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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: Start training with K and M

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AuthorText


Posted: 2022-09-12 17:31
I have seen the sequence of letters and numbers on the Morse Machine. Just wondering why this sequence is used for training. Thanks.


Posted: 2022-09-12 20:33

https://lcwo.net/forum/423

https://lcwo.net/forum/2200


Posted: 2022-09-13 17:39
You know, I do not know the reason and did not look to the links.
However, since I use what is a "Gueriila" approach to learning, which means that I use all ways to learn and draw from multiple learning strategies for anything that I research, I have never been limited to a single source like "Morse Machine".
So to the point, I know that I can learn almost anything in any se sequence that I choose. Therefore, when I began learning CW, I chose my own characters to learn with.

What this also means in my "Guerilla" learning strategy, is that about any combination of about 85% of all the characters can be used for a starting point. In fact, as a result, a person could learn by starting with Number 1, or Number Nine, or P or Y, or or L, or F or whatever is chosen. Dits and Dahs are just Dits and Dahs, and that never changes.
Similarly, word sounds like CW sounds, are just sounds, and sounds are acquired by all human beings in no order than that defined by the parameters of the specific language.

People can learn the "De-Di Mao" expression in Vietnamese, just as easily as they can learn the "Wa-wa" sound that a 2 year old can learn for the sound of WATER.
As a result, all combinations or sequences can be relevant.
Logically, it follows that it is not actually necessary to learn only the simplest combinations, and it logically follows that even the extended length of other characters are not necessary as required first subjects for study. Learning can be, in some subject areas, and ANYTHING and and EVERTHING for starting.

Notwithstanding, time proven results do suggest for most people, simple first, or MOST COMMON LETTERS first, and so forth.
--------------------
By the way, the "Guerilla Learning" strategy was introduced by a now famous school teacher in New York named JOHN TAYLOR GATTO, and was mentioned in his book "Dumbing Us Down".

This was my first introduction to the "Guerilla" strategy for learning. Once I adopted this learning strategy, rather than following what was offered in a single place, my horizons expanded greatly.

So I do encourage people to give some consideration to the subject, and the reason is that many people get turned away from learning CW because so much advice on the Internet and other influences strongly push high speed requirements just to begin.


Posted: 2022-09-13 18:57
In the past in the USA you had novice licenses, only CW, a few watt rf. limited to sub ham bands, X-tal exited, and requirement 5 wpm CW.

The obvious result was counting dits and dahs and worse: a speed barrier. Never reaching above 10 wpm.

So the method used on this website was developed and gave better results.

A method could be the same learning sequence as used in touch typing, because nowadays you type the characters received, and may learn touch typing at the same time.

Most used characters first is in my opinion not so good idea, because (except o) te are the shortest code set, so you are going to panic fast.

Wat is your result Bruce, using your method since 2018 or so?


Posted: 2022-09-15 11:16
p1r4t3 - Wouter
Hey Wouter, thanks for the inquiry.

Since about 2018, I have progressed from not being able to copy anything faster than about two words per minute
So as of this date, I am copying in my practices 22/5
I have continued hope for further progress as time permits study.


Posted: 2022-09-15 17:54
Thank you, very helpful. Are you sure you are not responding a "sockpuppet"?


Posted: 2022-09-15 20:55
I've always wondered. The most common characters used on air by everybody is "CQ DE", followed by any Q* code, such as QTH, QSL, etc.

I think a modern morse tutor should start with CQDES and then all mumbers from 0 to 9 and then all letters, ending with prosigns.


Posted: 2022-09-16 00:13
Yes oc, the Gerke international Morse code is based on character counts of plain English text afaik. Remember French was the international language of CCIR and CCITT in 20-th century, but Gerke worked on the revised code design earlier around 1850.

For ham radio it could be preferable to take another sequence because Q codes are frequently used. However recognising call signs is important, and I suppose for that reason the chosen learning sequence is arbitrary.

