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Author Topic: My Morse Learning Campaign  (Read 316597 times)
KB1WSY
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Posts: 1288




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« Reply #270 on: September 03, 2014, 02:13:51 AM »

Brain to rectum...... increase pucker-factor to 10.

That's funny! Seriously though, at this point I feel like I've had so much practice that it's going to seem fairly routine. I believe that's what the astronauts did in their training: they practiced the same darn procedures over and over and over. It's called something like "insensitivity training." OTOH, it's unlikely that the organ you alluded to will be totally relaxed!

You'll be the first to hear about it. The antenna work is about to begin (I am about to meet with the landlord and his wife to discuss it), and once it's completed, it's CQ time.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #271 on: September 03, 2014, 05:40:09 AM »

This morning, I've lowered the speed to 15wpm which is approximately the speed I'll be aiming for in my first contacts. At the slower speed, my ability to copy "boilerplate QSOs" improves a lot -- but not quite as much as you might expect.

The problem, as old-timers surely will know, is that the characters sound quite different at 15wpm compared to the 20wpm character speed I've been using for the past 10 months in the drills. For instance, at the slower speed I have a lot of trouble with the letter "P" for some reason. Diiih-daaah-daaah-diiiit just sounds completely different from dih-dah-dah-dit (what I previously perceived as a single sound unit gets broken up, therefore harder to copy).

But I think it's excellent practice, because there's no "standard speed" (let alone the wide variety of "fists" out there).

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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N4OI
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #272 on: September 03, 2014, 05:57:28 AM »

Drum roll. please!

First QSO: 5NN TU   

This thread cracks me up!

73   Grin

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AC2EU
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Posts: 1248


WWW

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« Reply #273 on: September 03, 2014, 06:12:23 AM »

At the slower speed, my ability to copy "boilerplate QSOs" improves a lot -- but not quite as much as you might expect.

What? With all of this preparation I would think you could copy Tolstoy's "War and Peace" right "out of the  gate"!  Shocked  Grin

Quote
But I think it's excellent practice, because there's no "standard speed" (let alone the wide variety of "fists" out there).

73 de Martin, KB1WSY


This is why we were telling you that spending all that time with a training program is not all that helpful in the "real world"
You have to learn to 'interpolate" bad fists... and there are many versions of them!  Sad
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KB1WSY
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Posts: 1288




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« Reply #274 on: September 03, 2014, 06:18:45 AM »

I love you guys and you've been very patient with me and my pompous chronicle of code-learning. (Alright, sometimes you've been im-patient but I provided ample provocation for that).

Yes, the Real World is approaching fast and I'm looking forward to it -- for sure, it will reveal all the flaws of "book learning" very quickly.

(I don't know about "War and Peace" but I did try some Shakespeare in Morse a month or two ago. The "To be or not to be" soliloquy was surprisingly hard even though I knew it already! Grin)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 06:37:31 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
PA0WV
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Posts: 395




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« Reply #275 on: September 03, 2014, 08:33:00 AM »

KB1WSY

You  collected nearly 80000 visits on this thread.

Mostly guys that announced here they were going to learn the code, collecting a large number of encouragements and never did make that true.

That is the average visitor.

Congrats, not because you learned some nearly useless trick, but because you are one of the guys that did what they  planned to do. Welcome in the club. The club are the guys not learning the code compulsory, (greasy staircases as alternative) but at their free choice.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #276 on: September 03, 2014, 08:48:02 AM »

Congrats, not because you learned some nearly useless trick, but because you are one of the guys that did what they  planned to do. Welcome in the club.

Wim, thank you for the kind words (and thank you for the software assistance with your "word generator"). I just looked you up on QRZ and see that you earned a certificate for solid copy at 40wpm! Bravo!

I'm not sure why there are so many "views" for this thread, except that (1) it shows that lots of people are interested in this "museum skill," and (2) if you take a very long time to do something i.e. about 10 months, you will gets lots of views just because the thread has been in existence for a long time!

By the way, one reason I started the thread was because I was worried I would start learning the code, but never "follow through." By "publicly" recording my journey through the learning process, it felt like I was "responsible" to other people to finish the process. It's not true, of course: why should it make any difference that other people are following along? But somehow it helped.

(In the same way, learning Morse in a classroom setting, or with a "buddy," must be a great help.)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 08:52:39 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
M0LEP
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Posts: 495




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« Reply #277 on: September 03, 2014, 09:44:33 AM »

if you take a very long time to do something i.e. about 10 months

I suspect that's a lot less "very long" than you think. It'd be interesting to find out how long, on average (for whatever sorts of averages you might pick), it usually takes folk who do get as far as using Morse on air (at whatever speeds) to get there. I can usually manage tolerably at about 8wpm (give or take Farnsworth spacing), with very basic QSOs including enough repetition at up to maybe 16-18wpm on a good day with a following wind, but it's taken me four years plus to get there. That's very roughly five times as long as you for something like half the working speed.

GL es 73 de Rick M0LEP
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KB1WSY
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Posts: 1288




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« Reply #278 on: September 03, 2014, 10:20:30 AM »

if you take a very long time to do something i.e. about 10 months

I suspect that's a lot less "very long" than you think. It'd be interesting to find out how long, on average (for whatever sorts of averages you might pick), it usually takes folk who do get as far as using Morse on air (at whatever speeds) to get there.

