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Thread: Initial Code Speed

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Posted: 2008-08-31 13:41
In his book "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy", William G. Pierpont NØHFF says "At first each character should be sent fast enough, preferably from about 18 to 25 wpm or even
faster, for us to hear it as a unit, and with a wide space before and after it." I have set a speed for myself of 18cpm and 3wpm as I find that any more wpm will cause me a sort of "overload".
Can somebody please tell me if this is a realistic setting.
I have struggled with so many systems of learning morse.
Many thanks.

Posted: 2008-08-31 18:55
Well, this has been the topic for endless flamewars :)

My short answer would be: Use whatever you feel comfortable with. At 18wpm for the characters is very reasonable IMHO, but with 3wpm spaces, you may be tempted to think too much between the characters, instead of actually recognizing them instantly.

I'd like to hear other opinions on this too.

73, Fabian

Posted: 2008-09-01 08:30
Hello Ray,
I would support Fabians opinion. Only when trying faster speeds (always "a little bit" above my comfort speed) did I stop to "think characters" and start to copy subcontiously.
I also noticed that when learning CW the focus is on getting each character correctly. When progressing to faster speeds you may give that concept up and trust Fabians suggestion to increase speed when accuracy >90%.
This brought me in a week from 70cps to 120cps.



Posted: 2008-09-17 14:20
Hi Ray
3 wpm is far to slow a speed to learn morse code. You should start at at least 10 wpm. Learning at slower speed than this gives you the "famous" learning plateu problem. What happens at slow speed is that your brain listens to the dits and dahs and then translates it to letters. This is a very slow process. Learning morse code is a matter of building reflexes. You need to do the translation from sound patterns to letters as a reflex. Once you hear a certain morse sound pattern your brain should immidiately recognice it as the corresponding letter, with no translation. It's the same way we learned to read. When we see a certain letter combination we immidiately recognices it as a certain word. We don't read each letter and then translate it into words.
I will recommend reading the following article by David G. Finley: http://www.qsl.net/n1irz/finley.morse.html

Good luck on learning morse code.

73 de LA3AKA

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