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Thread: copy code at 12 words per minute in under 14 hours

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AuthorText


Posted: 2020-06-14 13:24
Hi,

"Koch was able to teach a class of students to copy code at 12 words per minute in under 14 hours."

"If a bunch of students can learn code in 14 hours, you should be able to, as well. Even spending an hour a day, that’s only two weeks."

Really?

https://hackaday.com/2020/02/21/learning-morse-code-the-ludwig-koch-way/



Posted: 2020-06-14 18:10

Koch seems to have selected the students for his "demo", they weren't just pulled of the street and put into a normal lesson.

US Psychologists followed up on Koch's method in the 1940's, when the US government realised how many morse operators they were going to have to train up for the war effort.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1417382?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents



Ham operations are a bit different from copying encrypted military signals.

Military signals need to be letter perfect but not understood at the time of copy and are typed out - a process which can become an automatic reaction; code -> keyboard key.

Marine radio officers were different again but a bit nearer to hams.


Hams need maybe 20 wpm and lots of abbreviations.

Call sign, OP name and QTH are repeated - which shows what's really going on with QRM/N etc


Some people - obviously with high aptitude - sometime report learning to 25wpm in a couple of weeks - other within a few months.

but

Some ( lots of ) people take 2 years to get to 20wpm.

Most Hams are in between - but you won't know your aptitude level until you try.

The drop out rate suggests to me that most people should expect 6 months to a year to 15wpm.

If you are in the Scouts etc 5 - 10 wpm should be fine.

YMMV

cb


Posted: 2020-06-14 23:18
Hi Cris,

thank you very much for your answer and effort. The article

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1417382?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

is very interesting and important for me.

Within 33 hours training for receiving the students reached 8-20 wpm, 7h were dedicated for transmitting.

The normal duration to reach 13 wpm is according to an analysis 160 h.

The approach was to learn all 40 Characters in 7h.

In every hour the students had to learn 5,7 character, every 10,5 minutes an new character.

So there is difference to the method on lcwo, where in each lesson one new character is introduced.

The students were trained with meaningful and nonsense text.

The initial learning test is very interesting, one should do this at the beginning of learning, whether it makes any sense to start Morse.

Other results from this study, very short:

the grouping of similar or dissimilar characters is not important.

the speed of the individual character is not so important.

30 to 60 per cent in telegraphy schools fail. (how many on Lcwo give up?)

Now I will evaluate what was wrong with my learning approach. Up to now I spent 96 days some hours a day learning Morse, and I am far away from the results above.

73
Ruediger










Posted: 2020-06-15 00:05
I personally think that Koch cheated.


Posted: 2020-06-15 09:23
nonagenarian:
I personally think that Koch cheated.


Gregor Mendel "cheated" too, nonag
but
he was correct in the end.

Charles Darwin went to to the opposite extreme,

. . and took so long over it . . .

that he had to publish in a hurry when A R Wallace derived the same theory
( and sent him a letter about it )

I haven't managed to find

Kock; Arbeitspsychologische untersuchung zugleich ein neues anlernverfahren fur funker 1934

or even

Peak, H., "Koch's Method of Learning Code Reception,"

so

I'm in the land of hearsay - albeight from Peirpont . . .

( http://www.n9bor.us/images/pdf/n0hff_3.pdf )

cb







Posted: 2020-06-15 09:52
DD5RK:
Hi Cris,

thank you very much for your answer and effort. The article

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1417382?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

is very interesting and important for me.

Within 33 hours training for receiving the students reached 8-20 wpm, 7h were dedicated for transmitting.



This is military training for hear and type - wartime, not Ham hobby time

8 to 20 . . that factor of 2.5 is a huge leap in practical terms.


DD5RK:

The normal duration to reach 13 wpm is according to an analysis 160 h.



30 mins a day for a year

DD5RK:


The approach was to learn all 40 Characters in 7h.



Don't know what happened in the US, but in the UK the students

( wartime again )

were talking morse to each other in the pub afterwards

- so lots of training and group support

DD5RK:


In every hour the students had to learn 5,7 character, every 10,5 minutes an new character.

So there is difference to the method on lcwo, where in each lesson one new character is introduced.



. . . and not so much group support

DD5RK:


The students were trained with meaningful and nonsense text.

The initial learning test is very interesting, one should do this at the beginning of learning, whether it makes any sense to start Morse.



it's hobby time not work time

if you don't get above 10wpm then you've still helped to keep morse going.
I don't think morse will survive ( in the west anyway )
just because of high speed operators
and

10 wpm is enough to save lives if you are stuck somewhere

DD5RK:


Other results from this study, very short:

the grouping of similar or dissimilar characters is not important.

the speed of the individual character is not so important.

30 to 60 per cent in telegraphy schools fail. (how many on Lcwo give up?)



I guess about 90 % get fed up . . .

