Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Need help organizing a Morse course  (Read 6393 times)
WX2S
Member

Posts: 735




Ignore
« on: October 11, 2013, 02:03:07 AM »

Several of the hams in my workplace are interested in learning Morse code. Is there anyone here who has taught Morse and can give me some advice about how to organize an informal training?

73,
Steve.
Logged

73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
WD8KNI
Member

Posts: 149




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 07:02:12 AM »

Steve, I have taught many people, but must tell you that many will disagree with me.  I do however have success on my side.  I have also rescued many hams who were about to give up on the code.  It takes less time to time to learn the code at 20 WPM as it does to learn it at 5, then 10, then 15, then 20 WPM..   Consider this.. older hams learned the code to get their next privilege, 5,-- 20 were important steps where you could use old methods to learn.  Todays hams if they want to learn code want to learn it for conversation.

You are trying to learn a new language, you did not learn to speak by listening so someone speaking very slowly, nor did you learn to speak by having someone leave large amounts of space between the characters, in fact you did not learn any characters at all till you already could already speak..  You learned to speak by listening, recognize the sound, then putting the sounds together to form words, then you learned to put the words together to form sentences. Then and ONLY THEN did you learn write the characters. 

What ever you do do not allow the stumbling blocks to ever be created.

Stumbling Blocks:  Anytime you are allowed time to play mind games and translate in your head you are creating a stumbling block that must be overcome at some point in time.  A good example is Farnsworth.. leave time to   hear "dit da" think "dit da" that is a A write a A.  as your speed increases you must stop the very bad habit you created, the mind lookup table as you just don't have the time.  The solution, is don't ever allow this huge stumbling block to ever be created

Start with one character at 20 WPM, then add a second character at 20 WPM send both as they are SAYING the characters, when they get 98% of each character correct add the 3rd and keep progressing..   After they actually learn to recognize the character then then will naturally learn to keep notes or write what is important to them... they already know how to write, so you don't need to connect their finger to their brain, they can already do that that part.  Bad code methods create a connection between your ear, brain, finger and paper, You then must break this connection if you are ever going to enjoy the code.. I challenge anyone to show me a person who writes every character down and enjoys using code..  People who enjoy code, write down thing like name, call, location and have conversations.

if you are dealing with someone who is having problems..  Send them a page from any book at 20 WPM tell them to write what they hear and to put a mark for anything they don't hear.. What you want to know is what was the first character missed in a group, as that is the one they don't know the sound of..  example..   "jill walked up the ----- to get a --il"  you are interested in the letter "h" and "p" only as they were attempting to translate got frustrated and gave up, that took an 5 characters in the first case and 2 characters in the second case to complete that bad process they learned.  Then send h and p over and over at 20 WPM interleaved with out letter that sound close like S and 5 and P and X without writing, you will fix their problem in one hour session.. and have them at 20 WPM..

There are few good programs that you can turn off Farnsworth and set the speed. And characters you are working on.

Regards.. Fred
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3900




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 09:57:09 AM »

Steve: I am one who disagrees with Fred.  However, I suggest you give his method a try. 

If this method seems to work, then continue but I suspect you will find many failing or falling behind.

Fred uses learning a language as an example.....saying that it's better to learn how words are spoken at the normal speed.  When I was in Germany, I and many others attempted to learn German and it first became necessary to listen to how a word sounded when enunciated slowly.  Then after hearing how it was pronounced then go to the normal speed.  I many cases people don't really hear what they are hearing!  (That one might give you a headache)

Military code school taught code starting with 5 WPM and worked up in speed.  I'm not saying this was the best way..... and as the old Army saying goes, "There's the right way, the wrong way and the Army way!"  However, it did work.  They managed to turn out thousands of CW operators and intercept operators.
 
It should be an interesting experiment for you and the results should be posted back here on the CW forum.  To have a closed mind on learning methods isn't good.

Al - K8AXW
Logged
KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 2407




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 10:19:00 AM »

For an informal course, plan it informally on the back of an envelope or napkin!  Smiley

I too disagree about cramming high speed code down the throats of beginners.  Now, there is no 'right' way, each person responds to different techniques.  I recommend using standard teaching order of the similar letters, sent at faster than 5wpm, but with wider spacing.  Mix up methods; have the students practice sending etc.    Just do it.
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 11:27:48 AM »

I taught code classes for nearly 20 years, mostly at a local Vo-Tech school who offered me a "free" classroom on Tuesday evenings.  I didn't charge anything for the classes and some classes had as many as 20 people in them (most were smaller, like 6-8). 

My method worked well, based on success.  Anyone who didn't "drop out" and actually attended eight sessions was going 13 wpm, both sending and receiving, just fine.  Some were going faster.

My method: Set up students in pairs, sitting across the table from each other.  Each pair has a code practice oscillator and two hand keys, one for each.

The teacher (me) also has a CPO and a key.  I'd send a letter, starting with the easiest ones (E, T, I, M, A, N) and have all the students practice sending those, taking turns back and forth, sending to each other.  In the first session (one hour), they would have all these six letters down pat without knowing anything about "dits" or "dahs," just by their sounds, and could start making words and sentences: I AM A MAN.

That would usually get them psyched up for the next class, when we'd review these six and then add six more (U, D, W, G, R, K).  I'd have them practice will all twelve letters, but not necessarily jumbling them up...just making words and sentences to keep it "interesting" and learn the ability to anticipate what's coming when you have "most of it," just like we really do when we're operating.

GREAT KIND TURK.  Hundreds of phrases can be made from twelve letters.

