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Thread: Entry level speed

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Posted: 2020-03-17 21:47
Hello.
I recently started learning the morse code using the koch method on this site.
I read the forum and noticed that everyone sets the speed settings very high. I set the speed to 18/3 and the pause between the words is 3 seconds but I still have 20% errors. So far I'm in lesson 20. Tell me what speed did you set during the training?


Posted: 2020-03-18 00:17
You have to proceed to next lesson only when you have 10% errors or less,
It seems to me best speed is between 20/5 and 20/10


Posted: 2020-03-18 02:14
hi
i started from 20/10.
from lesson 10 reduced to 20/7 and hold to lesson 40 but sometimes briefly changed the speed to 20/10 or 20/12 or 25/7 or other for brain stimulation :)
long practice removes errors.


Posted: 2020-03-18 07:33
20/10 throughout.


Posted: 2020-03-18 09:48
Tonyd:
Hello.
I recently started learning the morse code using the koch method on this site.
I read the forum and noticed that everyone sets the speed settings very high. I set the speed to 18/3 and the pause between the words is 3 seconds but I still have 20% errors. So far I'm in lesson 20. Tell me what speed did you set during the training?



You quote 20% errors, but you don't tell us how many runs through the same lesson gets you to 80 success . . .

One ?
Fifty one ?

Did you get to 90% success during all the other "lessons" ( it's more just repeat training / asessment than actually a lesson )

You are at the point where most people think they are not making progress and give up . . .

You can run at 15/2 through this phase if you need to,
but
remember to treat each character as a single unit eg di-di-dah-di rather than di di dah di.

Take into account that your hearing might be affecting how easily you distinguish the di-dahs.
If you choose an audio frequency that has a bad response in your hearing then that can have an effect.
Try low and high audio frequencies
NB -lots of peoploe don't agree with me here, but if your hearing response isn't quite flat then it WILL make a differece
Don't have the volume too high, else your ears will distort

good luck
stick with it

cb









Posted: 2020-03-18 10:21
cb:

You quote 20% errors, but you don't tell us how many runs through the same lesson gets you to 80 success . . .

One ?
Fifty one ?



CB he started the 6-th of this month so he proceeded to lesson 20 in 11 days. In those 11 days he did 281 exercises, so on the average each lesson 14 times. And on the average 25 exercises each and every day.

Looking at the fact he lives in the former CCCP, remember what is said by ID cs about the decadent western world.

Best advice IMHO for Tonyd will be to start over again with 20/10 and proceed to next lesson when he claims 90% for the first time.

I estimate he will reach lesson 40 within 3 month from now, those guys know how to work.



Posted: 2020-03-18 13:44
I am on lesson 5. I start each lesson at 20/10 with 1 extra space between words. I found the extra space between words has more impact on my accuracy than the effective wpm. Once I get that consistently above 90%, I try to increase the effective wpm one step at a time to 12 or 13. I am not in a rush to get through the lessons. I would rather learn it and not struggle once I get on the air with CW.


Posted: 2020-03-18 13:57
Stehpinkler:
CB he started the 6-th of this month so he proceeded to lesson 20 in 11 days. In those 11 days he did 281 exercises, so on the average each lesson 14 times. And on the average 25 exercises each and every day.


Ah . . I can't see any of that data . . .

Stehpinkler:

Looking at the fact he lives in the former CCCP, remember what is said by ID cs about the decadent western world.


He might live anywhere
I don't care
There is plenty of "decadence" everywhere . . .

Stehpinkler:

Best advice IMHO for Tonyd will be to start over again with 20/10 and proceed to next lesson when he claims 90% for the first time.


Go faster.

Might work.

We'll see.

Stehpinkler:

I estimate he will reach lesson 40 within 3 month from now, those guys know how to work.


There are differences between working hard, working long hours and working efficiently.

However hard you work and however high your motivation
- aptitude and youth are the main factors in how quick you learn morse and how fast a speed you get to.


