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Author Topic: My Morse Learning Campaign  (Read 364656 times)
VK5EEE
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« Reply #390 on: March 19, 2017, 04:22:16 AM »

Thanks for your reply Martin.

I was over 60WPM on RX and 45WPM max on TX when I went QRT early 90's. I came back over 20 years later, and though had not missed CW, oddly, with life events taking over, and not even given it a thought, I had not lost anything coming back to it. Perhaps a little time to get the 60+WPM and 45WPM TX back again, but no sweat. Certainly no characters forgotten though my Arabic CW has suffered, I'd have to practice that. Russian may also be a bit slower now. So it sure is like riding a bicycle: in fact also I not long ago road a bike for the first time in years. I did wobble for a few seconds or minutes at the outset, and also a police car pulled up and said "that's a nice helmet you're wearing!" (I wasn't wearing one, and did not know that while I had been living out in free nations, Australia had turned Orwellian.

I had that problem of losing many characters when trying to work out what I had missed or a word at very high speed, and that took me a long time to overcome the brain harping on what was missed, of course that is an expensive exercise. As you also noted, the "Zen" attitude surely helps, the more relaxed you are, the easier everything is at the top end of your speed ability, both for sending and receiving. "Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy" is indeed a must-read for learners and those wanting to push their upper QRQ boundaries.

I did not learn by Farnsworth but only by live CW on MF and HF (Commercial CW, mostly maritime but also other). However, for the learning of the characters at the outset, I would recommend it to beginners, along with Koch, and then once all characters are over 90% correctly recognised, then reduce it until there is no extended spacing. I think that at that stage it is useful, but once successful at 20WPM without extra spacing, when going QRQ learning higher speeds, not to use it at all but the proper spacing.

"Morse is interesting, especially in a modern context, because the characters are of varying lengths -- unlike almost every current digital encoding system which has fixed-length elements. This makes Morse really efficient!"

Indeed! For French and English it is very efficient, well, less so in French because for some reason they chose very long characters to represent some frequent characters, e.g. ..-.. which is OK but .--.- and .----. for example, whereby they could have chosen .-.- instead of .--.- and .---. instead of .----. But what about Japanese!! No way around though, some 40 characters or so I think.

A digital mode that also uses the sort of compression Morse does, i.e. frequency of common letters in German and English, is Pactor with Huffman encoding. But yes, computers generally need a fixed timing, and even Huffman is within a fixed timing of digital transmission. A very well versed CW human brain can make educated guesses at missing characters, in ways that computers will struggle with, but let's not go down the DCW vs CW argument -- these are two different modes!

Yes, those contests! They take over the ENTIRE bands now, and should be leaving non-contesters some small segments free. But contest ORGANISERS these days appear to be psychopaths. They don't give a flying ... or a rats ... about others. Why not go to the WARC bands during such times, does your license allow WARC band use? Those bands are very nice for propagation too, always 30m is open 24 hours a day. Only there is something actually WORSE than contests, at times, and that is DX Terrorism (or is it DX Tourism?) with unspecified and unlimited split. One or several major ones sometimes wipe out the entire narrow band. DX Tourorists are evidently also psychopaths.

Sorry to hear about your lack of freedom also in USA, with regards to antennas. Here in Australia, with all this unlimited space, we are very much crippled and the "sick man of Asia Pacific region" when compared to all our neighbours both in terms of allowed power, and antenna restrictions. In crowded Asia there is so much more freedom than here. It's the system, and the brain of those who like to control and restrict and organise what they perceive to be a "perfect society" where government outsources everything to corruption, rorts and business. A wonder Amateur Radio is still allowed!

Good you get on the air with any antenna at all to start with. On my QRZ page you can see my fan dipole, it is very efficient and effective, but it is up in the clear, you probably cannot do that. It is under the 10m restricted height for non-approval costly bureaucratic applications and permission, but still a very visible structure. Or you can build a vertical based on a fibre glass telescopic pole, these can be bought in lengths of 9m or so, and you can hoist a vertical end fed wire with it and a counter poise or radial(s), or an inverted vee dipole. The vertical will go well for DX, the inverted vee better for closer in contacts. You can easily raise and lower this so it is  not a permanent structure.