It is important to go on air as fast as possible when learning cw, so best advice could be to start cw-abbreviations in the word chapter of this website, which can be done starting with lesson 9, because words are presented consisting of the first learned 10 characters.


Posted: 2022-09-16 01:09
nonagenarian:
Yes oc, the Gerke international Morse code is based on character counts of plain english text afaik. Remember French was the international language of CCIR and CCITT in those times.


US morse was based on English letter frequencies. Gerke used the German alphabet and letter frequencies.

It was changed a bit for International, I and J were differentiated, O and P came from somewhere and the umlauts etc got taken out.

O is still wrong for English, based on its length/frequency-of-occurance.


nonagenarian:

For ham radio it could be preferable to take another sequence because Q codes are frequently used. However recognising call signs is important, and I suppose for that reason the chosen learning sequence is arbitrary.


I think there are way more abbrevs than Q-codes in use.

Also Q-codes all start with Q which is not so common, but then have other letters QRL? QTH QSO QRP QSY being maybe the most common,
so if you practice them you are learning lots of Qs.


I also ( personally anyway ) think the shorter chars are the more difficult for learning head copy,
eg. because you can have three to separate and decode/assemble/comprehend in the same time space as say a single number digit or some punctuation eg. " = ? / "

I hear people complaining about punctuation - but I think that's because they didn't bother - even the three you need.

Double letters are a rest period . . .


I think a few sessions SWL will have almost anyone knowing "CQ de" "UR RST 5NN 599" "73" ad probably "FB" "TNX fer call" "OP name" etc in their sleep,
even if they haven't yet covered them in the exercises
- unless you listen to a 'test in which case you will practice call signs and serial numbers.


nonagenarian:

It is important to go on air as fast as possible when learning cw, so best advice could be to start cw-abbreviations in the word chapter of this website, which can be done starting with lesson 9, because words are presented consisting of the first learned 10 characters.


YUP - SWL tho not TX




YMMMV

cb


Posted: 2022-09-16 04:06
cb

You often state that for those that quit, its at about lesson 12/13 (I think). I wonder if for those users they have been a little too aggressive about picking their effective speed.

I theorize this because a user may be doing ok (but not 90% +) so they bump the rate too quickly - but then by lesson 13 they have "ETI" characters, the shortest sounds. If during their random code groups they seem to get many of these, especially in close sequence their copy quality may suffer and lead to frustration and quitting.

So long story short, these 3 characters if learned very early can be used to choose an effective rate (or char rate for non-Farnsworth users) where progress is not falsely outpacing decoding ability.

Again a THEORY, no need to flame me if anyone doesn't agree. There are at least a dozen popular learning orders, and each one has some merit per its supporters. (Easy first, most common first, least common first, etc etc)

YOMD (your opinion my differ)

73 wa2nfn

Sorry for many typos - eye issues. Fixed them I think.


Posted: 2022-09-16 14:13

It's difficult to say exactly - but some people report stalling with all progress stopped, after appearing to wizz along at first . .

This is likely to do with using short term memory rather than building an unconscious automatic link - sound->char pops into your head as if from no-where.


The problem is that everyone is the same but different - so with some it will sink in but others will stick with short term memory responses and run out.

I suppose this is one of the characteristics of "aptitude".

We see some people getting to 25/25 in a few weeks from scratch and others taking a year of effort.


I still see it as the "time spent decoding" which counts,
and I think it's better to listen to meaningful morse away from testing your speed all the time - SWL if you are a HAM.

I also think hearing response must be a factor - but no-one seems to agree.

Also the length of each exercise vs the number you do - due to fatigue etc is probably a personal optimum.

Anyway I don't think there is a secret shortcut - even


I think we can only point out probable gotchas - like getting keyboard bound
or going to fast through the exercises because you read that it only takes a week or two to get to 13 wpm so you expect that rate of progress

Everyone will have their own precise opinion based upon their own experiences.
These will be relevant to similar other people.

cb


Posted: 2022-09-16 15:29
I started 5 years ago and I'm still at 20/17 and even that is not enough because what I hear on air is all gibberish to me.

