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Thread: What's a good strategy?

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Posted: 2020-08-12 02:35
I've been on lcwo.net for a while, but it's more recently I've tried to knuckle down and build up my speed. I started back at the first lesson and I've been trying to increase the speed and spacing to get up to 20WPM.

Even though I can do about 13-15 WPM pretty consistently, getting to 20 has been a hurdle. I think I've learned to skip a character and go on if I don't get it right away. I've done lesson 3 several times over the last few days and I'm able to get my spacing up to 20 WPM.

Does it seem like a good strategy to move to the next lesson, increase the spacing if it's a little overwhelming, and reduce the spacing until I get up to 20 again?

Posted: 2020-08-12 08:38
The key is going to be for you to actually finish the 40 lessons. Otherwise, all the time spent will be wasted.

There is nothing magical about 20wpm, it is just a speed which prevents one from counting which is the biggest obstacle to acquiring a realistic speed down the line and must be unlearned quite painfully.

At 13-15wpm you will almost certainly be counting.
At 20 wpm you can't.

The crux of the Farnsworth method is to start learning the characters at a speed preventing counting (18-19wpm +) but increase the spacing between them to give oneself time to recognise them. It is a method which works very well even though it differs a bit from the pure Koch method.

Posted: 2020-08-13 20:25
One thing that works for me, is to keep speed at 20 / 18, and go to next lesson only when 1) I get *average* above 90 % AND 2 ) I can do 3 tests with above 90 % in a row.

I noticied that if I jump on next lesson before these thresholds, I pay it later by loosing letters or even entire groups. In this case I need to go back a few lessons and build things again.

I keep speed and spacing at constant levels. I am currently learning at 20 wpm / 18 wpm effective speed. It takes several me dozens tests for each new letter, but I do progress.

In the end my goal is to lower speed to 18 wpm / 18 effective , because what I am after is keying with a straight key, so I don't think I really want to aim higher than that.

Posted: 2020-08-16 00:32
Thank you all for posting this question and advice. The setting I have to use is 30 wpm. Much less than that I can almost count. According to one user the key is going through all 40 lessons which I haven't done. Always go on a "rabbit trail", so I'm staring over. The spacing is set to about 1 to 2 words per minute, and will plan on increasing as the "tones" get more familiar. Thanks again, and peace to you all.

Posted: 2020-08-22 19:10
Thanks all, I've been trying to redo the lessons at 20/18, and I'm getting better at it. Yes, I learned the wrong way long ago, and barely passed the 13WPM test. I've been slowly getting over the bad habit and actually recognizing patterns by sound instead of trying to break down the patterns.

Posted: 2020-08-23 00:43
Newb with a vocabulary question:

What is "counting"? (As used above)

My guess is that it is attempting to recognize a letter by anything other than "the sound" of it.

Posted: 2020-08-23 10:25
Precisely. As a musician, especially if you have a background in percussion instruments, you should have an edge in learning morse. Good luck!

Posted: 2020-08-24 00:00
Thanks. It does come somewhat naturally.

I actually went back and started from lesson 1 however, because I found I was doing some combination of counting, visualizing, and listening, and would get seriously tripped up from time to time.

I read a comment here somewhere suggesting to look away from the page as you transcribe, and I think that has helped me to focus on just listening.

Posted: 2020-08-26 07:41
@ N8YQM in my opinion 13-15 wpm is the perfect speed to learn the signs. I would go through the lessons in this speed, then reduce the "farnsworth-spacing" to the normal one. so that you are at 13/13, 14/14 or 15/15.
This enables you to pass the test of 12/12 (you always must train a bit faster then the speed you want to pass). With this you are able to effectivle use cw. Only afterwards I would increase to 20/20.
There is no clear line about where "the counting" stops. As a rule of thumb people should learn faster than 10 wpm.
You will at the ende not become faster only because you have learned the signs with 20 instead of 13 wpm. But chances are that you give up in frustration since it is a long way and with 13/13 you can fully use cw. With 20/10 you can do nothing.

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