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Thread: Stuck on 2nd lesson - am I too old for this?

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Posted: 2023-11-15 12:36
Hello everyone,

The answer is probably "no", since I'm in my only 40 years old, but I'm really stuck on 2nd lesson. My setup is 20/11 wpm + 3 seconds extra word spacing and I'm unable do end the second lesson, my brain just halts somewhere in the middle of it.

I'm not writing down letter by letter, because I've heard that it may cause problems during real QSOs, so I've decided to write down whole 5-letter group on a paper at once, and after the lesson finishes, re-type everything into the computer. I'm pretty much skilled at touch-typing, but I think that in this particular case pen&paper would be more suitable for me. I'm also avoiding looking at graphical representation of Morse Code letters, so it was a huge surprise for me to discover that "k" is -.- and not -.. (because that was what I was thinking I was hearing... BTW, is that sentence correct in English?). I just looked up "u" and I just realised it's ..- instead of ... Hmmm, strange.

The biggest problem I'm facing is in translation of sound into the "name" of a letter (or to be precise - its sound). I can distinguish between MC soud of K and M, but it's too hard for me to quickly move from "dah-dah" into "m". When the sequence is simple, like "mkkkk" it's easy for me, but when the letters alternate ("mkmkk") I get lost and I start to replay the sequence in my head in order to translate it again, but more sounds come and I feel overhelmed like during playing Tetris on 10th level - with the same effect: "Game Over" comes very quickly. I need to stop the lesson and start over.

Did anyone have the same issue? How did you overcome it? It's hard with 3 letters, and there are few more letters in the alphabet.


Posted: 2023-11-15 16:36


Yes! No;, not just yet anyway ( too old ).

You've been going 10 days ? Not quite worry time just yet . . .


The first exercises can be a bit of a jolt if your ears aren't ready
and
you can overload yourself if you do more than a short burst.

Try lots of 10 second sessions, with a 30 second break between each.


Try listening out just for one of the three characters at a time and repeating what it is back to yourself when it arrives ( - no writing down, no testing , no moving of just because you got 90% once . . . )

Then switch to another . . .


Make sure the audio frequency is one which suits your ears.

If you can't hear the dits and dahs easily, then you can't decode.


Keep at it and don't expect it to be easy or quick.

Don't try too hard or stress it - it's a process of repetition until it sinks in.

Hear morse -> think of character. . . repeat repeat repeat


Keep at it and don't give up.

Let us know how you are getting on . .

cb


Posted: 2023-11-21 14:02
Thanks a lot for your feedback, Chris. I haven't done much progress, but now I see that I really need to set some things up even before I start learning CW.

It will be a long road ahead. I need to focus on things that I can do right now, such as making learning sessions a regular habit. Probably I'll switch from PC to a phone app, so I could escape from any noises and distractions I have at home.

I wish there was somewhere a training mode in which every section is repeated twice. If there isn't any, I'll write it myself, it's not that hard to ask the machine to beep from time to time :)

73!


Posted: 2023-11-21 19:35
Of course, you're not too old.
I don't think trying to remember entire 5-character groups before typing is a good idea in the beginning. As you correctly noticed, this will totally overwhelm your brain.
However, when you immediately type each character in a keyboard, there is a risk of building reflexes just "from the ear to the finger" but not into the brain, where you'll need the characters later for headcopy. To avoid this, I try to repeat every character in my head as I type it. Also I use the MorseMachine frequently and then repeat every character loud and sometimes also repeat the sound pattern.

For additional resources and advice, you can look up AD0WE on qrz.com. That guy has some absolutely amazing stuff on his website, including all sorts of training MP3s/YouTube-Videos that you can use to train while driving or riding a train.


Posted: 2023-11-22 16:28
I thought that I was too old when I started this. I’m 59. I’m on lesson 12 now. It just takes a lot of time and repetition. Eventually your brain will adapt and it becomes a little easier. But there will be lessons that may take 3 weeks of daily practice to get past. Don’t get discouraged. It depends on how much you want to learn this language. I’m sure that younger people can learn this stuff much faster than me but I’m not as impatient as they might be. I figure that maybe a year from now I will be at lesson 40






Posted: 2023-11-23 00:01
I am on lesson 21 after 13 months, and have not slowed it down from 20 characters per minute, but I have struggled a lot. In fact I was on some lessons for what seemed an eternity but pushed through. I am 57 and just stick in there, focus and listen, use morse machine along with the character drills. It will take some time but you will start to recognize the sounds of letters, they will become clear in your mind. The spacing and the ending of a letter or set of letters will become more clear. I find that it has taken me many lessons to really to be able to understand the rythmic sounds of each letter, and when adding a new character things get jumbled up again, but I push through and another character becomes understood by my brain. Do not get discouraged, but you will have to be dedicated to put in the time daily, listen when you have free time in your car, walking calling out letters you recognize by head copy, and whatever you do, do not slow things down to make them easier. Your brain needs to be trained to the sound of a letter, never counting dits and dahs. I wish you luck, and I hope I will have a better handle on this soon myself. Little wins keep me coming back, along with the real desire to learn CW.


