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Author Topic: My Morse Learning Campaign  (Read 128678 times)
KA5PIU
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #210 on: June 17, 2014, 08:27:37 AM »

Hello.

When Radio Shack was selling this tiny PC board.
http://www.n4mw.com/cp373.htm
I had this guy who I knew who was a woodworker extreme.
Anyhow, I built a code oscillator like yours, fahnestock clips and all.
He got a piece of scrap wood, and drilled 8 holes, routered a cavity and had me hand sand it.
I mounted 8 thumbscrews, mounted the CPO board on the underside and an AA cell holder.
2 wires went to a speaker, 4 to a key and or paddle, 2 to a sounder, like an old telegraph set, and 2 could connect to a telegraph line.
Not only did it look much nicer, but it could work with the old boy scout one piece telegraph sets.
The reason this was important is that you will learn faster and have far more incentive if you have a buddy.
Even if this is just in another room or tent, the desire to "get it right" is much stronger with friends.
http://www.zianet.com/sparks/toy.html
So, even it it is nothing more than a bit of bent metal for a key, having 2 of them connected is the way to go!
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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #211 on: June 22, 2014, 08:49:30 AM »

Anyhow, I built a code oscillator like yours, fahnestock clips and all.

That very same circuit is used in the two-tube crystal controlled transmitter that I will be building. The code oscillator becomes the inboard sidetone generator!

The reason this was important is that you will learn faster and have far more incentive if you have a buddy.

My remedy for that is to try to get on the air as soon as possible. The basic plan is to attempt to take a week of vacation but stay at home (no traveling) and devote the entire week to ham radio: re-building the shack, then building and erecting the antenna and building the transmitter. Might be possible sometimes in July.

Concerning the code practice: I've been doing quite a lot this weekend, much more than in recent weeks, and it's going well.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20635




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« Reply #212 on: June 22, 2014, 04:10:52 PM »

AXW: Al, you are totally correct to tax me with being "sporadic" and unfortunately, "that's life" at the moment. My priorities are, starting at the top: family, work, ..... ham radio. At the moment, and for much of the 2.5 years since I've been licensed, the first two items on the list have taken up most of my time.

Impatience: nope, that's not me!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


Martin, you must add in: Mussels and Corona Beer, as those were prevalent when we met for lunch a few months ago in L.A. Wink
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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #213 on: June 23, 2014, 08:13:35 AM »

Martin, you must add in: Mussels and Corona Beer, as those were prevalent when we met for lunch a few months ago in L.A. Wink

Had mussel chowder (this being New England, it's "chowda") on Saturday at the beach in Maine. Also lots of CW practice over the weekend. Even got to practice "head copy" during the drive back to Boston this morning -- XYL was driving and I was listening to random real-word groups at 20wpm. Interesting how the "head copy" seems to "latch in" and "latch out" or at least that's what I'm finding at my novice stage: I catch several words in a row, and then "fall off the bus." Am getting some inspiration from the separate "head copy" thread.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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KB1WSY
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Posts: 812




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« Reply #214 on: June 29, 2014, 02:16:17 PM »

I'm scoring between 85 percent and 87 percent on the 29-character drills.

While the Koch method specifies that you should not add a new character unless you are scoring 90 percent on the already learned characters, I have decided to make an exception this time.

That's because I've been "stuck" on the 29-character level since March 7, three and a half months ago! While there were some periods when I cut back on Morse practice to only about 10 minutes per day (and a three-week vacation during which I did no Morse at all), for the past 9 days I've been doing at least half an hour per day and I'm still stuck at that 85-to-87-percent level.

I have decided that I would prefer to learn all the characters (40 altogether) at the 85 percent level, rather than never completing my Morse campaign, which began ... last November!!!

The 29 characters learned so far are: K, M, R, S, U, A, P, T, L, O, W, I, ., N, J, E, F, 0, Y, V, ,, G, 5, /, Q, 9, Z, H and 3.

Today I am adding the 30th character which is "8" or dah-dah-dah-di-dit.

I am still using these settings: Actual Character Speed 20wpm, Effective Code Speed 17wpm (Farnsworth spacing).

Apart from the listening drills, I am supplementing the learning with monitoring actual QSOs on the air, and doing some sending practice with my code oscillator.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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KK4MRN
Member

Posts: 95




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« Reply #215 on: June 29, 2014, 08:40:43 PM »

Glad to see you picked things back up.  I've recently picked it back up myself.  Went to an ARRL Field Day and watched a ham make contacts with a paddle.  It was exciting the way they had it set up.  Multiple radios and antennas.  While the cw op did his thing, i had a headphone where i could hear wherever he tuned.  So, that was exciting.  When he jotted things down on paper, I logged the contacts.  That was the first time i saw a cw op operate in person. 