In the olden and golden days (my late father's ones) your local radio club would organize nets for morse beginners. That was the time you had to pass the dreaded 5 wpm test, but now no club (at least no local to mine) would bother doing things like that.

The ideal would be do to some eazy peazy QRS M-CW sessions on vhf/uhf but this is not welcome apparently.


Posted: 2022-09-16 16:38
oc:
"I've always wondered. The most common characters used on air by everybody is "CQ DE", followed by any Q* code, such as QTH, QSL, etc.

I think a modern morse tutor should start with CQDES and then all mumbers from 0 to 9 and then all letters, ending with prosigns.


[quote=oc]I've always wondered. The most common characters used on air by everybody is "CQ DE", followed by any Q* code, such as QTH, QSL, etc.

I think a modern morse tutor should start with CQDES and then all numbers from 0 to 9 and then all letters, ending with prosigns."
...and OC, I agree with this also as an excellent learning strategy. That is a needed and practical approach to consider.


Posted: 2022-09-16 17:53
oc:
I started 5 years ago and I'm still at 20/17 and even that is not enough because what I hear on air is all gibberish to me.


If you are hearing gibberish, try listening out through it all for occurrences of just one morse char and let the rest go by.

That amounts to quite a bit of processing . . . timings dit dah space discrimination etc

Once you are picking one up change to another.

You may be able to do two at a time then . .

This is just a variant on "don't stop to think if you miss something"


It also might help to make sure you are on an audio frequency on which you can easily make out the morse chars. A small change may make a difference . .

oc:

In the olden and golden days (my late father's ones) your local radio club would organize nets for morse beginners. That was the time you had to pass the dreaded 5 wpm test, but now no club (at least no local to mine) would bother doing things like that.

The ideal would be do to some eazy peazy QRS M-CW sessions on vhf/uhf but this is not welcome apparently.


In the really old days, people used to learn just from listening on the air.


To do this you have to wait for a word gap, then try and remember a short snatch of the code which follows and then look it up - which you can probably do in your head now, if a bit slower than the xmit rate.


Very well done on the staying power, I reckon. You certainly deserve success as far as commitment is concerned.

as ever YMMV etc

cb


Posted: 2022-09-16 23:28
cb:

Very well done on the staying power, I reckon. You certainly deserve success as far as commitment is concerned.


cb

That was not a choice but a necessity. Nothing else in the ham world motivates apart from CW.

SSB is chaotic, rude and boring. FM, in my neck of the woods, is pretty much dead.

Digital modes, they come and go in quick fashion: one year it's all about FT-8, next year is JS8. I don't know what is in fashion this year. Packet radio died long ago, so there's not much left.


Posted: 2022-09-17 00:16
oc:
That was not a choice but a necessity.


So you say - but you could have choosen to give up any time over your five years - in fact you have made a choice to persevere very often.



Posted: 2022-09-17 00:17
oc, of course communicating is boring.

In the past it was amazing, you could contact other hams all over the world, in the time only a small percentage of people had a telephone, and you had to make an appointment with the telecom provider to make an intercontinental phone call , which was planned for the next day or so.

Remember ham radio is a scientific hobby, In the past you could build your own receiver and transmitter, experimenting to stabilize a VFO as much as possible, or locking an oscillator to a spectrum component generated by a xtal.

RTTY was a challenge, with making filters with pot cores, converters, automatic starting a teletype when your call was received.

Nowadays, with miniaturisation and complex chips it is hard to build hardware, but switching to raspberry pi, makes a new field of possibilities possible with programming.

So look how a mode works and try to program it.
Indeed installing of programs developed elsewhere and just using them will be boring.

The only challenge seems to be attending contests.
Amateur Radio is dumbed down to extreme low level in a timespan of one century.