BUT

that's mainly due to not having realistic expectations

an incorrect view of their own aptitude

And

we don't know how many steel themselves and have a second attempt


DD5RK:


Now I will evaluate what was wrong with my learning approach. Up to now I spent 96 days some hours a day learning Morse, and I am far away from the results above.

73
Ruediger




Hints IMNSHO , YMMV

Lots of the advice here is from people bowling along at 35+wpm

Some of this will not be relevant to people who are going to top out at 20wpm ( OK QSO speed anyway )

eg. quite a bit of advise is about

speeding up your morse
how to get through the course as quickly as possible to 25 wpm
not wasting time learning slowly in the first place - go straight to "fast"
etc


The most important factor is - aptitude
The second is - how much do you actually want to learn morse ?
The third is - what speed will you be satisfied with ? i.e. is it within possibility
The forth is - how much time and effort will you actually spare ?
either/or - how much is it worth to you ?; how much do you just refuse to give up ?


There will be a few reasons why people "struggle".

My guess is that hearing is one of these - if you can't hear it then your neural network can't learn it.

So
- make sure you use an audio frequency which is good for your hearing
- decent headphones etc

Listen to lots of morse - try mp3 on your phone

When listening to morse - aim to get the first character for pitch, speed/timing etc and then see what happens with subsequant chars

good luck anyway

stick with it

let us know how you get on

cb





Posted: 2020-06-15 21:56
Hi

cb:

good luck anyway

stick with it

let us know how you get on

cb




For me, Morse will be a form of communication.

This means, that for me, speed x / y is not the first priority, but the ability to understand and send text.

First of all, these will be standard QSOs (I've done 4 so far). To do this, I have to understand the call sign of the other station and I need some abbreviations and common words.

I'll focus on that from now on.

73
Ruediger






Posted: 2020-06-16 08:48
DD5RK:
Hi




For me, Morse will be a form of communication.

This means, that for me, speed x / y is not the first priority, but the ability to understand and send text.

First of all, these will be standard QSOs (I've done 4 so far). To do this, I have to understand the call sign of the other station and I need some abbreviations and common words.

I'll focus on that from now on.

73
Ruediger






Good thinking!

Upon checking your profile, I noted that you will turn 65 in August. Age is a huge factor in learning a new skill. Koch, to the best of my knowledge focused on young trainees.

You mention that you spent 96 days, a couple hours a day, learning morse and seem to have finished all 40 lessons. That is excellent.Now, it is just a matter of time.

Oh, Cb, perhaps the reason you couldn't find Koch's work is because your reference is a bit off.

It was initially published as an article:

Ludwig Koch: Arbeitspsychologische Untersuchung der Tätigkeit bei der Aufnahme von Morsezeichen, zugleich ein neues Anlernverfahren für Funker", in "Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie und Charakterkunde", Band 50, Heft 1 und 2, Februar 1936

and later as a monograph by Barth Verlag, 1936

Several German radiomateur sites have posted pdf copies, but they no longer seem to be available.

Copies of the monograph are available in most German libraries (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Leipzig, etc) and it should be possible to have a photocopy made


Posted: 2020-06-16 11:50
[quote=ID]Good thinking!
[SNIP]

Oh, Cb, perhaps the reason you couldn't find Koch's work is because your reference is a bit off.

It was initially published as an article:

Ludwig Koch: Arbeitspsychologische Untersuchung der Tätigkeit bei der Aufnahme von Morsezeichen, zugleich ein neues Anlernverfahren für Funker", in "Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie und Charakterkunde", Band 50, Heft 1 und 2, Februar 1936

and later as a monograph by Barth Verlag, 1936

Several German radiomateur sites have posted pdf copies, but they no longer seem to be available.

Copies of the monograph are available in most German libraries (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Leipzig, etc) and it should be possible to have a photocopy made
[/quote]


Yup thanks there ID

- I did get the full name and several other references to "papers about" similar to the one I listed - but nothing from searching occasionally over several years.

Good to have the original journal.

I really need a translation into English . . . in fact I suggest that we all could do with access . . .

Lets see if anyone is feeling helpful . . .


I still think aptitude is more significant than age.
Some people seem to get the characters fine, but then get a block when it comes to live code.


cb






Posted: 2020-06-16 12:36
Hello .
I believe that age certainly matters. But not so much.
Coincidentally, I’ve been studying the code for about 98 days now. I can do exercises at a speed of 20/15 wpm (20 - symbol speed and 15 effective speed) with 5-10% errors. I spent about 150-200 hours of classes.
But I can’t take anything on the air. And I know for sure that in the near future I can’t accept anything.
My age is about 40 years. I play guitar music from a young age. Some said it was easier for musicians ...
I have some neurodegenerative disease (like MS) , but I don’t think it can make a big difference.
My opinion is that Koch was somewhat cunning when he wrote this. Perhaps there was some very special selection of students.


