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Discussion forum for user group: Old Hams but new to CW

Thread: Post if you fit this category

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Posted: 2010-04-18 15:59
Well I am now an Extra but have never used cw except when I took my novice test back in the mid 80s. We all hated the requirement back then but now want to learn cw.

Posted: 2010-04-18 21:31
Just trying this website.

Well I'm in ur cat. but how is it possible that u are an extra (20 wpm?) and learning now cw in lesson 6, that is 7 characters Isn't it?

CW is just like swimming and bike riding or skating, you have to learn it, but it never fades away.

Posted: 2010-04-18 23:45
I am 58 and a General class operator.
Glad to join this group!!

Posted: 2010-04-19 00:50
As an oldbee just a newbee here. Just tried a few exercises, and I agree with OM Test 2 postings higher. Pretty proud on the results, thats for sure.

Posted: 2010-04-20 07:33
Michael, I'm the same way. I was grandfathered into General with my 5 wpm code. Then got my Extra. Here I am not using code for over 20 years. I hate missing all that juicy DX down on CW. But we'll cheer each other on. Marsha

Posted: 2010-04-20 13:53
I always thought an extra license class requirement was 20 wpm morse is that not right?

5 wpm is ridiculous. You can't make a qso without torturing your contacted ham opr.

Posted: 2010-04-22 11:29
All CW requirements have been removed from US licensing. At one time, before the removal of the CW requirements entirely, there was a requirement in place for 20 wpm for Extra and 5 wpm for "tech plus".

Posted: 2010-04-22 21:12
KC8TBY tks info.

You don't need to miss the juicy CW dx.
You only have to recognise your own call, thats it. Play it for an hour and you recognise the sound of your own call.

Look at a dx cluster on internet to learn where the pile ups for rare dx are. Just tune that frequency, program in the keys of your computer your own call under key1 and 599 tu under key2.

Everytime after a qso is finished, you recognise that as a howling sound, you transmit your callsign by pushing the key1.
When he is coming back with your callsign you transmit the msg under the second key 599 tu. Thats all. Write your QSL on the call as advertised in the dx cluster.

A bunch of phone guys I know earned their DXCC CW in that manner, with their forgotten 5 wpm .

You are involved in this web site since 26 aug 2008, nearly 2 years thoug, How are you proceeding?

Posted: 2010-04-23 22:07
Good to see you here Michael. Hope we can work soon
KC8ZTJ & FH1051 !

Posted: 2010-04-24 20:04

It is so nice performing your QSO's in CW. The reason is that you never meet the guys that are very good in planning their future but never perform any act they plan, that is based on persistent exercising and some willfullnes - also named character - to finish. So you never meet that kind of guys in CW. That is a blessing of great value. Especially since the requirement of CW in licensing requirements is omitted.

Posted: 2010-04-25 14:36
OK...here's a question for the group...something that I need some help with:
How do you guys stay motivated?
As much as I want to learn CW at times I find it a real struggle to sit down here at the computer and to work on the lessons.
Any tricks you other fellows (and gals) might use would be well worth sharing!
Somehow I don't think that I'm the only one who (sometimes) struggles with this "problem".

Posted: 2010-04-25 17:45
Do you want to argue any answer, in order to get an excuse not to do anything?

What should you answer when I put your question here?

The answer is just: do it 5 minutes or 10 minutes a day, not for hours. Are you realy so willingless that you cannot do that?

Of course : plan it but proceed when you are demotivated, because then you are further on your way when the motivation comes back.

Make a schedule, a piece of paper with numbers 1 thru 31 for the days of the month and cross them each day off when you have done this little exercise. NEVER cease, and when for some circumstance you have to omit a day, you have to catch up as soon as possible. Try a fixed time each day.

Tell us in this group that you did it, or that you fail from day to day; I will watch you. It will be a shame on your country when its inhabitants cannot perform such little tasks they plan ahead.

Posted: 2010-04-29 14:10
And Tom, KC8TBY, did you start learning code? Four days passed now, just doing nothing and spending your time on this website with abusing Test?

OK, when you are so, perhaps I can help you, I give you a helping hand you have just to take it.

