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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: Head Copying CW

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AuthorText


Posted: 2020-08-31 19:03
Hi,

I want to use morse code for communication on short wave. Up to now I learned the character set. Real QSOs I have to transcribe on paper. I still lose characters and words.

Normally I can get the callsign rst and the name and some other things. But 15-18wpm is the limit for writing for me.

I can hear the single characters at higher speeds, but can not comprehend the meaning what is send.

Up to now I do the following training program:

hearing:

listening on air

most common words, abbreviations, q-groups compiled from AA4OO 12-28wpm, transcribing up to 18wpm.

callsign training LCWO different speeds

word training

standard QSO-texts with LCWO convert text to CW


sending

all above plus 200 cw abbreviations with straight key and bug.


My question to experienced cw ham operators:

Is this training program ok or should I change my training program?
What more or less can I do to learn head copying?
What time horizon should i expect?

73
Rüdiger DD5RK


Posted: 2020-08-31 22:51
DD5RK:
Hi,

I want to use morse code for communication on short wave. Up to now I learned the character set. Real QSOs I have to transcribe on paper. I still lose characters and words.

Normally I can get the callsign rst and the name and some other things. But 15-18wpm is the limit for writing for me.

I can hear the single characters at higher speeds, but can not comprehend the meaning what is send.
Rüdiger DD5RK


I think you are a normal chap . . .

DD5RK:


Up to now I do the following training program:

hearing:

listening on air

most common words, abbreviations, q-groups compiled from AA4OO 12-28wpm, transcribing up to 18wpm.

callsign training LCWO different speeds

word training

standard QSO-texts with LCWO convert text to CW

sending

all above plus 200 cw abbreviations with straight key and bug.


My question to experienced cw ham operators:

Is this training program ok or should I change my training program?


I guess you are on target for a normal student

DD5RK:


What more or less can I do to learn head copying?



Its's a bit like starting again. . . .


DD5RK:

What time horizon should i expect?

73




We can't say exactly . . . . even after all these years
DD5RK:
Rüdiger DD5RK



Posted: 2020-09-01 08:53
Hi Rüdiger,

I made an attempt to learn head copy when I could copy faster than I could hand write.

At that time I used RufzXP and Morserunner to push my speed and I would still recommend those programs for daily training. RufzXP pushes you naturally to your limits (you have to start lower than what your speed is).

Anyway: I was fluent at around 35 wpm. Starting to learn head copy with my Apple Ipod I had to drop speed to well below 20 wpm to understand sentences, but at this speed had difficult to keep context of decoded text.

Head copy started to work well for me a month or two later, when I could decode in head25 wpm or so on known texts. It works better at higher speeds.

What I want to say:
1) You may find it a bit early to listen to CW ebooks with your current speed. Why not try head copy, but don t be frustrated if it is hard now. It may be easier for you later.
2) I trained head copy with >known< texts. Listened to them over and over, at increasing speed. It was good to know the text more or less before.
3) I have a good friend, in his 70s, copying QSOs on paper. He is doing CW all his life, is a very able and avid CW OM. Nothing wrong with paper copy! Most import he enjoys each QSO he does.
4) I am listening to CW books on an IoS app I did. I can change speed instantly while I listen, as i like. When I learned head copy I had the files encoded in 2 wpm increments, using Fabians text2cw. When I trained I used the speed convenient that day of training, whether it be faster or slower then before I did not care.

Good luck & enjoy

Gerd.


Posted: 2020-09-01 08:56
DD5RK:
Hi,

I want to use morse code for communication on short wave. Up to now I learned the character set. Real QSOs I have to transcribe on paper. I still lose characters and words.

Normally I can get the callsign rst and the name and some other things. But 15-18wpm is the limit for writing for me.

Rüdiger DD5RK


I don't write everything down: I write the call sign, the name and whatever else seems important. Why would you want to write down: "wx hr fine temp 22"?

DD5RK:


I can hear the single characters at higher speeds, but can not comprehend the meaning what is send.

