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Author Topic: Copying CW to your head  (Read 21376 times)
KL7CW
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Posts: 71




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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2014, 11:43:15 AM »

I do not have any magic suggestions on how to improve your "head copy", however I do have one idea which is at least worth a try.  When you first try to "head copy" cw in an actual QSO you are under some stress.  Also most of us have limited operating or code practice time.  Many of us have found it fun and possibly helpful to keep a receiver tuned to cw signals while we do other tasks such as cleaning up the ham shack, changing oil in the car, or possibly even constructing a simple ham project.  I believe, but cannot prove, that one of the keys to improving your cw copy is to just hear many hundreds (thousands ?) of hours of cw.  Probably not a good idea to mount surface components on a crowded board while "reading the mail" on a cw QSO.  Even if this does not work, you may pick up a few new DXCC countries, and who cares if your shack clean up project is completed !!!
     Rick  KL7CW   Palmer, Alaska     99% CW since 1954
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3827




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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2014, 09:14:29 PM »

7CW has a very good point and very good suggestion.  The main thing to do is listen, listen and listen some more to CW.  And as he points out there isn't any pressure.....just relax and listen.

The more you listen the more the letters start connecting and forming words.  There isn't any magic way of learning head copy.  It's simply the result of listening.....in most cases for a very long time. 

Those that claim to be able to head copy very fast or have an "easy" way or some other snake oil method..... are the exception.  Not the rule.

There's no hurry or rush on this and if you HAVE to do it in a rush....chances are you're setting yourself up for failure. 

This is a fun project.  Relax.  Enjoy it!!
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KA0AAM
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2014, 02:36:03 PM »

  I copy CW to my head all the time. . .But there is one trick you need to learn. . .

  Instead of copying letters, try copying sounds. . .

  copying sounds allows you to sound out the letters in your head. . .

  C
  Ch 
  Cha
  Chat

  I can only write about 13 wpm on paper. . .in my prime time, I was well for 45 to 50 wpm.

   I started back about 2 years ago from a 20 year hiatus. . .I am back up to 35wpm

  Each person has their own trick, and there is no guarantee that my trick will work for you or anyone else.  You just gotta try all the tricks people tell you, until one fits your style!
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AC2EU
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Posts: 392


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« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2014, 03:48:03 PM »

so, about speed, do you think that occurred?.
- that's the encouragement point.


I would say that was around 15-17wpm.  The biggest stumbling block for me, when transitioning to head copy, was learning to let it go when I missed something.  QSB happens, QRM happens, QLF happens.  If you miss a few letters, and then you get all wrapped around the axle about it, then you miss a few more letters.  It becomes a positive feedback loop.  Learning to let them go and just keep listening took some effort.  I find that you can frequently pick up the meaning of missed words through context.  And, sometimes you just have to grin and fake it Smiley

mike



Oh I can relate to this!
I, too am a late commer to the CW party at age 60. I'm 61 now, doing about 15 WPM. I had the "let it go" issue with writing it down , but just get totally lost when it happens with head copy. I have to do a whole mental reset when that happens, losing several words.
I'm not very good at head copy , but  found if I just casually listen while doing something else, my attention was good enough to get the jist.
Funny how that works...
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N6GND
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Posts: 369




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« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2014, 04:37:41 PM »

7CW has a very good point and very good suggestion.  The main thing to do is listen, listen and listen some more to CW. 

And as he points out there isn't any pressure.....just relax and listen.

This is a fun project.  Relax.  Enjoy it!!

Setting it up as a problem is kinda like trying to tell your brain how to work. Hint: your brain is designed to work automatically, without your or anyone else's intervention.

It's been that way forever, despite what some high tech types assert or those new computer programs which offer "brain exercises."

 Grin
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PA0WV
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Posts: 133




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« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2014, 04:24:44 AM »

7CW has a very good point and very good suggestion.  The main thing to do is listen, listen and listen some more to CW.  And as he points out there isn't any pressure.....just relax and listen.



That doesn't work. When I want to be an athletic walking a marathon or a short sprint, It doesn't help when I walk each day with a speed of 3 miles/hour for 5 hours duration.

Only when I try to run as fast as I can it would help (at my age to get a heart attack)

Also listening to CW at a speed you can't copy has no sense. When I listen for 50 years 8 hours a day to the Chinese radio broadcasts I still do not understand a single word.

Am I a Moron? No I am not, I know how to to organise training for becoming more proficient, even at my age. But it is senseless to become faster then 50 wpm head copy because the number of hams with the same or higher proficiency is becoming lower and lower, so I better spend my leasure retirement time with designing ham equipment, than operating Japanese purchased equipment connected with a purchased antenna.  That, in my opinion, is a bloody shame for ham radio.
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Using an appliance without CW is just CB
K8AXW
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Posts: 3827




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« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2014, 08:20:09 AM »

Quote
That doesn't work. When I want to be an athletic walking a marathon or a short sprint, It doesn't help when I walk each day with a speed of 3 miles/hour for 5 hours duration.Only when I try to run as fast as I can it would help (at my age to get a heart attack)

I agree.  You are very correct.  However, when you was a baby you learned to walk and then run.  If you tried to walk too fast or run too fast, you fell on your face.

All I suggested was that he OP listen a great deal......and the more you listen the time comes when the letters start to connect together and then one day start to form words.....short words at first and then longer ones and finally it is as if someone is speaking very slowly to you. 

Now, if you wish to increase your head copy speed you must listen to faster code than you're comfortable with.  If you can head copy at 15 with ease you will not increase your head copy speed if you continue to listen to 15.  The received speed must be slightly faster.

Can you agree with this?
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K5GAK
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2014, 12:02:59 AM »

Zen and the Art of Radio Telegraphy, free book on the net.
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