LOTS of people start morse
in-the-sure-and-certain-hope
of learning in a maybe couple of months or so and often work accordingly.


Reality is often a little different - hence the drop-out rate.












Posted: 2020-03-18 15:16
kx8n:
I am on lesson 5. I start each lesson at 20/10 with 1 extra space between words. I found the extra space between words has more impact on my accuracy than the effective wpm. Once I get that consistently above 90%, I try to increase the effective wpm one step at a time to 12 or 13. I am not in a rush to get through the lessons. I would rather learn it and not struggle once I get on the air with CW.


Good idea Glenn. It trains your play-back very short memory, which is what you need during pipelining.

I explain: With Morse Machine you hear a character and you type it out before the next character is presented.
Your speed is limited to 5 or 7 wpm, due to your reaction time. Even the fastes telegraphers can't improve that speed.

When you type previous characters while listening to the next one, your speed is - due to parallel processing in your mind - only limited by genetical factors and exercising, to the range 40 to 100 wpm.





Posted: 2020-03-21 11:53
nonagenarian:
You have to proceed to next lesson only when you have 10% errors or less,
It seems to me best speed is between 20/5 and 20/10


Thanks . But the speed of 20/5 is too high for me. Even when moving from 18/3 to 18/4, the number of errors increases several times.


Posted: 2020-03-21 12:02
kx8n:
I am on lesson 5. I start each lesson at 20/10 with 1 extra space between words. I found the extra space between words has more impact on my accuracy than the effective wpm. Once I get that consistently above 90%, I try to increase the effective wpm one step at a time to 12 or 13. I am not in a rush to get through the lessons. I would rather learn it and not struggle once I get on the air with CW.


I tried first to set the lowest speed that the settings allow. Something like 10/3 and five seconds between words and two characters in a group. It turned out to just learn the letters themselves. But any minimal change in speed leads to a strong pullback in recognition skills. So I can learn all 40 characters in a couple of days without difficulty. But I can’t do anything with them even at the slowest speed. It would be nice to have instructions for learning the code on this site.


Posted: 2020-03-21 13:57
I suggest you set the WPM high, like 20 and the effective speed to 8 or more. The extra word spacing I think is extra Dits not seconds and a dit is only a few milliseconds. I also set the start delay to 3 seconds. I use Morse Machine on and off for many sessions. Once I feel I am running on autopilot, I try the lesson. Some lessons I get through with a consistent accuracy above 90% in a day, some take me many days. I am taking to heart that I am learning a foreign language and I am horrible with foreign languages. I have also found I need a very quiet area with earphones to focus on the sounds. The quieter the space, the more accurate I am. If a family member walks in or there are other noises, I am quickly distracted. Also, when copying, if I miss a character because I wasn't clear what it was I skip ahead to the next recognizable character and start writing again. Then, when I enter it in the text window, I enter a character not in the lesson where I missed. This way I can tell how many errors from missed characters versus how many I copied wrong. What I find is that I have few errors from copying wrong and only errors from misses. As I progress through practice, my errors from wrong copy go to zero first and then my errors from missed letters go down until I am above 90%. Stick with it, take your time, get it right.


Posted: 2020-03-21 17:02
Tonyd:
I tried first to set the lowest speed that the settings allow.
Something like 10/3 and five seconds between words and two characters in a group.
It turned out to just learn the letters themselves.
But any minimal change in speed leads to a strong pullback in recognition skills.
So I can learn all 40 characters in a couple of days without difficulty.



Did you get through all 40 lessons at any speed ??


Tonyd:

But I can’t do anything with them even at the slowest speed.



I'm not quite sure what you mean by I can't do anything with them . . .


Tonyd:

It would be nice to have instructions for learning the code on this site.




I will make a guess based on what happend to some other people. . .


You know all the morse characters,
but
you have a job recognising them when you hear them at say 18/4 ( which speed you mention ).


If so this is quite normal.