The bands I can work USA best on is 40m and 30m, because on higher frequencies my dipoles are null toward USA. But the times I'm on are your small hours of the night, though propagation over the Pacific is good at that time.

As you develop you may like to try a very simple but fun and effective manner of keying: the side-swiper or "cootie". See http://www.sideswipernet.org for details and nets, a very friendly group of people, and a very different technique but not hard to adapt to, and produces a nice sounding CW too. Dits tend to be a bit longer, so the gaps between internal dits/dahs is smaller, one can of course counter this by using a wider berth but some don't mind that. Do check that out some time!

Thanks again for sharing your 2013 first steps and development, it stands as testiment to how quickly CW can be learned. If you'd not had the interruptions, and perhaps a little different luck in strategy, I think 6 weeks was enough to learn all characters up to a reasonable speed. Real life events and pressures get in the way so generally it is much longer than that!
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

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KB1WSY
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« Reply #391 on: March 19, 2017, 05:13:40 AM »

Certainly no characters forgotten though my Arabic CW has suffered, I'd have to practice that.

My goodness, Arabic CW! In a former life I was a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press, based in various Middle Eastern countries. I studied Arabic for several years and was a mediocre but passable speaker for a short while -- and studied fussha so that even today I can understand the gist of news bulletins on the Arabic shortwave stations or the BBC Arabic Service.

Arabic CW is presumably rather efficient given that you don't need consonants? Or do you include some diacriticals in order to avoid ambiguity? Arabic also doesn't use much punctuation, so perhaps that helps when it's in CW? What do they use for the common sentence linkers "fa" and "wa" -- "ES"?

Edited later to add: I am also a native French speaker (I'm an Englishman but was born in Paris) but have never copied Morse in French. Yes, that must be interesting in terms of the character mix.

As you develop you may like to try a very simple but fun and effective manner of keying: the side-swiper or "cootie".

I am sure that I will want to progress from a straight key to something else, but haven't yet decided what route to take. The Vibroplex seems very attractive, but perhaps I am being overinfluenced by N2EY, who uses one. It would also be fun to build one of the hollow-state electronic keyers from an ARRL manual.

But once I am on the air, the priority will be to improve the heart of my station, namely the receiver and the transmitter (hoisting a better antenna may have to wait until I move home). Everything will be homebrewed. The priority list is something like this: (a) a better receiver, with single-signal CW selectivity, by building my first superhet; (b) greater output power, going up to about 40W; (c) a VFO. I already have most of the parts for these projects, all of which are either straight from ARRL manuals from the 1950s/60s or adapted from them.

Once I have got on the air on 40m, I will be keen to add 20m, so that is another part of the project. I am not a "night owl" anymore, therefore being able to use a band that has reasonable daytime performance would be a plus, not to mention the great DX on that band.

Anyway, I digress. Only one thing matters right now: Getting on the Air!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 05:23:32 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
VK5EEE
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« Reply #392 on: March 19, 2017, 07:44:55 AM »

