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Thread: Sanity Check

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Posted: 2021-09-01 19:53
I tried to learn CW years ago on LCWO. I left the settings at 20/20 and quickly got discouraged and quit.
I am trying again at 20/10 and I think it is going much better. How many lessons in a row should I get 90% or better before moving on? Or should it be all of them? Is it normal to always feel like you are barely hanging on?
Could someone with experience with the process look at my stats to see if they look reasonable? I am on lesson 24 at this point.

Thank you

Posted: 2021-09-01 21:35
It will be interesting to hear from the local experts on this. I think the 90% needs a lot of qualifications, at least in my humble experience.

Here are two personal observations.

Most code trainers are are indeed pseudo random generators. So what? Well if as in your case you know quite a few characters, AND you choose a short practice session (say 1 or 2 minutes) because you may not be a great typist and want a quick score, its possible to get a very skewed distribution of characters. Said differently, you may have had: 20 K, 22 M, 18 U, BUT 3 Rs. If R was your new character, you might get ALL of them wrong and still score over 90%! But clearly you should not move on.

A better approach would be to see if you got over 90% on the newest character. Of course no body does this - so if you want to use this bench mark
I'd suggest that that you use a significant length session to type in and score, and hope that probability evens out with a large sample.

Or as I did use (or verify) the lesson generator makes a uniform distribution of characters.

If you choose to high a goal you will get frustrated and want to quit - don't. If you are too anxious to move on, you will likely become frustrated later when you confuse characters or have difficulty making speed progress. (Hppened to me)

You need to be the ultimate judge of your progress - this is no different than using flash cards to learn the times tables. You can be perfect on a few, or marginal on many. I'd err on the side of quality, the other is hard to fix later.

We all learn somewhat differently, keep at it.

73 wa2nfn

Posted: 2021-09-01 22:54
The even distribution of all characters (Including new ones) makes sense. I have been doing 1 minute sessions, maybe I will try longer ones. I am getting hung up on the level I am on now so I am doing custom code group sessions with the problem characters.


Posted: 2021-09-01 23:59

How long has it taken you to get to lesson 24 this time round ?

Some people zoom along but then seem to stall because they went too fast and it didn't sink in.

This can be after 10 lessons.

Are you actually decoding the morse to letters in your head then typing in the letter etc,
are you forging a direct link between morse and keyboard
means you will need a keyboard.

If you can touch type then you probably won't have this issue - else you may be better writing down, YMMV tho.

Probably you are aiming at copying in your head, in which case you want to build an automatic reaction :-

hear morse - > letter pops into your head without you thinking about it.

This is achieved by lots of repeat decoding . . .

Normally one or two results at 90% would be time to move on . . .

You just need to avoid a fluke 90.


Posted: 2021-09-02 16:17
It has taken 21 days to get to level 24, I would guess 15-20 minutes per day. That said I can feel progress slowing...
I am copying to the keyboard which has not been a problem.
Most characters I experience as "direct translation"
but I still find myself "thinking about" the dits and dahs on some sometimes which will hang me up. F for some reason...


Posted: 2021-09-02 16:30
I am noticing something interesting. When I add a new character I will recognize it not by it sound per se but by the fact that I just heard something unknown. For example when I added "/" I just type "/" whenever I hear something unknown. ;-)

Posted: 2021-09-02 17:15

Yup - part of the "I stalled at lesson 10" syndrome . . .

When you have a few of these that you didn't quite learn correctly.

Pass the test but don't know the stuff . . .

Posted: 2021-09-02 18:05
I find it somewhat self correcting. It only really works for one or two characters. Eventually you have to hear it or you can't move on.

Posted: 2021-09-02 19:15

yes, but it's possible to hurtle through some of the lessons . .


a combination of short term memory, luck regarding which charcters actually play, and things like that,


then you stall because it didn't sink in and the short term memory hasn't been copied to long term . . .


you probably give up in annoyance and dissapointment ( for a year, then start again )


What did you mean by " barely hanging on" and "direct translation" ? BTW


Posted: 2021-09-03 00:11
I left the settings at 20/20 and quickly got discouraged and quit.


The default settings are 20/10 so SETTING at 20/20 is discouraging for sure, above that you just started without reading the wealth of advice that is available in the introductional text of this course and the moderated forum, That killed a lot of my advice in the past and prevented saving hopeless people a lot of time to waste.

Posted: 2021-09-03 02:33
Direct translation = no interpretation (thinking) instant character recognition

Barely hanging on = always on the b=verge of missing characters. This could be restated as not relaxing and not letting missed characters go.

One year? Try six!


Posted: 2021-09-06 20:53
I left the settings at 20/20 and quickly got discouraged and quit.

Hi Rich, I just started learning cw a couple of weeks ago. Started fine at 20/10, but after lesson 8 or so adding new characters was troublesome.

Reducing the effective speed a bit to 20/8 was a huge relief and keeps me in a good flow now.

Just my 2 cents, keep up! Mark

Posted: 2021-09-08 10:57
I went through all characters using 20/5 and the last ones even down to 20/4, and did them all in abt. 3 months of time.

Then came the hard work of getting faster.

Now I do ragchew on my own language (danish) at speeds ranging from 16wpm up to 28wpm. Above 30wpm I loose too many words, and loose the context.

My training off-air is now between 32-42wpm (i change the speed according to mood and other factors)

Start slow - you can always go fast later...
Just keep character speed on 20 or above in the beginning.

This just for inspiration.
I started 2½ years ago, and before that, nothing.


Posted: 2021-09-08 22:05
My problem has always been the learning style.
I’m a tactile/visual learner, so having to learn something that’s mainly audio is a huge challenge. But I’m getting better at this by using the Morse key (which is more tactile) to learn the letters which helps me remember how it sounds better. That’s my two cents.

Posted: 2021-09-09 04:58
Thank you both for the inspiration!

Posted: 2021-09-09 10:40
Learning with LCWO, I also had to reduce from 20/10 down to 20/5 in many periods. And then from time to time, not adding any new characters for a week and instead focused on pushing up to 20/10 again. I think it's a good idea to do a "timeout" like that with not adding anymore char's when you feel it's getting harder to add a new one.

I used ~3 months for all chars, but I started with adding 10-11 chars the first week... I started in January 2021 and had first QRS QSO in April. (I dropped comma, but learned all other). Other than that, I recommend getting a group to practice with, and for that I joined CW Ops Beginner class after a while, and that helped a lot.

I didn't stay very long at 90% before I moved on, but you'll notice if you add to fast... I still remember the feeling after adding a new character and when it first showed up I said to myself "Hello there! Now, who are you again?" :-)

After all characters was learned I also started using Morse Code Ninja, to move away from the keyboard, and instead learn head copy.

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