A few people learn in a very short time,
but
as you are building an automatic response:-

hear code - > letter pps into your head from nowhere

it can take ages for normal people - the rest of us.



How long were you expecting learning morse to take you ???



To get used to hearing the characters you can run at /2 if you need,
but
you should run the char speed as fast as is easily comfortable to hear,
so
you hear it as a single entity rather than several dits and dahs in succession.

Also
beware of overdoing it and getting fatigue at first.

Run more 1 - 2 min sessions rather than fewer 5 minutue sessions ( for example )


You don't need to measure your speed all the time.

Listen to lots of morse. repeat repeat repeat etc


cb







Posted: 2020-04-13 23:48
Hello .
When I increase the speed in the exercise, then the first 1-2 days everything is stable. But in the following days, the number of errors begins to increase. I have to either slow down again, or just move on to the next exercise and slow down.
What could be caused by the increase in the number of errors? Do I need to pay attention to this or just move on to the next exercise at a lower speed. And try to speed up after
My training speed is 4 wpm and problems begin when I try to accelerate to 5 wpm
I am learning lesson 27
Very grateful for any advice.


Posted: 2020-04-14 00:43
Tonyd:
I tried first to set the lowest speed that the settings allow.
Something like 10/3 and five seconds between words and two characters in a group.
It turned out to just learn the letters themselves.
But any minimal change in speed leads to a strong pullback in recognition skills.
So I can learn all 40 characters in a couple of days without difficulty.
But I can’t do anything with them even at the slowest speed.
It would be nice to have instructions for learning the code on this site.


It's difficult to have actual instructions, because everyone's experience is a bit different from everyone else's.
Some peple learn in a few weeks. Some tale a year or more. Most get fed up and give up.


There is always plenty of advise - all applicable to someone - but not to everyone.

We can point out some things to avoid, but we can only go off what you tell us.


If I was you I would go right through the 40 lessons . .
. . . sticking to the 90% and move on rule . .
. . . using a char speed as fast as you can manage . .
. . . and a wpm speed as slow as you need . .
. . . without changing any of these speeds.

Note
If you can't touch type - beware of producing a dependency on the keyboard - try writing down in this case.


Note
You are not just learning the morse characters.

You are also trying to build an automatic response along the lines of
hear the morse - the decoded character just pops into your head.

This can take some time - it works on repetition. You need to go at your speed, not anyone else's.

Trying to speed it up may well be counter productive - your brain needs the many repetitions.


Speed will always be less important than accuracy of decoding.



The symptom you report - doing well then falling back a few days later is not so uncommon.

If you can get through all the 40 lessons such that you are familiar with the sounds of all the characters
then
speeding up will follow with more practise and practice,


YMMV

Stick with it. You are almost certainly doing fine.

cb




Posted: 2020-04-14 01:20
Thanks .
Sometimes I feel like I’m losing motivation. But it seems that everything is fine)
I can’t imagine when I can make out at least some real transmission. It sounds just like the sounds of a modem on a telephone line. I just won’t think about it)


Posted: 2020-04-14 12:52
I'm at about 13 wpm now and I've listened to a lot of morse code at all sorts of speeds. It is quite common for guys on the air to run at 25 - 30 wpm and that can certainly sound like a modem on a telephone line. But you won't be at 25 - 30 wpm for quite a while (maybe never) so ignore them.

If you listen to transmissions sent at 10 - 12 wpm (those are much less common), I'm sure you will recognise it as morse code and pick out a few letters. This is the speed you should be aspiring to. You are nowhere near this yet but you can be - it is achievable and you will be able to communicate at that speed.

As cb says, just work on finishing the Koch set at any speed you can manage - this is the first phase of your morse training. Enjoy your training or you'll give up.

Once you've completed the 40 Koch characters, then you can build up your speed to 10 - 12 wpm without the extra spacing between characters (10/10) because that's what other people will be expecting you to send and what they'll be sending to you. That takes a while to achieve too - it is the second phase of your morse training.

