Posted: 2017-04-12 17:04
First, thanks for signing up. We're glad to have you in the group. You’re receiving this email because you expressed interest in building or enhancing CW (Morse code) skills, and signed up via SignUpGenius.
This is our first foray into teaching code, and it is a bit informal, but suggestions and feedback are welcome.
For code practice we are using a combination of KOCH's method and FARNSWORTH timing.
Traditionally, Morse code has been taught by struggling through all the codes at a slow speed and then (slowly) progressing towards higher speeds. Koch's method, on the other hand, dictates that you should start learning at the desired speed - but you start with only two characters. Each session is five minutes long, and whenever you get 90% or more correct, you add another character.
Traditionally, reducing the speed of Morse code has been done by making everything take longer, i.e., both the sounds and the silent periods between them. Using Farnsworth timing, characters are sent at the same speed as at higher speeds, while extra spacing is inserted between characters and words to slow the transmission down. The advantage of this is that you get used to recognizing characters at a higher speed, and thus it will be easier to increase the speed later on. (description courtesy of JustLearnMorseCode.com).
As a first step, we’d like to have you follow one of the next steps, depending on your current comfort level with CW:
1. IF YOU ARE NEW TO CW
- For those new to CW or who may have holes in their knowledge of all characters, go to LCWO.net, sign up if you haven't already.
- Go to Change CW settings. I'd suggest a Character Speed of 20 and an Effective Speed of 3.
- Click Submit and then try the sample under the Submit button. Keep the Character Speed at 20 but adjust the Effective Speed to a level you are comfortable with. Remember to click Submit every time you make a change.
- I am finding that on my fast computer, an effective speed of 3 is actually more like 5 wpm, so don't feel bad going to a really low number. The important thing is keeping the Character speed up so that you are learning the characters as will hear them as you progress in our Charlie Whisky Club.
2. IF YOU KNOW THE CHARACTERS, BUT ARE TRYING TO IMPROVE YOUR SPEED
- First go to http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files and try the code practice files at various speeds until you find a speed you are comfortable with. Feel free to stick with the ARRL files this week and enjoy their extensive library of files. You can even download some mp3 files for offline use on a phone, tablet or mp3 player.
- I'd also like for you to get familiar with LCWO.net. Sign up if you haven't already.
- Go to Change CW settings. I'd suggest a Character Speed of 20. Choose an initial effective an Effective Speed of 10.
- Click Submit and then try the sample under the Submit button. I find the Effective Speed to be quite a bit faster than stated. Keep the Character Speed at 20 but adjust the Effective Speed to a level you where the code speed feels like the ARRL files you felt comfortable with. Remember to click Submit every time you make a change.
- The important thing is keeping the Character speed up so that you are learning the characters as will hear them as you progress in our Charlie Whisky Club."
By next weekend, I’d like to ask for two homework assignments to be completed:
1. Spend at least 15 minutes learning/practicing CW for on at least three different days. More is better! The best way to improve speed and accuracy is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. That said, don’t go crazy – give your brain a rest when needed. If you find yourself stuck at a certain speed, or with some characters, take a break and do something else for a while.
2. Send me a summary of what you did. For example, “Practiced the ARRL files at 8 wpm on 4 different days for 15 minutes, then went to LCWO.net and practiced at 10 wpm twice for 20 minutes.”, or “Completed the first five lessons on LCWO.net’s Koch Method training”. I am not going to criticize anyone for what or how much they practiced, but want to see if the recommended work is doable and useful in learning/improving.
I am flying to visit my son and his family from April 8-12, but will have a laptop and internet access. If you have questions, need help, or want to boast about your progress, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). I will get back to you as quickly as I can.
Good luck and - - * * * * * * - - (73)