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Posted: 2021-06-17 21:26
Anyone else having a block at around 24 lessons? Putting in / seems to be causing me untold problems.
I an using 20 / 11 or 12 at present. 12 gives me more probs and 11 much less.

Any hints / solutions very welcome.
73 de Jacques G4NEH

Posted: 2021-06-18 08:18
It happens for everyone at different stages. Take a day off, practice at a higher(!) speed on a few characters with the / mixed in for a day. Then switch back to the normal routine. Has done wonders for me.

Posted: 2021-06-18 10:29
Anyone else having a block at around 24 lessons? Putting in / seems to be causing me untold problems.
I an using 20 / 11 or 12 at present. 12 gives me more probs and 11 much less.

Any hints / solutions very welcome.
73 de Jacques G4NEH


This happening is well reported but . .

. . . it might not be a "block" - it might be that your short/medium term memory has reached "full" . . .

To become proficient at decoding morse you need to "learn" ( by repetition ) an automatic link between . .

hear some morse code -> the corresponding characters pop into your mind auto-magically without you needing to think AT ALL.

The process to achieve this is:- hear morse, think of the letter, repeat, repeat, repeat . . . . .

Probably best to run over the 1-20 exercises ( these are not really lessons ) 100 times or more until you don't have to even slightly think of the char


Lots of people say learning morse will take such and such a length of time - on average,

but aptitude is in my view ( and the view of the military ) by far the most important factor.

Aptitude includes hearing issues, ability to concentrate whilst relaxing, general attitude, stress levels at the end of the working day, expectations, ability with letters/words/spelling . . .

and probably a whole host of other factors - like did you learn it wrong(ly) the first time . .

An average Joe shouldn't be surprised to spend a year getting to 20/20 - though many will manage it in less time, some people report 3 weeks or less . .

Also, if you are a student of lower aptitude, probably better not to take too much notice of the QRQ brigade
who probably all have high aptitude, and think everyone is just like them and should be able to do it in a few months.


Don't spend all your time testing your speed - listen to lots of morse ; concentrate but relax and forget passing exams.

Accuracy good; speed - no one cares ( except maybe you ) 20/20 is fine

Don't give up - you'll make it if you don't trash yourself eg unrealistic expectations . . .

FWIW I think hearing issues are the main decider , so it may be worth choosing an audio frequency that suits the response of your ears
no one seems to agree with me . . .

Let us know how you get on . .



Posted: 2021-06-18 18:23
That is to be expected. The most likely reason for this is that your brain has learned to distinguish some of the previous characters from the other ones by something which other characters share. for example when you first encounter a long code, it is easiest to use the length as the distinguishing factor, and when you next encounter a similarly-long character you'll have to spend a lot of time to tell one from the other.

As a different example, when I got into the numbers, particularly 2 (..---) I suddenly started having lots of problems with j, which used to be one of my best/easiest letters. Likely that's because the two share the same suffix: apparently my brain tended to ignore the first dit.

The cure for a situation like this is to analyze which letters give you the most trouble (it's likely not the new letter itself), and work on each of them specifically: fire up the morsemachine and focus on getting that one character right, ignoring performance on the others (which will drop a bit, as you're focusing on that specific one). I promise you it'll improve in a day or two. Then you focus on your next weakest spot, then the next, until you've improved all of your formerly-weakest letters to the level of the other ones.

If you wish, you can work on several letters each day, but do them one at a time in sessions of, say, 5 mins for each, and never try to train several together. multitasking is good for testing, but not for training.

(by the way, this is a general principle: whenever you're stuck with learning a complex behavior, break down the criteria of success into the smallest possible parameters and work on each one separately, ignoring all the others, then go back to the whole thing together).

Posted: 2021-06-19 13:00
I can only agree with Ivan as I have had similar experiences (I'm still learning too) - a new character seemed to cause me to loose the ability to receive an old one.

I found it helpful to make a 'custom' set of letters with the 'code groups' feature that included some familiar letters plus the ones that are causing problems and practice that in addition to the 'regular' practice. This also increases the frequency with which the problematic characters will be encountered.

Ultimately I haven't found a 'magic bullet' to solve this kind of thing, other than suitably focussed practice - even when it appears not to be helping or going badly it _is_ helping - you just don't know it yet!

Posted: 2021-06-19 15:32
thanks folks, good answers to be working on. I am about to spend some £££ on a paddle for (hopefully) the next stage, so don't want to waste my money!!

Posted: 2021-06-20 00:19
We are at about the same place! I’m on lesson 22. I had a long plateau for lesson 10 which took ages to get through. When I get stuck I find practicing with morse machine very useful (you can tap the letters you want more practice with). The word training is useful too on short words. Then I come back to the lesson and find I’m no longer stuck.

I’ve been stuck several times since but I’ve got the confidence now that I’ll get through it.

Anyway, well done for getting so far and hopefully we’ll both cross the finish line in the not too distant future!

PS I bought a cheap paddle from alibaba and plugged it into my radio. Now that’s going to take a lot of practice!

Posted: 2021-06-21 00:42
I think : stick at the same lesson, do not go back, but lower your speed t0 20/9 When one exercice free of errors go to speed 20/10 and so on till your desired 20/12

Pretty sure this is the fastest way.

Posted: 2021-06-21 11:13
IMO the strategy nonagenarian is suggesting is good for increasing your speed when your proficiency is about the same in all of the characters (except maybe the last one or two, as it seems their frequency is increased in the koch exercises). If all letters have about the same speed of recognition for you, none of them will be holding you back and you'll increase the speed uniformly.

However if suddenly a letter from one of the previous lessons starts giving you trouble, this strategy won't be as good. The frequency of older letters in later lessons is very low — up to the point that sometimes a letter may not appear at all in a particular run! So you'll have to spend a lot of time until you encounter enough instances of the problem letter for it to improve, having great speed while the letter isn't there and hitting a figurative wall when it appears. This is quite frustrating and not very productive, and will likely spend more of your time than necessary.

So in these cases I'd suggest bumping up the frequency of those letters either via morsemachine (click on the bars to change the probability of the corresponding letter appearing) or, as G7UUT suggests, making a custom set of letters for the code groups trainer, which is closer to the koch exercises (it doesn't wait for you).

Posted: 2021-06-22 00:20
r2azr, I agree.

Posted: 2021-06-25 18:40
Thus why in mcpt, I have several ways to generate practice to play via lcwo, where you can easily increase probability.

For example : "
mcpt -codeGroups -tutor=lcwo -lesson=20 -must="JZ"

that would make EVERY code group have at least one "J" or "Z"

or to just increase probability instead of using the tutor/lesson combination, give the characters you want to practice with some repeats of troubled chars.

mcpt -codeGroups -cglist="KMURRRRR" so R is 5x more likely.

Lastly: the option -favorLast will increase the last 2 characters in the list.

Generated text is dropped into lcwo "Convert text to CW" to be played.

73 Bill

Posted: 2021-06-26 00:15

dj1yfk promissed you to make a GUI for your utility, didn't he?

Posted: 2021-07-04 03:23
;-(( He's a busy guy. Or he forgot. At this point I removed some that may have have added extra work,
and I really think I have exhausted my thoughts on features - in short I believe its stable and would be the time to do it. Without a gui, I don't think many will even give it a try.


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