Purchase a notebook and a roller pen, just only to be used for learning morse.
Switch to lesson 1. Put your CW settings at 15 wpm speed, effective speed 5 wpm. No VVV leader, Put the time on 1 minute exercise and the codegroup length to 5 characters fixed. K is -.- and M is -- . Listen to the different sound.
Start the exercise and write with a roller pen what you hear k or m in groups of 5. When ready copy the notes to the window on the screen.

Oh, you did already? Fine today you have 2 exercises on your record 99% ok WITH 10 WPM in lessor 1. Very good. YOU HAVE THE EAR.

Thats the moment you can switch to lesson 2 right now.

Notice that your previous exercises nearly 2 years ago as member KC8TBY still are in your mind. You quit at that time after 5 exercises in lesson 1 with
78 % correct. So you right now can perhaps understand that I am , after 40 years, still over 30 wpm. Amazing for myself, but its the way it is.
Just like swimming, jiggling balls, and skating, it always is in your backpack, so its a good investment for the future.

After the minute has passed, type the contents of your paper over in the window on the screen, just in groups of 5, and check the results.

When finished take yourself a cold beer and write in this thread what the results are according to the check phase of the program.

Tom, I am watching you, I take all the insults you will try to put on me, if that helps you to master your own behaviour and proceeding with your plans.

Posted: 2010-05-02 13:42
Exercising daily Plain text training;

American proverb: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Is there an american proverb, telling that when you are hit in a traffic accident, it is without exception always by a vehicle carrying stinking shit?

KC8TBY: JUST STOP PUTTING TIME, OR SIMULATING THAT YOU DO THAT, IN CW, ANY TIME YOU SPENT IS WASTED. you can twitter, make nonsense pictures with your phone, make HELL QSO's and make an official picture of your straight key and paddles just to proof... To proof what? To proof that real hams use CW and that you like to be one but are missing the character to be one, So don't waste your time, you just can't, you may yourself fill in the reason.

Posted: 2010-05-16 18:48
Tom: 10 minutes a day everyday. Works and works well. Let me know if you would like to schedule a contact on 80M. We should be able to connect pretty easy I would think.

Posted: 2010-06-18 17:06
Even 1 minute is already too much for that guy.
Lucky we don't meet that kind of guys in CW, as we do already in traffic and daily life.

Posted: 2010-07-12 07:58
hi guys my name is al ke6yqn and i live in the state of california ive had my no code extra for a while and i have recently been trying to learn the code. ive been practicing at least 15 min each night but its slow going.any suggestions that can help my old 63 year old brain learn faster- thank u in advance KE6YQN

Posted: 2010-08-17 15:22
So mosca,

We are right now one month further in time and you did ONE exercise in the meantime. ONE sure you are going slow. You need 2400 exercises to reach a level that the other guys give you the benefit of the doubt and spent time as goodwill on qso-ing you.

Keep going 2400 exercises required is in ur case 2400 months, so when you reach the age of 263 years, happy birthday to you and you can make your first CW qso at 10 wpm.

Posted: 2010-10-11 15:08
User name KD6HTN is my old call sign - new one is K6HTN, since I got my Extra in May. I'm 60 & been practicing w/LCWO for - what? - 18 months. I am now able to handle traffic nets pretty well, but still have to write everything down.

Posted: 2010-10-21 17:04
This is an interesting site, lots of users. I am 54 and I have been a ham for about 11 years. I hope this site will help me increase my speed, I would love to be able to copy over 20 wpm.

Posted: 2010-10-22 00:18
Been a Ham for 30 years and had many attempts at CW
but this site is great and I feel I am getting somewhere.I am very interested in qrp operating and maybe from my caravan (trailer)which is on the east coast of the UK.I am thinking about Christmas time to take part in a QSO but I am in no rush.

Posted: 2010-11-01 18:47
User name KD6HTN is my old call sign - new one is K6HTN, since I got my Extra in May. I'm 60 & been practicing w/LCWO for - what? - 18 months. I am now able to handle traffic nets pretty well, but still have to write everything down.

