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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: Need advice....

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AuthorText


Posted: 2020-07-16 14:10
Hi folks...

I need some advice on how to proceed my training.

I'm listening to the 500 most common english words in random order at 23 wpm for 30-60 minutes every day, and get around 66% right. I have reached this level for about 3 months ago, and it's like I have peaked at this level. It's not that I have trouble with any of the words, but my mind kinda sticks with the latest word, and then I get behind, and miss a word, and then I get the next 2-3 words again, before I miss the next one (and all the time a have to be very focused in my mind decoding).

If I reduce speed to 20 wpm, I don't get more words correct, because I start to forget more of the first letters in each word.
It is if my obstacle is lack of memory. Sometimes the words just pop up in my mind, but more often, I have to listen to each character to get it right.

I also do like 1-2 QRS QSO's each other day on air, with straight key, and I also practise sending as fast as possible with text out of a book, and decoder, to see if my sending is OK (also with straight key, and of course not on air).

Sometimes (2-3 times a week), I do echo training with my Morserino-32 with CW abbrevs. and this with paddles.

Should I change my strategy, or just keep on this way for 3 months more and see what happens?

Please, I need some advice. I feel like I'm a little stuck at this level.

Thanks!


Posted: 2020-07-16 15:03
You are training as I was during a period and seem to have the same results. Broadly speaking, I found listening to the 500 most frequent words (in my case the 1000) not terribly helpful, actually not helpful at all.

Listening to the 100 most common words is really helpful because one does hear them all the time.

The poorer recognition experienced when you drop your speed from 23 to 20 wpm is normal: at 23 wpm, you will be hearing characters as musical sounds whereas at 20 their individual components become very evident.

I would suggest instead of listening to word lists to start listening to ebooks at least 30mns to 1hr/day and drop the word lists entirely.

Another exercise I would strongly suggest that you consider starting is random alphanumeric groups: I know it is very tedious, but it is one of the most helpful exercises I know.

As you are using a straight key, you do need to practice sending regularly, if you used a paddle Iwould suggest to downplay practicing sending and focus on listening.

Finally three extraneous factors which I have found have a major influence on my performance are:

1. having a really good night of sleep

2. exercising daily in a fairly intensive fashion

3. Scheduling short training sessions ( not more than 30 mns at a time, ideally 15 mns followed by a break, then another 15mns). Long training sessions are really counter-productive.

Good luck!


Posted: 2020-07-16 15:07
P.S. Upon rereading my post, I realised it was potentially ambiguous: by “exercising daily” I was referring to physical exercise not to CW.



Posted: 2020-07-16 21:40
Thank you very much for the advice ID. I will try and find out how to convert an e-book...

Actually, after reading your reply, I tried to increase the speed to 26 wpm for this evenings training. But still with 500 words though..., and, I found it actually easier to copy words!

And with alphanumeric groups, you mean I should start training callsigns??

Regarding your three suggestions:

1. My wife agrees - she says I don't go early enough to bed... :P
2. I lift weights every morning - check!
3. I will try and split up my training. Thanks!



Posted: 2020-07-17 10:37
Yes, you should find it easier to copy words from 26-31 wpm as the characters sound like musical entities.

Regarding converting ebooks to CW, Fabian Kurz, dj1yfk, the founder of LCWO, has written a very nice little program which runs under DOS and does this automatically for you: ebook2cw.

There is a link in the "Convert text to CW" tab on LCWO to download it. You can then just get any classic from the Gutenberg Project, convert it to CW at the speed of your choice and enjoy! (I started with "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde").

The biggest difference between listening to text in CW and training word lists is that when you listen to text you will be hearing an uninterrupted stream of CW with no pause. Then, one must just enter into the flow, one catches some words, does not catch others and hopefully meaning will arise.