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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #216 on: July 06, 2014, 03:47:10 AM »

Over the past couple of days, I've been scoring between 87 percent and 89 percent accuracy on the 30-character drills. In keeping with my recent philosophy that this score is "good enough," I am pushing ahead with a new character instead of insisting on a 90 percent score.

The 30 characters learned so far are: K, M, R, S, U, A, P, T, L, O, W, I, ., N, J, E, F, 0, Y, V, ,, G, 5, /, Q, 9, Z, H, 3 and 8.

Today I am adding the 31st character which is "B" or dah-di-di-dit.

That was the first time i saw a cw op operate in person. 

Talking of watching a CW operator. A couple of days ago I was listening to a ham station and looked him up on QRZ. On his QRZ page he actually has a live webcam. So I got to watch him sending, and I could hear the code here on my radio! This is rather cool but it was spoiled by a couple of things: (1) I realized that much of what he was sending was done with a memory keyer; not just the CQs, but also a boilerplate about his station. I'm sure this is quite common but I was hoping to watch more of the hand keying! (2) It was very early in the morning and he was scratching himself and generally looking much like we tend to look in the small hours! Apparently he's had the webcam for so long that he's more or less forgotten it's there ... it's quite a courageous thing to have a webcam.
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3960




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« Reply #217 on: July 06, 2014, 06:40:43 AM »

Quote
. it's quite a courageous thing to have a webcam.

It's also a great way to keep your wife out of the shack!!
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N3PDT
Member

Posts: 76




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« Reply #218 on: July 06, 2014, 08:45:17 AM »

Sheesh, just get on the air already.
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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #219 on: July 06, 2014, 09:45:50 AM »

Sheesh, just get on the air already.

I'm working on it. All in its own good time.
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M0LEP
Member

Posts: 212




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« Reply #220 on: July 06, 2014, 02:49:30 PM »

Sheesh, just get on the air already.

One of Koch's downsides; until you get to the end of the course you don't know enouugh characters to get on the air...
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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #221 on: July 06, 2014, 03:49:10 PM »

One of Koch's downsides; until you get to the end of the course you don't know enouugh characters to get on the air...

Exactly. I am now 77 percent of the way through the Koch course (31 characters out of 40) so the end is in sight.

I could go on the air now (and "skip" the characters I don't yet know) but why not wait until the course is completed. I'm nearly there.
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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #222 on: July 07, 2014, 10:13:45 AM »

The final stages of Getting On The Air are under way.

Today I began building ""A Simple Two-Tube Transmitter" from "How to Become a Radio Amateur," 1968 edition.

This project is being documented in the Homebrew forum here on eham. You can go directly to it by clicking here: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,97719.0.html.

The receiver will be the "Three-Transistor Receiver for the Beginner," which I built last year.

I've only got another nine Morse characters to learn and I think that will be completed at around the same time that the transmitter and antenna are finished, within the next month or two at most.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY

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KB1WSY
Member

Posts: 812




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« Reply #223 on: July 07, 2014, 12:06:44 PM »

I've been scoring an average of about 87 percent accuracy on the 31-character drills. Good enough to add a new character.

The 31 characters learned so far are: K, M, R, S, U, A, P, T, L, O, W, I, ., N, J, E, F, 0, Y, V, ,, G, 5, /, Q, 9, Z, H, 3, 8 and B.

Today I am adding the 32nd character which is "?" or di-di-dah-dah-di-dit.

This character, the "question mark," should be easy because I hear it all the time on the air, when someone is asking for a retransmission of a callsign or whatever!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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AC2EU
Member

Posts: 450


WWW

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« Reply #224 on: July 07, 2014, 01:58:14 PM »

I've been scoring an average of about 87 percent accuracy on the 31-character drills. Good enough to add a new character.

The 31 characters learned so far are: K, M, R, S, U, A, P, T, L, O, W, I, ., N, J, E, F, 0, Y, V, ,, G, 5, /, Q, 9, Z, H, 3, 8 and B.

Today I am adding the 32nd character which is "?" or di-di-dah-dah-di-dit.

This character, the "question mark," should be easy because I hear it all the time on the air, when someone is asking for a retransmission of a callsign or whatever!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


You must be very tenacious. I just used the trainer to learn the letter sounds ( i may have got to 60% for the whole set), then moved on to text copy. I found the random letters on the trainer to a very tedious way to hone my skills. Listening to WIAW and QSO messages was a much more fun and rewarding for me.
The "real word" senders rarely send perfect code like a trainer or W1AW, so it's good to get a feel for that as well.
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