Sounds great Martin! Your home brew projects. That's the type I'd enjoy, old valve sets. So far though my only home brew is assembling a Chinese Pixie. Yes Arabic no use of the vowels, just sent as it is written, newspaper style. Thus and (wa) is just W. In this case the CW is the same as English W. Some others are easy e.g. ---- is letter "Shin", which is the same as "SH" in Russian (E lying on its back) or CH in German. Many are equivalent to English e.g. Ta is T. But Tha is C. Not hard to learn. But Kha, which doesn't exist in English, is O (---). Then in Arabic there is no "O" so that's not a problem. Dha is ---. Hard S, Saad, is X. Dhad is I think V. Again there is no V in Arabic, so they can use that for that. There's no letter P in Arabic and I can't remember P being assigned to any letter. I never became QRQ in Arabic but I don't know of even any Arab who did, by the time I knew Arabic CW it was only being used in Sudan and not at high speed, I guess 18WPM. So Khartoum would be sent as ALORUWM (A-L-KH-R-hard T-OU(W)-M). In this example english KHARTOUM arabic CW: ALORUWM so even with the everpresent "The" in Arabic, it is still shorter than English. Allah was ALLe where the "e" here is ..-.. as in "h", again shorter than in English. So indeed Arabic CW ends up being quite efficient even though it wasn't designed for Arabic. Japanese CW on the other hand is rather inefficient, to say Thank you (Arigato) is --.-- --. .-.. .. ..-.. ..- and Good bye (Sayonara) is -.-.- ..- .-. ... which is longer than GB but shorter than full "Good bye"! We hear a lot of Japanese "Wabun" CW here on 40m and sometimes in the day on higher bands, and I love the sound of it. You can recognise it by the starting signal "switch to Japanese" -..--- (DO joined together) and the "switch to International Morse" ...-. In Japanese many of the prosigns were adopted, so they no longer have meaning when in between <DO> and <SN> e.g. -.-.- is "Sa", and .-.-. is "N". Quite long for a simple N eh! Our "N" in CW in Wabun is actually "Ta". Most of the CW codes actually are for two letters in the SOUND, eg. ka, ki, ku, ke, ko. I don't speak Japanese at all so I have to learn the words with the CW by memory, so I won't get very far. I try to save my "show off Japanese CW" with JA stations, until the final over, because they often then assume I speak Japanese and inundate me with code and words I can't understand!
I think Arabic CW is not used anywhere at all, and can be presumed to be dead -- no amateurs to use it either. Japanese CW is alive and well, of course Russian too, though it is rare to hear Russian hams using it, perhaps locally on 80m? There is Korean CW still being used for telegrams to a few ships from HLO etc. A Japanese coastal station belonging to a fishing company is using Japanese CW. Chinese CW is still in use, but is really just 4 digit numbers, though to make it faster they use "cut numbers", but still, it's slow! One would have to look up the meaning in code books that put a character into 4 digits and vice versa. We can often hear Chinese CW from the military but also coastal stations weather reports.
Indonesia is using Indonesian CW but it's not really Indonesian CW as it's just Latin Alphabet. Nothing unusual there.
All good fun, so anyone who gets bored after learning English CW can always go that little bit further with German extra characters, Swedish, French, Spanish, for easy ones with minor expansions, or take on Russian (not that hard really to learn the alphabet and the CW equivalents), and the crazy could take up a dead language CW (Arabic) or try the very advanced and learn Japanese. The ultimate would be Chinese, but somehow, I don't think that would be fun. It's all digits.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

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VK5EEE
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« Reply #393 on: March 19, 2017, 08:02:08 AM »

PS: Of course Japanese CW you often won't hear the <DO> and <SN> if it is all in Japanese but is easily recognised by things such as --.-. and .-.-. and -.-.- and .-.-- etc -- i.e. long characters that are often heard. Sadly Thai CW is another extinct one, I'm unaware of any hams using it, there are very few Thai hams using CW in any case, I think only a dozen. Back in the days when post offices and police forces and military used CW (though the latter rarely in plain text), it must have been wonderful to hear these various languages. So for sure there are some dead CW languages now. Will they be revived though some day? Even American Morse is "officially" dead but in that case it's not really dead as some hams keep it alive! I've learned how to call CW with my Callsign in American Morse, it is fast and efficient, but as the dahs are officially very short, it can't be properly sent with a keyer, well it can, but then people should be complaining about it not being correct, just as some (in my view wrongly) proclaim that a Q in a CQ call cannot be sent as .-.- (almost), or dahs elongated.

BTW, on the keys... I'd start off on a straight key, then a bug, then paddle, then cootie, or cootie then paddle. But a paddle (electronic keyer) is nice as it uses the least energy. You trade lack of flexibility (imho when using a keyer one should really send perfect CW and certainly not run letters together as many do, as that is hard to decode e.g. is C meant to be TR or KE -- many send KEY and TRY as CY -- really an electronic keyer does NOT give you the freedom to do Beethoven!) you trade flexibility for speed and ease. Bugs are fun, as are cooties. Myself I started straight key, then paddle keyer (iambic), then bug, then cootie. For QRS, I prefer straight key. For middle speed Cootie or Bug, for high speed the paddles. For above 50WPM it has to be keyboard. I don't have a keyboard connected, but all four key types are connected in parallel, actually currently not the paddle as I have only one and that's in the car stuck to the door so I can CW mobile. I should figure out the connection for my cootie to double as electronic single lever paddle, though that'd need practice!

