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Who is online? (11)


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: Hello Everyone

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AuthorText


Posted: 2019-09-01 19:03
I am Bruce, and have been studying for a year, but mostly just in the past several months. I've been using JLC (Just Learn Code) mostly, and have up to 27 characters.
Sometimes I take the characters given in JLC and use the "Convert to Text option" in LCWO have let LCWO send the characters to me. I use the traditional "Straight Key" for send practice. I did not know that LCWO had a forum until today. Sometimes I am slow to "get" stuff. One of the biggest "turn offs" I found, was all of the pressure to send code fast. I actually do not eve like the idea of "fast". The only thing that really kept me going was at bedtime, I took my straight key and oscillator to bed, and sent the same sentence every single night, and practices a few words. For me, practicing code is "therapeutic". It relaxes me to do it, and I like it. (Just thought I would say hello to you few, you Band of Brothers.)


Posted: 2019-09-02 13:40
Hi, Bruce.

I'm now on lesson 16. I'm learning at 25/5 which is a speed I like 'cos it forces me not to count but to listen for the patterns - I enjoy it that way. In fact, I look forward to each session.

We (learners) are all facing that challenge of the 50% drop-out rate. If whatever technique we're using keeps us in the game, then (IMHO; the experts elsewhere on this forum may well disagree) it's got to be a good technique. So, if you're enjoying your night-time practice sessions (and it sounds as if you are) then that sounds good to me.

I've hit two walls so far and so I expect there'll be others further down the line. I've learnt that you just have to keep drilling away, recognising small gains, and not beating yourself up. Eventually the wall goes down.

Learning Morse to a standard where I can QSO, is a winter project to me. First step is to do the 40 lessons at 25/5. Second step is to add some pro-signs. Third step is to ramp up to 25/9 (which is 15 wpm, by my calculations). But honestly, I'm enjoying the ride (so far!) so it doesn't matter to me how long it takes.


Posted: 2019-09-02 20:48
Hi, Just starting out to learn morse. In currently on lesson 26 but my wpm is still quite low. I think the biggest aha-moment for me is when you realize that you need to learn the sound of the letters to activate your speech center, which is very much contrary to the usual way you encounter morse code namely trying to memorize some symbols caesar cipher style.


Posted: 2019-09-06 14:50
brushupCW (see elsewhere on this forum) is firmly of the opinion that your Morse code will not be recognised by other radio hams unless the "Character Speed" is the same as "Effective Speed". He's learnt Morse code and used it on the radio so I'm going to follow his advice (after all this effort, I do want other hams to reply to me!).

With the change from 25/5 (which is 10 wpm) to 10/10 (which is also 10 wpm), the Morse code sounds quite different and I'm still getting used to it. I'll let you know how I get on.


Posted: 2019-09-07 23:50
foggycoder:
We (learners) are all facing that challenge of the 50% drop-out rate.


It's probably more like a 99% drop out rate.

There are a few traps.

1/ Unreasonable expectations - you heard about someone who got to 25wpm from scratch in 14 days and you think that's normal.
When you work out your progress and find it will be 24 months for you to get to 20wpm, the disappointment and/or embarassment makes you give up.

2/ You read the first bit of this posting and are now expecting to have to put some effort in over a long time.
You start off, but get bored as a matter of course. You go and learn to play the violin (YMMV) instead . .

3/ You learn morse up to 15 wpm after some effort, and then find you can only use it to talk to boy scouts and radio hams. You don't go any further.

0/ ( should come first ) Your ears are not quite up to it, or you can't spel four toffay.
No one helps you because most of the "helpers" are only interested in people who will become reasonably fast - is almost impossible for you to learn morse code.


Posted: 2019-09-08 00:04
foggycoder:
brushupCW (see elsewhere on this forum) is firmly of the opinion that your Morse code will not be recognised by other radio hams unless the "Character Speed" is the same as "Effective Speed".


