issues in the building. There is no substitute for actual on-air operating/listening. The computer stuff is OK, I suppose, but personal computers didn't exist when I was getting my feet wet many years ago. I taught myself CW and then just jumped in on the air. Don't worry about embarrassing yourself or anything like that. Just get on the air. You'll make mistakes, and it might be frustrating and confusing, but you know what??? You will learn fast and see your CW competency climb higher and faster than anything you can do with a computer program.

73 and GL and CU on the air.
N4KZ
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K7RNO
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2013, 05:14:09 PM »

If you aren't able to get on the air as much as you'd like, but have time to listen to QRQ code on a commute or something, do that too. 

...as a passenger, yes. In public transportation, yes. But NOT WHEN YOU ARE BEHIND THE WHEEL!

Someone had to say it. And with it said, I want to suggest a speaker under your pillow at night, fed with whatever code you can record for this purpose.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2013, 07:17:07 PM »

If you aren't able to get on the air as much as you'd like, but have time to listen to QRQ code on a commute or something, do that too. 
...as a passenger, yes. In public transportation, yes. But NOT WHEN YOU ARE BEHIND THE WHEEL!

I'd have to offer a mild disagreement at that.  I've done mobile CW and I decided that I had too much traffic to make QSOs safely while commuting--I'm a fairly urban area.  But just LISTENING to CW is a different matter--I can't imagine why listening to CW while you drive is any more dangerous than listening to the Rolling Stones or CNN while you're driving.  If you feel it's unsafe, fine, don't do it, but I don't imagine many other people are going to feel that way.
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K7RNO
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2013, 09:27:33 PM »

If you aren't able to get on the air as much as you'd like, but have time to listen to QRQ code on a commute or something, do that too. 
...as a passenger, yes. In public transportation, yes. But NOT WHEN YOU ARE BEHIND THE WHEEL!

I'd have to offer a mild disagreement at that.  I've done mobile CW and I decided that I had too much traffic to make QSOs safely while commuting--I'm a fairly urban area.  But just LISTENING to CW is a different matter--I can't imagine why listening to CW while you drive is any more dangerous than listening to the Rolling Stones or CNN while you're driving.  If you feel it's unsafe, fine, don't do it, but I don't imagine many other people are going to feel that way.

No hard feelings, GU, you do what you are comfortable with and other people may just be uninformed. That said, you might want to look into research that shows how keeping your brain busy with other things will distract from driving. Listening to music can be relaxing. Listening (really listening) to the news is different. Listening to CW, deciphering it, is also different from hearing relaxing background sounds. But then, maybe you are one of the two people who can truly multitask without losing effectiveness. That would be awesome and my hat would be off to you.

Drive safely!
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1236




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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2013, 06:33:06 AM »

... you might want to look into research that shows how keeping your brain busy with other things will distract from driving. Listening to music can be relaxing. Listening (really listening) to the news is different. Listening to CW, deciphering it, is also different from hearing relaxing background sounds.

Well, I sure agree with you about the issue of safety, no question there.  I *never* use my cellphone in the car, never.  I'll find a parking lot and pull in if I have to make a call.  And that's why I gave up on working CW while I was commuting--it took more attention thank I was comfortable with.  I'd guess that most of us pay more attention to the road and traffic than to what we're just listening to.  I know I sometimes miss part of a news story in the car because I'm watching the road.  And I'd *think* (just guessing) that if you're listening to CW, while driving, you tune out the CW when needed ...   But yeah, I certainly agree with you on the basic issue of safety.  Smiley
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AC6CV
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2013, 08:03:38 AM »

I built my CW speed in the military service. I was an amateur a couple of years before I entered the military. I don't know about other military training methods but I attended a school where we sat at a typewriter position and typed code for hours. Keep in mind I could not type and there were no letters marked on the typewriter keys. I had to learn where the keys on the typewriter were located as I learned the code. During some code sessions they had practice tapes and a rotary switch you could select which speed you wanted to copy and just keep increasing the speed. There were no fancy methods except just hours and hours of practice. At other practice sessions we copied tapes of actual commercial and military CW traffic on logs. We copied NSS weather reports on commercial frequencies. I don't know if NSS even gives CW weather reports any more. I do know 500kc is gone for commercial ships. However, W1AW gives code practice at different speeds. It is a great way to build your speed. I don't think there is any easy way to build your code speed. It takes hard work.
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K7RNO
Member

Posts: 279




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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2013, 10:08:52 AM »

CV, you are pretty much describing my own experience, only that was with the German Navy. I particularly remember one command where I was the sole OP on a landing craft, with lots of time to spend. I used most of it to just practice copying code and partaking in contests, reaching up to 32 WPM (copying with a typewriter). That must have come to the attention of the flotilla radio officer who rewarded me by sending me to the next 3 months of training to become a radio mate.