Rüdiger DD5RK


That is the most important: if you can hear them, normally, with time you can hope to reach that speed. If you can't hear them, then it depends . . .

DD5RK:


Up to now I do the following training program:

hearing:

listening on air

most common words, abbreviations, q-groups compiled from AA4OO 12-28wpm, transcribing up to 18wpm.

callsign training LCWO different speeds

word training

standard QSO-texts with LCWO convert text to CW


sending

all above plus 200 cw abbreviations with straight key and bug.

Rüdiger DD5RK


That is very impressive. You cover everything except what the K44 calls the "Echo mode": groups of characters get sent to you by the keyer and you must send them back. Very helpful to train the perception of CW clusters as musical components.Get a K1EL K44, if you don't have one already, or a similar keyer.

DD5RK:


My question to experienced cw ham operators:


Is this training program ok or should I change my training program?
What more or less can I do to learn head copying?
What time horizon should i expect?

73
Rüdiger DD5RK


I am not an experienced cw operator, but have been doing reasonably well.

Head copying is going on quite nicely (at 31wpm groups of 4-6 letters which covers almost all QSOs, the occasional long word is ok). Frankly, I am lazy, so I don't want to write things down and just concentrate on the term appearing in my mind. Initially, there is a lot of back and forth (you hear a term, don't quite get it, go back catch it and you lose the next term). Eventually, your buffer memory develops (mine is 4-6 characters long) and if you don't catch a term you keep listening to what's coming after while part of the mind decrypts what came before.

What helps the most is listening to ebooks converted to CW, what helps the least are the word lists.

I have also found that the "Echo mode" with random groups (or its equivalents), helps tremendously in developing a buffer memory

It seems to be basically a matter of time and more time. I noticed in my own case a breakthrough in the last two weeks: suddenly listening to ebooks in CW doesn't call for a lot of effort any more.

I just have to play slightly attention at the beginning and I get 70-80%. I am toying with the idea of increasing the speed I listen to ebooks to from 31 to maybe 35 wpm.

The downside is that I have a very hard time listening to anything below 25wpm and it calls for a lot of effort (I find it very tedious).



Posted: 2020-09-01 21:49
Thanks for all your answers and effort.

cb:

It's a bit like starting again. . .

yes, after all the time I invested, each QSO on SW is stress for me.

cb:

We can't say exactly . . . . even after all these years

not exactly, but perhaps months or years?

df9ts:

RufzXP and Morserunner


Both programs run under windows, I don't have.
For RufzXP I could use the callsign training on LCWO or QRQ.
But for Morserunner I did not find a program for Linux.

I am looking for a QSO generator for more complete "normal" QSOs.

(your #1 an #2)
CW ebook is too early for me, but I will try shorter known texts .
I do this already with most common words, abbreviations, q-groups compiled from
AA4OO

ID:

I don't write everything down: I write the call sign, the name and whatever else seems important.
Why would you want to write down: "wx hr fine temp 22"?


If I don't write everything down I will not understand what is send.
Above my writing limit I listen to the key words, in your example
"wx temp 22", because these words are part of the most common words.
But sometimes I miss these. And in a real QSO I get stress than.

ID:

What helps the most is listening to ebooks converted to CW, what helps the least are the word lists.


I'll try with shorter known text for the beginning

[quote=ID
You cover everything except what the K44 calls the "Echo mode": groups of characters get sent to you by the keyer and you must send them back. Very helpful to train the perception of CW clusters as musical components.Get a K1EL K44, if you don't have one already, or a similar keyer.
[/quote]

Yes indeed I don't have a solution for this in the moment. My radio has a build in keyer but no echo mode. But I already have an idea how to do this.

[quote=ID
It seems to be basically a matter of time and more time. I noticed in my own case a breakthrough in the last two weeks: suddenly listening to ebooks in CW doesn't call for a lot of effort any more.
[/quote]

Which amount of time? How long did you hear ebooks before the breakthrough?

[quote=ID
I just have to play slightly attention at the beginning and I get 70-80%. I am toying with the idea of increasing the speed I listen to ebooks to from 31 to maybe 35 wpm.

