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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: am i learning right?

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AuthorText


Posted: 2022-05-18 20:20
Hello,

I have heard that it is not good to write the Morse code you hear on the keyboard. The reason is that you do not learn the meaning of the character, but rather learn to press the right key on the keyboard.
I therefore learn without writing anything down. I listen to the sounds and then silently say the letter to myself.
Now that I've been doing this for a few days, I'm wondering if this is the right way to do it? Is it good to say the letter silently or is it better to visualize the written letter?

73, DB3MAR



Posted: 2022-05-19 00:08
write down with a pen(cil) on paper, and one out of ten exercises copy your paper to the keybord in order to get your score.

From lesson 9 upwards you also can try to copy short words with the learned letters, without writing but listening, repeating, till you have the word and type it out on your keyboard.


Posted: 2022-05-19 01:16
DB3MAR:
Hello,

I have heard that it is not good to write the Morse code you hear on the keyboard. The reason is that you do not learn the meaning of the character, but rather learn to press the right key on the keyboard.


This can become a problem - unless you can touch type just by thinking of the letter . . .

Unless you are planning a career as a morse telegraphist you probably won't want to type it all out anyway . . .

DB3MAR:

I therefore learn without writing anything down. I listen to the sounds and then silently say the letter to myself.
Now that I've been doing this for a few days, I'm wondering if this is the right way to do it? Is it good to say the letter silently or is it better to visualize the written letter?

73, DB3MAR



Probably you want to learn to read morse in your head - but you need to check what you are decoding, so unless you can remember it (a bit challenging with random text) you may want to write it down.

You can always run it twice to mark your work instead of typing in . . .


What speed are you learning at ? How fast are you going through the lessons ?


The next potential pit-fall - if you go too fast through the first 10 or so lessons

i.e you are getting 90% after a few practices and then moving on

you may then hit a stop because it was all in short term memory and hasn't sunk in quite so well . .


This can be a bit discouraging if it happens.


You are ( probably ) hoping to set up an automatic link between

hear code -> character pops into your head automatically without any effort on your part

so you may want to avoid progressing too fast,even if you are hitting 90% in a few tries

On the other hand - you might breeze through in a few weeks and have learned it all at 25/25 and be heading for 40/40 - but I see you signed up in 2017 so maybe you tried a bit before . . .

So, as ever YMMV . .

Good luck with it.

Let us know how you get on . .

cb


Posted: 2022-05-19 09:59
This is a very interesting thread. I'm really new to this so no expert but have a couple of observations of my own experience.
I work in IT so above average touch typist. What I found in the early lessons was that I was hovering over the letters in the lesson but when more characters were being added, it was more about the touch typing than the character association. In the last week or so I have also been running a Koch trainer just listening to the characters and found this very useful. I been thinking about the whole typing versus writing and I think I may be better off writing the characters down as suggested by Nonagenerian and score every few attempts to get the score. I'll also continue to run the Koch trainer when driving etc.
My thought anyway, very interested to read others experience. 73's


Posted: 2022-05-19 11:34
daags:
This is a very interesting thread. I'm really new to this so no expert but have a couple of observations of my own experience.
I work in IT so above average touch typist. What I found in the early lessons was that I was hovering over the letters in the lesson but when more characters were being added, it was more about the touch typing than the character association. In the last week or so I have also been running a Koch trainer just listening to the characters and found this very useful. I been thinking about the whole typing versus writing and I think I may be better off writing the characters down as suggested by Nonagenerian and score every few attempts to get the score. I'll also continue to run the Koch trainer when driving etc.
My thought anyway, very interested to read others experience. 73's


If you search back through the forum you will fine innumerable references to typing . . . so it is an issue for some people

BUT

Whilst learning the characters - you need to check your results somehow to make sure you don't learn a character incorrectly - else it will stick with you that way until you un-learn it - not always a quick process if you are getting auto-magical in your decoding . . .

Generally it is not a good idea to keep testing your speed. Speed ( as a need ) comes a poor second to accuracy ( note - especially it did in commercial or emergency morse ).

On the other hand - you might have high aptitude and be capable of 25/25 in a few weeks - in which case learning at 15/2 or some such would not be good advice.


We cannot actually offer much advice because we don't know anything about anyone else on the forum - only point out pitfalls and gently break the bad news that for most people learning morse takes effort and time.

