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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: Further CW training

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Posted: 2019-03-05 11:32
Hello and thanks Fabian for a great training service.

I have been using the Speed Training possibilities a lot, but have found that going over to "normal text" is a new barrier after training code groups, short texts etc.

Would a new LCWO option be possible, combining functions on the LCWO site? Like this:

- paste your own text (typical a few hundred words) into a text pane
- press Play and the text's CW plays according to personal settings for speed etc
- type the characters you hear in a text input pane
- press Show Results and the typed text is evaluated "as usual"
- press Next to go back to the beginning.

I think the detailed reporting of LCWO is so good, and not so easy to do otherwise.

Thanks and 73

Posted: 2019-03-05 15:35
I second this request. Very useful.

Posted: 2019-03-05 21:19
I do not support this proposal.

Remember that intercept telegraphers just exercised hearing code groups and type them out complete automatically.

Without reilizing what was sent, They could conversate during copying with the girl nextdoors, during reception; they did not know what was sent. Plain text or not, they did not know.

That is what you exercise here in the 40 lesson course.

That is not the purpose of learning Morse code for radio amateurs, they just want to listen and write down or just listen and understand at once.

So when you want to exercise after finishing the course: Just go to ARRL http://www.arrl.org/10-wpm-code-archive or whatever speed you want.

Plain text (available) write (not type) it down or even better: try to listen and understand without writing.

That is the way to do it.

Posted: 2019-03-05 23:32
the Premium Class of CW is plain text with all characters with 100% independ the time, hi....my exercises were growing to 20char/20wrds for 100%.....
73 de Werner, OE6DWG

Posted: 2019-03-06 09:12
Dear Poul, just some thoughts.

I suspect that, broadly speaking, you should actually start listening to books in CW at whatever speed you are training at.

There is a major difference between active and passive listening (which was initially studied by Goerlitz in bats): initially we must train in active listening of CW and this calls for effort and the steady focus of attention, which is what you have been doing with groups of letters, but the goal, as nonagenarian has pointed out, is to effect the transition to passive listening in which one can understand what is being received without any effort, while engaging in another activity. This can only be trained through thousands of hours of listening to text.

When listening to a book in morse, one should just let understanding dawn a little at a time: initially, one catches the two and three letter prepositions and conjunctions, then some of the four letter words, then the more difficult initials and finals, and one fudges the letters in between to get at meaning and eventually one is actually listening to a book in morse as if it were being read aloud.

You have certainly heard of the work of Anders Ericsson on the importance of practice ("The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.") in which he points out that an average of 10,000 hours of practice is required for mastery of a skill (in a latter paper Ericsson points out that this is very much an average: for some it take more and for some less).

Fabian has written a very nice program, ebook2cw, to convert ebooks into morse code, which can be downloaded from the "Convert Text to CW" section and there are many marvelous ebooks on Project Gutenberg you might want to try.

Posted: 2019-03-06 11:06

Remember 10000 hours is a lifetime in Morse code listening, very frustrating for students on the go.

When you exercise 15 minutes day which is generally advised, it will take you 120 years.

The ARRL proposal takes you 15 minutes a day. Repeat each and every day the same message of 15 minutes duration, you will discover that you get more and more understanding, difficult words repeated every day are resolved.

This method also serves the school that tries to exercise a constant set of most used unrelated words.

Above that the text from QSTsamples are ham talk.

The Italian guy that wrote a book about Zen Morse, told also he was dayly driving to his job y car, repeated in het car a CD with Morse code, and finally solved the last every day repeated undecoded word of the plain text.

This method works, however ARRL is nog going faster than 40 wpm, But regular hams have no need for speeds over 20 wpm.

Posted: 2019-03-06 15:09
Thanks, interesting comments, especially about the transition to passive listening.
A (distant?) goal of mine is to "listen and understand without writing" at 25+ wpm.

Right now I often take 18-20 wpm with up to 15% errors on mixed chars and punctuation with active listening and writing down on the keyboard. Very useful in LCWO is to get a swift feedback about speed and errors in LCWO.

But doing also active copy of plain (e.g ARRL) text was difficult to me. Also not so easy to quickly evaluate. But LCWO could probably do it. That was the reason for my proposal.

As Anders Eriksson puts it: "The subjects should receive immediate informative feedback and knowledge of results of their performance. The subjects should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks."

It seems useful to also do as you say, train passive CW text listening repetetively in parallell to the active training; - probably at a relaxed pace.

Wonder what Fabian think of this...

Posted: 2019-03-06 15:10
Standing at 18 wpm now and with a goal of 25 wpm reception by only listening, at what speed do you suggest training passive CW listening, as mentioned by several above?

Posted: 2019-03-06 17:40

My advice (FWIW) is to stop measuring your speed all the time and start listening to lots of good quality morse eg. a cheap mp3 player or just off our cellphone.

You can make use of spare or commute time or just pretend to be watching those cartoons with the kids . . . ( when you are discovered, the kids will then want to learn morse too . . . or maybe the bus driver or your car sharers etc )


As Anders Eriksson puts it: "The subjects should receive immediate informative feedback and knowledge of results of their performance. The subjects should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks."

