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Thread: After lesson 40

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Posted: 2022-01-26 08:10

I have been training for 2 months and are finally able to decode lesson 40 at 20/12. It's probably a good idea to continue practicing to be able to get a consistent good score on lesson 40, but what should I do after that?

Is the next step to gradually decrease the spacing to 20/20 before moving on?

Posted: 2022-01-26 16:14
Is the next step to gradually decrease the spacing to 20/20 before moving on?

Yes, assuming that reading morse at 20wpm is your goal.

Other people had success at a 'meet in middle' approach where they aim for (say) 18/18 and adjust both figures.

Either way you are ending up at correctly spaced morse.

Given that you have started at 20wpm I suggest you just keep upping the /12 by 1 wpm every time you get a 'good' 90% correct copy (by this I mean consistently - so you feel happy with it).

If you haven't had a go at the 'word training' yet then I suggest that you start that at a fixed speed of 20 wpm as an extra practice - you can start with short words and then make them longer (I found this helped me).

Posted: 2022-01-26 17:59

What is your overriding goal?

do you want to use cw on air?
do you have an amateur radio license?
can you send Morse code?
do you have an operational amateur radio station?

My suggestion (if yes): create a minimal QSO template, learn CW-Operating Procedures, practice it and go on air.

with 12wpm you can run QSOs.
There are special frequencies for QRS.


Posted: 2022-01-27 14:48
Thanks for your advice!

I have an amateur radio licence and the goal is to use it on the air. I'm quite new to amateur radio and currently I have a Xiegu G90 with a straight key. I figured that it would be a good idea to learn with a straight key first.

I will probably try both advice. I'll practice sending at slow speed and continue to practice decoding to increase my decoding speed.

Another question: would you recommend a morse-decoder to practice sending before going on the air? As a beginner it would be nice to know that I'm sending something that can be understood :)


Posted: 2022-01-27 21:14
Hi Anders,

for send training you can use fldigi. You connect the phone output of your G90 to the "audio line in" of your computer.
The G90 has a build in keyer, but for straight key you only switch off BKIN and the G90 is in training mode. fldig will decode your sending.

I also have a G90 for mobile use. The 20W are sufficient to make a lot of contacts. You should use a shielded audio cable for the connection between key and G90. The keyer circuit can be destroyed by RF if your antenna is close to the receiver or you have sheath currents.

If you have a look at IARU Region 1 HF Band Plan
there are QRS frequencies.

80m 3555 kHz - CW QRS Centre of Activity
20m 14055 kHz - QRS Centre of Activity
15m 21055 kHz - QRS Centre of Activity

You can use the RNB (Reverse Beacon Network)


to look if your signal is received.

set "Members of" so that you can see all OMs on air.
"Include self-spots"

to see the path of your signal on a map.

You send:
cq cq cq de SA6MEA SA6MEA SA6MEA
cq cq cq de SA6MEA SA6MEA SA6MEA k

and you will be skimmed.

If someone answers, send his call, his RST, your name, and QTH
(see the minimal QSO template)

Your decoding speed is ok!
If you do not understand something ask

you got as call e.g. "DD5"

Send back "DD5 ? K"

I will respond with D D 5 R K____D D 5 R K____D D 5 R K K
I shall do it as long until you get the call right.

same with the name, if you did not get the name

send "pse name agn"

Just give it a try. I can remember my first QSO.
That's not so long ago ;-)

What kind of antenna do you have?

Have FUN!


Posted: 2022-01-27 22:56

I helped a friend learn morse code. In the beginning he used a decoder and thought this would help him in QSOs. Not good, it defocused him.

He only really started to get fluent on air after he scrapped the decoder. We did a lot of skeds, it just took a bit of time.

Yes, good to get on air and yes, good to train with PC. But don't worry about your speed and don't take too serious what you read in forums and books. 12 wpm is a good speed for straight key, and straight key is a lot of fun. And CW is all about fun, not speed.

When I started CW on air ( in the 70s ..) my first few QSOs were stressfull but exciting, I still remember them. And still every QSO thrills me.

Perfect to do some skeds with Rüdiger.



Posted: 2022-01-28 00:16
Hi Gerd,

Anders only wants to use the decoder for training with the key not for decoding cw on air.

fldigi can only decode perfect code without QRM, QRN
and that is rare on air. I think it was made to send code with a keyboad. So best switch it off for receiving.

If one has no experienced elmer which can judge your code a decoder is a good possibility to check the quality of your sending.
Other solution is "fistcheck", a windows program, but I can not use it because I don't have windows.

Other solution
is "audacity", a program to record sound, in this case Morse Code It has a feature to measure the time between signals. This can be the time between DITs and DAHs, their duration ets. You see the signal in the time domain. And you can listen to your own recording and try to decode it after some days. Anyone who thinks he has a perfect fist should do so and listen to their own sending....


Posted: 2022-01-28 01:12
... And you can listen to your own recording and try to decode it after some days. Anyone who thinks he has a perfect fist should do so and listen to their own sending....

This is a good thing to do. Best leave it long enough that you can't quite remember what you sent!

Also, if you don't think you are quite ready for a QSO yet, spend a bit of time listening around the bands - this will sharpen up your listening skills and will get you used to what happens in a real QSO etc.

Posted: 2022-01-28 10:21

Don't forget that trick from the olden days -

Listen ( decode actually, preferably in your head ) to lots ( and lots ) of morse.

These days you can download "practice files" of a ( any ) speed you can manage to your phone ( or make some yourself )

( and plug in your earphones, else the rest of the train carriage will complain ( apart from one person, who will start learning him/herself )

or have them playing from the PC instead of watching TV.

You could go through all the lessons again at various different - but I think it's easier to just listen . . .( and listen )

Personally I would also get on the air ASAP however bad you are - are you in a Ham club ?

YMMV etc


Posted: 2022-01-28 11:08
Hi all, and thanks a lot for all advice!

I will try all of the advice and look forward to practice in different ways instead of just repeating the lessons here.

It is probably a good idea to wait a bit with the first QSO, but I will llisten to some real QSO:s on the air. Thanks Ruediger for the frequencys!

The advice on fldigi is also good. That way I can get some help with the timing at no cost :)

Im not shure that my family would appreciate morse instead of music on the HIFI but some files in the phone is a really good idea. I found lots of them online!

I'll keep practicing and maybe we'll meet on the air in the future.


Posted: 2022-01-28 21:20
Hi all,
I also reached level 40 few years ago at 24/12 (keyboard instead of writing). Then I practiced a lot of word and text. Finally I found websdr, could't copy a thing - just random words now and then. I decided to start all over again from scratch at 20/20 using paper and pen. The thing is, now I can type at a speed of light without looking at keyboard, but when it comes to hand copying my pen just can't catch up. Any advice on fast writing ninja technique?:)

Posted: 2022-01-31 19:01

I am struggling at 25/24 to get in the contests... lesson 18 so far ;-)


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