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Posted: 10/19/2013 7:28:06 PM EST
I've downloaded a couple apps for my phone. Started working though them, one letter at a time. I've read on here that it's best to try not to recognize individual letters, instead try to pick up actual words. Is this how most of you guys operate? I guess I'm wondering what would be the next step. Just dive on in or is there something I'm missing. I'm probably making a mountain out of an ant hill. Any advice is appreciated.
Link Posted: 10/19/2013 7:37:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By ChickenMan81:
I've downloaded a couple apps for my phone. Started working though them, one letter at a time. I've read on here that it's best to try not to recognize individual letters, instead try to pick up actual words. Is this how most of you guys operate? I guess I'm wondering what would be the next step. Just dive on in or is there something I'm missing. I'm probably making a mountain out of an ant hill. Any advice is appreciated.
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What just happened?
Link Posted: 10/19/2013 7:40:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/19/2013 7:41:18 PM EST by Foxxz]
I started this week too. I probably have a total of 16 hours time spent. I have 75% of the alphabet down and all the number (easy). I'm bad at listening to it for lack of practice but I can send 10-15wpm if I dont have to think too hard about the characters I'm sending.

I started looking at methods but all said and done I looked at the alphabet chart and just started off by calling cq and my callsign. After i had that all down I started trying to tap out other words (mostly curse words ) and had at least 50% down by the end of my first night.

My main problem right now is finding CW going slow enough for me to copy. If you want to work on it with someone over the air you'd be helping me out too.

ETA - This is the chart I've been using. The top one works for receiving and the bottom for sending. http://www.learnmorsecode.com/
Link Posted: 10/19/2013 8:11:40 PM EST
West set of tapes is how I learned for my General test. Never used it though so lost it all

Still have tapes and can start up when I'm ready

I never thought I could learn it but I did and passed. Just need to practice.
Link Posted: 10/19/2013 10:22:32 PM EST
I've been using the free site Learn CW Online for about 2 weeks now. I have it set up for random tone (in Hz) and random "word length". I'm only doing about 15 minutes of practice a day at 20wpm/10wpm effective and am only up to 5 letters so far at that speed. I figure it's not a race and even if it takes me a year to get it done it's still a good investment of time.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 3:49:48 AM EST
I used the free Windows program you can download at justlearnmorsecode.com. You start with a couple of letters and add a new one whenever you have mastered the current ones.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 3:57:35 AM EST
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Originally Posted By wdlsguy:
I used the free Windows program you can download at justlearnmorsecode.com. You start with a couple of letters and add a new one whenever you have mastered the current ones.
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That's what I'm using. It's slow going but I'm learning with it set at a high speed.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 4:02:51 AM EST
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Originally Posted By wdlsguy:
I used the free Windows program you can download at justlearnmorsecode.com. You start with a couple of letters and add a new one whenever you have mastered the current ones.
View Quote



Ditto... set the character speed high and the wpm rate low to start... you want the character speed high enough that you cannot mentally count dits and dahs... hear the rhythm of the note, not the details..

Beside "Speed" enter 10/22 to start and see how that works to begin.

Link Posted: 10/20/2013 4:09:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 4:25:04 AM EST by Frank_B]
Ah-hah! You want to play with the big boys, eh? Good for you. As far as getting out, it's as good or better than buying an amplifier. CW cuts through when SSB becomes just a muddled mess.

Click here for code practice files: http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files

You can also practice on-the-air receiving using W1AW's daily practice sessions. http://www.arrl.org/code-transmissions

I recommended my students start with a straight key, then incorporate a bug or paddles into their repertoire. You can find hams carrying on slow-speed QSOs on or around the Straight Key Century Club ( skccgroup.com ) calling frequencies. 7.055, 7.114, and 7.120 MHZ are especially popular. We also have twice-monthly sprints, one over the 2nd full weekend in the month, and a 2-hour sprint at 0000Z on the 4th Wednesday of the month (Tuesday evening in the US). They're very low key (pun intended) and excellent practice if you want to jump into full-bore contests later.

Go ahead and learn the letters. The words will take care of themselves as your skill improves. Soon CW will become a second language and you won't even think a bout it. FWIW, I've been on the air since 1954 and dabbled in AM, FM, SSB, RTTY, and data, but always come back to CW. Very seldom do I pick up a microphone these days. Sending CW takes much less effort than talking.

Record your sending and play it back to compare with machine-sent CW. If you have code reader software, send to it and make sure it can copy your "fist". The old ones are best for this purpose because it takes well-sent CW for them to decipher it.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 4:46:29 AM EST
Join the JT9/Olivia digital guard party. There's PLENTY of ~10 wpm CW going on right on top of our heads.

