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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 do I push through this plateau?

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AuthorText


Posted: 2021-12-15 02:19
I was doing fairly nicely for a few weeks and now I seem to have brain lock on the letters W and U. I am suddenly doing terrible for the last two days. I am now missing other letters as well. Is this common? Any tips? Thanks!


Posted: 2021-12-15 11:01
A big thanks is due to the LCWO.net Website for providing these many opportunities for us.

The following method is for using the LCWO.net feature "Convert Text To CW".
The practice lessons can be copied and pasted from your own files or emails etc, and placed into the play box on LCWO.net at your desired speed settings.

Step #1 You could use a website which has a list of words using the letters you wish to work with. Here is an example from the website at YourDictionary.com
You can use search terms like:
"words with the letter w". This will show results like:

https://wordfinder.yourdictionary.com/words-with-the-letter/

Pick "w" for example from the link at:
https://wordfinder.yourdictionary.com/words-with-the-letter/w/

Step #2 Make a lesson with a text made with "w" words such as found at the website.
(3) Add some words with "u" into the text.

See for example: Words With The Letter... Find Words with WordFinder (yourdictionary.com)

Let us not forget that we can work with text like this:
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/starting-with/4-letter-words-u.html

and
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/starting-with/4-letter-words-w.html


Step #3
Such a practice lesson might be made like this for a quick study of a few minutes:

1
wishful want wary few .
worth willow whizz weight.
water what show billow .
wheel watch why wireless .

For another type of lesson, you could use words from another website such as:

Words that start with w | w words | Words starting with w (thefreedictionary.com)

Find a website with words with "u":
Words containing u | Words that contain u (thefreedictionary.com)

Create a text using words with the letter "u" like this:

1
because include product .
through country success .
quarter council quarter .
subject brought outside .

Make a practice lesson with a mix of words
with "w" and "u" like:

Scrabble Words with W and U - ScrabbleWordFinder.org

That might look like this:

2
braunschweigers counterweighing .
downregulations gewurztraminers .
housewifeliness mouthwateringly .
multiwavelength sorrowfulness .

3
unknowable southwestern burrow .
unseaworthy wonderful unwitting .
watercolour wistful watchful .
disavowed wanderlust cauliflower .

In general, you can make any lessons
like this, and that will counter the tendency to
memorize the lesson. Long lists of words
found online in any combination or subject
should be helpful for making a practice text
or practice lesson. Any random text found
online can be divided up into short lessons
as provided here.

I like to use a period at the end of a line
on a short practice lesson like this.

An even more elaborate text can be made
by putting the text in an e-mail, and then
just mixing up all the words and letters.

Another alternative could be to go to some
website with an article, and copy and paste
a paragraph in an e-mail to be sent to yourself.

That text can be edited in a random way by adding
u's and w's in the middle of words. Here is
an example of that with a text that I have found.

1
uI waus dowing .
fuairuly niwcely .
four a ufew weeks .
anud now Iu seewm .

2
uwto huave bwraiun .
lowck uon thwe lettuewrs .
W anwd U I aum suddenly .
douing tewrrible fuorw .

3
thew laust twuo dawys .
centsu per wday youw guet .
a weftist uears wug suvuwl.
useful woeful temwpestuous .

Also, some of the editing for creating such lessons can be made easier by using websites that generate random collections of characters, like:

https://randomtextgenerator.com/

A random text generator can give all kinds of useful characters, and from such long lists, you can borrow parts of a text, and add in the characters that you want to practice with.

Also, there are random "date" generators and these can be used for excellent practice material.

https://www.random.org/calendar-dates/

Here is an example of a quick list of dates that I got just to show you:

Here are your 25 calendar dates:

29 December 1589
3 February 1608
23 June 1623
5 February 1624
11 May 1624
10 September 1630
27 August 1641
1 August 1650

19 September 1683
4 September 1686
29 May 1696
8 November 1732
12 June 1752
16 May 1762
29 January 1767
3 December 1770
18 September 1807
12 April 1816
6 March 1842
25 December 1867
11 March 1872

I take these and divide them into a short practice lesson of 4 lines. So I use something like this into the Convert Text To CW feature on LCWO.net:

12 April 1816 .
6 March 1842 .
25 December 1867 .
11 March 1872 .


1 August 1650 .
24 October 1664 .
10 November 1668 .
8 June 1673 .

5 February 1624 .
11 May 1624 .
10 September 1630 .
27 August 1641 .

Any text like this can also have certain characters or punctuation added in, like this for example:


uw24 October 1664 .
uw10 November 1668 .
uw8 June 1673 .
uw4 December 1681 .

or like this to help with the characters
that are a bit of a problem, like:

uw uw uw uw uw .
23 June 1623 .
5 February 1624 .
11 May 1624 .
25 December 1867


There are many ways that "u" and "w" can be structured into practices, including the simple:

u u u u u u u . or w w w w w .
and they can be added at the beginning
of every single text that is practiced with
to give repetition.