The downside is that I have a very hard time listening to anything below 25wpm and it calls for a lot of effort (I find it very tedious).
[/quote]

I want to make QSOs on air. I would be happy to do this with 12 - 20 wpm without stress. If I limit my speed to a smaller area, I lose the chance to communicate with hams that are outside this area. If I look to https://rbn.telegraphy.de/ and filter to < 20 wpm and receivable in Europe/Germany, I get a lot of hams that fit in the above area.
If I choose 30 - 34 wpm I get 3.

73
Rüdiger DD5RK














Posted: 2020-09-01 21:52
Thanks for all your answers and effort.

cb:

It's a bit like starting again. . .

yes, after all the time I invested, each QSO on SW is stress for me.

cb:

We can't say exactly . . . . even after all these years

not exactly, but perhaps months or years?

df9ts:

RufzXP and Morserunner


Both programs run under windows, I don't have.
For RufzXP I could use the callsign training on LCWO or QRQ.
But for Morserunner I did not find a program for Linux.

I am looking for a QSO generator for more complete "normal" QSOs.

(your #1 an #2)
CW ebook is too early for me, but I will try shorter known texts .
I do this already with most common words, abbreviations, q-groups compiled from
AA4OO

ID:

I don't write everything down: I write the call sign, the name and
whatever else seems important.
Why would you want to write down: "wx hr fine temp 22"?


If I don't write everything down I will not understand what is send.
Above my writing limit I listen to the key words, in your example
"wx temp 22", because these words are part of the most common words.
But sometimes I miss these. And in a real QSO I get stress than.

ID:

What helps the most is listening to ebooks converted to CW, what helps the
least are the word lists.


I'll try with shorter known text for the beginning

ID:

You cover everything except what the K44 calls the "Echo mode": groups of
characters get sent to you by the keyer and you must send them back. Very
helpful to train the perception of CW clusters as musical components.Get a K1EL
K44, if you don't have one already, or a similar keyer.


Yes indeed I don't have a solution for this in the moment. My radio has
a build in keyer but no echo mode. But I already have an idea how to do this.

ID:

It seems to be basically a matter of time and more time. I noticed in my own
case a breakthrough in the last two weeks: suddenly listening to ebooks in CW
doesn't call for a lot of effort any more.


Which amount of time? How long did you hear ebooks before the breakthrough?

ID:

I just have to play slightly attention at the beginning and I get 70-80%. I am
toying with the idea of increasing the speed I listen to ebooks to from 31 to
maybe 35 wpm.

The downside is that I have a very hard time listening to anything below 25wpm
and it calls for a lot of effort (I find it very tedious).


I want to make QSOs on air. I would be happy to do this with 12 - 20 wpm
without stress. If I limit my speed to a smaller area, I lose
the chance to communicate with hams that are outside this area. If I look
to https://rbn.telegraphy.de/ and filter to < 20 wpm and receivable in Europe
/Germany, I get a lot of hams that fit in the above area.
If I choose 30 - 34 wpm I get 3.

73
Rüdiger DD5RK














Posted: 2020-09-01 22:25
Rüdiger,
in the beginning I used ebook2cw to convert a short piece of text, from children's books.

I listened to that until I could follo the text that I knew already. Increased speed then.

73

Gerd.


Posted: 2020-09-02 08:48
Rüdiger,

I fell pretty much the same way regarding speed: I would like to communicate with a maximum of other hams, so I rely on a straight key for lower speeds (< 18 wpm), then I feel I don't drift away as much and don't get bored. A straight key keeps me busy!

I don't put a lot of effort in training to send, just the daily minimum to keep proficiency: listening is my top priority. I have found if I send text daily, my sending speed increases rapidly (2 wpm/ week), so it isn't an issue.

Regarding ebooks, I started listening to them 2 years ago, as soon as I finished the 40 lessons.

At first I listened to short stories I knew at ca. 25 wpm for a couple months, then regular books at 27 wpm for 6 months or so and now 31wpm for almost a year.

I start thinking about increasing the speed when I get at least 50% or more of the content.

