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Thread: WPM effective speed for learning

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Posted: 2020-09-17 23:53
So I'm just getting started. So far I've done all 40 lessons on the Morse Machine at 30 wpm. Except for some of the punctuation I've got them all.

I've started working through the lessons now. I can recognized the letters at 30 WPM but I can't copy them fast enough at any speed higher than 4 WPM effective speed. I need to do it at 3 WPM effective speed when I introduce a new letter. (Currently on lesson 14)

So here is the question. Should I go through all 40 lessons at 3 or 4 WPM effective speed then come back and go through them again at 5? Then 6? and so on. Or should I increase speed at each lesson?

Advice appreciated.

Posted: 2020-09-18 10:04

The first bit is to learn the characters.

You would be better trying 20/20 if you are in a hurry.

What's the fastest that you write it freeform with a gap between code groups to allow you to catch up ??

You can change the group length . . .


Posted: 2020-09-18 10:29
Don't make the same fundamental mistake I made, that is, going below 5 wpm effective. It's a black hole from which there is seldom a way back.

Posted: 2020-09-18 19:14
Hi Chris,

My experience, I started this year.

Farnsworth is good for learning the sound of letters. Otherwise Farnsworth is a dead end.

I guess you want to do real QSO on air?

There the speed is x / x. It is worth more to do a QSO with 12/12 than hearing the individual letters with 30/2 and understand nothing.

For me it was a waste of time to do all 40 lessons with Farnsworth.

Rüdiger DD5RK

Posted: 2020-09-19 14:10
So 20/10 is better than 30/5? Everything I'm reading says don't learn the letters slower than 20 and 30 is better. (Pete Hadley (K6BFA)from 2015 video on YouTube recommends 30)

20/20 gets overwhelming quickly. I'm looking for practical usage advice. Would I be better off to grind it out at 20/20 or drop it to 20/10 or 20/15?

I guess I'm asking what is a practical speed goal to set to be able to get on the air? I want to do this right the first time but I tend to set my goals and expectations too high when learning something new.

Posted: 2020-09-20 09:03
A practical speed goal is 12/12. That will enable you to do QSO on the bands.
30/5 or so is of no practical use: (1) On the bands few use 30 wpm outside contests (2) effective speed of 5 wpm is not practical for any exchange of information.

The main problem for you to solve is to recognize characters faster (and not recognise characters at faster speed). You have to bump up the effective speed.
Using 30/5 is just a cheat to yourself as you create more time between characters. The oposite is what you need to do - try for example 12/5 and work your way up to 12/12.
And if you must - as you feel obliged by others recommendations . Try 20/5 and work your way up.
At the end try out work works for you. But if - just in case - 12/5 to start with works for you don't feel bad about it.
Why? Because there is no scientific evidence to defend a 30/5 approach.

Good luck & enjoy

Posted: 2020-09-20 20:51
Thanks for the responses. They have helped me wrap my head around what were probably some unrealistic expectations on my part, and the resultant standards I set, that were getting in the way.

Also I was "listening" to a CW conversation (using CWGet to decode). The op stated that he was 71 years old and had been a HAM for about 60 years. He said that he ONLY uses CW. According to CWGet he was having this conversation at 14 WPM.

Again thanks for the encouragement.

Posted: 2020-09-29 12:17
I would not even start with 20. Start with 15/x and go up until you reach 15/15. From there you can still achieve 30/30 one day. But you don't want to train for years while not being able to use it...

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