If you are just listening to text ( eg. your favourite novel ) you will get "immediate informative feedback" because you can tell straight away whether or not you can understand it or not.


Standing at 18 wpm now and with a goal of 25 wpm reception by only listening, at what speed do you suggest training passive CW listening, as mentioned by several above?

As soon as you know almost all the letters.

Punctuation/numbers are easy to detect because they are longer.

Note - you may find fatigue setting in if you have to concentrate, so you may need to slow down, or you may just need to stop listening for a few seconds every so often . .

But - it's a repetition game, so it's time spent listening to morse which you can understand which counts . . .

. . . unless you are one of the lucky winners who learned the code to 25wpm in a week or two in which case you won't need any advise from anyone else.

Another thing to bear in mind is the performance of your ears across the audio frequencies - you may not have a flat response so there may be some frequencies for you to avoid (YMMV), but no one other than me seems to think this is important . . . so its maybe not so common

good luck anyway and enjoy


Posted: 2019-03-07 09:43
The sound of morse characters changes substantially as you increase speed by increments of more than 4-5 wpm. What I would suggest is to listen to texts at a speed no more than a couple wpm (2-3) higher than what you are currently comfortable with.

If you are only making 15% mistakes at 18 wpm, why not try to listen regularly to text at 20 wpm in a relaxed fashion. Then, start stretching the envelope by increasing 1wpm at a time.

From my own side, I have found that constant feedback is actually a problem: the first book I listened to in morse (Stevenson's "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde", by the way. . . ), was listened to while checking visually each word I didn't get in the text in front of me. With this regular feedback, I found I made less progress than I would have liked.

Now, three books later, I haveresolved to just listen to code, without a hard copy of the text in front of me and have found that the rate of progress is far higher.

It is more a matter of psychology than anything else: if you can maintain a low frustration level and accept to be stretched far beyond your comfort zone, progress can be very rapid.

Chris' comments about one's auditory acuity varying in function of frequency are very cogent: I find that I copy frequencies below 600Hz poorly.

Posted: 2019-03-08 20:07
Keep the volume low is another advice.

Due to my age (98) deafness I have volume for speech at max, Hardly to copy.

Today I did an exercise plain text at 46 wpm. Missed, repeated, missed. Down the volume to just detectable: copy immediately 100%

Posted: 2019-03-09 06:52
The comment nonagenarian just made is quite true: I have been listening for several months at the lowest volume I can still hear with headphones on (i.e. the minimum) and my recognition is markedly superior than when I increase volume even a little bit.

Posted: 2019-03-13 08:42
Thank you all for interesting hints and aspects.

My cellphone now has a number of 18-20 wpm CW mp3 files, 20+ minutes long, and I can put each on repeat if I like. - For "low frustration" listening at any time :-)

BTW, here is a reason for my CW speed goal, taken from actual CW stations on HF bands today (CW Skimmer):
20 WPM, 23 26 26 28 25 29 22 25 25 32 26 22 28 23 26 27 26 31 27 26 27 27 26 27 24 22 26 20 28 19 22 27 23 26 WPM.

Posted: 2019-03-13 19:00

I think that hams transmitting with a straight key, normally do not meet these mentioned speeds.
Personally I have to work hard to transmit with a straight Junker key more than 15 wpm. Paddle(s) or a home brew Cootie key makes life easier.

Furthermore, nearly every ham is willingful to meet the speed you answer his call. If not, he wouldn't answer your call.

May be a QRQ amateur prefers in his spare time a QRQ partner, for enjoyment of his ability, so don't blame him/her when they do not want to QRS or 20/5 which actually is no Morse code, but an intermediate creature to help learning the code.

Understand that copying QRQ regular code is what he is looking for and accept he is not in for 20/5 to suit you, Just as you are visiting a restaurant for a good glass of wine, and they only have local municipal tap water on the menu (Spa blauw from the blue tap).

However most amateurs are willingful to help people to learn the code. This website is a demonstration of that.

As a matter of fact code speeds are on the average increasing on the bands, due to an increasing average number of years experience. That is due to aging of the population and that is due to less newcomers.

Lack of newcomers has two major reasons:
1. CW requirements to obtain a ham-license are omitted
2. People have less perseverance in their character, than one or 2 generations ago. At present it is more the desire of instant satisfaction that is commercially stimulated. When you can't buy it forget abt it.

Opportunities to exercise after lesson 40 are plenty.
First of all close the gap, that means make 20/5 real morse code 8/8 which is about the same reaction time.
Second: Write and do not type it,
Third: copy words in your mind (You have to start that after lesson 9 already)
fourth: Exercise on ARRL plain Morse code. Repeat daily the same exercise untill you copy it solid.

Understand that those hams between 20 and 30 wpm often only copy standard QSO text, for plain rag chewing text they meet at most 60% of the used speed.