Very good Kate. When you exercise WORDS in your language, put the speed on constant and limit the number of letters per word to 4 or so, try to copy the words without using pencil and paper, just in your head. After some ecercising increase the numer of letters with te same speed.

gd luck an cu on the air

Posted: 2011-01-08 04:19
I have not used the code in 32 years but now that I am retired I want too. Pass the extra written twice back when code was required but did not meet the code requirement and lost interest. May I can do both of them now.

Posted: 2012-05-07 22:43
Like Charlie, I haven't used code in 34 years but am now going to do it!! I can copy in my head, a letter at a time and some groups.I write the copy and at this point in my life I will only hope to copy in my head. Brain slower at 69 but it is a lot of fun. Don't want to use the PC programs, just not the same.This program is great for me. Still have my old straight key and plan to use it!
73's N4AWP

Posted: 2012-07-16 00:09
I'm retired now, and recently took the time to work my way through all the exams to get my Extra ticket. Looking forward to operating CW.

Currently at lesson 33 using 23/12. This "starting all over" each time I add another character is amusing now rather than discouraging.

I'm 61 and curious to see just how far I can go with this.

Posted: 2012-10-16 07:10
Hello, I used LCWO to get going on the air. I have made many contacts but my speed has hit a plateau. I would like to get up to 20 wpm. Like KD6HTN, I am still writing things down. Hard habit to break. Any thoughts?

Posted: 2013-04-13 19:56
Hello all,

I am Bob, WA2I. That means I am an Extra, and once-upon-a-time sat to take my 13-wpm general code test. I was told to try the 20 - so that then the 13 would sound slower. Well, somehow, I passed (I had learned by copying code daily on the bus commuting to work back in the 1980's).

Today, I don't know the alphabet, never had a QSO on CW, but I want to do QRP CW. So here I am. It is taking a while, but I am on lesson 17. Some lessons seem easy, others impossible. Then, the next day, 90% on the first try.

I am a bit impatient but slow and steady wins the race. I am using 19/3 (I think). It makes the letters a complete sound, but not so face that I freeze up.

Good luck to all!

Posted: 2013-06-20 18:46
Hello, I passed my Tech exam a couple of weeks ago and decided the next thing to do would be start in on CW. I'm pushing 60 but grew up in a house full of hams: brother got his ticket when I was 4 yo and dad and mom followed. Before I started here on LCWO I knew my name, CQ, and the word "cat" in code, because my bro worked on me a bit when I was a toddler. He wanted me to be the youngest ham ever. Then some kid younger than I was at the time got his Novice and bro wasn't interested in pushing me.

My name and "cat" were pretty standard for a little kid, and I learned CQ because I heard it constantly for the next 14 years. Plus, it started with the same letter as "cat", and ended with one of the two letters for which I have mnemonics: L (to "l" with it) and Q. The rhythm for Q matches "here comes the bride" from Lohengrin's "Wedding March". The mnemonic is equating bride with Queen.

My bro and dad (mom was strictly phone) never stopped writing down code - but what I saw them do in a QSO would be to log the essentials and then scribble on a notepad when a word wasn't familiar. At my age, I'm not after any speed records but listening to 5 wpm drives me crazy because it's not what I'm used to hearing. The challenge now is to understand what I'm hearing - but at least I have early and constant exposure as a background.

Posted: 2013-12-05 20:11
IF you are used to faster code, then slow code can be a challenge from my experience.

Posted: 2014-02-28 02:57
Hello fellow grey hairs!

I'm 58. New Tech and General in the fall of 2013. Not excited by repeaters. Not that into HF nets, either. HF voice is fun (meeting new people, going for distance, etc), but I think the brass ring for me will be CW.

So, I do 5-15 minutes a day on LCWO, and I don't push too hard. I don't want to burn out. I'm only doing the random character lessons (one minute) at about 20/5. I'm on lesson 18 now.

Once I get to 40, I will slowly push my effective WPM higher and put my toe in the water on the air.

Posted: 2014-03-18 00:47
does anyone write down the dits and dahs or is that a bad habit to start. Also slow it way down or just keep trying at say 5 WPM.

Seems like a good program.

I use ham morse app on iPhone but it introduces KOCH characters in a different order. Not helpful.