As cb says, you have to get beyond counting dits and dahs or visualising images. Hearing the sound and immediately knowing the character (without anything happening in your brain between those two things) takes a lot of repetitions. A lot. So just settle in and enjoy it. You'll get there if you don't give up.


Posted: 2020-04-14 13:30
Tonyd:
Thanks .
Sometimes I feel like I’m losing motivation. But it seems that everything is fine)
I can’t imagine when I can make out at least some real transmission. It sounds just like the sounds of a modem on a telephone line. I just won’t think about it)



"Real" morse on the bands is largely formuleic with lots of abbrevs,so to understand what's happening you have to know
e.g.
gm fb dr om
tnx fer qso
tnks fee ur rprt
ur rst 5nn hw?
wx bad rain

name hr chris
qth london

so it sounds like high speed gibberish until you pick up enough high speed gibberish to understand . .

It's worth listening for name or op and qth because these are

r e p e a t e d s l o w l e y

often three or four times, which maybe shows how much raw morse lots of hams pick up . . .

The really fast stuff is mostly test i.e. contesting - which is very basic, follows a pattern and just
has the contact details and qso number. The sequence "test" will give you the timing.

If you listen to 'test on 20m at a weekend you can practice trying to remember the sound of the call sign after cq cq de.
It will be too fast to decode, but the remembering bit is the first stage of head decoding.
Repeat to yourself what you hear, and see how much you get.
The cq test will continue, so you can check it out . . .



A tip is to concentrate on the first morse char, which gives you your timing and the audio frequency to follow.

Whilst you are decoding and remembering the first char - try and hear and remember the second.

If you get even one letter a word then you are traning. repeat repeat repeat

Slowly build up to the next. Don't expect to get it all after five weeks.

good luck

we know what it's like ( well, some of us do anyway )

cb


Posted: 2020-04-14 14:03
Make the spacing between the signs as long as you need it. But the sign itself not slower than 12wpm and not faster than 15 wpm.
Under 12 it is difficult to get a feeling for the proper sound of the letter. Over 15 the risk is high that you give up frustrated befoere you reach the standard spacing which you require to start sending.

I started with a sign speed of 14 wpm and long spaicng. After I knew the alphabet and numbers, I started reducing the spacing. In ths software I used for learning the last level to achieve standard spacing was a big gap. So instead it was easier to keep the spacing one step longer than standart, but just increase to 15 wpm.... than 16, 17 etc. later I found out that this was a fault. I finally reached 21 wpm but still I did not have the standart spacing and the faster the sign speed is, the bigger becomes the gap if you want to jump to standard spacing. Also the letters are of course less clear to hear and you make more faults than with a slower sing speed. So I realised that I went into a dead end and I gave up. About a year later I started again with 14 wpm trained as long until I reached the standart spacing and only then I increased the sings speed. Now I am training with 17 wpm and standard spacing.
I wasted a lot of time with my first attempt. If I would start from the very beginning again I would do it without exception in this order:

1. Choose a sign speed and spacing between 12 and 15 wpm (probably 13 or 14 is best) and never change the sign speed or the spacing until I know all signs.

2. step by step reduce the spacing until reaching standad spacing

3. only then increase the sign speed until a minimum of 15

4.only then start sending (becauseI think it is better as long as you learn to listen only to perfect code)


Posted: 2020-04-14 15:32
cp03525:

later I found out that this was a fault. I finally reached 21 wpm but still I did not have the standart spacing and the faster the sign speed is, the bigger becomes the gap if you want to jump to standard spacing. Also the letters are of course less clear to hear and you make more faults than with a slower sing speed. So I realised that I went into a dead end and I gave up. About a year later I started again with 14 wpm trained as long until I reached the standart spacing and only then I increased the sings speed. Now I am training with 17 wpm and standard spacing.
I wasted a lot of time with my first attempt. If I would start from the very beginning again I would do it without exception in this order:

1. Choose a sign speed and spacing between 12 and 15 wpm (probably 13 or 14 is best) and never change the sign speed or the spacing until I know all signs.

