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Thread: To brain freeze or not?

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Posted: 2017-09-07 23:03
Hi all, I've been at this for a few months, and am now up to 11 letters. I have been learning at 23/10, which was causing me to freeze up mentally a fair bit. Typically, a new letter will take me two weeks to get back to 90% accuracy.

I changed to 30/7, and all of a sudden it seemed a lot easier, with far fewer brain freezes. I like the higher character speed. As soon as I push up to 30/8, brain freezes return.

In your opinion(s), should I really push to the speed that locks up my brain sometimes, or stick to the lower wpm speed, with the aim of getting right through all the characters sooner, then worry about upping the wpm later? My aim is to operate SOTA eventually..

Cheers, Campbell.

Posted: 2017-09-08 11:06
You should set the character speed a couple of wpm faster than you expect to use on air, so 30 is probably a bit fast since most Hams seem to use around 20wpm.

Then set the spacing down slow enough that you make progress without over stressing yourself.

Once you have got to the end of the lesson sequence you can start reducing the spacing.

Posted: 2017-09-08 14:14
Ok, good advice. 'Overstressing' is right- must remember to keep it enjoyable whilst still being challenging.

Earlier today, I experimented by going to 15/15, and it was almost a totally different thing, with the much smaller spacing between characters, and a far greater 'flow.' Found it hard, because it was so different. From my research so far, I understand that this was technically correct Morse, albeit on the slow side.

But I might try out your suggestion, and give 20/15 a go. The character speed at 15 seemed a bit hard to recognise as a single 'sound'.

Cheers Campbell.

Posted: 2017-09-08 16:22
What I see happening is that people starting 20/10 are obviously fast frustrated and quit. So it is better according to my opinion to start or progress from now on 20/5

It is less frustrating, is brings you faster to the equivalent communication speed of normal spaced morse code 9/9, so you can start using it in practice.

After lesson 8: start also with lesson 9 with word exercises, adjust to characters learned up to lesson 9 and write down the decoded characters that you hear and try to concatenate (glue together) the characters of those words in your mind during listening.

I disagree with G8TMV above, that after finishing the course with 20/10 or 20/5, you have to close the gap, to 20/20. Go according to my earlier published rule to real Morse code with the same writing (decoding) speed.

Posted: 2017-09-09 00:52
Thanks brushupCW, I found your detailed posts in the thread entitled 'After the first time through the lessons,' and your logic made sense. This is where I realised that 'proper' Morse is N/N, and has a great flow to it. I will try your suggestion.

The important thing is that I have reached a stage where I believe I can do it, and want to continue in the right way!

I hadn't thought of bringing in the word practise. Can't wait for my next practise session!


Posted: 2017-09-09 02:28
Ok, good advice. 'Overstressing' is right

. . it is if you are testing a bridge.

If on the other hand you are at lesson 11 in learning morse
you haven't reached 25wpm in two weeks
means you probably don't have a very high aptitude
are more like the rest of us
you should be going for repetition repetition repetition
a speed which keeps you busy but doesn't make you tired.

When you have learned all the characters and are busy tapping/listening away, enjoying yourself
telling people about your new aerial etc, you will find yourself getting faster anyway as a matter of course ( and excitement ( and maybe natural competitiveness ) )

MAKE SURE you get that far instead of getting bored and giving up, like some probably large percentage of hopefull starters do


Try a variety of audio frequencies to check your ear response, just in case that is an issue.

Don't bother too much about testing yourself all the time.

By a cheap mp3 player and listen to lots of morse instead of watching silly TV programmes.

I think someone in another topic is transcribing the bible, which should keep you busy for a bit.

repeat repeat repeat


- must remember to keep it enjoyable whilst still being challenging.

Accuracy first, speed second, did you read pierpont ???


Posted: 2017-09-09 05:29
Ha! One thing I wont do is give up. And TV is not a part of my life!

Thanks all for the advice and encouragement.


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