If and when you do move to a paddle, if you have any future aims to be able to QRQ, my strong advice is do not use a twin paddle and get into the iambic habit. Other than the "CQ" it really has no real advantage as saving 10% of finger movement is zero effective energy saving anyway, as you can twiddle your fingers even when you are barely alive. Use a single lever, then you won't have problems going above the 45WPM barrier of iambic timing. I wish I'd known that long ago! I'd then be able to send 60WPM on a paddle by now without doubt. I did not realize what was stopping me, i.e. the iambic timing is much more critical i.e. shorter.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
KB1WSY
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« Reply #394 on: March 20, 2017, 12:56:05 PM »

Today I've been practicing my sending, for the first time in ages. I am using software called PCW Fistcheck. This provides a graphical picture of your dot length, dash length, and the gaps in between. It also attempts to decode your CW -- and measures the speed of your sending. If you can manage to (a) get it to decode your sending accurately and (b) maintain the target speed, you are doing quite well. It is also good for spotting things like dashes that have been lengthened at the end of words.

Here's the rub. The software Help points out that the gap between characters should be three units (one unit is the length of a dit), and that seems to agree with the best sending that I hear on the air. However it also says that the gap between *words* should be *seven* units. When tapped out that way, it sounds to me like a much larger gap than is commonly used on the air.

Does that mean that it is very common for people to shorten the word-spaces on-air to a non-standard, considerably shorter space, and that I have simply become used to hearing it that way?

To give you one example, when I first started my session today it was decoding my sending like this: "CQCQCQDEKB1WSYKB1WSYKB1WSYK". It took quite a mental effort to increase the spacing so that it would decode my sending as: "CQ CQ CQ...."

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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K1HMS
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« Reply #395 on: March 20, 2017, 09:07:02 PM »

....my sending like this: "CQCQCQDEKB1WSYKB1WSYKB1WSYK". It took quite a mental effort to increase the spacing so that it would decode my sending as: "CQ CQ CQ...."

73 de Martin, KB1WSY

Given the 27 pages the following may have been suggest, my apologies if it was.
Most rigs make good practice oscillators and do not TX if VOX is set Off. Take the ext speaker output to the computer and use CW_Get, CW Skimmer, or similar for a decoder looking at the decoded code only after you have sent it.  If you see KB1WSYKB1WSY   or your Y decodes as N M you'll know you have a spacing issue. I did this from the beginning and believe it helped me


Very interesting thread, I will be reading it tonight!

Hamilton K1HMS
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N4OI
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« Reply #396 on: March 21, 2017, 04:20:19 AM »

Today I've been practicing my sending, for the first time in ages. I am using software called PCW Fistcheck. This provides a graphical picture of your dot length, dash length, and the gaps in between. It also attempts to decode your CW -- and measures the speed of your sending. If you can manage to (a) get it to decode your sending accurately and (b) maintain the target speed, you are doing quite well. It is also good for spotting things like dashes that have been lengthened at the end of words.

Here's the rub. The software Help points out that the gap between characters should be three units (one unit is the length of a dit), and that seems to agree with the best sending that I hear on the air. However it also says that the gap between *words* should be *seven* units. When tapped out that way, it sounds to me like a much larger gap than is commonly used on the air.

Does that mean that it is very common for people to shorten the word-spaces on-air to a non-standard, considerably shorter space, and that I have simply become used to hearing it that way?

To give you one example, when I first started my session today it was decoding my sending like this: "CQCQCQDEKB1WSYKB1WSYKB1WSYK". It took quite a mental effort to increase the spacing so that it would decode my sending as: "CQ CQ CQ...."

73 de Martin, KB1WSY

All this CW analysis is one part of the hobby I missed out on...  And I thought I was having fun just getting on the air and making QSOs... Go figure!

