Topics

Morse Code Practice

Wayne Morris
 

A couple of people are talking about working on code. Learning to copy code is much more important that trying to send code. You learned to talk by hearing the sounds and then trying to say the sounds. For Morse, I firmly believe that the way to make learning it harder is to get a paper with the letters and dits/dahs shown. If you do this, you will be stuck with the mental translation delay built in. You won’t hear the sound for the letter, you will hear dits/dahs, then try to translate that into a letter. The old speed blocks at 10wpm and 15wpm were, in my opinion, a result of learning by memorizing the codes. I speak from experience because that is what I did. Each break through to the next level, 13wpm for General and 20wpm for Extra , came as I gradually transitioned from hearing the individual parts of the character and listened more to the complete sound. I still have to fight the tendency to break down the characters for some letters/numbers/symbols.

 

Another speed analogy is typing. If you never try to learn to type using all your fingers, you are not going to get very fast at it. As I type this, I just think of the word I want to type and then just type it. I don’t really think of how the word is spelled or where the keys are. I just type it. I trained myself to know where the keys are and which finger(s) to use. I already knew the words and how to spell them before I learned to type. I learned to type using an old program called Mavis Beacon Typing. It taught me the finger positions and the proper fingers to use.

 

Now we have to learn the alphabet in a different language. In French, the alpha bet sounds like ah, bey, say, day, euh, eff, zjay, ahsh, ee, zjee, … You can imaging how hard this would be if you learned to spell the letters this way, then try to write something!

 

A word about decoders and computer generated code. If you want to do that, why not just operate one of the digital modes? BPSK, RTTY, etc. are all computer to computer digital modes. CW developed when people were the encoder decoders. Think of learning CW as learning a new language. If you can do it by hand, that is what makes CW special.

 

You can learn to transmit quite easily when the sound of the characters is in your mind rather than the components of the character.

 

AARL transmits code practice on HF but a lot of people don’t have the stations to copy these. Having it local would be helpful. You can get a schedule of times and frequencies by goioing to http://www.arrl.org/code-transmissions. It is also printed in QST. There are also code bulletins transmitted in CW. Both are good practice and to check your speed.

 

There are also code practice programs for computers, phones, and on the internet. My favorite internet source is http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/ .

 

I am willing to setup a local schedule for code practice if there is interest.  We could set this up as a weekly by weekly or monthly activity. This is good for Technicians if you want to work on HF since most of the frequency allocations are for CW on HF.

 

My availability would be on Wednesdays, time is open. I would propose that we use the 146.800 or the 442.150 repeaters.

 

I am thinking that we could send character practice (learning session), random code (5character groups), and then transmit some text. Since copying code sent by hand is different that copying “perfect” code, we could also have some manually generated code practice. I would post the copy after the net so you could check your accuracy.

 

I don’t want to start this unless there will be some people actually using it. Let me know what time(s) would work if you are interested.

 

 


--
73s,
Wayne, AC5V

Jim
 

Wayne,

Again, I am interested in what you propose here.  However, if I were to attempt CW on VHF/UHF it would need to me machine generated (digital) CW.  If these code sessions could be on 6 meters, where Technicians can operate, there is a set of paddles on my HF radio waiting to get some use.  And the lower part of the 6 meter band, from 50.0 MHz to 50.1 MHz, in (on the chart I have) CW only.

Until later,

Jim

On 12/7/19 10:19 AM, Wayne Morris wrote:

A couple of people are talking about working on code. Learning to copy code is much more important that trying to send code. You learned to talk by hearing the sounds and then trying to say the sounds. For Morse, I firmly believe that the way to make learning it harder is to get a paper with the letters and dits/dahs shown. If you do this, you will be stuck with the mental translation delay built in. You won’t hear the sound for the letter, you will hear dits/dahs, then try to translate that into a letter. The old speed blocks at 10wpm and 15wpm were, in my opinion, a result of learning by memorizing the codes. I speak from experience because that is what I did. Each break through to the next level, 13wpm for General and 20wpm for Extra , came as I gradually transitioned from hearing the individual parts of the character and listened more to the complete sound. I still have to fight the tendency to break down the characters for some letters/numbers/symbols.

 

Another speed analogy is typing. If you never try to learn to type using all your fingers, you are not going to get very fast at it. As I type this, I just think of the word I want to type and then just type it. I don’t really think of how the word is spelled or where the keys are. I just type it. I trained myself to know where the keys are and which finger(s) to use. I already knew the words and how to spell them before I learned to type. I learned to type using an old program called Mavis Beacon Typing. It taught me the finger positions and the proper fingers to use.

 

Now we have to learn the alphabet in a different language. In French, the alpha bet sounds like ah, bey, say, day, euh, eff, zjay, ahsh, ee, zjee, … You can imaging how hard this would be if you learned to spell the letters this way, then try to write something!

 

A word about decoders and computer generated code. If you want to do that, why not just operate one of the digital modes? BPSK, RTTY, etc. are all computer to computer digital modes. CW developed when people were the encoder decoders. Think of learning CW as learning a new language. If you can do it by hand, that is what makes CW special.

 

You can learn to transmit quite easily when the sound of the characters is in your mind rather than the components of the character.