So we are a kind of talking FAQ ( or more probably FGA, because waiting for the Q mostly means we are too late and the hopeful trainee has given up after getting to lesson 10 quickly and then stalling or some such )

cb


Posted: 2022-05-19 12:43
DB3MAR:
Hello,

I have heard that it is not good to write the Morse code you hear on the keyboard. The reason is that you do not learn the meaning of the character, but rather learn to press the right key on the keyboard.



There's no evidence that typing is worse than writing down. Muscle memory is actually good, unless you want to remain at 5 wpm forever. Imagine writing down 15 minutes of text and typing it back to the web page! Nonsense. If anything, all the old school text books advised to type on the mill (= the old fashioned type writer). The moment you reach high copying speeds and start visualising words instead of characters, you won't ask yourself these questions anymore.

https://www.qsl.net/w9aml/documents/TheArtandSkillofRadioTelegraphy.pdf

William G. Pierpont NØHFF not only recommends learning on a "mill" but also encourages sending on a keyboard, despite what some self-appointed purists would say.


Posted: 2022-05-19 13:28
Professsional tegraphers in the previous centuryhad anyway to type messages out, because the texts were coded groups or uncoded weather forcasts, or news broadcastings.

With carbonpaper copies made automatically for archiving, the captain, the decoding room, or whatever.

As a ham, if only can copy with a typewriter or keyboard at hand, you are handicapped.

Writing down text is essential in cases op emergency and so on. A ham is handicapped when he has to type out the receiving, and when the sender stops, he has time to read the message before he can answer.

So the right way is what I wrote in the second message of this thread.

The serious danger of typing out code groups, as the lessons are, is that you develop this practice: typing correct code, but during typing just thinking about other things and even having small talk with a companion.

You train part of the brain (cerebellum) that is for everything you do automatc, like walking, skating, and so on, especially in this case touch typing, which is often called "muscle memory"

What a radio amateur or a prepper needs is understanding the code by listening, forming the words in your head just like you are reading a light newspaper, where you see passing the characters but only 2 or 3 .

And exercising short words from lesson 9 upwards, to exercice this kind of reading that you need in order to understand a message during reception.


Posted: 2022-05-19 14:38
Pierpont says quite a few things and quotes a number of experts and trainers - some with conflicting opinions


He is mostly interested in training professional telegraphists.

He does not recommend beginners use typewriters - in fact he mostly recommends just listening at first.

He mentions a 4 year old who couldn't write ( or type ) as an example . .


He calls writing/typing copying - needed for passing messages . . .



IMNSHO you still need to check what you just decoded to make sure you aren't learning something wrong though . . .


Some examples. I recommend everyone reads it for themself.



Chapter 1

Concentrate On One Aspect at A Time.
For example, don't try to learn to block print or typewrite while you are learning to copy.


LISTENING and COPYING.
If you are studying alone, start out by just listening without writing down anything. (See section
2 above.)
Listen to the signal and say the name of the letter or number out loud immediately after
you hear it.
After you get familiar with all the letters and numbers so you feel somewhat comfortable recognizing them,
then practice writing down each letter or number immediately after hearing and recognizing it
(that's called "copying").
See Chapters 7and 8.
Teachers differ on the best way to start out. Your teacher or course may start out having you
write down each character as you hear it. Either way is to help you associate the sound with the
letter or number. Sooner or later you will want to be able to do both.
In any event, as skill increases we are going to have to learn to copy. At first it will be letter by
letter. But that will prove to be too slow as our skills increase. - In order to advance we need to
learn to copy behind: that is, to be writing down what has been heard while listening to what is
being sent.
This only needs to be a syllable or two or a word or two behind, even at high speeds -
this takes the pressure off. For many people it seems to develop almost automatically as they
practice and use the code, but most of us need help.
There are several exercises, which can help us.
Some hams started out copying everything, and have become so tied to their pencils that they
just can't seem to understand anything without writing it down first. That is an awkward way to
converse! "Throw Away Your Pencil" is good advice. It forces us to learn to receive by just
listening.
(I knew a ham who for over 60 years couldn't receive without a pencil. When he
became almost blind, he had to learn - and he did, very quickly!) We need to learn both ways - to
copy and to listen. So what if we miss a few words here or there? - We can still get the gist of it.
Remember - even the best operators sometimes miss a word or two.


