eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: K0KOC on November 03, 2002, 09:35:29 AM

Title: fast CW
Post by: K0KOC on November 03, 2002, 09:35:29 AM
Has anybody ever examined the brain of those people who can copy fast code.
Its got to be different. Could they be aliens from
distant planets

Title: fast CW
Post by: AC5E on November 03, 2002, 12:26:03 PM
Hi Stephen: No, the brains of fast code readers aren't different - but they all seem to read reading pretty rapidly and they do have lots and lots and lots of practice copying code.

While no one system works for everyone - I put my mike away for a while, made a point of operating an hour or two a day, and my code copying ability came up very quickly.

73  Pete Allen  AC5E

Title: fast CW
Post by: K0BG on November 03, 2002, 05:51:41 PM
My take is, as Pete points out, after a lot of practice most folks can get to 25 or 30 rather easily. But then again, those guys and gals who can copy at 50 to 70 wpm or more are a breed apart. And what puzzles me more... most of them seem to be musically inclined as well. Might be the water they drink, who knows?

Alan, KØBG

Title: fast CW
Post by: N6AJR on November 03, 2002, 05:59:52 PM
Another great way to get your speed up is to use the Koch method , where you do 2 leters at a time until you get 90% correct then add the next, check out Ray's site, this may be the help you need and it is free

He also has a type in "reader" available there too.  good luck and 73  tom N6AJR

Title: fast CW
Post by: W8MW on November 04, 2002, 10:04:56 AM
Yes those brains have been examined and found to contain high content of Chicken Fat.  Chicken Fat has valuable lubrication properties and can often be found on QRQ ops' keys, fingertips and antennas.  Jim W9TO inventor of the TO Keyer marketed by Hallicrafter and sadly now a SK and Stan W9WBL who machined a line of fabulous paddles now collector's items believed so much in CF that they formed the CFO (Chicken Fat Operators) club.  The roster (rooster) grew to hundreds of members.  The overwhelming philosophy was one of enjoying high speed CW conversations while keeping a lighthearted attitude about it all.

The CFO rig of choice was Ten Tec, CW sending device of choice dedicated keyboard, CW receiving device of choice noggin.

73, Mike W8MW

Title: fast CW
Post by: W4BQF on November 04, 2002, 02:43:42 PM
I hate to bust these 'bubbles' popping up here. I have two brain cells, I dont read fast, I am not musically inclined, and I didnt use any self-professed method of learning to copy code. I used to copy in excess of 100 wpm, and can now probably copy 80-90 wpm comfortably. There is no 'magic' way or method of copying QRQ, you just have to decide it's a part of this hobby that you want to do and then go do it. You will be embarrassed and intimidated at first, but if you JOIN in QSO's with QRQ operators, you will find they will be the most helpful hams on the air. You will get a lot of ribbing from them while you get your speed up, but then most QRQ operators have a sharp sense of humor. It's just a tremendous amount of fun to QSO at 80+ wpm running full QSK.
There is a natural 'speed hump' around 50 to 55 wpm that most people have problems with. When I hit that speed hump (some 25 years ago), I used a code reader. Once over the speed hump, the code reader became useless as most of them can not copy on-the-air code much over 65 wpm. But it certainly helped me get over the hump.
The other thing I found very helpful (altho not absolutely necessary) was to change my keyboard. Initially I could type about 45 wpm on a QWERTY (standard) keyboard. I eventually changed to a Dvorak keyboard key placement and my speed, after about a year, was up over 100 wpm.
Just look at high speed operation as only another fascinating part of this hobby and enjoy it!

Title: fast CW
Post by: K8NQC on November 06, 2002, 12:19:29 AM
For my first 30 years I had to sweat to copy 20WPM but moved to a situation where I was CW only. I started paying attention to the fast guys, especially in contests and one day to my surprize 50+ WPM was comfortable. I don't write it down at that speed, I just take notes as you do for a phone QSO. My unscientific deduction follows.

CW is like any language. When we learn to read we learn the alphabet. We then learn to spell words. We then learn to put together sentences, paragraphs, stories, etc.  After we have mastered the language, when someone speaks a sentence to us, we do not have to break it down into words, nor words into letters. We own the whole. When that transition occurs, it is almost shocking to the user, but it does happen.

I guess similar learning occurs with other perception. We can pick the face of someone we know well out of a large crowd instantly without ever needing to describe what the details are of their facial features.

My general advice on CW is to first learn to love it at a comfortable speed. Only then will one be able to give it time to sink in without experiencing it as toil. When one is in the mood push it a bit, first as character identification to be able to know the sounds at high speed, then picking out the really fast callsigns in contests helps. Then one is ready to try text at fast speeds. Then one day it happens!! What a rush after it does. It is enjoyable in an invigorating way. I don't know the words to describe it. My comments are not meant to discredit any of the devices suggested by others. If it interests you, it is a rewarding venture.  73,

Title: fast CW
Post by: W4BQF on November 12, 2002, 01:47:40 PM
Being a QRQ operator I have to say that K8NQC really nailed the explanation of what goes on when one is copying at speeds. Please read his paragraph starting with "CW is a form of language". I learned code just like everyone else does, i.e., dit dah means the letter A. When copying at 60 wpm or higher I am not conscience of dots and dashes, I 'read' words/sentences. The only time I'm aware that dots and dashes are the language in which I'm conversing is when a word is misspelled! Somehow my brain cell acknowledges mistakes, but you must not dwell on mistakes or you will lose you train of thought. High speed CW is exactly the same as speaking in a non-native language. And just like conversing in a non-native language, the more you use it, the more comfortable you are using it.
So jump in with the QRQ guys and tell them your interested in getting your speed will find they are more than happy to help you.