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Thread: Straight or iambic which is EASIER

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AuthorText


Posted: 2021-10-17 05:59
I am brand new to morse code and find it very difficult to go faster than 25/5. In about 2 weeks of training I'm still on lesson 7 struggling to get up to 25/5. So, I also want practice sending and would appreciate input on the ease of learning straight key or iambic. Not wanting to complicate my learning any more than is necessary which is easier to learn on and is the skill from one transferable to the other in any degree?


Posted: 2021-10-17 12:19
KK7ASP:
I am brand new to morse code and find it very difficult to go faster than 25/5. In about 2 weeks of training I'm still on lesson 7 struggling to get up to 25/5.


Are you making progress through the lessons ?. Learn first - speed up afterwards then . .


KK7ASP:

So, I also want practice sending and would appreciate input on the ease of learning straight key or iambic. Not wanting to complicate my learning any more than is necessary which is easier to learn on and is the skill from one transferable to the other in any degree?



The "straight key" ( up and down ) is all manual so you have total control of timings . . .
as opposed to having to match the ( setting you selected on the ) mechanism when using electronic keyers or a bug.

This means you will send what you intended to send - but the timings may be bad.

The sideswiper similarly is all manual, but you go fast by doing each next dit or dah on the opposite side to the one you just did - so a bit more to get used to and of course a side-to-side action.

So - possibly easier to get going and learn a fully manual - but easier to send bad morse - but-but you can record your morse and play it back next week and see what you think of your timings.

You can key alongside a morse training video to practice your timings.


The electronic keyers / bugs are less physical effort when you know what to do and the timings will be good - but not necessarily outputting the code you meant to send until you become proficient at keeping to the current setting.

The different actions mean that physically there aren't really any transferables between leyers and fully manual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPsgEdmlUf0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HPsZ6VLvLE&t=211s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncOcgarGJHI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjupJslRj5E



Most people seen to find sending easier - you are in full control of speed etc and you only have one two jobs - convert letters into code and work the keyer - at your speed.

Not much point in being able to send faster that you can receive.

Probably stopping progress through the lessons to learn keying will slow you down overall . . .

YMMV tho'


cb









Posted: 2021-10-18 02:01
Hello Stephen,

We are all different, for me 20/5 worked. The key is to hear the sounds, at 20wpm each character has a unique sound and it is too fast to listen for or count dits and dahs.

Our students that never saw a chart of dits and dahs for characters seem to have an advantage by only hearing the sounds. They translated the sound to a character in one step thus skipping the intermediary step of converting it to dits and dahs first.

It seems like learning to copy characters at 25 to 30wpm is a quicker path to copying really fast code. In the beginning I believed it. OM copying at 25-40+ wpm are copying mostly words. I'd guess you can copy CQ or 5NN at 30wpm, if so you hear them as words.

On Sending;
I started with a paddle, like many of our students I could send at 20wpm within a few weeks. But it was not good for learning to copy since it was based on knowing the "dot dash" code. It reinforced learning dot dash at the expense of sounds. Now we wait untill we get through the lessons before starting to send. When we do send it is the sounds they are sending.

We do not start with a straight key, it is too easy to send dot dash patterns which is what you don't want to do while learning to copy. With the paddle it is natural to send by sound.

Once you recognize characters by sound you can send with any type of key. As you pound out a character you are after the sound.

I spent a year getting through the lessons several times and not being able to copy anything OTA. It was after I went through the lessons focusing on the sound and did the call signs, plain text, and the 50 most common words could I copy OTA.

Once you start copying it quickly gets easier. It is not long before you start anticipating the next word and shortly after that hearing words.

Practice a lot and be patient. It will come when it does. You can put it in your brain, but untill it percolates over to the reflex memory it can be frustrating. Some of my best gains were when I would take a break.

K1HMS


Posted: 2021-10-18 18:55
So, maybe I was wrong in thinking I should integrate sending along with my receiving. I think I'll stick to the lesson plan as presented until I can be really proficient in copying. Sometimes I get impatient with myself.


Posted: 2021-10-18 20:18
I can only write about my experience. What works for you will be different. It is voodoo how what we learn makes its way into reflex memory. Sending early may be good for you.

Be persistent and patient, when it is ready it will happen.


Posted: 2021-10-18 23:41
Persistence is the key word. Keep practicing, and you will eventually prevail.

I was told not to start sending before I had gone through all letters, and that was good for me.

When I started sending, it was with a paddel (single-lever/no iambic), and I recognized my sending as letters I already knew. I knew I was sending decodable CW.

Then after several QSO's, I started sending with a straight key, and after some practice, it was good. I could simply hear when my code was bad, and I improved it by ear and almost by instinct.

Now I am training sending with a bug. Difficult, but not impossible, and I'm still not using it on-air.

Iambic or no-iambic...??
Here, I think you have to make up your mind early on. I started with an iambic paddel, but was using it as a single lever, so in no-iambic mode.
I think is confusing and difficult to change between iambic and single.
Iambic is just combinations to save movement, and then being able to send faster. But some of the fastest operators still use single mode.

I just opted for non-iambic, and will not try and learn iambic. No need.


Good luck
73 de OZ1SPS/Sebastian


Posted: 2021-10-19 01:03
Imagine a telegraph professional in the old days.

Do not spent a single cent to some kind of key, before you are able to copy 5/5


Posted: 2021-10-19 14:38
KK7ASP:
So, maybe I was wrong in thinking I should integrate sending along with my receiving. I think I'll stick to the lesson plan as presented until I can be really proficient in copying. Sometimes I get impatient with myself.


Stephen, at the very beginning, I had to dismiss all hope of ever being able to receive CW at 20/5 or anything close to that. I liked Straight Key Practice and have stayed with that and gained satisfaction from it. Also, I made the common beginner mistake of practicing sending without receiving for learning. When I corrected that error, I have for about 4 years now, focused mostly on receiving. However, recently I have begun mixing some sending in with my receiving practice daily. Here are some examples of the lessons I developed for sending practice:

pq86udfkc4eg .
3t0w7u6e2rry .
2taizcqdsrav .
4utdtljwntw4 .

and another type of sequence I practice sending and receiving with is like this:

--- /// ??? ,,, === + .
6 January 1977 .
2 October 1977 .
4 April 1932 .
22 July 1920 .


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