Chapter 7

Listening or "Reading"
"Copying in Your Head" Just listening to good code sending is perhaps the very
best way, both to learn the code and to advance in skill.
It is surely the simplest and easiest -- no distractions -- you can give your whole attention to just
listening to and trying to understand -- no struggling to write at at the same time. Isn't that the
way we all learned our language? Watch how little children learn.
Listen!
Many experienced teachers consider that just listening to good code without writing anything
down is the very best form of code practice at all stages. It serves a number of purposes.
First, it keeps our attention to the fact that code is sound, and we are learning to recognize the
sound patterns of each character and of some words. Second, and very important, it helps to
reduce any tension associated with getting every letter written down (no distractions) But there is
more -- it helps us get very familiar with using the code.

. . .

"Throw Away Your Pencil!"
Many an old-timer has always copied down everything he receives: he has never learned to sit
back and relax and just enjoy conversing. He needs to throw away his pencil and learn to enjoy
listening for listening's sake. Many a newer-comer likewise feels tied to his pencil and paper out
of fear he may miss something if he doesn't get it all written down, every letter of it. This creates
a tension, a strain that impedes the normal functioning of the telegraphic "habit" of mind.
"Throw away your pencil and enjoy just listening" is good advice.


Chapter 8

Copying - Getting it Written Down
This is really an extension of Chapter 7 To the principles given there add these: If
you are going the easy way, copying is the next step after "listening" -- advancing
in code skill by adding the new action of writing it down.
What we hear as letters and words are now to be written with pencil and paper or with
typewriter.


Chapter 12
How Long Will It Take To Learn?
Examples Of Effective Code Learning - Your Approach Is Vital
Here is a rather leisurely, easygoing approach that worked:
Thirty Hours, One-half Hour a Day For Sixty Days To a Solid Foundation In Morse Code.
That is what Marshall Ensor's famous course given over 160 meter amateur radio-phone offered
for over ten years to any and all in the 1930's period. How did he teach?






Posted: 2022-05-20 15:06
DB3MAR Hi and welcome.
I prefer to never attempt the combination of typing and code copy.
I do copy writing by hand. One benefit is that if there is a message several sentences long or the equivalent, the copy can be double checked so that if a character was missed, the message can generally be figured out with a little study and thought.
Also, historically, CW has usually handwritten. Typing is the exception to the rule.
As for what you heard, "hearsay" is not credible as a source of knowledge. As for what people tell you, just about anything said or written will be contradicted eventually by someone, somewhere.


Posted: 2022-05-21 11:08
BrucerDucer1:
DB3MAR As for what people tell you, just about anything said or written will be contradicted eventually by someone, somewhere.


That's not correct, Bruce. :)

Update May 25 - a couple of members here contacted me about my comment above. Please know that this was an attempt at humor (note the :) at the end) that I did not submit very well. When will I learn that I am not a comedian and should refrain from such attempts? Oh well - no offense was intended - please pardon my comment, and return to the challenge of us all learning CW. Kevin


Posted: 2022-05-23 14:20
Thanks for the comment Kevin:
In any domain, whether it be philosophical, technical, legal, scientific, theological, mathematical historical, or even a fine art, the self-evident contradictions are familiar to persons who can think.
Moreover, the foundational distinction in any knowledge domain is that between what is true and what is false.
You can deny it as much as you please Kevin, but that does not change what is manifest in communication.
Moreover, any person with a knowledge of Law (at least in the United States) understands that the basis of any court proceeding is "adversarial".
Other fundamental distinctions in the English language are recognized in the system of Synonyms and Antonyms.
It is not uncommon in social media for people to offer urban mythologies at the populist level, such that 2 + 2 is equated to 5, or claims that there are more then 2 genders, or claims that a person cannot prove a negative and other nonsense, such as your claim about "That's not correct, Bruce. :)"
As the prover goes Kevin;
DENIAL AIN'T A RIVER IN EGYPT.
(Neither is rhetoric (such as you offer here, probative my friend.)


Posted: 2022-05-23 14:34
It was an attempt at humor Bruce. Mine often bomb so I should stop trying. No offence intended.

Kevin


Posted: 2022-05-23 15:14
Kevin...please. Do not think that I took offense. I did not detect your humor, but I appreciate that upon second examination, what you wrote was outrageously funny. I was thinking about your message for a while, and did my best to be "civil" about it. [Civil ---where one fellow wishes he could sign warrant for the other fellows arrest, and cast him into the dungeon.] d:-)
Anyway, it is fun to have some disagreement, because otherwise, people might think we are a dull group. (That was funny though, really....telling me "That is not correct..." We need more of your humor Kevin, because there is nothing I need so much as to work at being the North End of a North Bound Horse, instead of the other way around. The more I think about your message now, the more I chuckle at myself. I have been "played" like you wuz beating a drum, and now must look up the Morse Code for being rather slow on the uptake. (Sigh! Why is everybody always one step ahead of me, and why are parts of me missing?)