Our typewriters did have letters on the keys, though. But I understand the idea behind not having letters there and think it is a good idea to make you a perfect typist as well.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
K7KBN
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Posts: 2782




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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2013, 10:11:59 AM »

I built my CW speed in the military service. I was an amateur a couple of years before I entered the military. I don't know about other military training methods but I attended a school where we sat at a typewriter position and typed code for hours. Keep in mind I could not type and there were no letters marked on the typewriter keys. I had to learn where the keys on the typewriter were located as I learned the code. During some code sessions they had practice tapes and a rotary switch you could select which speed you wanted to copy and just keep increasing the speed. There were no fancy methods except just hours and hours of practice. At other practice sessions we copied tapes of actual commercial and military CW traffic on logs. We copied NSS weather reports on commercial frequencies. I don't know if NSS even gives CW weather reports any more. I do know 500kc is gone for commercial ships. However, W1AW gives code practice at different speeds. It is a great way to build your speed. I don't think there is any easy way to build your code speed. It takes hard work.

Exactly right.  "Ten minutes every other day" isn't going to cut it.  As draconian as the military radio schools were, there were very few dropouts by those who couldn't learn to copy 22 wpm inside of six months.  Like learning a new language, the best way for most is to be totally immersed in it for an hour or more EVERY day.

I could easily copy 25 wpm with a stick ("pen/pencil") on my very first day of Navy RM "A" School in 1963.  But I couldn't type that fast.  And, as AC6CV noted, the typewriters had blank key caps.  So every time my class had a code session, I went to "Code Control", the room where all of the Boehme Keyers (mechanical punched-tape machines - but not teletype tape) were located.  There were a bunch of us students in the same pickle: good code speed but lousy typists.  And another characteristic we had in common was that all of us were hams.  Once the tapes were running the proper speeds on the proper channels, we sat down and practiced our typing by copying code.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K7RNO
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2013, 10:19:38 AM »

Exactly right.  "Ten minutes every other day" isn't going to cut it.  As draconian as the military radio schools were, there were very few dropouts by those who couldn't learn to copy 22 wpm inside of six months.  Like learning a new language, the best way for most is to be totally immersed in it for an hour or more EVERY day.

Agreed. However, the military would not assign a soldier to radio service if he wasn't talented for code. So those already would have an advantage learning code over anybody else who was more talented for other skills.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
NY7Q
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2013, 10:45:08 AM »

I have been working on learning CW for the 1-2 years now at 12 WPM using the Koch Method (Just Learn Morse code program). For a while, I was only doing about 5-10 minutes a day, but I am going to try to amp things up in the near future. Months ago I posted a thread asking about practical ways to 'listen' to CW and try to do head copying.  This is related, but a slightly different question.  I was suggested by another ham to just listen to fast CW (20-30 wpm) as a means of helping to gain speed and comprehension, such as listening during a commute to/from work.  (NOTE: this would not be a REPLACEMENT for doing practice during the day)  I program a fair amount during the day, so I thought this could be straight forward to implement.

So the question: has this method worked for anyone?  I have to admit, I am a bit skeptical.  Then again, I am open to giving it a shot.

Get on the air...best way to improve copy speed. spend a few minutes each day sending with a hand key until you feel comfortable.
I highly suggest copying ARRL W1AW each day.
Contests are good after you have gained some copy speed (15-18wpm)
by the way, I have been a high speed op since 1953, using all makes and models of speed keys.
I started with hand key until I got to about 18wpm and then shifted to speed keys.
Any other way, is a detriment to your learning.

Just wondering what other have to say.

Thanks
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M0JHA
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Posts: 647




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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2013, 01:02:35 AM »

As stated ,get on the bands and have fun , slow doesn't mean anything other than slow , if it's good code you will get replies .. listening to code too fast for you to read helps condition the brain and helps to improve on reading more than just single letters .. when you get used to hearing words it gets even easier plus when you get home and listen to qso's you think are at your normal speed they will in all likelihood be faster .. You don't have to understand all of what's sent at speeds faster than you can read for it to be beneficial . push yourself and then when your in "normal" mode it will be easier ..

But get on the bands and have fun ..
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N6GND
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2013, 09:38:37 AM »

But get on the bands and have fun ..

Absolutely. Those who study how people learn (which is a memory function after all) offer a few important points that should not be overlooked with regard to CW:

1. Emotional involvement. You learn more easily, quickly and effectively when the involvement gives you pleasure. If you don't like and are not excited by what you are doing, then you won't learn. My guess is that you are not enjoying the study method(s) you have been using.

2. Focus. Attend fully to your involvement so that you can attune yourself fully to the experience and any enjoyment it offers. I don't think that "osmosis" suggests focus.

3. Time. It takes perhaps ten minutes to warm up and get attuned to any activity which differs from what you were doing before. Then another ten minutes simply to recognize what you enjoy about the experience. A final ten minutes when you decide to push yourself a bit and make up your mind to continue a while longer or pack it in for the day.

I don't think "osmosis" is the way to learn anything.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2013, 11:32:58 AM »

5 to 10 minutes a day just isn't enough. That's the problem!

Also, read the following:


http://www.eham.net/articles/23837

Good luck & 73 de Jim N2EY
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