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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: How to best proceed?

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Posted: 2009-12-16 22:06
Hello, I am new to CW and really would like to learn it. After starting until lecture 7, I decreased the eff. speed to 6/7 WPM, keeping the morse sign speed at 20 WPM. This was a mistake maybe, because more and more I was finding myself thinking about what letter to write. Now I restarted at 12 WPM eff. But how to write down the letters at that speed? Having a lot of e's brings me out of synch, because I can not write the letters quick enough. Any tips how to best do this and how to proceed?


Posted: 2009-12-17 06:16
I'm new too - I'm using 20 WPM sign speed, ranging the effective speed from 5-10 (I go back and redo old lessons at higher speeds - then when I get to new material it sounds 'slow' at 7...)

I type what I hear on the keyboard rather than write it out longhand - much faster! I think that handwriting is not very effective over about 10 wpm - mine is almost unreadable if I try to write that fast, and I miss a lot of stuff.

I did try simplifying the characters to write them more quickly -=> using '

Posted: 2009-12-17 11:20
Hello Michael,

when I started learning CW, I developed a set of abbreviations for "fast" letters like the "E". I actually wrote all letters in print (Druckschrift), not cursive (Schreibschrift), and the E was the major bottleneck. So I simply made a dot (centered vertically, to avoid confusion with a period) instead of the E. Likewise, I abbreviated the T by writing a single dash. With some more letter simplified like that, my best speed I reached in copying code groups was about 32wpm.

That was over 10 years ago; these days I am much more comfortable and a lot faster (>50wpm) with the keyboard. I'd generally recommend to try copying the lessons straight on the keyboard, unless your typing speed is really much slower than your handwriting. In the end, you may profit from it in two ways: improve your typing speed and learn CW :-)

By the way: The current IARU HST World record in copying letter code groups, set by RV9CPV at exactly 60wpm (real characters, that is about 72wpm PARIS due to more longer letters in random groups) this year was done with pen and paper. They use a special short-hand system which looks like this:


But one can imagine that it takes a lot of practice to achieve this :-)

73, Fabian DJ1YFK

Posted: 2009-12-17 14:01
K7QO Chuck Adams, an old-timer, also in the top ranks in Rufzxp, advises, because it are seperate mechanisms in your brain, to exercise in 3 ways:
1. writing down in long hand
2. copying by head only (exercise in transit when you are every day on ur way to your job and back.
3.use a keyboard (without looking at the keys).

When you don't, you will find out that when you start later on with keyboard, or copy by head, you have to start all over again at low speed.

That hand writing was previously a must, due to the way administrations took the examination on receiving morse code, nowadays is because on a lot of hamfests there are CW contests in copying a text. When you are not allowed to use a keyboard, and generally you may not, you can't participate.

Don't write E but start your exercises in long hand, underscore I mean, write small (max height 5 mm of l t etc) and you can reach 35 wpm plain text due to the fact that, you develop a small buffer in your head, your writing is some letters behind with what you hear. That solves the problem of fast e and t at that speed.

Immediately after transmission ceases you have to deliver your handwriting, there is no time available to decode your proprietary shortscript. Of course the happy few, the big guns, in HST (high speed telegraphy) world championship and possibly some other events excluded.

That handwriting in plain characters is of course not sufficient when you are one of the big guns whose photographs and max speed in callsign reception you can find in www.rufzxp.net, but for the ants in the field, and that is the majority, the truth of what I am saying here is a fact.

Posted: 2009-12-17 20:59
Fabian, Chuck, Joanne,
thanks for your replies. Your comments and advices make a lot of sense. Comming back from work today, on the German autobahn, I found myself translating license plates on the cars and words painted on the trucks. It is a lot of fun. I will try to stay at 12 WPM eff., use some abbreviations and combine keyboard with long hand writing. Let's see how this works.
Thanks again Fabian for this great program!

Posted: 2009-12-18 08:17
I learned touch-typing with 10 fingers because I could not read my handwriting beyond 20wpm anymore ;-)

Used LCWO and custom characters (first asdf jklö etc.) but believe that newcomers could use simply the Koch course as is.

Very handy in contests and for RufzXP.



Posted: 2009-12-21 16:27
dear all, I tried to learn morse code 30 years ago, but I just failed to capture and master it..when I started to learnt, bought a morse key with a training tone kit, sending was easy, I could even send 35wpm with 95% accuracy..but receiving...bad..was very happy to learn from this site, step by step..I shall determine to master it...blessing...

Posted: 2009-12-21 20:54
Anyway sending 35 wpm with a straight key is a fantastic performance. Sometimes when I am hungry and hands start shivering due to lack of food, I make it till 25 wpm with a straight key.

Posted: 2009-12-27 18:36
Great program! The transition from handwriting to typing is a lot harder than I thought it would be...

Posted: 2010-01-06 19:39
My Ham Radio start was back in 1976 as a USA Novice. We were allowed to xmit at 75 watts with Xtal-control. My first radio was a Heathkit HW-16, 3-band xcver. I was self-taught from the start with some code records! I am Left-handed writing, but send Code Right-handed. To this day I still "print" out all the characters that are sent! I also sound out, (in my head), each character that I'm sending, as I send it! There are less than 50 characters total to learn, (letters, numbers, & Pro-signs). Take each character sound and hammer it home into your brain. Pick a letter out for the day, and get it registered for copying & sending!
Make your own word group sound for each hard letter, (such as:

- - . -

DAH DAH DIT DAH (Sounds just like it on the air!)
An extra dit or dah that you don't hear or miss can stop, or throw your copy off track right now. Forget that lost letter, and go on to the next sent! Most times, you can finish that word by filling in what was lost. Don't be afraid of sending Important Info twice or more! CALL, RST, NAME, QTH, ect. are often buried in the QRM or QSB. If the sender doesn't, just send: BK RST? BK
That gives it right back to sender for a quick answer to your question! You both want a fun & plesant QSO, so try to make it easy on yourself & your contact!

Making a regular 40-m CW sked each week with a new Ham friend picked up both of our code speeds. Over 15 years or so of regular skeds, gave us both good CW speed & knowledge of just what an "on-the-air-sked" consists of! Each of us could actually tell when the other was going to make a spelling mistake! My spelling of big words has always been terribile, so I avoid them.
Try to make your CW QSO's simple and straight forward. There is no "SPEED LIMIT" anymore for us in the USA! I'd rather copy CW that is sent clearly and properly, with generous spacing. I'm sure we have all heard speedy & sloppy CW way to often on the bands. In the basic QSO, all that is required for a legal QSL contact is: Both Calls correct, an both RST reports correct! Other info as to Date, Time, Freq., Name & QTH are part of the Ragchew! This should be entered into your Log each time you operate. Using UTC, or Zulu, or GMT Time, (all in the same), sure makes it easy to find your QSO in your logs.
My congratulations to the Foreign Hams all over the world! You are some of the best Morse Code Operators on the air! How hard must it have been for you to learn & use English & Morse Code for CW QSO's? All I had to learn was the Code!
One good idea for those learning CW, and those getting hard of hearing: USE A HEADPHONE SET!! The XYL will love you for it, and the house can be nice & quiet! Having the Phones right on your ears, as loud as you want it, will help you distinguish all them Dits & Dahs sent!
73 & GUD DX. DE, KD0QV/7--JIM IN AZ.

Posted: 2010-01-07 20:55
Tks Jim for this nice story and your usefull advice.

Posted: 2010-01-17 22:26

Posted: 2010-01-17 23:55
Try decreasing the effective speed. That way the speed of each character is still 20wpm, or whatever you have it set to, but the spacing between characters is longer.

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