Also, there are some Random Number Generators online. Here is one that can be used for generating lists of numbers:
https://www.calculator.net/random-number-generator.html?slower=1&supper=999&ctype=1&s=7942&submit1=Generate

There are a lot of ways that a person can learn CW with their own practice texts.
In my opinion, LCWO.net has the single greatest learning feature that anyone can use.


Posted: 2021-12-15 11:15
I was stuck on Y for ages but keep bashing away at the MorseMachine, maybe move on another lesson or two, don't worry too much and you'll eventually get it.
I'm currently stuck on Q. I just don't hear it straight away which is odd as I recognise CQ easily enough and there's a Q in my callsign.


Posted: 2021-12-15 11:46
Here Duncan:

https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/starting-with/4-letter-words-q.html

https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/starting-with/6-letter-words-q.html

These settings can be adjusted for any specific number of letters in the word.


Posted: 2021-12-15 12:35
KI5OMM:
I was doing fairly nicely for a few weeks and now I seem to have brain lock on the letters W and U. I am suddenly doing terrible for the last two days. I am now missing other letters as well. Is this common? Any tips? Thanks!


It depends what sort of "wall" you hit.

You can mix up letters by hearing differences -
example dit da dit dit ...and... da dit da da ....both made up of... "same different same same"

You are doing too much and getting fatigued.
All of a sudden you blank out.


You can go too fast and start forgetting letters you thought you knew.
This is when it didn't become an automatic learned response - you are still thinking about decoding using medium term memory and it's getting mixed up.

so

Are you mixing things up ( eg. y l ) or just loosing several older letters?


If you miss one, does that de-rail you for the rest of the sequence, or are you able to miss it and carry on with the next character ?

Is it just the two letters ( w u ) that blanked out and everything else follows missing them ?


It's not unusual for people to report this sort of thing . . . .



cb


Posted: 2021-12-15 16:13
Yes, I find this happens a lot to me, especially when learning a new letter - it can cause some of the 'old' ones (that you thought you knew) to get harder.

I think this is probably perfectly normal - I've tried to combat it mainly by 'just plugging away at it' until it gets better.

For letter that were really causing problems I made some 'custom characer sets' of the letters that were causing problems and then slowly added some other known letters to them. This also serves to increase the frequency of the problem letters, which can help.

TBH I think my most successful 'strategy' has been just to 'keep on keeping on'... mind you different things work for different people, so you should probably try some of the (perfectly reasonable) suggestions from above.


Posted: 2021-12-15 19:08
G7UUT:


SNIP

TBH I think my most successful 'strategy' has been just to 'keep on keeping on' ... mind you different things work for different people,

SNIP



The problem with just-keep-going is that some people stall permanently and then give up.

Others develop a full lifetime's hobby in just-learning-morse.


I think it's timely to mention that quite a few students hit a barrier of some sort at or just after lesson 10.


If they report that they suddenly don't know what they used to know then, probably it didn't sink in - which is a 90%-then-next-lesson issue.

If that start mixing up "mirror" characters ( b & j , l & y etc ) then probably they going just a bit too quick between lessons.

If they can't learn any more new letters it's probably overload, which I suggest is a variant of the same 90%-and-you-now-know-it issue
except that they are at full load but don't forget of mix up the characters.

There is also a fatigue factor where you just stop hearing morse altogether due to too much concentration - so you can't decode anything until after you stop for a min to recover.

Anyway it's not unique to any individual to stall, plateau or hit a wall

so

that in itself is no reason for anyone to assume that they particularly, can't learn CW . . .

YMMV

cb


Posted: 2021-12-15 20:49
I have been plugging away for several months now and have hit many a wall. My simplistic fix is to create a character group of the letters giving me trouble. Then work on code groups for as long as it takes. This is a wonderful website full of many useful features. Most of the otherwebsites are just really games. Anyway, good luck and 73's.


