Hello nonagenarian and cb – Chris,
yes, you are right, I struggle very hard with my method to learn the morse code.
Lots of people struggle.
Most eventually give up . . .
I was starting to learn morse code fourteen days ago and I took a lot of effort to find a training concept. My two aims are first to meet the requirements* of the voluntary morse examination of the Bundesnetzagentur and second to pass the examen hopefully in six or eight months at the end of summer 2019.
An aim is good - especially if it turns out to be realistic
My aim is not to become a fast CW specialist like some other unbelievable Ham freaks you can find here in the net. My aim is only to perform a QSO via CW at a speed with is accepted on the Ham radio bands.
* Requirements Bundesnetzagentur: 12 WpM at Tempo 60 means 5 letters x 12 Words = 60 letters/Minute equal to 60 BpM)
15 wpm is usable.
People should slow down to match your sending speed, which should normally indicate how well you can read . .
Lots of QSOs follow a similar pattern . . .
See 6:50 mins into :-
Based on what I caught up so far on the internet is that it is important not to decode the morse signal by counting the dits and dots. The key to learn morse code is to decode the signal directly from the sound into the letter without the detour via counting dits and dots. I have no doubt about this method, it is totally understandable for me.
It's much better to decode just on the sound of a character rather than counting - but you need to recognise the character to start off with.
The Koch method gets round this by introducing new letters one at a time after you reach 90% with the previous ones, so the letter you don't know must be the new one . . you don't have to count it, you can just listen and remember it.
My problem is to find the best speed settings in the LCWO.net online program. Best, means in this context, to have a constant learning progress by exercising at least 30 minutes morse code every day with the aim to master Tempo 60 (60 BpM) after 6 or 8 months.
If you wish to do 30 mins a day then AT FIRST do several 5 min sessions until you get used to it all . . .
Pete Hadley, K6BFA recommended in his YouTube video (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT973YhjdR4) to start with a character speed of 30 WpM and an effective speed which is at the beginning slow enough to be able to understand the letters.
That's great for all the people for whom it works.
It's terminal for all the people for whom it doesn't work . . .
Be careful with this sort of idea if you are over 30 years age . .
With time, if someone is able to recognise the correct letter he shall increase the effective speed faster and faster. The method has two goals. 1) not to count any dits and dots and 2) if someone is able to handle a fast character speed it is easier to reduce the speed than the other way round.
For the second goal I found in the internet analogue arguments from other radio amateurs. They explained that they had started from the beginning once again if they increased the character speed from 18 WpM to 20 WpM only. The sound for each letter, when using a faster character speed is obviously totally different to the sound of the slower one and needs to be learned once again. The other way round, from a fast to a slow character speed seems to be not a problem for our brain however.
. . . but other operators will report you how they went for a test at one speed and found that they had been tested at a faster speed. YMMV
Large speed changes sound very different . . .
It also seems to work the other way round too, with some faster operators having a job at 10wpm . . .
That was the reason why I started with the speed setting 30/3. For the first LCWO.net lessons I was able to master the speed 30/7 but at present I‘m working on lesson number 3 and even that I try to train one hour a day I cannot master the speed 30/4 after one week. But I would like to avoid to start learning morse code twice.
If you have a talent for morse then you will pick it up in 2 - 8 weeks with little effort - else you are like the large majority of us and will have to do some work . . ( worth it in the end though )
You haven't reached 25wpm in 14 days - so it looks like you might be in for a modicum of effort to succeed.
Try 20/2 if necessary to learn all the characters. You might mange 20/10 or 20/5 - you will have to experiment for yourself.
Don't worry too much about learning twice.
If you like to have something to worry about, you should instead be worrying about giving up in frustration as an unpleasant outcome - all too common.
So if I go for your both recommendations I should start with the speed of 20/5 and to come up later with for example 9/9. My question is, is this OK to fulfill my two requirements 1) not to count dits and dots and 2) to master the voluntary morse examination with a speed of 60BpM
60 Buchtstaben Pro Minute is 12WPM
you should set lcwo to 12/12 for a session or two and see how you get on at that speed - just to put off worrying for a bit anyway . . .
My guess is you won't have any trouble passing your exam unless you aim to go too fast at first.
I signed up for the Skype morse course at HTC (link: http://www.htc.ch/index.php/de/news/209-skype-morsekurs-fuer-anfaenger). This course will start on the 27th of March 2019. To be well prepared I will do my best until the course will start.
Thanks again to all of you and your very helpful arguments and recommendations.
Everyone progresses at their own speed according to their own aptitude, which is the result of many factors including, age, hearing, ability with letters etc
Everyone needs to find out themselves what best suits them.
There is lots of advise on lcwo - much from people who read at 40wpm and think everyone is the same as them.
I expect anyone with this level of aptitude doesn't need much advice though . . .
In the end most people give up.
What you are trying to achieve is to make an association between a morse character which you hear and a corresponding text character which pops into your mind automatically as a reflex when you hear it.
This is achieved by
1/ hear the morse
2/ think of the character
4,5,6,7 etc/ repeat lots of times - it then becomes automatic, unthinking, sometimes better when you are half asleep
Going too slow means that the association becomes fixed to very slow morse.
Going too fast means you don't have time to make the association before the next letter and you give up in frustration after a period of no more progress.
Find out which one suits you best, as quickly as you can !!
Then . . .
When you have been morsing for some time, you will be able to remember several of the morse sound subconciously, and decode them behind the arrival of the morse all in your head.
You will also find yourself remembering the message in the text you have decoded.
This takes time to achieve - usually AFTER you have learned all the characters.
Some people reach 25wpm in 14 days - others never quite.
Try reading this if you haven't already done so . .