Okay, so a guy dies and goes up to the pearly gates to see if he can get in. St. Peter tells him that first there is a tour for the soul. In the first room of the afterlife, everybody is singing hymms and playing harps. The guy thinks; "Boring, I think!" The guy goes to the next room, and people are being poked and burned with torches. "Oh no!" he says. He goes to the third room, and people are standing around, drinking Starbucks Coffee and laughing because the devil is there telling jokes. They are however, standing knee deep in poop. The guy says; "Well, this looks much better. I could do my time in eternity laughing at the devil's jokes and drinking Starbuck's! For sure for sure!"
So the devil welcomes the new guy into the room, and hands him a cup of Starbucks. As soon as the devil tells the next joke and everyone laughs their heads off, the devil says; "Okay everyone, coffee break is over. GET BACK TO STANDING ON YOUR HEADS!"


Posted: 2022-05-24 11:11
Dear all,

I really can't believe you can "see" the word in mind ... I think it's something that happens after years of practicing Morse code.
It surely doesn't happen to me so far...
I admire those who practice Morse fast and fluently, and can easily ragchew on air... I have no goals to chat on air via cw, but I admire them for the method achieved...
I believe that I will never be able to reach that level.

And I don't understand, once I have read your comments, if I have taken the correct learning path. This thing wears me out ...

I write on the PC keyboard (!!!), but I don't feel handicapped: I simply have a kinda speed requirements, dictated by the on-air activity I have taken: contesting and dxpeditions. I would like to be a reliable and prepared CW OM, who you would gladly take on dxpedition or in a contest team!

Since for the license they taught me Morse code so slow (this because they transmitted it so sloooow to the exam) I was forced to count lines and points.
This thing stuck with me damnably!!!

I had somehow gone a little further in past years, using RufzXP and MorseRunner to practice and getting some results.

After several years forcibly away from the radio, I found myself back to square one counting ... and I started all over here on LCWO. But for my current aims, writing on paper at 25/25 is impossible to me...

Now I am afraid, reading you, of having made the wrong choice again...

73, IV3YNB


Posted: 2022-05-24 20:27
Don't think so.

Back in the late fourteeth and early fifteeth of previous century, there were only a handfull licensed amateurs in my country, it was hard to learn the required Morse code, because available transmissions were of coastal stations in plain language at 20 wpm. There were also channel occupying transmissions with a repeating automatic transmission, something like "vvv de pch23 qru? qrv at 10234 kHz k" something like that. I was as a boy living close to such a transmitter so it was easily noticed and made me curious. That was the way I learned the code.

When you want what you want it is is exactly what you have to exercise,

callsigns?

words?

CW abbreviations and Q-codes?

When you want to copy words by glueing the characters together in your mind, start with two letter words or combinations of two characters regular spaced.

Expand it to three and so on. Words on this website is an excellent opportunity for exercising, usable from lesson 9 upwards.

A forum like this, has good advice and a lot of noise. So for you the task to filter and select the best answer. May be helpful as a criterium to watch high scores, in order to distinguish between the answers of beginners and experienced writers, that did the job and know where they are talking about.

I, high aged, started a touch typing course at
https://sense-lang.org/typing/tutor/EN_lessons.php?lesson=16

and I assure you that is very easy to reach 40 wpm compared with reaching CW 40 wpm.

However my advice keeps to be:

1, WRITE down the characters
2, After some time listen to 2 characters regular (3 dits) spaced
3. then 3 characters regular spaced,

In short: use the words chapter of this website as soon as possible.


Posted: 2022-05-26 13:13
iv3ynb:
Dear all,

I really can't believe you can "see" the word in mind ... I think it's something that happens after years of practicing Morse code.



After you have done lots of decoding, you may well find you perceive meaning directly and don't consciously hear morse . . .

iv3ynb:


SNIP

I write on the PC keyboard (!!!), but I don't feel handicapped: I simply have a kinda speed requirements, dictated by the on-air activity I have taken: contesting and dxpeditions. I would like to be a reliable and prepared CW OM, who you would gladly take on dxpedition or in a contest team!


If you can touch type already and you can decode the morse in your head then type out what you decoded, you ( probably ) won't have a problem with getting keyboard-bound.

But - it won't be much use in normal QSOs.

iv3ynb:


SNIP

After several years forcibly away from the radio, I found myself back to square one counting ... and I started all over here on LCWO.
But for my current aims, writing on paper at 25/25 is impossible to me...



