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Thread: LCWO - when to start TX practice

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Posted: 2021-08-28 22:41
Hi all,

I just started to work my way through the CW lessons. I wondered what would be the right moment to start keying with the learned characters..

Does iT help in the learning proces to practice/key the learned characters, or is it better to wait untill I learned the full set?

I am sure this question has been raised before but couldn't find it in de forum overview.

Happy to hear your advise, 73's Mark (PA3HTZ)

Posted: 2021-08-29 11:05


Most people seem to find decoding more difficuly - which is probably not surprising when you consider that xmit is (broadly) :-

work your way along your chosen text . . .
for each letter/symbol/space/number
remember the code for that char / length of time delay time delay, in your own time
start in your own time
tap it out at your own speed
forget what you just did and move along . . .

RX is :-
tune the morse signal you are after out of the QR[MN] with your ears
get the timing/speed
accept a string of morse, and for each char
decode the morse char, whilst continuing to listen to / remember the incoming morse string
remember all the text you just decoded, whilst decoding the next char - whilst continuing to listen to and remember the sting of morse you selected out of the noise, whilst compensating for bad timing, audio frequency shift fading,QR[MN] speed changes, someone talking to you etc


whilst I advocate morsing car number plates, street names and advertising slogans to your self whilst walking out or sitting on a bus and listening to MPS morse files on your cellphone or mp3 player . . .

you probably (YMMV) will find you pick up TX faster than RX by an order of magnitude
I wouldn't hold out much hope for it helping you with RX (YMMV again again )

I suspect most givers-up (maybe 90%+ of starters) do so due to not mastering RX to their satisfaction, rather than any issues with TX
unless you are speeding along or are V confident of RX success
I would learn keying for a relaxing break or a jolly only, without much expectation of it helping you on RX
put 100% effort into RX until you find you are starting to decode without thinking about it and seem to be on the home stretch

You also have to decide what sort of keyer you want to use, practice with etc

Were you planning to learn iambic ?- that might take more practice - so I would wait until you have almost all the chars again, YMMV tho
side-swipe / straight key ? - fairly easy to learn, though you might have a sore arm / finger depending upon whose keying technique you espouse. Most people seem to find manual keying a bit tedious - do you want to spend much time on this?

The military and/or professional RO world crops up here as an example quite often
those people are selected for morse aptitude, so almost all of them get to 25/25 within a few months.

So the professionals start keying and learning Q-code, procedures early on, because they are confident of passing out RX pretty soon without too much effort.

We can't tell how you are doing nor how high is your aptitude, so we can really only point out the possible pit-falls ahead . . . no1 of which is too high an expectation of breezing through.

good luck anyway

let us know how you get on


Posted: 2021-08-30 13:02
Hi Chris,

Thank you for the response and the relevant links to the forum. For now my focus is on decoding and learning the language. I'll wait with the keying.

Regards, Mark

Posted: 2021-08-31 00:05
Beste keuze

Posted: 2021-09-02 04:09
Well, since I'm forever beginner, I found that 90% of skilled CW ops advice to start tx only after you may rx complete and correct minimal qsos like:
cqcq de r3pln r3pln pse k
pa3htz pa3htz ur 599 5nn op mark mark qth somecity somecity btu
pa3htz de r3pln gm mark ur 599 5nn op alex alex qth tula tula k
tu fer qso alex de pa3htz 73
tu mark best 73 ee

There no special symbols (may be / at max as part of callsign), just text.
That point stands at Rules: you must copy callsign and report and give your report to others. So ABC+digits (/) is minimum you have to know before going to ether.
I think our... Elders wouldn't advice something bad =)

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