Next week, review and add six more.  With eighteen letters under their belts, they're 2/3 finished with the alphabet and now I'm sending them names of baseball teams, football teams, hockey and basketball teams, all sorts of stuff.  Often, I'm only halfway through sending a name and students shout out the rest...

BOSTON CE...

"Boston Celtics!"  Yep.

This method has never failed for me.  It's "interesting," interactive, and gets them to send as well as receive...and there's not much use knowing how to copy code if you can't send it.
Logged
WX2S
Member

Posts: 735




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 03:45:30 PM »

WIK, that's interesting. Did you start at 13 words per minute?

73, S.
Logged

73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 11:40:45 AM »

WIK, that's interesting. Did you start at 13 words per minute?

73, S.


Probably about that.  Never really clocked it, as the instructional sending was with a hand key and probably varied in speed a bit.

Didn't seem to matter, much.  The students learn to recognize the characters by sound and translate that sound to a letter, number or symbol without thinking about dits and dahs.  I tried to avoid even using words like "dot and dashes" or "dits and dahs," they're just unique sounds.

I never gave anybody any paper or pencils/pens, either. Wink   I always figured if you can copy, you can copy, and writing stuff down doesn't help.

One of my first "graduates" was my nephew Rob who became KD6EWT than AJ6E now N8YM.  He went from zero to Extra (with the 20 wpm test) in one shot and for the VE exam never wrote down any of the code copy.  He put his name and date at the top of the paper, listened to the code and answered ten questions 100% correctly. 

The VE examiner called the other two over to watch that.  "I never saw anybody do that before."
Logged
KE6EE
Member

Posts: 398




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 06:01:56 PM »

I taught code classes for nearly 20 years...My method worked well, based on success...

That sounds like a superb method to me and reflects closely my experience learning code more than 50 years ago using a borrowed Instructograph (a sending machine which used perforated paper tape). I was a kid and I learned the alphabet in a few days by just doing it for short periods several times a day.

The critical points are 1. Experiencing the characters as sounds not as combinations of dits and dahs. For example "F" is not heard as di-dah-di-di but as something more like the word "fraternity." 2. As soon as the alphabet is learned, then it is put to actual or practice use listening and responding to actual QSOs whether on the air or with a couple of keys and an oscillator.

The second is a critical step which seems to be overlooked by learners who try to develop the rather abstract and very difficult skill of just listening to characters at ever-increasing speeds. This is usually very difficult and frustrating.

All language learning and using has two quite separate but complimentary ways of getting messages across. The first are the actual sounds sent or spoken and received. The second is the context of the communication, whether it is a QSO or a spoken conversation, in which one knows, after a little experience, what is coming next and what the information is likely to be. "Hi Joe, how ya doin?" doesn't require listening closely to every word. Neither does "GE OM es tnx fer call."
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 09:14:02 AM »

I taught code classes for nearly 20 years...My method worked well, based on success...

That sounds like a superb method to me and reflects closely my experience learning code more than 50 years ago using a borrowed Instructograph (a sending machine which used perforated paper tape). I was a kid and I learned the alphabet in a few days by just doing it for short periods several times a day.

The critical points are 1. Experiencing the characters as sounds not as combinations of dits and dahs. For example "F" is not heard as di-dah-di-di but as something more like the word "fraternity."

If it's heard as di-dah-di-dit, that would be an "L." Wink

There was an old U.S. Army method of teaching code relating the letter sounds to common words but I always thought that was a really bad method, as it requires two steps: sound-familiar word-letter.  Better to skip the "familiar word" part and just convert sound-to-letter, directly. 

I had to "re-teach" a lot of older guys who had Army code training in the 50s-60s to get them to drop that bad habit; as soon as they did, their speed improved quickly.
Logged
KE6EE
Member

Posts: 398




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 09:27:02 AM »

If it's heard as di-dah-di-dit, that would be an "L." Wink

There was an old U.S. Army method of teaching code relating the letter sounds to common words but I always thought that was a really bad method, as it requires two steps: sound-familiar word-letter.  Better to skip the "familiar word" part and just convert sound-to-letter, directly. 

Oh oh! I guess I was thinking "F" as in "fraternity!"

Anyway it certainly worked for me simply to suggest that listening to a whole character sound, as if it were a word, is much better than trying to count dis and dahs. Once I got the idea of it about "fraternity" for "L" I was able to move right on and learn the alphabet in a few hours. I can't remember a single other word which echoes the sound of a character so it was only the single example that I needed to get the idea.

I agree that applying this idea by finding a common word for each character only makes the process more cumbersome and difficult.

As I tried to say your method sounds exactly right to me.
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20611




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 10:44:03 AM »

If it's heard as di-dah-di-dit, that would be an "L." Wink

There was an old U.S. Army method of teaching code relating the letter sounds to common words but I always thought that was a really bad method, as it requires two steps: sound-familiar word-letter.  Better to skip the "familiar word" part and just convert sound-to-letter, directly. 

Oh oh! I guess I was thinking "F" as in "fraternity!"

Anyway it certainly worked for me simply to suggest that listening to a whole character sound, as if it were a word, is much better than trying to count dis and dahs. Once I got the idea of it about "fraternity" for "L" I was able to move right on and learn the alphabet in a few hours. I can't remember a single other word which echoes the sound of a character so it was only the single example that I needed to get the idea.

I agree that applying this idea by finding a common word for each character only makes the process more cumbersome and difficult.

As I tried to say your method sounds exactly right to me.

Yeah, it would be "F" for "fraternity."

In the Army I remember them teaching "The L with it!" for "L" (follows the pattern), and "Dog did it!" for "D" (follows the pattern) and so forth, but this is really an awful way. Wink
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!