You don't have to go through the lessons at 25/25. Accuracy first, speed next . .

How fast can you write? - you don't tell us.



Leave larger gaps between code groups to catch up with your writing, if it helps . . .

To check if you are keyboard-bound, you can run the lessons at a slower speed and write it out and see if you can still decode, or if you do need the keyboard.

iv3ynb:


Now I am afraid, reading you, of having made the wrong choice again...

73, IV3YNB



Listen to lots of good morse.

Get through the lessons, then listen to lots more morse . . .

Speed issues come second.

Decode in your head then write/type out for checking.


etc

Forget visualizing etc - you are going for meaning - like when reading ( eventually ).

You learn by repeat decoding - until it becomes an involuntary action - like when you drive.


Tips and dodges don't help much - it's effort, repeating and time spent.

There are a very few traps for the unwary.

Keyboard CAN be one.
Unrealistic expectations of how much time and effort this will take can be another.

YMMV

cb










Posted: 2022-05-26 15:25
Good advice of cb,

I will add, start as soon as possible in the course (from lesson 9 upwards) with word exercises. Repeat short words till you copy them.


Posted: 2022-05-26 16:51
You can't do word exercises at lesson 9. There's a bug in the software. You need at least lesson 25 to activate word training.


Posted: 2022-05-26 17:19
oc:
You can't do word exercises at lesson 9. There's a bug in the software. You need at least lesson 25 to activate word training.


Language dependent? High priority job for Fabian, if true.



Posted: 2022-05-26 20:58
test:
Language dependent? High priority job for Fabian, if true.



hmm?
Probably not true.
It works when I set Characters from lesson: to 9.


Posted: 2022-05-26 22:37
test:
Good advice of cb,

I will add, start as soon as possible in the course (from lesson 9 upwards) with word exercises. Repeat short words till you copy them.


Though I don't recommend this site's Word training.
Because it's too game like ... people compete for high scores.

Mr. Pierpont says (Chapter 1)

Whenever we think of anything as "hard," it creates a stumbling block, and that tends to discourage us. - Most people find that competition during the initial stages hinders learning.


Posted: 2022-05-26 23:14

I don't think the "Language / Collection:"

fr - Français (Pays et états)

is quite behaving . .

. . . but issues could be browser dependent . . .

hr "Google Chrome Version 102.0.5005.61 (Official Build) (64-bit)"

cb


Posted: 2022-05-27 00:12
How does it behave in Chrome?

fr - Français (Pays et états) at lesson 9 works fine for me in iPad and SeaMonkey.


Posted: 2022-05-27 03:50
I think I found the bug. Not browser dependent.

diff --git a/inc/functions.php b/inc/functions.php
index 68822f2..7f5fb35 100644
--- a/inc/functions.php
+++ b/inc/functions.php
@@ -1192,7 +1192,7 @@ function gettextsbylanguage1 ($type, $lang, $maxlen, $count, $simplify, $lesson)

/* enough words available? push random duplicates into array*/
while (count($words) < $count) {
- array_push($words, $words[rand(0, (count($words)))-1]);
+ array_push($words, $words[rand(0, count($words)-1)]);
}

shuffle($words);



or
+ array_push($words, $words[rand(0, $count-1)]);
is much better.



Posted: 2022-05-27 12:40

When I try it, I get sent "undefined" which isn't "fr", nor 4 letter, nor restricted to "K M U R E S N A P T" - so I expect I am being morsed the raw error message from some function . . .

cb


Posted: 2022-05-27 13:32
test:
hmm?
Probably not true.
It works when I set Characters from lesson: to 9.


If you want to see the odd behavior, select for example
Characters from lesson: 9
Language / Collection: fr - Français (Pays et états)
Maximum length (letters): 5

It's neither language dependent nor browser dependent.


Administrator


Posted: 2022-05-27 17:26
Lucifuge:
I think I found the bug. Not browser dependent.


Thanks, I fixed that one. Of course, by selecting a too short maximum length, you could still end up without valid words (so it plays "undefined"). For this I also added a fix, so the user receives a warning now.

73
Fabian


Posted: 2022-05-30 10:04
Thanks to everyone !!!

I proceed with lessons but I started words training too... I am getting fun doing it, so it's alright.
I did WPX contest this weekend and I felt good at S&P and also RUNNING... I think that LCWO is a good learning tool, I am getting good results.

I'll keep on studying.

73, IV3YNB

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