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Thread: Frustrated because 20/6 is doing me no good in the real world

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Posted: 2018-09-08 06:46
I'm on Lesson 11/40, currently (but I know more letters than that).

I am trying to understand QSO's on air, and the 20/6 spacing I'm studying at with LCWO seems to not be helpful. I'm learning letters, but I'm not able to use them because people more beginner (like me) are usually sending around 10/10 to 12/12 or so. The letters are so long they are confusing me, yet the spaces are so short, they're too fast.

I'm unable to even RX a CQ after listening to it on air, sent a half dozen times.

I am thinking to throw this all out the window and start over at 15/10, so I'm at least undestanding SOME people.


Posted: 2018-09-08 17:11
That spacing is the time you use to decode what you just heard, ( when you first start learning cw
and until it becomes a bit more "automatic", and you are reading behind )
the 10/10 people are in a certain sense going faster than you are at 20/6

If you are making good progress at 20/x then I think you might as well run quickly through all the 40 lessons
20/20 is not a bad speed for real world cw - lots of us never get above 20wpm

6:50 min

If you are proceeding slowly then you might be better changing . . .

If you are making your own QSOs then faster senders should be slowing down to match your sending.

Have you considered making up some morse mp3 files to listen to on your phone in spare 10 mins etc through the day.

You don't have to measure your speed all the time and learning more is really a process of repetition . .

Posted: 2018-09-08 20:29
Do the whole 40 lessons, and then at that point start slowing down the character speed and speeding up the spacing. That is what worked for me anyhow.

Posted: 2018-09-08 20:45
Thank you for the good comments.

Posted: 2018-09-09 16:17
Sure! Keep at it and you will make it happen. I am working on 12/10 right now and that is much closer to what you hear on the air. I have six or seven real-life QSOs now. I plan to go to 12/11, then 12/12, and once I am really good at that 13/13, 14/14, etc. I think this is the way to transition to CW on the air. If anyone else has suggestions please weigh in on this.

Posted: 2018-09-11 08:26
One should train from the very beginning at a speed which makes counting dits and dashes impossible.
I have found training from the very beginning at 20/20 has been most helpful. As soon as you have finished all 40 lessons, train in recognising the 100 most common words at 20/20 by sourcing them on the web and pasting them in a word processing document. Then copy each word 5 times in the text, paste the results into LCWO "Convert text to CW" and listen to them until you can recognise them as musical entities. Bis repetita with 1000 words. Then, get a copy of G4fon's marvellous program and train in recognising words with it. It will generate random words from the list of 100 or 1000 most common words (G4fon is much more realistic than LCWO: on can insert noise, chirping, etc).
In addition, as soon as you know all the characters, get a good keyer (I have a K44) and practice first sending text from a book and then rag-chewing by yourself.Sending and copying are mutually beneficial, although copying is orders of magnitude harder than sending.
I found training in word training on LCWO pretty useless: I reached 40 wpm after 42 trials (at 55 now), but there was no improvement of note in my capacity to use morse on the air. Word training seems to lend itself to competition for the highest rating and that isn't really what I am interested in.
The last point I would make is to have no expectations and just to keep at it every day: I started learning CW seriously in early December last year (even though I had been a member of LCWO for two years before that, I just didn't have time to put into it). In the last 10 months I have practiced daily at least 30 mns, most of the times twice daily and it does happen.

Posted: 2018-09-12 00:40
I am moving along at 20/6. The early characters are easy for me to pick out at 15 to 18wpm on real-life QSOs, so I know it's working. I am following the advice above and just concentrating on getting through all 40 lessons at 20/6, which is a challenging, yet doable speed for me. I will then go back through at 20/10 or 15/10.

Posted: 2018-09-18 05:34
I started 7/2016. I got through the Koch at 17/5 in a month with daily practice. I moved to plain text, by 7/2017 I could copy 17/10 from ear to keyboard without it ever touching my brain. I had to read what I copied to know what it was. I went back to Koch at 17/5. I listen for the sound and avoided caring how many dits or dahs. After 3 months I went back to plain text and 4 leter words only entering the word/words after I heard them. For plain text if I got the message right I didn't care if I had all of the right words, my score wasn't 100%, I didn't care, it isn't a memory test. There came a time when I heard the character and not a sequence of dits and dahs, and the characters made words. It took me two years to get to 17//17. At over 2000 QSOs logged each QSO is more like a conversation. The passage from short term memory and translation to a deep memory reflex takes time and persistence, there is no short cut. An occasional week to month break seemed to help me.

Posted: 2018-09-18 08:55
Something I am still struggling with is finding use for the ARRL CW Practice files. Same problem --- code speed at 10wpm is too slow to understand without counting dits/dahs, yet still too fast to make out more than a few characters at a time. Moving to the 15/15 speed is crazy fast, but at least closer to sounding like characters I understand.

Are any of you making use of the ARRL CQ practice files? If so -- how? Do you play a bit, stop, then go back? Or do you just let it all blur through, picking-out what you can?

Posted: 2018-09-18 14:49
Something I'm just starting to try is use the text files from the daily morse resourse quotes site, copy paste them into a cw converter where you can set different tone, wpm, farnsworth and try different settings. I've done a few at 20/5, tried a sampling at 20/8 this morning and was actually head copying briefly.

Might be able to do something similar with the ARRL files.

The thing I like about it is you can still get the char speed at 20wpm, but Farnsworth can be different.

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