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Thread: Ear-catching phrases

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Posted: 2019-11-23 13:49
Thanks to Jo Bergler (in his last "Morse Machine questions" post) for the thread title!

Now that I'm building my speed, I'm really concentrating on the sounds and each character has a sound of its own (and I don't just mean the dits and dahs). Some are more distinctive and memorable than others.

Dits can be hard to separate, but H sounds to me (if I listen in a certain way) as dit-dit dit-dit, two pairs of dits. This helps me with 6 (but, strangely, not 4). And I can recognise = because it sounds like 6 but the ending is wrong. X is a short equals.

Comma has a lovely musical rhythm. So does /.

C should sound like full-stop ("period", for you Americans) but, for some reason, they sound completely different. Maybe because one starts with a dah and the other with a dit. They're both relatively easy because of the repetition.

The numbers are interesting - they're a logical progression but they sound completely different. Compare 2 and 3, for instance. Strange, but it does make them all more memorable.

Does anyone else have any characters that stand out for them sonically?

Posted: 2019-11-23 17:10
I seem to have similar auditive impressions.

To me comma, full stop and slash are the easiest characters. I can write them down, without knowing, what I do. When listening without writing, I understand them immediately.

The most difficult characters to me are b, 6 and h, 5.

I try not to listen to the details, but to the sound impression as one block. I avoid thinking of similarities. I exercise the difficult ones separately and I use different speeds, including high symbol speed with slow character speed. But just now, my progression is rather slow.

73 55 Jo

Posted: 2019-11-24 10:22
Q is the difficult one for me - it does not catch readily in my mind. F is another awkward one.

Since I've started to learn to send, I've been learning the pro-signs. They all sound distinctive but 73 was a real "ah-ha" moment for me - it has such a distinctive rhythm I can understand why it has persisted as the sign-off of choice for CW operators. Strange that the microphone guys use it so much though. Maybe all the old guys remember it from their CW days, and the new guys follow the old guys.

Posted: 2019-11-24 11:11
73 is a palindrom

Posted: 2019-11-24 21:44

I like certain words . . e.g

because the people have bus ..ing

There are a few words I don't like, and I'm glad I'm not called Seishi


Posted: 2019-11-26 02:52
check some of the word practice files at wa2nfn.telegraphy.de, the name corresponds to the lesson # in lwco. so if you take the lesson where the troubled letter is introduced EVERY practice word will include that letter (in many cases its the first letter but not always) so you can get intensive practice on troublesome ones

since lwco does not have a read-from-file feature, you can cut and past into the "convert text to cw" window.


Posted: 2019-11-26 06:15
Very nice reference, thanks Bill!

Posted: 2019-11-26 22:23
Regarding the ear catchers, i just experienced an interesting thing.

I could write down 5 character goups with 21/21, but I could not reach 22/22 in a reasonable amount of training time. So I switched back to the Koch lessons. I did them before at 12/12 and at 16/16 later again. Now I use 18/18, which was the highest speed to get started now with the first lessons. Now I am at lesson 13 and out of a sudden, the the cw signs sound different. They dont arrive at my auditive perception as single signs any more, but as melodical phrases of two to five characters. Thats really ear catching. No need to concentrate, i just could not avoid to recognise. At the same time I write down the sequences in one piece. Both processes are time saving, so there seems to be much more time available, than there was before at the same speed.

It feels like a kind ob a break through. Wether it is really something of importance, I dont know yet. I dont think, one can make this happen deliberately, but to listen to the sequence of the character sounds could possibly help.

73 55 Jo

Posted: 2019-11-27 08:30
The transition from sequence of dits and dahs to musical elements occurs at around 18wpm (my speed with a straight key). I find I struggle to recognise characters at less than 15wpm and would hesitate to consider a QSO at less than that speed.

With a paddle (my speed is 23-24 wpm) I find I can both listen and send with ease, although I prefer listening faster at around 26 wpm.

Around 32 wpm, the characters are much easier to recognise because they must be heard as a unit.

The faster you go, the more words become entire units of sound which is really very nice: "people" for instance has a very nice lilt to it!

Posted: 2019-11-27 13:35
Thank you, ID, for sharing your experience.

Obviously there are zwo or maybe even more transitions. One is leaving the hearing of the symbols (dits and dahs) behind and begin to hear the characters as a whole phrase or melody.
The other one is leaving the hearing of single characters behind and begin to hear syllables and words as a whole phrase or melody.

The transition from symbols to characters happend to me at 14 to 16 wpm, the second one has started just now. Good to know, that its important to reach something between 24 and 30. This fits well to the info, that the professionals used 25 even on their long shifts. It also fits to my observation, that most hams are calling at about 30 on shortwave.

73 Jo

Posted: 2019-11-27 16:29
I rested from copying code yesterday.
Today I was rusty. Do most people go 7 days a week?

Posted: 2019-11-28 09:23
I've been going 7 days a week for 4 months now but I'm so tired that I've stopped learning. I'm going to give myself this weekend off (no morse code at all) because I think I'll be better for it. If I'm rusty on Monday, so be it - I need a rest.

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