Posted: 2021-12-15 22:50
Thanks all for the advice. I suspect in my case it's fatigue as I have been working nearly non-stop for a few weeks. (I'm retired so I have the time)

I will try the custom character sets for my problem letters as suggested. Thanks again!


Posted: 2021-12-16 00:17
Eat more fish,a can sardines 120 g each day.


Posted: 2021-12-16 01:01
KI5OMM:
Thanks all for the advice. I suspect in my case it's fatigue as I have been working nearly non-stop for a few weeks. (I'm retired so I have the time)

I will try the custom character sets for my problem letters as suggested. Thanks again!




Hi Bud

I would be interested to know how you get on with this . . .

You may know that the drop out rate is quite high . . .

Obviously a few people saw that that Koch has a class of students which he that got to 13wpm in a week
( or some such, I forget. Someone will have the reference . . )
but that was chosen ( screened ) students, and aptitude makes a difference - even hearing etc.

I suspect that expectations can be a trifle too high !


There is also the issue of the 90% correct move on point, and how long a time the lesson should be.

For head copy - conversational morse you ( probably ) really should be aiming to decode as an automatic reaction without thinking about it at all.

You need to be thinking only about the meaning of the decoded chars

For 1 minute lessons you probably want 90 most of the time.
For 5 minute lessons you maybe get away with moving on if you creep up to 90%.

anyway - moving on too slowly wates time.
Moving on too early can mean it didn't sink in.

YMMV


The fatigue I had in mind is the learning fatigue one caused by too much morse training
rather
than being Mr Productive at a job . . .

enjoy anyway


cb


Posted: 2021-12-16 16:40
I am writing my lessons on a notepad with pen, and when the lesson used is in Convert Text To CW. I copy.
When I began, it all felt so hopeless, so that I used to put little colored "stickers" like teachers used to award their students for good work.

Eventually, I could let go of that because I had learned all the letters and numbers. I was writing at the bottom of the notebook page; something like this:
"90% at 8/5" FB (fine business!)... or whatever my send speed was at the time. There were times, when I copied so poorly, that I would write "84% at 8/5" (or whatever the send rate was). Still, after that, I wrote "FB" When there is no one at all to give encouragement, sometimes, you just have to be the one encouraging you because no one else does. In fact, sometimes people can be discouraging by setting a "High Bar". Someone else's..."My Way Or The Highway" can prove to be a powerful obstacle. When I see that, I simply ignore it and continue practicing. A person can only do, what it is what they are capable of doing; but that "something" is better than "nothing" in every instance.
There are amputees using a prosthetic devide (artificial leg) doing rock climbing. How do they do it? They will not quit. That does not mean that they try to climb exactly like everyone else. The find their own way.
What is rather odd about an amputee using an artificial leg made of Titanium, is that when they climb rock faces successfully, some climbers accuse the amputee of ...well..."cheating".


Posted: 2021-12-16 23:46
G7UUT:

SNIP

TBH I think my most successful 'strategy' has been just to 'keep on keeping on' ... mind you different things work for different people,

SNIP


cb:
The problem with just-keep-going is that some people stall permanently and then give up.


Yes, that is certainly a problem and I have felt a bit like giving up when it wasn't going so well.

The good thing is/was that none of the 'plateau' I have come across has been longer than my ability to keep going, so I have done just that.

Hence due to my sheer 'bloody mindedness' I've managed to batter my brain into learning something.

Maybe this is the way it has to be with the kind of learning that is about developing lightning fast mental responses - constant repetition/hammering it in?

Anyway, this is the way it has been for me (and I'm not done yet - only 4 more lessons to go!)


Posted: 2021-12-18 16:02
cb:
The problem with just-keep-going is that some people stall permanently and then give up.
======================
Logically, that just does not make sense, with respect my friend.
There is no such thing as "just-keep-going" and also "stop permanently". If you person "keeps going" that is the opposite of stopping in any context. That is the benefit of keeping going.
As G7UUT indicates, one way that this produces improvement, is that if what has been done in the past is not productive, trying something new will probably yield something productive.
One of the difficulties that many people face, (myself included) is how to make sense of the experience where we reach the point of "quitting".
That is the very moment when we face a deep trial. What could be more unfortunate than making a commitment, and then end up in a complete despair, in which all the counsels and all the methods lead only to disappointment. That is the moment when the practitioner most needs an alternative.
In my experience, most activities that I have struggled with, have "barriers" and "misdirections" introduced in their structure. Either vital information is left out, or the instruction consists of a kind of "jargon" which is not actually an instruction at all. That is a situation in which I find it advisable to do some deep searching in books, the Internet, and instructional videos. It is the very point at which one feels compelled to "give up" that it is most needed to "search further".