 

AARL transmits code practice on HF but a lot of people don’t have the stations to copy these. Having it local would be helpful. You can get a schedule of times and frequencies by goioing to http://www.arrl.org/code-transmissions. It is also printed in QST. There are also code bulletins transmitted in CW. Both are good practice and to check your speed.

 

There are also code practice programs for computers, phones, and on the internet. My favorite internet source is http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/ .

 

I am willing to setup a local schedule for code practice if there is interest.  We could set this up as a weekly by weekly or monthly activity. This is good for Technicians if you want to work on HF since most of the frequency allocations are for CW on HF.

 

My availability would be on Wednesdays, time is open. I would propose that we use the 146.800 or the 442.150 repeaters.

 

I am thinking that we could send character practice (learning session), random code (5character groups), and then transmit some text. Since copying code sent by hand is different that copying “perfect” code, we could also have some manually generated code practice. I would post the copy after the net so you could check your accuracy.

 

I don’t want to start this unless there will be some people actually using it. Let me know what time(s) would work if you are interested.

 

 


--
73s,
Wayne, AC5V

Wayne Morris
 

For the code practice I proposed, I would be sending the code as FM on the repeater and just sending the code audibly, probably through a microphone input to the rig. So the net would be voice to the attendees and the code practice would be receive only. A lot of the Techs just have VHF FM rigs. If we do the code practice on the repeaters, more can participate. Some can listen even if they can’t hit the repeater.

 

However, I can operate anywhere if you want to set a schedule. I have worked phone and FT-8 on 6mtrs.  I use Ham Radio Deluxe so a lot of the digital modes I can do with that. I also use WSJT-X for the FT-? modes. I can do computer code but I normally work straight key or keyer.

 

From: wc5c@groups.io <wc5c@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim
Sent: Saturday, December 7, 2019 10:37 AM
To: wc5c@groups.io
Subject: Re: [wc5c] Morse Code Practice

 

Wayne,

Again, I am interested in what you propose here.  However, if I were to attempt CW on VHF/UHF it would need to me machine generated (digital) CW.  If these code sessions could be on 6 meters, where Technicians can operate, there is a set of paddles on my HF radio waiting to get some use.  And the lower part of the 6 meter band, from 50.0 MHz to 50.1 MHz, in (on the chart I have) CW only.

Until later,

Jim

On 12/7/19 10:19 AM, Wayne Morris wrote:

A couple of people are talking about working on code. Learning to copy code is much more important that trying to send code. You learned to talk by hearing the sounds and then trying to say the sounds. For Morse, I firmly believe that the way to make learning it harder is to get a paper with the letters and dits/dahs shown. If you do this, you will be stuck with the mental translation delay built in. You won’t hear the sound for the letter, you will hear dits/dahs, then try to translate that into a letter. The old speed blocks at 10wpm and 15wpm were, in my opinion, a result of learning by memorizing the codes. I speak from experience because that is what I did. Each break through to the next level, 13wpm for General and 20wpm for Extra , came as I gradually transitioned from hearing the individual parts of the character and listened more to the complete sound. I still have to fight the tendency to break down the characters for some letters/numbers/symbols.

 

Another speed analogy is typing. If you never try to learn to type using all your fingers, you are not going to get very fast at it. As I type this, I just think of the word I want to type and then just type it. I don’t really think of how the word is spelled or where the keys are. I just type it. I trained myself to know where the keys are and which finger(s) to use. I already knew the words and how to spell them before I learned to type. I learned to type using an old program called Mavis Beacon Typing. It taught me the finger positions and the proper fingers to use.

 

Now we have to learn the alphabet in a different language. In French, the alpha bet sounds like ah, bey, say, day, euh, eff, zjay, ahsh, ee, zjee, … You can imaging how hard this would be if you learned to spell the letters this way, then try to write something!

 

A word about decoders and computer generated code. If you want to do that, why not just operate one of the digital modes? BPSK, RTTY, etc. are all computer to computer digital modes. CW developed when people were the encoder decoders. Think of learning CW as learning a new language. If you can do it by hand, that is what makes CW special.

 

You can learn to transmit quite easily when the sound of the characters is in your mind rather than the components of the character.

 

AARL transmits code practice on HF but a lot of people don’t have the stations to copy these. Having it local would be helpful. You can get a schedule of times and frequencies by goioing to http://www.arrl.org/code-transmissions. It is also printed in QST. There are also code bulletins transmitted in CW. Both are good practice and to check your speed.

 

There are also code practice programs for computers, phones, and on the internet. My favorite internet source is http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/ .

 

I am willing to setup a local schedule for code practice if there is interest.  We could set this up as a weekly by weekly or monthly activity. This is good for Technicians if you want to work on HF since most of the frequency allocations are for CW on HF.

 

My availability would be on Wednesdays, time is open. I would propose that we use the 146.800 or the 442.150 repeaters.

 

I am thinking that we could send character practice (learning session), random code (5character groups), and then transmit some text. Since copying code sent by hand is different that copying “perfect” code, we could also have some manually generated code practice. I would post the copy after the net so you could check your accuracy.

 

I don’t want to start this unless there will be some people actually using it. Let me know what time(s) would work if you are interested.

 

 


--
73s,
Wayne, AC5V


--
73s,
Wayne, AC5V