Posted: 2022-09-17 00:31


I think antennas will always provide a bit of a challenge.

You can programme a PIC to generate your RF and have a nice QRP CW rig - though I get sick of searching for components and prefer kits.

The challenge is avoiding 'tests on HF.

Still need morse though . . .



Posted: 2022-09-17 00:48
cb, digikey still active, most small component sellers vanished. In general antenna's are prohibited in urban area's



Posted: 2022-09-17 01:06
nonagenarian:
cb, digikey still active, most small component sellers vanished. In general antenna's are prohibited in urban area's



Digikey ? We used to have Maplin until we didn't.

Small component sellers. . . I remember them well ( eg Tib Street in Manchester )

Me . . . and please may I have 1 x 40673
Small component seller . . . sorry we don't have one in stock - but try this, it's the same - except you have to keep this shorting wire round the legs until you have the board ( vero in my case ) all soldered up - because it just doesn't have the gate protection diodes - else its the same

3Nsomething IIRC




Never mind chaps - here's a Vgood youtube on REAL ham radios ( glow in the dark etc - you too if you don't cut the HT )
and
valve VFO stabilisation - keep then running

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-cv7RvKNFw&t=10s

You see - that's what's missing - valves and 300VDC


Burt has a few old radios . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GddwlOaGeCQ




Urbane areas ? You need a mag loop for TX and a pretend clothes line for RX


Posted: 2022-09-17 11:09
Burt still going strong? I remember he got a hate campaign over his head.

I made an air trip to London Edgware Road, visiting a famous dump shop, and bought there nixie tubes, a novelty at that times.

RSGB had interesting articles of Pat Hawker, huff Puff, developed by a dutch ham.

The UA club-hams did obviously not use rectifiers and the transmitters were obviously some 813 like tube, as vfo, that's it.

oc: there are regular nets, ssn net in google groups is active.



Posted: 2022-09-17 12:05
nonagenarian:
Burt still going strong? I remember he got a hate campaign over his head.


Quite a few by the sound of it - he has been very critical of all sorts of HAM stuff.

His latest post shows he is going strong ( about ARRL cliqueismus ) - but he was a teacher, so he will be inclusive by habit I guess . .

nonagenarian:

I made an air trip to London Edgware Road, visiting a famous dump shop, and bought there nixie tubes, a novelty at that times.


Long gone all that . . .

nonagenarian:

RSGB had interesting articles of Pat Hawker, huff Puff, developed by a dutch ham.


It's all still there . .

http://www.hanssummers.com/images/stories/library/ttoct73.pdf
http://www.aholme.co.uk/Stab/Stab.htm

All in a PIC now.

nonagenarian:

The UA club-hams did obviously not use rectifiers and the transmitters were obviously some 813 like tube, as vfo, that's it.

oc: there are regular nets, ssn net in google groups is active.



Well I guess they were all battery circuits really HMMMMMMMMMM


cb


Posted: 2022-09-17 13:03
wa2nfn:
cb

You often sate that for those that quit, its at about lesson 12/13 (I think). I wonder if for those user they have been a little to aggressive about picking their effective speed.

I theorize this because a user may be doing ok (but not 90% +) so they bump the rate to quickly - but then by lesson 13 they have "ETI" the shortest sounds. If during their random code groups they seem to get many of these, especially in close sequence their copy quality may suffer and lead to frustration and quitting.

So long story short, These if learn very early can be used to choose an effective rate (or char rate for non-Farnsworth users) where progress is not falsely outpacing decoding ability.

Again a THEORY, no need to frame me if anyone doesn't agree. There are at least a dozen popular learning orders, and each one has some merit per its supporters. (Easy first, most common first, least common first, etc etc)

YOMD (your opinion my differ)

73 wa2nfn


wa2nfn:
cb

You often sate that for those that quit, its at about lesson 12/13 (I think). I wonder if for those user they have been a little to aggressive about picking their effective speed.