I'm not sure where you got the idea that brushup or anyone else is saying that no radio hams will take time to communicate with you on the air if you are a ham who is learning morse slowly and is not very proficient.

Perhaps you could tell us . .

Some high speed merchants possibly of an elitist dispositions may not be very interested in bothering with you in that case, but it might be actually difficult for them to read slow morse.

Without the inclusion of the not so speedy contingent, we may reasonably expect morse to pretty much die out, except in Russia etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur




foggycoder:

He's learnt Morse code and used it on the radio so I'm going to follow his advice (after all this effort, I do want other hams to reply to me!).


Well, try sending something . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_prtbj4MtDU

foggycoder:

With the change from 25/5 (which is 10 wpm) to 10/10 (which is also 10 wpm), the Morse code sounds quite different and I'm still getting used to it. I'll let you know how I get on.




Posted: 2019-09-08 09:44
You have taken the time and effort to reply to my post at some length. Your negative comments are very clear but I'm struggling to extract the positive ones...

"Well, try sending something..."
I sure will, once I've got to Lesson 40 (I'm still only Lesson 16).

I've watched the "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" video but the message is obscure - can you be more explicit about what you intend it to mean?


Posted: 2019-09-08 12:18
foggycoder:
You have taken the time and effort to reply to my post at some length. Your negative comments are very clear but I'm struggling to extract the positive ones...

"Well, try sending something..."
I sure will, once I've got to Lesson 40 (I'm still only Lesson 16).


Great ! provided you don't continue with the conclusion that your morse HAS to be fully finished at:-

foggycoder:
the "Character Speed" is the same as "Effective Speed"


No one has told you this.

foggycoder:

I've watched the "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" video but the message is obscure - can you be more explicit about what you intend it to mean?


It is of course a (potentially) humorous if somewhat dated aside, along the same vein.

The "point" is in the advice being given by a "witch-doctor", towards the end, ( at a price in sheep )



. . and it is a 90+% drop out as I said in my first post.

Good luck with it. Hopefully you will sail through . . . .


Posted: 2019-09-09 11:35
Chris' advice is very good: he actually states what the goal should be.

It helps a lot to have a very clear sense of the advantages morse code presents:

1. CW can be copied at -10dB S/N, which means cw passes when pretty much nothing else can (some digital modes make similar claims, but many like FT8 impose major restrictions on how one communicates, i.e. 13 character packets, etc)

2. By learning to copy on paper (or in your head) you bypass the need for a quite a bit of equipment, very useful in an emergency.

3. Morse decoders don't work well with high levels of noise and it is to one's definite advantage to be able to decode with wetware (i.e. the brain).

Then, frankly, it is very helpful to just keep at it as part of your daily routine, without thinking too much about it and progress will happen quite naturally.

I don't want to step on anyone's toes but, personally, I feel too much involvement with this forum is probably not helpful. It is not so much a matter of talking as of doing.

I will probably take 2-3 years, but what's the rush?


Posted: 2019-09-11 23:42
I remember classes of radio schools. Everybody could enroll after some high school equivalent 3 yr general education, finished at age 15 or 16 years old; and become a radio officer for coastal stations, airplanes and ships. The final examinations of those radio schools were 25 wpm text sending and receiving and code 20 wpm, which is the same dit and dash speed.

Guys that were slower got a second class certificate with 16 wpm speed. That was the international requirement as agreed in 1948 Atlantic City.

Layman in compulsory military service during 1.5 up to 2 years for young guys, just leaned it in a few month. So 2-3 years sounds to me as extraordinary long. I never met a ham that took such a long time to learn the previous required 8 wpm and later on 12 wpm.

When Morse code was a compulsory requirement for hams using RF bands, ham clubs organized courses with technique and Morse code. Each week one evening, people had their license in half a year. on the average. Butchers, lawyers, salesmen, everybody starting with not any knowledge of Morse code and laws of Kirchhof.

May be the way of learning is not optimal right now. Koch claimed in his rerearch paper very short times of 14 days for test classes. Unbelieveble.