2. step by step reduce the spacing until reaching standad spacing

3. only then increase the sign speed until a minimum of 15

4.only then start sending (becauseI think it is better as long as you learn to listen only to perfect code)


Thank you so much for your experience.
I have a similar situation. I train morse mashine at a speed of 23-24 and have no problems with recognition. But I get huge problems even when trying to switch from an effective speed of 4 to 5 in exercises. It surprised me. I lost my understanding of how to get to 20/20 in such a situation. But now something has become clearer.


Posted: 2020-06-06 22:45
This may come in handy for beginners to learn code.
I made a significant mistake at the beginning of my study.
I began to study the code at too low effective speed. I set the speed to 18/4 and later raised it to 20/4.
This allowed me to progress quickly at the beginning but brought a very tough hit to the wall later.
In my opinion, for today it is not necessary to make the ratio of the symbol speed to the effective speed less than 1/3. If you have a symbol speed of 20wpm, then the minimum effective speed should be at least 7wpm. If the effective speed is less, it will be very difficult for you to raise it later. This wall is very demoralizing.
It may be better and more profitable to endure slow progress at the beginning.


Posted: 2020-06-07 00:31
i disagree.

Slow progress stimulayes quitting as the sttistics show,

Another method is learning first all characters, with Morse Machine without stress, (because you get the next character AFTER you type in the received character.and after that try to exercise words, call signs and plain text with low effective speed.

Concerning your experienced wall: you probably missed the discussion about lowering the chatacter speed and increasing the effective speed with constant throughput throughout, dat was earlier held on the website, and turns to work out effective.

Forget about 20/x with x slowly increasing to 20, that takes to much time and especially with decoding code groups and a keyboard to type the result you will exercise undesired habits.

Above that, most amateurs use a speed around 15 wpm, 20 will come automatically when using Morse code on a regular basis.


Posted: 2020-06-07 08:47
I'm not an expert but here is my view.

Learn the 40 Koch characters any way you can. Anything above 15/x will be okay. Don't get stuck because then you'll give up.

Real Morse has standard spacing. It sounds great! If you are ever going to decode someone else's Morse, then you'll need to be able to read standard spacing. So part of your daily practice should include standard spacing. The slowest speed sent over radio is 10/10. There seems to be a lot sent at 20/20 but that will be too fast for you.

Having standard spacing within words, but longer gaps between words was helpful to me at the beginning. But it is not Real Morse so I don't listen to that any more.

I enjoy listening to standard spacing (although it can be hard work to keep pace with it). And I enjoy sending standard spacing.

My opinion is that training with non-standard spacing is probably wasted effort because it sounds different from standard spacing.

But I'm not an expert - I can't yet look back on my training and draw conclusions. I'm just a guy like you who's been at it for 10 months. Trying to drum it into his thick skull. So YMMV.


Posted: 2020-06-07 19:54
Maybe I didn’t write exactly. English is not native to me
. I wanted to say that when you can’t work at a speed of 20/7, you need to reduce it to 15/5.
I reduced it to 20/5 and memorized the wrong proportion between the speed of the symbol and the effective speed.
I really slowed down my progress then.
It would be better to choose a speed of 20/10 or maybe 15/7. Proportion 2/1.


Posted: 2020-06-11 18:49
I've just started but I've hit upon a method that's comfortable yet progressive. Using 20/10 and no extra spacing apart from 2 s at the beginning, I start out each lesson with groups of two letters, listen to it trying to say the characters out loud ("k", "m" etc), then write them down on paper as they are played back and type that into the box to check. Then I change the groupings to three, four and finally five characters, repeating the whole process at each stage. Between each lesson I use the Morse Machine for extra practice.


Posted: 2020-06-12 00:47
Looks like a novel fast way to learn to copy by head, Think about (and try) 15/15 and go exercising from lesson 9 upwards also with words.

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