I theorize this because a user may be doing ok (but not 90% +) so they bump the rate to quickly - but then by lesson 13 they have "ETI" the shortest sounds. If during their random code groups they seem to get many of these, especially in close sequence their copy quality may suffer and lead to frustration and quitting.

So long story short, These if learn very early can be used to choose an effective rate (or char rate for non-Farnsworth users) where progress is not falsely outpacing decoding ability.

Again a THEORY, no need to frame me if anyone doesn't agree. There are at least a dozen popular learning orders, and each one has some merit per its supporters. (Easy first, most common first, least common first, etc etc)

YOMD (your opinion my differ)

73 wa2nfn


wa2nfn:
cb

You often sate that for those that quit, its at about lesson 12/13 (I think). I wonder if for those user they have been a little to aggressive about picking their effective speed.

I theorize this because a user may be doing ok (but not 90% +) so they bump the rate to quickly - but then by lesson 13 they have "ETI" the shortest sounds. If during their random code groups they seem to get many of these, especially in close sequence their copy quality may suffer and lead to frustration and quitting.

So long story short, These if learn very early can be used to choose an effective rate (or char rate for non-Farnsworth users) where progress is not falsely outpacing decoding ability.

Again a THEORY, no need to frame me if anyone doesn't agree. There are at least a dozen popular learning orders, and each one has some merit per its supporters. (Easy first, most common first, least common first, etc etc)

YOMD (your opinion my differ)

73 wa2nfn


wa2nfn:
cb

You often sate that for those that quit, its at about lesson 12/13 (I think). I wonder if for those user they have been a little to aggressive about picking their effective speed.

I theorize this because a user may be doing ok (but not 90% +) so they bump the rate to quickly - but then by lesson 13 they have "ETI" the shortest sounds. If during their random code groups they seem to get many of these, especially in close sequence their copy quality may suffer and lead to frustration and quitting.

So long story short, These if learn very early can be used to choose an effective rate (or char rate for non-Farnsworth users) where progress is not falsely outpacing decoding ability.

Again a THEORY, no need to frame me if anyone doesn't agree. There are at least a dozen popular learning orders, and each one has some merit per its supporters. (Easy first, most common first, least common first, etc etc)

YOMD (your opinion my differ)

73 wa2nfn


That is quite the thorough analysis Bill, and it "covered all the bases".


Posted: 2022-09-17 15:21
Brucer Ducer,
Thanks very helpful, but you look like a preacher repeating the same message 4 times, Some people look cross-eyed, that make them happy when their salary is paid out. But 4 times?



cb:
Well I guess they were all battery circuits really HMMMMMMMMMM


cb


Chris, yes I remember. we were just buying the goodies in Edgware Road, advertised in Wireless World I suppose, and arriving back at customs after landing, they picked out my friend. I had never seen him more white faced. But customs were not interested in that rubbish, hi.

In WW2 battery transmitter with B443 tube, powered from an accumulator, 50 cells (tea cups) with 2 rooflead cut strips in H2SO4, piece by piece powered by a bicycle dynamo. xyl work, I have done it all, and still survived as an exemption.

oc we can make a regular sked on rf, contact me on personal mail (to prevent anti Burt hate actions, I am an extremely experienced hate-action victim) give me your QRA locator in order to select band and time


Posted: 2022-09-18 17:43
What I have noticed is that the earlier lessons have a lot of "conflicting" characters like the K and R which are each others opposites, so are the A and N. Getting used to the shorter 1, 2 and 3 beeps (dits or dahs respectively) characters makes sense as it are shorter patterns to build your reflex on.
And yes lesson 3 already makes it tricky with the K and U differing one dot for a dah, lesson four complicates with the R as opposite to the K and within the next couple of lessons the N and A will not help. However if you are past that, provided keeping continuous WPM, I believe there is a pattern to the madness of the 1930s German Koch, assuming Fabian used his original character order.

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