Regarding alphanumeric groups, I was thinking of code groups like those generated on the "Code group" tab with a mixture of letters, numbers and some key punctuation marks (such as "/", etc). These are different from call sign training because in call sign training some combinations are quite common and others are either rare or impossible, whereas with random groups you are training all characters equally.


Posted: 2020-07-17 18:30
Again, thank you very much for advice ID, it's a great help...

It is though, a big step I think... I'm using an APP on my iPhone called Ham Morse, to generate the words for me, and it has also the possibility to send out latest news from BBC-America, in CW, which I thought would be as good as listening to an e-book. At least as a start... But I feel that I'm starting all over again. It's complete rubbish in my ears at 26 wpm. New words, but also punctuation that my mind suddenly has to deal with.
I guess this is exactly what I asked for, so I will give it a try for a period of time. It's certainly a step up - or a leap... Let's see...

I'll give the alphanumeric groups a chance also...!

TU de OZ1SPS


Posted: 2020-07-17 23:41
Sebastian:

I'm listening to the 500 most common english words in random order at 23 wpm for 30-60 minutes every day, and get around 66% right. I have reached this level for about 3 months ago, and it's like I have peaked at this level. It's not that I have trouble with any of the words, but my mind kinda sticks with the latest word, and then I get behind, and miss a word, and then I get the next 2-3 words again, before I miss the next one (and all the time a have to be very focused in my mind decoding).


Hi Sebastian

The idea is to work towards a level where you hear morse but perceive text i.e. the morse gets decodes automatically.

This is not so easy for most of us and takes time and lots of repetition.


The rest periods are as important as the exercises, so watch out for doing too much . . . .

What you describe sounds a bit like overdoing it . . . this get behind bit


You learn by decoding, so that your brain makes the link - repeat repeat repeat

This is not muscle building where physically overdoing it is the order of the day . . .

YMMV

cb


Posted: 2020-07-18 00:19
Cést le ton qui fait la musique gets an other interpretation for you.


Posted: 2020-07-18 09:08
cb:
Hi Sebastian

The idea is to work towards a level where you hear morse but perceive text i.e. the morse gets decodes automatically.

cb


It feels like I’m far from achieving that kind of level.
But both you and ID tell me not to overdo it, so like when I do muscular training, and focus a lot on my restitution, I will now focus more on doing the same thing with CW, because I haven’t done that. The CW training itself, is already an addiction :P

nonagenarian:

Cést le ton qui fait la musique gets an other interpretation for you.


Gotcha! I will try and do some variations. My training have been pretty much the same routine for the last 3 months.



Posted: 2020-07-18 11:37
Sebastian:

It feels like I’m far from achieving that kind of level.


You might be, but not for long if you repeat (actual) decoding enough.

What I mean to say is that if you are not actually decoding the morse then you aren't actually practising
so
time spent being tired or overdoing it is wasted.


Hear morse -> decode, and think of character, repeat, repeat repeat -> form permanent association which pops into your head automatically


It's not muscle building - overwork your muscles, they in turn over repair ( or however that works )

This is all FAQ stuff, but there isn't a FAQ . . .

good luck with it anyway

enjoy

cb




Posted: 2020-07-18 14:29
cb:
You might be, but not for long if you repeat (actual) decoding enough.

What I mean to say is that if you are not actually decoding the morse then you aren't actually practising
so
time spent being tired or overdoing it is wasted.


Hear morse -> decode, and think of character, repeat, repeat repeat -> form permanent association which pops into your head automatically


It's not muscle building - overwork your muscles, they in turn over repair ( or however that works )

This is all FAQ stuff, but there isn't a FAQ . . .

good luck with it anyway

enjoy

cb




OK Chris, and just to be 100% certain of the meaning of your advice..., if what I am listening to, is complete rubbish, I am wasting my time, right...?!

But what if I'm really trying at speed 26 wpm, and lets say I catch every third word being sent. Would that be OK to start with using an e-book like ID suggested?