I don't listen to texts I know already: I started that route and found that it gave the illusion of progress but I wasn't improving.

The key when you listen to ebooks is to stop when you start drifting and are no longer attempting to recognise each word: in my case that happens after 30mns or so. Then there is no benefit.

31wpm felt overwhelming when I started at the end of last year, but in the last couple weeks it just sounds normal.

The main difference is that I have started listening less regularly: oddly enough, there seems to be a point where you have to take a day or two off for the material to "gel". Then, when you come back, you will have lost a bit of speed, but breakthrough to the next level is easier. I suspect it has a lot to do with the process of consolidation of short-term memory into long term-memory via the hypothalamus and the hippocampus.

Sleeping a lot is also critical: a good might's sleep (8:30 hrs + ) make a very big difference in breaking through a plateau.

73

ID


Posted: 2020-09-02 10:00
DD5RK:
I am looking for a QSO generator for more complete "normal" QSOs.


I have been looking for a Linux-based realistic QSO generator for ages. The closest I have found is the utility QSO in the morse-classic package:

https://gitlab.com/esr/morse-classic

It's not very good but it's better than nothing. One of these days I'll send some patches but to be honest I can't be bothered.


Posted: 2020-09-04 12:49
ID:


I fell pretty much the same way regarding speed: I would like to communicate
with a maximum of other hams, so I rely on a straight key for lower speeds (<
18 wpm), then I feel I don't drift away as much and don't get bored. A straight
key keeps me busy!


For real QSOs I only use straight key. The 18 wpm seem to be a natural limit
for me. In QSOs I go slower because the error rate and correct timing.

ID:

I don't put a lot of effort in training to send, just the daily minimum to keep
proficiency: listening is my top priority. I have found if I send text daily, my
sending speed increases rapidly (2 wpm/ week), so it isn't an issue.


As for the bug, I trained intensively, especially call signs,
300 - 400 at a time. The bug has a minimum speed of about 21 wpm.
I can now give fluently with it, but the error rate is still too high
for real QSOs.

ID:

Regarding ebooks, I started listening to them 2 years ago, as soon as I finished
the 40 lessons.
At first I listened to short stories I knew at ca. 25 wpm for a couple months,
then regular books at 27 wpm for 6 months or so and now 31wpm for almost a
year.

I start thinking about increasing the speed when I get at least 50% or more of
the content.

I don't listen to texts I know already: I started that route and found that it
gave the illusion of progress but I wasn't improving.

The key when you listen to ebooks is to stop when you start drifting and are no
longer attempting to recognize each word: in my case that happens after 30mns or
so. Then there is no benefit.


I will take a few short texts as ebooks.

ID:

31wpm felt overwhelming when I started at the end of last year, but in the last
couple weeks it just sounds normal.


I experimented with speeds up to 35wpm with callsigns, I need a few
attempts to decode them, but at least I can hear the letters and numbers.
But since my current goal is 12-20 wpm, I will only train up to 25 wpm.

ID:

The main difference is that I have started listening less regularly: oddly
enough, there seems to be a point where you have to take a day or two off for
the material to "gel". Then, when you come back, you will have lost a bit of
speed, but breakthrough to the next level is easier. I suspect it has a lot to
do with the process of consolidation of short-term memory into long term-memory
via the hypothalamus and the hippocampus.


I have now deliberately taken a break for a few days.

[quote=ID]
Sleeping a lot is also critical: a good might's sleep (8:30 hrs + ) make a very
big difference in breaking through a plateau.
[quote=ID]

no problem, i can sleep as long as i need

73
Rüdiger






Posted: 2020-09-04 12:56
oc:
I have been looking for a Linux-based realistic QSO generator for
ages. The closest I have found is the utility QSO in the morse-classic package:

https://gitlab.com/esr/morse-classic

It's not very good but it's better than nothing. One of these days I'll send
some patches but to be honest I can't be bothered.


I created some QSOs with the helper program QSO from Linux morse. The
disadvantage is that I can memorize the texts after using them several times.

73
Rüdiger

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