I can't remember the code program I used, but it's one of the phonetic ones ("Catch it! Catch it! Pay day today...") that use sound alikes to get you to remember. I passed the test. Now I can get about 75% of the characters in the 13-15wpm range, but really have never made the jump to just hearing the letter and not playing the words in my head. I also have about 3 CW QSOs to my name.

Since you aren't learning CW to test, where there aren't that many words, you're probably on the right track.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 6:03:01 AM EST
The only thing that worked for me was a Code Quick . I t worked so well I passed my 20 wpm test back in the late 90"s. This method sticks in your head, I did not do any CW for over 10 years and was able to still to have a slow QSO with a couple of guys who were begging for Ohio.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 6:20:08 AM EST
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Originally Posted By beaglebrother:
The only thing that worked for me was a Code Quick . I t worked so well I passed my 20 wpm test back in the late 90"s. This method sticks in your head, I did not do any CW for over 10 years and was able to still to have a slow QSO with a couple of guys who were begging for Ohio.
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LOL! "DOG DID IT" I used this with my two kids to learn code, and it was fun! Probably not the best way to learn for speed, but it works well for very young kids and crotchety old dads.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 6:39:16 AM EST
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Originally Posted By BigDaddy0004:


LOL! "DOG DID IT" I used this with my two kids to learn code, and it was fun! Probably not the best way to learn for speed, but it works well for very young kids and crotchety old dads.
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Originally Posted By BigDaddy0004:
Originally Posted By beaglebrother:
The only thing that worked for me was a Code Quick . I t worked so well I passed my 20 wpm test back in the late 90"s. This method sticks in your head, I did not do any CW for over 10 years and was able to still to have a slow QSO with a couple of guys who were begging for Ohio.


LOL! "DOG DID IT" I used this with my two kids to learn code, and it was fun! Probably not the best way to learn for speed, but it works well for very young kids and crotchety old dads.


Code Quick. That's it.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 8:04:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 8:09:16 AM EST by HankEllis]
There is no right or wrong method to learning code. Use whatever tools are available and get with it. The only thing everybody agrees on is to learn with a high symbol rate and low word rate. Learn the musical note of the letter and not the individual dits and dahs. If you don't you'll get stuck at 5wpm and have to relearn anyway. Your word rate will pick up with experience.

What worked for me was the Just Learn Morse Code software and the lesson plan from "Zen and the art of Radiotelegraphy". Stupid name but a solid educational resource.

I still use the ARRL code practice transmissions. Copying CW when you don't have a clue what the next word will be is a lot harder than the contest or DX exchanges. Couple other pieces of software that I use to keep the spear sharp is Morse Runner and RufzXP. Morse Runner simulates the CQ PFX contest including pileups, lids, QRM, QRN, and QSB. RufzXP is practice for the high speed telegraphy competitions popular in Europe. It will definitely push you to a level you didn't think you could do. I do not recommend either of these for learning CW. Get the foundation with Just Learn Morse Code and use Morse Runner and RufzXP to expand on it.

Once you make your first CW QSO stay with it. The best practice is on the air. Myself I spent the next two or three months working all 50 states with LoTW QSLs as a component of the Triple Play award. Learned a lot working WAS. There are tricks you can do to help make the contact when conditions are crap.
Link Posted: 10/20/2013 9:22:41 AM EST
I learned from the GORDON WEST cassette tapes in 1993

Now on CDROM...

http://www.amazon.com/Morse-Code-Teacher-Gordon-West/dp/0945053371/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382293043&sr=8-1&keywords=gordon+west+morse




after I passed the 5wpm test, I bought his 13wpm tapes and failed the 13wpm

the VEC elmers said..." get on the air "

nervous as hell, I did it, and found it was easier than expected
Old time CW op's will slow down for you
I passed my 13wpm test and advanced with ease

I never could send with a straight key.
I found an old heathkit paddle and learned on that.




Link Posted: 10/20/2013 11:19:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2013 11:20:38 AM EST by Bluedog1971]
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Originally Posted By Derek45:
I learned from the GORDON WEST cassette tapes in 1993

Now on CDROM...

http://www.amazon.com/Morse-Code-Teacher-Gordon-West/dp/0945053371/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382293043&sr=8-1&keywords=gordon+west+morse

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416ZLDCRhnL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


after I passed the 5wpm test, I bought his 13wpm tapes and failed the 13wpm

the VEC elmers said..." get on the air "

nervous as hell, I did it, and found it was easier than expected
Old time CW op's will slow down for you
I passed my 13wpm test and advanced with ease

I never could send with a straight key.
I found an old heathkit paddle and learned on that.