73   Huh
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #397 on: March 21, 2017, 06:33:24 AM »

All this CW analysis is one part of the hobby I missed out on...  And I thought I was having fun just getting on the air and making QSOs... Go figure!

Touché!

See you on the air soon.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #398 on: March 25, 2017, 09:57:35 PM »

... However it also says that the gap between *words* should be *seven* units. When tapped out that way, it sounds to me like a much larger gap than is commonly used on the air.

Does that mean that it is very common for people to shorten the word-spaces on-air to a non-standard, considerably shorter space, and that I have simply become used to hearing it that way?...
Yes indeed. The ITU in its Resolutions regarding International Morse Code, without looking it up, I believe it was as recent as the 1970s or was it 1990's, increased the word gap from 4 dit durations to 7. 4 was too small of course, as that is only very slightly more than between characters. So indeed 7 is official, and indeed though I sometimes do it, most of us myself included more often use shorter spacing perhaps 5 or 6. In practice is matters little, just as it matters not if some of your dahs are 9 durations or 2 durations. Oxford English may be official, Canadian, American and Australian have differences, but easy to follow, Jamaican and Trinidadian and Indian may be harder for some less experienced to follow... Or music: official CW may be techno but you can sing the same song in Blues, Reggae or even Jazz (hardest to follow!)
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
KB1WSY
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« Reply #399 on: March 26, 2017, 06:27:42 AM »

I am deliberately rushing through the Koch course (since I have done it several times before!). I am up to 24 characters (out of 40) and adding about 3 characters per day. Basically, every time I run the G4FON program, I add an additional character. I am not achieving the vaunted 90 percent accurate copy rate, but I am past caring, at this point -- and this multi-year thread is in danger of outlasting its initially great welcome if I procrastinate further!!!

I will not be even remotely "ready" by the time of that first QSO. But presumably very few hams were ever "ready" (apart from those who already had military or marine CW training).

Copying QSOs off the air is a big challenge, and I assume that is normal. Most of them are around 20wpm and I only catch small portions of those. It has to go down to about 12wpm before I get more usable results. So for instance over the past day I got this kind of thing on 7030kHz or 7055kHz (callsigns redacted):

xx DE xx GE TOM UR HERE IN CENTR COY NEAR PENNSYLVANIA MYAI 73 MY SKCC NR 4 TOM AROL xx de xx K

50F W TTMR NG JUST GET G BAND B4 CHURCH HANANH NOTHING MUCH NEW HRLA NEW. SOBK IN DE

U AGREAT HIS OFC HRES 59 ES HAM FER YRS ES ENJ C OFALMODES. RIG YAE 1200 AM RONSSAMF 500W ANT IS G UP 30FT. WATT GFER 4 BALV NS IN MAIL TO AC MUCTIB D LA T ES FEE HTRUE 4IN OPENLADDERLAE BE HRTOMORROW. xx DE xx

Of course, with a bit of guesswork it is easy to figure out some of the missing syllables. I must stress that the above operators were sending excellent code (albeit, as I said above, with surprisingly little space between words) and I presume they were sending QRS only at the request of their contact (I usually could not receive the other side of the conversation, so I don't know for sure).

CU ALL ON THE AIR SOON (by mid-April at the very latest; have several business and personal trips away from home to contend with in next 4 weeks).

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #400 on: March 26, 2017, 07:10:11 AM »

Sorry I don't understand why you are doing this... I mean, why you are not sticking to the 90% accuracy rate before adding a new letter. Exactly this thread is so old but because, in my analysis of reading through much of it, you did this mistake before just when things were going well: you rushed and did the same thing you are now doing, which may result in failure again. I thought your objective is to learn CW in as short a time as possible, in this case, to avoid confusion and errors, stick to the KM the way it is designed. Otherwise you will overload your brain and cause confusion and have a harder time of it. That is my opinion, and otherwise I don't see the point of repeating the same mistake again. 73
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
KB1WSY
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« Reply #401 on: March 26, 2017, 08:31:01 AM »

Sorry I don't understand why you are doing this... I mean, why you are not sticking to the 90% accuracy rate before adding a new letter.

