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Thread: Mid Lesson Stall

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Posted: 2021-01-03 14:25
I keep hitting a wall at about lesson 22. At that point I give up and try later only to have lost my ear for most the characters previously learnt.

This time I have resolved to work through it.

I learn the characters at 25WPM and plod through at 3-5WPM which seems to be the speed my brain recalls at.

Any pointers out there for me.


Posted: 2021-01-03 14:50

Hi Steve

When you say "hit a wall" do you mean that when you get to lesson 22 it all suddenly falls apart,
or else maybe you get stuck at 70% or some such success rate on lesson 22 ?

How long does it take you to get up to lesson 22 ?

If you get stuck at 22 and then drop back to say lesson 18, can you still manage 90% on lesson 18.

I'm thinking along the lines of short term memory vs it all sinking in properly and permanently . .


Posted: 2021-01-03 15:04
At mid point I seem to struggle with the new sounds and it takes too long to recall and write down.
Lesson 1 to 10 are easy and I have no problem with them.

Typically I learn a character a day.

Posted: 2021-01-03 16:39
Use the "battering ram" method. That means in your case:
start all over agn with lesson 1 speed 20/5
after first time over 90% correct in a one minute lesson, go to the next lesson,

Report the result pse.

Posted: 2021-01-03 18:13
As soon as Y is introduced after lesson 19 I floundered, started getting F L and Y confused and introduced thinking delays

Posted: 2021-01-03 18:42
Steve, I can suggest that you do not give up.
You can slow it down for a while. You can practice some fast and some slow. You can do anything you want. If you are frustrated, it does not help to put yourself in a situation where you have to either give it up completely or pressure yourself to the point of anxiety or discomfort. No need to beat yourself up.

Posted: 2021-01-03 19:43
It's interesting how the introduction of a single character can mess up 2 other characters that I otherwise had no problems with.

Posted: 2021-01-03 20:13
As soon as Y is introduced after lesson 19 I floundered, started getting F L and Y confused and introduced thinking delays

Mixing letters is quite normal at first f & l y & q.

Not to mention s h 5.

Practice makes perfect where you are - then progress.

At mid point I seem to struggle with the new sounds and it takes too long to recall and write down.

Lesson 1 to 10 are easy and I have no problem with them.

Typically I learn a character a day.

I would say a character a day for almost three weeks probably isn't giving you each character enough times for it to become firmly established.

You are working towards :-

hear code -> letter pops into you head automajically - no thinking about it

You learn this by a process of:-

hear letter -> think of character -> repeat repeat repeat until it happens automatically

No short cuts - the time taken is based on:-
your aptitude - is your hearing up to it ?
how much time you can spend listening AND decoding - it's possible to overdo it, lots of 5-15 min shorter sessions with recovery gaps between
your attitude - smile makes you happy, not the other way round
- how relaxed you are - tense means the fight or flee decision, not let's all learn morse then
- are you really thinking about something else instead - the leaky roof - that arse-hole guy at work - am I just too old ( no you aren't )
- are you expecting this to take a week or so - else you will get bored or start wondering if you are doing it wrong etc - or the tense starts again from two lines above

Aptitude is:-
part hearing - make sure you aren't using an audio Hz at which your ears don't work as well
part how well you fix the list above.

Possible premium problem of the week this week is - - - having too high an expectation ( maybe having read the Koch reports about 13 wpm in a day), and getting downhearted when it somehow doesn't work like that.

Probably possible premium problem of the week all year . . .

There are lots of tips.

A good one is - listen to lots of morse without testing your speed or writing down. You can sort out a good audio HZ and pick out the chars you know.

You can generate some mp3 files for the lesson you are on - 19 for you by the sound of it - and listen on your phone headphones on the train.

You joined lcwo 10 years ago, so we know you aren't going to give up. You just need to know that you are normal and this takes some time and effort.

Looking ahead - you probably will be aiming to read morse just in your head rather than having to write it down.