Again: exercise at ARRL or use ebook2cw that at present adds noise and has the opportunity to speed up. in intermediate sprints.

Always when exercising (not on the bands) use a speed that yields at least 20% errors in your copy. Stressing is the right way to increase your comfortable speed.

That is the way I did it.

Posted: 2019-03-17 11:12
Hi all...

I have gone from 20/4, and then 20/5 through all 40 lections, and have now startet all over with 12/12, to get the correct timing. My problem now, is that I have a hard time recognizing the letters, as they are real slow..., but when I try to go faster, I fail to keep up the pace... Should I just keep on with 12/12...? Or maybe force myself to do 14/14 where I start recognizing letters again, although I have to start over all the time...?

Posted: 2019-03-17 15:01
Hi folks, long time no see.

OZ1SPS According to the formula I derived earlier
in this forum/1345 You don't need to be a retired gate keeper with an obviously worthless BSc degree of the University of Cambridge to be able to figure out that:

the average morse throughput (number of PARIS words per minute) when the character speed is C and the on this website used definition of effective speed is E

is 50.C.E/(31E+19C)

So repeat the set of lessons with the intermediate step 14/6

Your goal must first be 10/10 not 12/12 because your present throughput with 20/5 is 9.34 wpm plain text.

Posted: 2019-03-17 16:29
Because he masters already all the 41 characters from the 40 lessons, it has no sense to start agn at lesson 1 with 14/6. Do that with lesson 40 only till you have at some time 90% correct. At that moment start exercising lesson 40 with
13/6 when 90% reached go to
12/7 when 90% reached go to
11/8 when 90% reached go to
10/9 when 90% reached go to

Posted: 2019-03-17 17:43
Thank you brushupCW..!

I feel doing 14/6 is no problem, and I keep up OK without errors, so maybe I should give it just a notch more...

What would you suggest as next level? 13/7? Or maybe 14/7?

Posted: 2019-03-17 19:43
Because he masters already all the 41 characters from the 40 lessons, it has no sense to start agn at lesson 1 with 14/6. Do that with lesson 40 only till you have at some time 90% correct. At that moment start exercising lesson 40 with
13/6 when 90% reached go to
12/7 when 90% reached go to
11/8 when 90% reached go to
10/9 when 90% reached go to

Thank you nonagenarian!

I just don't quite understand why going down to 10 on the letters..., I feel they get harder to copy at 10... Why not just keep letters at speed 14, and then increase overall speed? Like 14/6 - 14/7 - 14/8 until 14/14...?

Posted: 2019-03-17 20:27
Well Im a beginner however why not continue with 20/6 then 20/7...

Posted: 2019-03-17 22:58
Thanks for the addendum.

You are right, keep exercising with lesson 40 or even better with plain text.

You can exercise on this website plain text, with the possibility to specify character speed C and effective speed E. AFAIK this is not possible in the section "words".

SM6WHY You are here to learn as soon as possible Morse code. As long as your effective speed is not equal to your character speed, you have no Morse code. That is not the code you hear on the bands.

The number of words per minute of 20/5 is the same as real Morse code 9,345/9,345

So the fastest way to real Morse code is keeping the same number of words per minute that you master with 20/5

The right path is the sequence given above.

When you reach 10/10 with 90% correct go to 11/11
and so on each time you reach once 90% go to one wpm higher 12/12 and so on.

OZ1SPS demonstrates that with his reached 20/5 he is not able to copy regular Morse code at 14/14 or
any lower speed 12/12 or 10/10. So using his present proficiency on the bands will not work. He has to ask for QRS, but he can't copy QRS because the character speed is too low for him, he is used to at least 14.

No it is far from wise to do what SM6WHY suggests, because you end up with 20/20 but it will take a long long time before you copy real Morse code 20/20
I estimate 50%of CW hams never make it.

So go down to 10/10 then you master Morse code at that speed and feel free to work up to 11/11 12/12
That are excellent speeds to present yourself on the bands with a straight key. Every key will do.

When you finished here the 40 lesson course at
20/10 your throughput is 14,5 wpm, so you have to go down gradually to 14/14 and after that working up to 15/15 and so on, when you like.

14/14 is a very usable speed on the bands. No need to train here any further, speed will come in practice.

ID wrote in this thread:"The sound of morse characters changes substantially as you increase speed by increments of more than 4-5 wpm."

So here you have another reason why you have to go down first, and learn to copy real Morse code from low speed upwards to the max you want to reach


Posted: 2019-03-18 10:50
I second the "10/10" "12/12" resoning.

Having trained 18/25 wpm, 19/25 -22/25 only to find then that I could not do 21/21 wpm, it was to "fast".

I agree it is better strive for proper morse and keep Letter tempo and Effective tempo the same as soon as you reach an effective tempo of 10-14 wpm.

Posted: 2019-03-18 11:26
You are probably right. I'm now at lesson 40 at 20/8 to 20/10. I'm using Just Learn Morse Code, however it's the same setup.
I will follow your recommendation about the speed. I agree that listen to lower speeds are difficult for a rookie.

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