Rick: of course I'm not on the air yet so who knows what my effective speed will be. The answer will come very soon.

Yes, it is strange how wide the reported range in learning times is.

At one extreme, there is WB2WIK/Steve who tells us how he learned the code quickly and with relative ease, albeit (1) at a young age, (2) with a buddy, (3) using it on the air very early and (4) with an almost total emphasis on "head copy." I do think he is the "outlier" on the "quick learning" end of the spectrum, although he would probably passionately disagree, and say that almost anyone can do it. If you read the description of Steve's Morse-teaching techniques in "The Art and Skill" book, you'll get a thoughtful description of how it works.

At the other end of the range are people like you and me who, for whatever reasons (and the possible "reasons" have been discussed ad nauseam in this thread) take much longer to learn. The main question, of course, is whether we were doing something methodologically "wrong," or whether we were, rather, more "typical" cases.

Despite the large accretion of advice including N2EY's useful summary, and two fun books ("The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy," and "Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy"), and a century and a half of history, I'm still not convinced that there is a bedrock basic "method" or "science" to learning Morse that is demonstrably better than the others. If such a method existed, we wouldn't have this constant refrain of people asking, "How do I learn Morse?"

Perhaps the only thing we can all agree on (with the possible exception of WIK?) is that it takes a sustained effort, and strong motivation, over a certain period of time, to learn Morse to a reasonable level.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 10:28:04 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
M0LEP
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Posts: 495




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« Reply #279 on: September 03, 2014, 10:40:20 AM »

it takes a sustained effort, and strong motivation, over a certain period of time, to learn Morse to a reasonable level.

Yep. I'm certain that the "certain period of time" is determined at least in part by age, and most definitely also by natural aptitude, which varies considerably from person to person.

73, Rick M0LEP
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KK4MRN
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Posts: 156




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« Reply #280 on: September 03, 2014, 12:34:02 PM »

Martin,
Glad to see you following through with your campaign.  Reading your posts does motivate others including me to stick with it.  As slow as it is for me...

As for a "ham buddy", I do know various clubs like FISTS and SKCC welcome CW newbies.

Find a Code Buddy in FISTS
http://fistsna.org/operating.html#codebud

Find a Morse Elmer in SKCC
http://www.skccgroup.com/member_services/morse_elmers/

I'm not ready yet for a ham buddy.   Yet, if there was a local ham willing to show how its done in person, I would talk to this ham.  The only time I got to see a ham do CW in person was on Field Day, but my XYL called me to come home...
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21757




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« Reply #281 on: September 03, 2014, 02:11:18 PM »


At one extreme, there is WB2WIK/Steve who tells us how he learned the code quickly and with relative ease, albeit (1) at a young age, (2) with a buddy, (3) using it on the air very early and (4) with an almost total emphasis on "head copy." I do think he is the "outlier" on the "quick learning" end of the spectrum, although he would probably passionately disagree, and say that almost anyone can do it. If you read the description of Steve's Morse-teaching techniques in "The Art and Skill" book, you'll get a thoughtful description of how it works.

There was another trick involved, though, and it probably only applies to young people: Nobody was ever around to tell me that learning the code is difficult.  Never heard that anywhere, from anyone, and never read it anywhere either.  At the time (mid-60s) all hams anywhere in the world had to learn code to become licensed and I naturally figured it's the "easy part" of the test (with the difficult part being theory).

I think that matters, a lot.



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KB1WSY
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Posts: 1288




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« Reply #282 on: September 03, 2014, 02:44:27 PM »

There was another trick involved, though, and it probably only applies to young people: Nobody was ever around to tell me that learning the code is difficult.

Yes. This is the final drill from ARRL's book, "Learning the Radiotelegraph Code," 1955 edition (I used to have a late-1960s edition of the same book and it was almost identical).

Note that they do warn you that the drill is "exceedingly difficult" but that didn't stop them from including it in the book anyway.



By the way Steve, I'm from the Boomer generation like you, and I don't remember being told that *anything* much was "difficult"!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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M0LEP
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Posts: 495




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« Reply #283 on: September 03, 2014, 02:55:44 PM »

Nobody was ever around to tell me that learning the code is difficult.

I'm pretty certain that comes down to natural aptitude. I strongly suspect you'd have had little difficulty learning Morse even if you had been told it was the most difficult thing in the world to learn because you have the natural aptitude. When I was a kid at primary school nobody ever told me languages or science were difficult. Science I was good at, lapped up, and progressed easily with (at least through school; by university it wasn't quite as easy). Languages, on the other hand, were difficult for me pretty much right from the start. There's a flip-side, too; things I was told were difficult and yet I had no trouble with, and things I was told were easy and yet struggled with nevertheless.

73, Rick M0LEP
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PA0WV
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Posts: 395




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« Reply #284 on: September 03, 2014, 03:55:05 PM »

I just looked you up on QRZ and see that you earned a certificate for solid copy at 40wpm! Bravo!

The  writing speed is the main problem for my old arthrosis hand. I am really proud that I managed in 4 years the next result, by daily exercising.
(starting out with 20 wpm proficiency certificate) Is a perfect healing for progressive Altzheimer, that was the diagnosis at that time. I read an article from K7QO and so started exercises with self designed equipment and software. Doctors neurologist wondering what happened, seems to be an extraordinary  miracle for them. So Morse is a less  useless trick for really old men.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 04:14:26 PM by PA0WV » Logged

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