( Getting type bound and needing a keyboard is even worse - this arises by forming a link between morse -> keyboard key rather than letter pops into your head automajically )

For this to come about you need to be decoding the previous char and remembering it with the ones before that whilst listening to the current one.


You really need to make sure that you have the chars very well practiced and well sunk in and the reflex working as well as you can. Hum them to yourself when you are on the escalator etc.

The WWII Bletchley crew went round mouth-morsing to themselves and each other all day when they were learning.

Every sign you pass, every advert is a practice second. Try every car number plate as you walk along.

As ever YMMV.

You have to look at all the hints etc decide what works for you. Everyone is somehow different. We can only report the most common issues . . .

Let us know how you are getting on.

There are quite a few other enthusiasts on this forum at the moment
and the new year's resolutionists and covid winter hobbyistst are about to pitch in . . .


Posted: 2021-01-03 20:41
Hi Chris

Thanks for your comments, I have taken what you said onboard and will update from time to time.

I should have raised this thread years ago.


Posted: 2021-01-04 16:19

Thanks for your input on this thread. So much of it rings true for me and I just got started! I had sort of an epiphany last night and have removed the keyboard from the process. Yes, it takes a bit longer but I write down the characters as I hear them and the type them into the response. But, I can concentrate on the code and take the keyboard response out of the process.

I'll probably never look at another license plate the same way again!!

Posted: 2021-01-04 20:38
Today I was in a doctors waiting room. I was very early and the only person there for 30 mins. Recalling earlier comments on this thread I started thinking out all the notices (and there were an awful lot of them) in morse. Somewhere along the line I switched from thinking to vocalising the code which I found easier and caught myself saying di dah di dah through my mask. Like I said, lucky the waiting room was empty.

Posted: 2021-01-06 01:06
Hi Steve,

I'm in the same boat! I've put in a lot of practice, but somewhere around Lesson 25 everything starts to unravel. My processing speed - even for the characters I know - just slows down.

I've taken a couple months off, start off on Lesson 1 again. I got through the lessons quickly, starting popping out the words automagically like Chris says. Then, I slow down again around Lesson 25...

I've been doing the Morse sounds for car license plates for a couple years. It's great practice for me.

This time around, I want to push through to the rest of the alphabet. Then I can do more with the word training and other practice. Maybe that approach will help break through this wall.

Posted: 2021-01-06 14:38
I've had the same thing happen to me at lesson 40; good grief, I'm forgetting what K and M sound like. I think partly because 10 minutes of practice is good enough to keep a few plates spinning, but not enough to keep more plates spinning. On lesson one, 10 minutes practice gives 5 minutes practice each letter. On lesson 40, 10 minutes practice provides less than 15 seconds per character.

Another thing is that at 20/10 speed, I've realized that I'm counting dots and dashes the wrong way, and not "hearing" the character. So what I've done this new year is start over at 30/13. I've read on the forum here of others doing this. I think it might work. We'll see!

Good luck fellows, and Happy New CW!

Posted: 2021-01-06 15:12
AF0XB & Fattyre

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned short & long term memory is the key. 10mins a day will not cut it, we have to be immersed in morse to build up that long term memory.

Posted: 2021-01-09 22:30
I have created a crude web page to display my results.


Posted: 2021-01-12 08:10
Whatever else you do, don't stop and start again as it becomes a never-ending process. Keep at it without any hope or expectation and things will (and do) eventually gel!

Looking at the data you uploaded on your web page, you have been spending 1 day per lesson from lesson 6 onwards, with a couple of spurts at 5 and 3 days per lesson and 23 attempts in 3 days for lesson 24.

What this basically shows is that the latter characters have not been assimilated at all and the process of transfer from short-term to long-term memory has not occurred.

Each new lesson overloads the transfer process even more.

I would suggest to slow down a lot: give yourself a week or more a lesson and do a lot of listening to artificial texts created on "Convert text to CW" with all the characters you have learned so far. You should be aiming at listening to 30mns to 1 hr of morse per day.

When you get ready to pass to a new lesson, start listening to text containing the known characters as well as the new one/s while doing the new lesson.

The best of lucks!

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