Great technique for quickly learning morse code

Started by daedalus, November 23, 2019, 09:14:27 am

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daedalus

I stumbled across this video, at around 7 minutes onwards it covers a really good technique for quickly memorising the sounds, I have had a lot of difficulty remembering more than a few letters but this is working.

The first part of the video is about the morse tree and a mnemonic to remember it , perhaps useful but the rest if the video is where the best info is located

https://youtu.be/D8tPkb98Fkk

gil

Hello. I think it's just adding extra unneeded steps to the learning process. My best advise would be to just listen to the sound and visualise the letter, period.

Gil.

bkmoore

There's a difference between memorizing and learning. If you want to memorize the code, that video is fine. If you want to learn the code to communicate, I wouldn't recommend it. I personally learned by using the Koch method at 15 WPM. You start out listening to 2 letters, and add letters one at a time. This method worked for me and I am now at 25 WPM.

gil

That's what I used, but I started too slow, and now I have trouble reaching 20wpm... You did well to start at 15, which is probably the minimum...

Gil.

kisukun

Hi Gil,
I found your video on youtube where you introduce the LCWO.net site.  Looks terrific, but how to practice?  Write on paper for 1 min, then input your copy to have it analysed for accuracy?  The morse machine is interesting as well but is copying to a keyboard a productive way to practice? 
Cheers,

Keith

gil

Hello. Writing on Paper is a double-edge sword... Above 15wpm you better just try to form words in your mind... Writing IMHO is for just about 12-15wpm... I would never suggest learning the code any slower...
Gil.

Sparks

Quote from: gil on December 11, 2019, 05:12:11 amWriting on Paper is a double-edge sword... Above 15wpm you better just try to form words in your mind... Writing IMHO is for just about 12-15wpm... I would never suggest learning the code any slower...

Now to me as a former professional Merchant Marine radio operator (radio officer) (1963-73) that's a strange statement. In the service we had to write down radiograms, weather reports, news, what not. Often handwrite, and then type it for delivery to the addressee. Under good conditions I'd copy directly to my typewriter, which I often did with weather forecasts and news transmissions.

The minimum speed for obtaining my 2nd Class License was 20 WPM. Later I passed the 1st Class License exam at 30 WPM. Under ideal conditions, I succeeded receiving and transmitting (with an electronic keyer) up to 40 WPM.

At Radio School we started training real slow, and gradually increased speed till we reached 20 WPM. Then we stayed there until we were proficient and error-free at that level.

bkmoore

December 11, 2019, 09:31:23 pm #7 Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 10:27:15 pm by bkmoore
I guess I'll chime in again. I used the Koch method at 15 WPM and 20 WPM character speed. I typed in my copy on a PC, so the computer could grade it instantly. I don't know if head copy is right or wrong, but typing my copy worked for me and I don't think it slowed my learning down. The purpose of the Koch method is to teach your mind to instantly recognize Morse code characters, and how can you know if you recognized the correct character unless you have some form of copy? Character recognition is the foundation for everything else, and eventually you'll start to recognize common words, and be able to head copy much of what's being sent on the air.

gil

Hello. I just can't really write much faster than about 15wpm... I might be able to push to 20 on a very good day, but not faster. That said, I have never really tried using a keyboard. The reason is that since I operate mostly portable, I do not carry a computer with me... So for me, above 20wpm, it's head-copy only, but I miss a lot...

Gil.

bkmoore

The experts say, throw away the pencil and learn to head copy. And that is a good skill to have. When I'm on the air, it's mostly head copy with a few notes. Writing down every letter can turn into a handicap. But OTOH, for passing messages, traffic nets, etc. you need to be able to copy morse code. So I have practiced both, because I want to be able to use morse code for more than just on-the-air QSOs.

Copying code takes a lot of practice. I occasionally copy the W1AW transmissions, especially the 18 WPM propagation report, because it contains a good mix of characters, symbols, and letters. And I recently received a certificate from the 20 WPM qualifying run. I hope to qualify at 25 and 30 WPM some day. The trick is to learn to copy from behind. That is you wait until you recognize the word before writing it down, and while writing, you're listening for the next word. It's not easy, but it's kind of fun.

gil

QuoteThat is you wait until you recognize the word before writing it down, and while writing, you're listening for the next word. It's not easy, but it's kind of fun.

I doubt I could do both at once... Maybe at 15wpm, but not 20... More practice needed...

Gil.

Sparks

Quote from: bkmoore on December 18, 2019, 01:53:05 pmThe experts say, throw away the pencil and learn to head copy.
[...]
The trick is to learn to copy from behind. That is you wait until you recognize the word before writing it down, and while writing, you're listening for the next word. It's not easy, but it's kind of fun.

1. Who are these experts? I never heard such advice during my Morse training or during my decade as a Merchant Marine Radio Officer.

2. Quite unusable in professional contexts. I learned the hard way not to do that. Every so often, when I believed I could forehear exactly what word was being transmitted to me, and then, in the end, it was another word starting with the same succession of letters. I got confused and lost the next word(s), so I had to break the transmission and ask for a repeat. Quite embarrassing. So I stopped guessing and just wrote down, letter by letter, what was actually coming in.

bkmoore

December 19, 2019, 01:15:09 pm #12 Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 01:27:46 pm by bkmoore
"Who are these Experts?" Sorry... I was basing what I said off of a book I read, "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy" by William G. Pierpont N0HFF. I am obviously not a pro, so I can only go off of what I read and my own self training, and my very limited experience in CW.

I guess the point I was trying to make is head copy and paper copy are separate skills, and if you write everything down and never learn to head copy, it can become a handicap.

PS: I am interested in participating in CW traffic nets, even though it's completely obsolete and hardly anyone sends radiograms any more. But in a natural disaster, it could become a very useful skill. So I do care about being able to accurately copy messages, as opposed to just carrying on a conversation.

gil

QuoteI am interested in participating in CW traffic nets, even though it's completely obsolete

Great. It isn't obsolete at all though. Even if it is no longer officially used by most countries, Morse code is still the most efficient way to make contact with the simplest radios. That won't change any time soon.

Gil.