View Quote

I used his cassettes as well and they worked good for me. Just dug them out after all these years to loan to a local ham who wanted to learn.

I had only used a straight key until last year when I bought my first paddles. Took a few weeks of daily practice, but I caught on pretty easily.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 3:12:24 AM EST
Thanks for the input everyone. Hopefully I'll catch some of you on the air soon.
Link Posted: 10/21/2013 8:21:17 AM EST
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Originally Posted By switchman:
I've been using the free site Learn CW Online for about 2 weeks now. I have it set up for random tone (in Hz) and random "word length". I'm only doing about 15 minutes of practice a day at 20wpm/10wpm effective and am only up to 5 letters so far at that speed. I figure it's not a race and even if it takes me a year to get it done it's still a good investment of time.
View Quote

^^ This is a fantastic sight for learning CW. You can just use there username test password test to get started.

Link Posted: 10/21/2013 10:17:10 AM EST
I like the code generator at AA9PW.com and the G4FON trainer.

Just two more things to check out, both are free.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:49:02 AM EST
Probably not very useful, but for historical purposes here is Telegraphy, Self Taught copywrite 1902.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:33:49 AM EST
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Originally Posted By hsracer201:
I like the code generator at AA9PW.com and the G4FON trainer.

Just two more things to check out, both are free.
View Quote


I just downloaded the G 4FON trainer to see what it was about. It looks very nice and should work well.

As far as the nuts and bolts of learning code my recommendation would be to learn the letters at a minimum of 15wpm and just make the spacing longer between letters. Also when you learn letters DO NOT count the dots and dashes. Learn how they sound rhythmically. Because if/when you start going above 25wpm ish you won't be able to count anymore. Heck when people post ..-. -... .... --- and stuff like that counting dits really doesn't help me figure it out. I have to "play" it in my head to figure out what it says.

I have a really hard time copying slow code (below 15 wpm) mainly because the rhythms are "off" below 15 wpm none of them right especially the numbers. As far as learning 'words' you can do it if you want, but it's going to take you 10x longer and you are never going to get a callsign correct.

After you've done CW for a while, especially at speeds greater than 30 wpm, you will automatically learn to hear words. And not even realize it.

Any more questions about CW, please let me know. Welcome to the madness. Give it a year and you'll roll your eyes at picking up a mic
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 5:41:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Elijah1:


I just downloaded the G 4FON trainer to see what it was about. It looks very nice and should work well.

As far as the nuts and bolts of learning code my recommendation would be to learn the letters at a minimum of 15wpm and just make the spacing longer between letters. Also when you learn letters DO NOT count the dots and dashes. Learn how they sound rhythmically. Because if/when you start going above 25wpm ish you won't be able to count anymore. Heck when people post ..-. -... .... --- and stuff like that counting dits really doesn't help me figure it out. I have to "play" it in my head to figure out what it says.

I have a really hard time copying slow code (below 15 wpm) mainly because the rhythms are "off" below 15 wpm none of them right especially the numbers. As far as learning 'words' you can do it if you want, but it's going to take you 10x longer and you are never going to get a callsign correct.

After you've done CW for a while, especially at speeds greater than 30 wpm, you will automatically learn to hear words. And not even realize it.

Any more questions about CW, please let me know. Welcome to the madness. Give it a year and you'll roll your eyes at picking up a mic
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Originally Posted By hsracer201:
I like the code generator at AA9PW.com and the G4FON trainer.

Just two more things to check out, both are free.


I just downloaded the G 4FON trainer to see what it was about. It looks very nice and should work well.

As far as the nuts and bolts of learning code my recommendation would be to learn the letters at a minimum of 15wpm and just make the spacing longer between letters. Also when you learn letters DO NOT count the dots and dashes. Learn how they sound rhythmically. Because if/when you start going above 25wpm ish you won't be able to count anymore. Heck when people post ..-. -... .... --- and stuff like that counting dits really doesn't help me figure it out. I have to "play" it in my head to figure out what it says.

I have a really hard time copying slow code (below 15 wpm) mainly because the rhythms are "off" below 15 wpm none of them right especially the numbers. As far as learning 'words' you can do it if you want, but it's going to take you 10x longer and you are never going to get a callsign correct.

After you've done CW for a while, especially at speeds greater than 30 wpm, you will automatically learn to hear words. And not even realize it.

Any more questions about CW, please let me know. Welcome to the madness. Give it a year and you'll roll your eyes at picking up a mic


Now who on earth would do THAT?!!?!?
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