Posted: 2023-12-12 10:57
Im 82 had pancreatic cancer and chemo. Stuck on 18wpm read in head but drop odd letter. Punctuation my failing. work skeds weekly for 30 mins


Posted: 2023-12-14 08:05
Defiantly NOT too old. I've been tracking my progress and the early lessons were my worst for accuracy. I found I just had to get my ear in by spending time getting through those. New letter now are a lot easier to pick up. I've been touch typing each letter into the page and found this worked best for me. Don't give up, nothing great was ever achieved with ease.


Posted: 2023-12-14 13:24
Never to old. I started at 59 years old. Now Iam 61 with 176 contacts useing a straight key , bug or sometimes a electronic keyer. Keep practicing the hard work is well worth the end result.


Posted: 2023-12-19 00:35
I hope you're not too old because I'm 57. I struggled to get past Lesson 7, so I slowed it down to 15wpm with about 5 second gap and it really helped. Actually I was used to 20wpm and struggled with 15 until I started again. It sounded completely different. My pass rates were borderline 90 so I went back to Lesson 1 and started again and it's improved a bit.

I write down each letter then type it in. Remembering a five second pattern seems a step too far - it gets blurred enough as it is halfway through and I really have to focus to avoid 'brain freeze'


Posted: 2023-12-19 16:14
I'm 69, licensed since I was 25, tried several times.
to learn the telegraph, but I never got around to it.
Now I'm on my 5th lesson, I'm having a hard time with letters made of dots,
and just like Jakub says, my head gets full, and then there are skips. I have not found something how to make more time between groups? Good luck, everyone.


Posted: 2024-01-15 14:32
I'm 45 years old. I just try to learn telegraphy regularly, I don't know when I will make my first QSO, I don't think about it. Now I'm saving money for an HF transceiver, maybe before I save money I'll learn telegraphy :P
SQ5JGA


Posted: 2024-01-23 12:07
What I have found that helps is to write it down on a piece of paper and then type it in afterwards. Trying to type while listening just adds another step to clog my brain, but decades of writing has built some good muscle memory, all I have to do is think of a letter and let my hand do the work while listening to the next letter. I go through a lot of paper though


Posted: 2024-01-28 00:26
Hooverka:
What I have found that helps is to write it down on a piece of paper and then type it in afterwards. Trying to type while listening just adds another step to clog my brain, but decades of writing has built some good muscle memory, all I have to do is think of a letter and let my hand do the work while listening to the next letter. I go through a lot of paper though


This is what I do. I use a reporters notebook so I can see my progress


Posted: 2024-01-28 12:42
Hooverka:
What I have found that helps is to write it down on a piece of paper and then type it in afterwards. Trying to type while listening just adds another step to clog my brain, but decades of writing has built some good muscle memory, all I have to do is think of a letter and let my hand do the work while listening to the next letter. I go through a lot of paper though


This can also stop you forming a link between morse and key press - instead of morse -> meaning.

If you are a military operator decoding encrypted messages, then morse -> keypress is good.

If you are not then you probably want morse - > meaning, but writing down for entry is a extra step which slows you down.
However it does not slow you down as much as starting again if you find you can decode OK - but need a keyboard all the time.

If you choose for morse -> meaning then after you have been decoding for a period you may well find that you only hear the meaning because you are decoding automatically in your brain . . .

This could be described as advanced head copy - see the other thread asking about it . . .

CB



Posted: 2024-01-29 19:32
Hi SP9VIK - Jakub and all,
I'm new and learning too. I've been using an app or on your laptop :

morse-learn,acecentre.net

and find that seeing the letters and hearing the code helpful.
I've looked at the 'lesson's' here and some of the ideas don't sit well with me, nor how they say how I 'should learn', but it's just 'their idea'.

But some of the individual training sessions here like the Code Groups seem really good as you can fine tune it to do what YOU want (letters numbers characters etc) and at YOUR speed.

So on left hand side go to 'Code Groups' and if you hit 'Change' then you can practice what YOU want and at your speed.

I'll move onto that, when I think I've learned ALL the letters thoroughly in my head FIRST. To me that seems important. It was many years ago when I first learned them and have sadly forgotten most now ... until very recently, having started to get back into it. :D
To me I DO think in images, even if it's dots and dashing on a letter, or some other creative imageset my brain has conjured up!

I'm not keen on how some people use words to sound the letters - that just doesn't suit me, but perhaps I'll change my mind, as I get more into it?

Nor do I like how most people try to visualise some 'objects' - I do it my way in my style.
And the learning or training is the same .. .you just need a way that suits your learning style. And no one can tell you what that is, all anyone can do is suggest and can try different methods. But when you find one that suits you it'll start to make sense.

I wonder if trying that old phrase which uses all the alphabet letters would help... tackling one word at a time?
"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"?

I too fully expect to work on paper, as I believe writing things out really helps it stick in my head then!
Hope you find the perfect learnign system!


Posted: 2024-01-29 23:08
I decided to copy on to paper as I reasoned that I would always have some paper to hand but i wouldn't always have my pc.


Posted: 2024-01-29 23:08
I decided to copy on to paper as I reasoned that I would always have some paper to hand but i wouldn't always have my pc.


Posted: 2024-01-29 23:08
I decided to copy on to paper as I reasoned that I would always have some paper to hand but i wouldn't always have my pc.


Posted: 2024-01-30 11:42
I'm 73.

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