It's not like I'm counting dits or dahs. Not at all. The characters do pop up in my mind almost instantly. But only characters - very seldom words. Well, the word "been" does pop up, but it is also short. And a few other words like it pop up also. But very few...

To explain how I'm feeling rigth now. If somebody should read the newspaper for me aloud, I would understand it perfectly with words. But if this person had to read each character from the newpaper aloud, I think I would loose the meaning also. And I'm not talking about CW here... And if this is true, that means I have to learn CW better than my understanding of actual letters and words that a have known always. It would take me a lifetime to reach such level...



Posted: 2020-07-18 16:17
Sebastian:
OK Chris, and just to be 100% certain of the meaning of your advice..., if what I am listening to, is complete rubbish, I am wasting my time, right...?!


It all depends how much rubbish - a few missed words is no issue. If you are pushing the speed then you will miss quite a few . . .

But watch overdoing it in your enthusiasm . . .

Sebastian:

But what if I'm really trying at speed 26 wpm, and lets say I catch every third word being sent. Would that be OK to start with using an e-book like ID suggested?


If you are speeding up after learning, then missing no issue. Essentially you need to listen to lots of morse, and decode it ** without overdoing it ** .

I also use ebooks.

You can tell if you are messing up . . . if you want a stop you can hit the stop button; or rewind etc and make use of time waiting for buses,trains, kids etc

Sebastian:

It's not like I'm counting dits or dahs. Not at all. The characters do pop up in my mind almost instantly. But only characters - very seldom words. Well, the word "been" does pop up, but it is also short. And a few other words like it pop up also. But very few...


"the" should be easily recognisable, leading on to "that" "them" and even "these" which is quite a dit-y word and good practice. I like "because" "bus" and a few others.

Sebastian:

To explain how I'm feeling rigth now. If somebody should read the newspaper for me aloud, I would understand it perfectly with words. But if this person had to read each character from the newpaper aloud, I think I would loose the meaning also. And I'm not talking about CW here... And if this is true, that means I have to learn CW better than my understanding of actual letters and words that a have known always. It would take me a lifetime to reach such level...



It won't take a lifetime. But I agree that spelling the word is a chore at first.


For HAM radio you need to have the abbreviations and Qcodes rather than a wide vocabulary;

tnx fer call = ur rst 599 5nn = fb = hr wx rain = op name sebastian QTH copenhagen etc

My guess is that you are on track actually . . .

cb


Posted: 2020-07-19 00:47
I thank you all again for good advice. I have read all answers three times, and no doubt - I will make use of it all.

I've just found Peter Pan in english for kids, so hopefully I'm not aiming too high with this one...

And now, just out of curiosity... At my level now, just starting with e-books, and 1½ year after learning my first characters. How long should it take me now to reach the level of understanding a kids book like Peter Pan in CW? Well, not just out of curiosity, but maybe more to be able to measure myself and my progress to be honest...


Posted: 2020-07-19 00:54
And one more question, does anybody know if it's possible to run the convert e-book on Chrome OS??



Posted: 2020-07-19 09:30
Basically, if you don't stretch yourself a bit, you will not improve. However, too much stretching leads to discouragement and failure.It is very much a matter of degree.

Using the percentage of recognised words as a criterion for selecting the speed at which you wish to train is not very meaningful: it is much easier to recognise "and" than "wherewithal" and both nonetheless count as one word.

The criterion I personally use for selecting a speed to listen to ebooks is the following: I must be able to still recognise most (i.75-80%) of 2-letter ("it", "as") words and some 3-letter words ("and",etc).

If I am unable to do so, that is definitely too fast for me.

If you listen to text which is far too fast for you, things may or may not gel: it is very possible that you will be wasting your time.

If, however, you give your brain something to work with (2, maybe 3-letter words) it will eventually happen.