Posted: 2020-06-16 15:02
Tonyd:
Hello .
I believe that age certainly matters. But not so much.
Coincidentally, I’ve been studying the code for about 98 days now. I can do exercises at a speed of 20/15 wpm (20 - symbol speed and 15 effective speed) with 5-10% errors. I spent about 150-200 hours of classes.
But I can’t take anything on the air. And I know for sure that in the near future I can’t accept anything.
My age is about 40 years. I play guitar music from a young age. Some said it was easier for musicians ...
I have some neurodegenerative disease (like MS) , but I don’t think it can make a big difference.
My opinion is that Koch was somewhat cunning when he wrote this. Perhaps there was some very special selection of students.


I expect Koch didn't test his students over the air with q-codes prosigns and abbreviations . .


Tony, have you tried any practice with abbrevs etc.


It's very confusing when you start, but you should be able pick up:-

gm(or gd ga ge) tnx (or tks or some such) fer call(qso) ur 5nn 5nn op name

which is on almost every "none-test" contact.

Try recording some qsos and playing them back fading qrm and all - its still repeat repeat repeat even then


cb


Posted: 2020-06-16 21:15
Thank you, Chris .
I practice training on the site https://morse.camp
There is a very convenient character matching system. I make various combinations (e.g. Q codes). I accept this and then pass it on to my telegraph manipulator. Such a training.
There are very short pauses between characters and words on the air. And I do not have enough short-term memory to remember more than 2-3 characters
So far, my problem is the ratio of symbol speed to effective speed. I think when it comes to speed 20/20 it will become easier for me. Need to endure and continue to train)
In general, I have not met on this site people who learned as quickly as Koch wrote )


Posted: 2020-06-17 00:22
K7QO wrote that he learned in a weekend,

Wondering how dj7yfk took.
Administrator


Posted: 2020-06-17 09:12
It took me about half a year to learn the code up to 12wpm solid copy on paper, but I didn't practice very regularly at time (ca. August 1997 to early 1998). I started extremely slow (1-2 wpm!) and counted dits and dahs in the beginning. It was before I had any contact to other hams, so nobody could tell me I was doing it wrong :-)

I practiced with a program I found on a "shareware games CD-ROM" (anyone remembers those?), I think it was called "HFMORSE 3.0" by a ham with the callsign like DL6S??, and also wrote some QBASIC programs later.

From what I have heard, some of those who later got really fast CW operators were not exactly fast learners when they started. There's hope for everyone :-)

73
Fabian



Posted: 2020-06-17 10:06
dj1yfk:
It took me about half a year to learn the code up to 12wpm solid copy on paper, but I didn't practice very regularly at time (ca. August 1997 to early 1998). I started extremely slow (1-2 wpm!) and counted dits and dahs in the beginning. It was before I had any contact to other hams, so nobody could tell me I was doing it wrong :-)

I practiced with a program I found on a "shareware games CD-ROM" (anyone remembers those?), I think it was called "HFMORSE 3.0" by a ham with the callsign like DL6S??, and also wrote some QBASIC programs later.

From what I have heard, some of those who later got really fast CW operators were not exactly fast learners when they started. There's hope for everyone :-)

73
Fabian




See also:-

https://lcwo.net/forum/528

https://lcwo.net/forum/69/Are-you-proficient

https://lcwo.net/forum/241

https://lcwo.net/forum/422 ( post 5 )

cb







Posted: 2020-06-17 13:45
dj1yfk:
I started extremely slow (1-2 wpm!) and counted dits and dahs in the beginning. It was before I had any contact to other hams, so nobody could tell me I was doing it wrong :-)


The result shows, that you did everything right. You went your own way and did not follow gurus. mainstreams or "experts".

73
Ruediger







Posted: 2020-06-18 15:16
IMO age is irrelevant.

Sure, young people might learn morse faster and easier. But I don't mean "age is irrelevant" in that way.

YOU are the age you are - you can't do anything about that. If you want to learn morse, learn it. Don't think "It would have been easier if I had started younger". Whilst that may be true, it is irrelevant.

Don't let your age get in the way of learning morse.


Posted: 2020-06-21 16:31
Indeed Koch claims, that the students could master (beherrschen) all letters within 24 - 28 half hours with 60 chr/m. He says letters, not all characters.

The speed should be 60 chr/m but not much more. It is not advisable to start with e.g. 100 chr/m.


Posted: 2020-06-26 21:19
I needed 6 month for 12wpm obviously Koch would have sorted me out :-)))


Posted: 2020-06-27 09:58
OE8FBF:
I needed 6 month for 12wpm obviously Koch would have sorted me out :-)))


I understand
Koch meant real exercise time. So count the number of exercises you did and multiply by the duration of the exercises you chosed.

foggycoder:

When you are aged, and you want to learn morse code, it is better to realise it takes you a lot of time and perseverance,because when you quit a lot of time is wasted, and cannot be used to spent in a better way.
When I compare learning as teenager and a retired person I estimate the difference a factor 100,

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