Because if I do that I will never get on the air. Or, I'll have to wait until after retirement. The past few years have taught me that there just aren't enough hours in the day -- something important in work or family life (something more important than a hobby) always gets in the way.

However, thank you for your comment and I understand the logic behind it! It is a pity that I never finished learning CW the first time I learned it (when I was 12 years old) and did not begin my ham career as a teenager after passing the UK test. I had more time on my hands and my brain was a lot more malleable. Doing it now, at nearly 60 years old and with multiple other commitments, has been hard.

Edited to add: Yes, many people have stated in this thread (or elsewhere) that "it's not hard" and even that "it's easy." WB2WIK has a theory that the only reason some people find it hard is because they have been told that it is hard. But with due respect to Steve, he learned the code as a teenager. Some of the others who have been commenting in this thread learned it as young military recruits. I am sure that for some people, it probably does come easily (even if learned in middle age) but for me this has not been the case, and it has not been for lack of effort.

Which is not to disparage the great support I've had from y'all since I started on this quest -- which will be brought to a successful conclusion.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 08:46:38 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
VK5EEE
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« Reply #402 on: March 26, 2017, 09:04:15 AM »

Hi Martin,

Of course it is up to you what you want to do. If you want to go on air sooner and aren't afraid to do that without knowing all the characters, if you think it will help you to learn that way. And you are right, age is important, you are not young. I was also just thinking this evening how life is passing so fast, and I've got lots to do and there may not be much time ahead.

So go for it, do what you think is best! Wish you all the best in your CW journey!
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
K8AXW
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« Reply #403 on: March 26, 2017, 09:08:07 AM »

Quote
All this CW analysis is one part of the hobby I missed out on...  And I thought I was having fun just getting on the air and making QSOs... Go figure!

OI: I did "go figure!"  I can assure you that MOST new amateurs did exactly the same as you and I. THEN we get into the building, fine tuning and experimenting.  

Again, in most cases it was: 1-Study for the ticket, 2-While waiting for the government grist mill to finally get your license to you, it was balls to the wall  getting gear ready for that "big day!"  

After that came the fun of making contacts and having fun with whatever was cobbled together.  Very little thought was given to the inadequacies or inconveniences of the setup.  

It was only after a period of operating did the average ham start to tweak and fine tune his gear with the never ending thought of "what I would like to buy/have"  This last item never seems to end.

Then there are those who find the planning, calculating, thinking and talking about the various nuances of ham radio more fun than the actual operating.  I have done this MANY times.  I have often said here on eHam that planning and building a project was more fun than using the finished product.

I have shelves full of these projects that have never got past the 'trying out and verifying they work phase," only to become dust collectors.

However, this came only after getting on the air and having fun.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #404 on: March 26, 2017, 09:27:58 AM »

Thank you both for your comments. I will add something technical concerning the Koch Method.

I think each person must have a unique learning curve when using Koch, and in my case it seems to be very stop-go. What happens is that I get to a certain number of learned characters, and I get stuck: I have a lot of trouble getting to the 90 percent benchmark with that character added, and sometimes I have never achieved it.

What I am now doing when I get to that point (and after a certain amount of stubborn attempts) is: I just move on. Strangely, adding a character -- and not worrying about the stumbling block with the previous character learned -- does not necessarily lower my overall accuracy, moving forward.

There are also good days and bad days with Morse learning. In my case, depressingly, it is probably about 50-50. This, I think, was bothering me a lot more than I let on, earlier in this thread. It is hard to admit to this kind of inadequacy when tens of thousands of hams, and others, have managed it in the past.

I must also admit that I now think it is entirely possibly that once I get on the air, it will be incredibly hard to conduct a successful QSO at anything other than a snail's pace -- and I mean, unfortunately, a "counting the dits and dahs" kind of speed. This, I was determined to avoid at all cost when I first started this quest several years ago. But I will never find out, unless I actually get on the air. Also: after all, tens of thousands of Novices got on the air with 5wpm in Ye Old Days and it doesn't seem to have scarred their Morse skills for life.

Back to G4FON for more punishment....

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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