Then, after practicing at a given speed, you will find that you start to recognize 4-letter and eventually 5-letter words as well as the longer words with reduplication ("...pp ..." as "appear", or "occasionally") and you will start interpolating based on a couple letters here, a couple letters there, endings (past participle" -ed", present participle "-ing"), etc, etc.

Then, just listen and let it happen.


Posted: 2020-07-19 12:09
Sebastian:
And one more question, does anybody know if it's possible to run the convert e-book on Chrome OS??


AFAIK chrome is a browser not an operating system.

The C sources of ebook2cw are published, so you may port it to another CPU architecture when that is not already done by someone.

However easiest way seems to me to make with ebook2cw an mp3 audio file on a windows laptop and use that file to play on any other computer by transporting the file via Internet or a USB stick or whatever.


Posted: 2020-07-19 22:54
nonagenarian:
AFAIK chrome is a browser not an operating system.

The C sources of ebook2cw are published, so you may port it to another CPU architecture when that is not already done by someone.

However easiest way seems to me to make with ebook2cw an mp3 audio file on a windows laptop and use that file to play on any other computer by transporting the file via Internet or a USB stick or whatever.


Of course. You're right.
I'm just using a Chromebook in my shack for simplicity. It has somekind of its own OS, but of course, it cannot run Windows or Linux programs. Just the ones written for Chromebook. So just as you suggest, I will make the mp3 conversion on my regular laptop.


Posted: 2020-07-19 23:21
It can actually run Linux binaries in a chroot.


Posted: 2020-07-19 23:21
Yiippiiii....!

I now got 1st chapter of Peter Pan on my iPhone as .mp3 file, and can listen to it with headphones on, whilst driving to work... I'll will start tomorrow morning... :)


Posted: 2020-07-20 00:43
oc:
It can actually run Linux binaries in a chroot.


chrome OS needs developer mode to run linux binaries. You can install wine to run ( some ) windows programs.

If you don't already know about it - don't use it . .

cb


Posted: 2020-07-20 00:47
Sebastian:
Yiippiiii....!

I now got 1st chapter of Peter Pan on my iPhone as .mp3 file, and can listen to it with headphones on, whilst driving to work... I'll will start tomorrow morning... :)


Wouldn't grow up. Good idea. Tinker Bell for president.


Posted: 2020-07-20 10:28
cb:
Wouldn't grow up. Good idea. Tinker Bell for president.


Yup..., I've already heard about one 10 year old president, so obviously, it's possible... ;)


Posted: 2020-07-20 11:10
There's a programme called Crouton that lets you ru n a whole Linux distribution inside Chrome OS. YMMV.

https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton


Posted: 2020-07-20 21:59
oc:
There's a programme called Crouton that lets you ru n a whole Linux distribution inside Chrome OS. YMMV.

https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton


Thanks OC. Good to know! :)


Posted: 2020-07-27 16:11
Hi. Can anyone help me to decrypt this morse code ?


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T1BaTeRxI2lCyKUDrBHmGnz9XWcDBzYU/view?usp=sharing


Posted: 2020-07-27 18:48
A shameless plug of my MCPT tool since its on topic.

Using MCPT discussed in the forum, you can use an input file say PeterPan.txt, and select ONLY short words, in the order found and either play or make an MP3 via Convert text to CW in LCWO.

The command line (or put the options in a file) would be like:

mpct -in=PeterPan.txt -out=OutFile.txt -inlen=1:3 -num=1000 -NR

Input and out files are obvious, -inlen=1:3 means WORDS of length 1,2 or 3, -num=1000 means you want the first 1000 words found, -NR means do NOT randomize the words.

You give "Convert text to CW" the file OutFile.txt and you set your speeds and tone on that screen.

If you get comfortable with that, then bump up the "3" with is the max word length to 4, 5 etc. Eventually it would be the whole text.

BTW by WORDS, I mean strings or LETTERS (no punctuation or numbers), If you want a true translation of course just use ebook2cw.

73

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