Human experience is full of directives, commands, and old sayings which may be useful, or maybe not. Additionally, a person should be wise enough to recognize that not everyone in the world is out there to help. Some people are just "spouting off". Finding people who actually care may be a rare thing.






Posted: 2021-12-18 16:02
cb:
The problem with just-keep-going is that some people stall permanently and then give up.
======================
Logically, that just does not make sense, with respect my friend.
There is no such thing as "just-keep-going" and also "stop permanently". If you as a person "keep going" that is the opposite of stopping in any context. That is the benefit of keeping going.
As G7UUT indicates, one way that this produces improvement, is that if what has been done in the past is not productive, trying something new will probably yield something productive.
One of the difficulties that many people face, (myself included) is how to make sense of the experience where we reach the point of "quitting".
That is the very moment when we face a deep trial. What could be more unfortunate than making a commitment, and then end up in a complete despair, in which all the counsels and all the methods lead only to disappointment. That is the moment when the practitioner most needs an alternative.
In my experience, most activities that I have struggled with, have "barriers" and "misdirections" introduced in their structure. Either vital information is left out, or the instruction consists of a kind of "jargon" which is not actually an instruction at all. That is a situation in which I find it advisable to do some deep searching in books, the Internet, and instructional videos. It is the very point at which one feels compelled to "give up" that it is most needed to "search further".

Human experience is full of directives, commands, and old sayings which may be useful, or maybe not. Additionally, a person should be wise enough to recognize that not everyone in the world is out there to help. Some people are just "spouting off". Finding people who actually care may be a rare thing.






Posted: 2021-12-18 20:20
I realise that I may have missed a simpler way to answer this question:

The way to push through the plateau is to keep pushing.

All the time that you think your a 'plateau-ing' (getting consistently poor scores/staying where you are) you are actually learning, but it has yet to show in your overall performance.

Therefore, counter-intuitively, at the point you feel most like giving up, this is exactly the point at which you must not give up.

Also, your performance will vary from day to day (and possibly week to week), so it is unwise to judge your performance over a short period of time - so 2 days of 'doing bad' could just be a normal variation (i.e. keep going and it will go away).


Posted: 2021-12-18 20:56
G7UUT:

SNIP

The way to push through the plateau is to keep pushing.

SNIP

Well lets hope so.




G7UUT:


Also, your performance will vary from day to day (and possibly week to week), so it is unwise to judge your performance over a short period of time - so 2 days of 'doing bad' could just be a normal variation (i.e. keep going and it will go away).



Well you will find out in another few days - in the meantime . . . before the OP gets fed up . . .


Getting stuck a bit is normal.

It might take you longer than you were expecting to learm morse.

If you go to early with the 90%s it might only be in short term memory i.e not sunk in

Too slow a progress wastes time ( only )

Too quick to move on means it didn't quite sink in. It might sink in later if you keep going with the same, but if you are in short term memory only it might not.



I reckon the change in progress from wizz along to lesson 10 then stall lessons 11 - 14 or so puts a lot of people off for good - due to frustration at low progress or some such.

I'm sure there are other issues too.


Anyway, stalling, plateauing, hitting a wall etc are not so abnormal
which
was the OP's original Q.


Neither is giving up in frustration abnormal - maybe 90% give up . . .


YMMV etc

Let us know how you get on . . .

enjoy

cb









Posted: 2021-12-18 21:50
Doing some better. I am at the point where I can mentally and physically bang out code all day with complete sentences. I have also recorded myself on the computer and then I come back at a later date and listen and I can head copy pretty much everything that I sent. That has helped with my timing.

Using code group practice has helped a good bit with my head copy. Word training has helped also. I'm not about to give up as this has been a fun accomplishment for me.

Again, thanks all for the advice!


Posted: 2021-12-19 16:02
Glad to hear it's going better, keep at it!


Posted: 2021-12-20 11:58
KI5OMM / Bud, your commitment is admirable. Anyone of us can experience fatigue. Someday, I hope to copy as fast as you have been doing.

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