Practice here is that people go fast the first 7 lessons, after that the probability of occurance of new characters becomes too low in one minute exercises. So why not learn a group of 5. When mastered another disjunct group of 5, when mastered that second group: mix them to a group of 10 characters.


Posted: 2019-09-12 10:50
Actually I made a typo in my post, I meant to write "It will take" and wrote instead "I will", I just figured I would let it lie.

Just for the record, I am 57 years old and started morse 1.5 years ago.

I receive, as of today, at 26 wpm, send at 22-24 wpm with a paddle (my hands are stiff) and my maximum speed in recognising individual words is 44 wpm.

So I'm in the somewhat strange situation where my sending speed is slower than my receiving speed (normally, it is just the opposite)

I didn't follow Koch's method to the letter, but used LCWO and relied on common sense and my long experience in acquiring Asian languages: I trained at 20/10 and if I got results above 80%, I just moved to the next lesson, so I averaged one lesson a day (1-2 hrs/lesson was standard)

During this period, I would listen to the combination of characters over and again until I got it.

My assumption was that, in time the code would gel (which it did), and that it was mind numbing to spend weeks on one lesson and I do feel that it tends to demotivate a lot of new members.

In addition, I trained every day using Morse Machine and as soon as I had finished all 40 lessons, started word training on LCWO.

At the end of last year, I started practising interactive sending and receiving (listening to sent code and sending it back with a key and/or paddle) using Begali's CW Machine which I found extremely helpful.

At the beginning of this year, I started listening to novels in morse code (first "Dr. Jekkyl and Mr Hyde" at 20 wpm, now I am just finishing Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" at 26 wpm)

We each have our own approach in these matters, but "proof is in the pudding" and this approach really worked for me.

I would say two factors make a big difference: regularity (listening to code every day) and multiple training sessions each day.





Posted: 2019-09-12 14:38
test:

Practice here is that people go fast the first 7 lessons, after that the probability of occurance of new characters becomes too low in one minute exercises. So why not learn a group of 5. When mastered another disjunct group of 5, when mastered that second group: mix them to a group of 10 characters.


Koch investigated that, and came to the conclusion that exercising a set of 4 and after that another set of 4 characters yields the result the first learned set was forgotten. (My personal experience is different)

citation
w.g pierpont page 160

forgotten the first group almost
completely, and their confidence
was badly shaken. He had to begin
all over again teaching these
eight letters together until they
were mastered together.
After this, when these eight letters
had been practiced to the point
where they were correctly and
consistently identified, two new
groups were studied separately in
the same way as the first two
groups. First the group d b g, then
after that the group u v w. Next,
when these two new groups were
mixed together, it was found that
the d b g group had been forgotten.
But worse, after these two
groups had been re-learned together
(d b g u v w) to the point
of correct identification, and then
combined with the first 8 letters,
alas, the (combined) first two
groups of 8 letters had been virtually
forgotten!
It appears that the student’s intense
concentration upon a new
group of characters by itself
causes that group to override and
replace what had been previously
“learned”. He sensibly concluded
that teaching by groups is
wrong-headed. Therefore, the
most efficient way is to introduce
one new letter at a time and then
immediately integrate it into the
group of letters already learned,
until finally the whole alphabet is
complete. In this way all the previously
learned characters are under
constant review and repeated
frequently without lapses.


Posted: 2019-09-13 11:26
ID-ID says "I feel too much involvement with this forum is probably not helpful. It is not so much a matter of talking as of doing."

He also says "I would say two factors make a big difference: regularity (listening to code every day) and multiple training sessions each day."

I agree that Practising is important, and I am doing several sessions a day. But progress is slow and, whilst I'm enjoying the process so far, I don't want to be stopped by frustration and lack of motivation. Participation in the forum (which Nonogenarian says is the key differentiator for LCWO) reminds me that there are other learners in the same position, and that there are experts who want to help.

So I find the forum posts interesting and helpful but I do realise that the basis of learning is Practice, Practice, Practice.

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