Posted: 2014-06-07 06:47
Hey there. I might just be the oldest foggie on this forum. 75 here, with an "Advanced" ticket (remember those?). After a lengthy period of inactivity other than 2 meters, I've decided to challenge myself to reach at least 15wpm. Currently at lesson 9 at 18/7. Tried right out for 20 but couldn't even get past lesson 3! Anyway, it's going well and I look forward to getting my old Bencher out once more.

Posted: 2014-06-11 03:14
Hi FullAuto - Len, sounds like we are clones. I have been working 20/5 wpm and I am up to lesson 39 now. I was doing 20/10 and got stuck around lesson 26 and gave up for over a year. I figure this time around I will slowly work the speed up to 20/15 after I get all the chars down.
73 Jim

Posted: 2014-11-13 22:05
I got my Advanced ticket in 1990. The code was required then so I learned how to copy at 13 wpm to pass the General exam.

I was on the air till about 2001 but got sidetracked working and helping to raise two daughters.

I stopped working last year (at 65). I have been on this site since mid-August practicing almost every day. I have been working to get my speed up to 20 wpm (at 20/13).

I am now on lesson 35 (letter C) and I feel as if success is in my grasp. Like many of you I thought the code was a nuisance but now I see its advantages -- I want to operate QRP and be able to talk to hams that speak English as a second language.

Well, back to my lessons,

Hugh, KA3TTW

Posted: 2016-01-20 23:39
"CW is just like swimming and bike riding or skating, you have to learn it, but it never fades away."

Was cw profficient in late 70s, early 80s, ARRL Qualifying Runs stickers and all. Out for 30+ years w/ little hamming and NO cw. Back to hobby in 2014, working w/ local club cw group and I still make mistakes at 10wpm, either on-air or listening to W1AW files. I know the code but I do a mind-melt when what comes is different from what I 'know' is coming. I suffer from Look-Ahead. Eg. expect 'figs', get 'figure', mind-melt for 3-10 chars till I do a mind reset.

Can't switch off this feature in my brain. So I'm stuck at 10. V.frustrating...

Posted: 2016-06-25 00:31
""CW is just like swimming and bike riding or skating, you have to learn it, but it never fades away."
Disagree! ""
......disagree with disagree

Lerned cw 1977 at german navy, "worked" on it just 1 year. started today, 38 years later, after a bit listening first plaintext words test and got to 26wpm.

Seems still in mind!..or heart?

Take care all and have fun while training!

Posted: 2016-10-05 10:45
Hi, OP Hr Colin, 61 yrs old, been teaching myself CW on and off for years with little success but finally managed to get somewhere with CWOPS this year, I have had a few CW QSO's but I am still having to unlearn a lot of bad habits, 73 Colin DD5CF / G1ZOS.

Posted: 2017-10-25 23:47
Back when I rec'd my general ticket 5wpm cw was required. I passed but unfortunately, never kept up with cw and am relearning it now. I'm finding that it is taking MUCH longer than it did the first time. I started out with an android app and have been working on here too. I'm on lesson 19 here and have worked up to 7wpm so far. I have a straight key on order and will likely try to incorporate some of the mp3 files from here into learning to create the letters as well as recognize them. The plan is to try to mimic the letters that I'm hearing to get the timing right. I wish there was a way to feed the sound from the key into this site for transmitting drills also.

Posted: 2017-11-02 13:04
Just got my general class license. As a kid, I was stopped by getting frustrated with CW and so never got a licence. Till now! Having the license, now I want to learn CW and fill that gap.

Have done some runs of lessons 1 and a little of lesson 2 here at 20/7. At 20 character speed, I can hear what folks mean by a rhythm to a character (all three of them :) that I have never heard at slower speeds. Using Ham Whisperer to get a taste of all the characters. Using LCWO to gain proficiency.

Wish me luck!


Posted: 2018-09-08 07:35
Hi. Looking forward to getting better at code. Thanks for the forum! Jason KE7VOO

Posted: 2019-03-03 22:04
Started teaching myself the code back in 2013 when I found this website to supplement the other offline programs I was using. Having been away from cw for sometime I am now back here again to refresh my memory and copy skills, 73 Jona KK4HMQ

Posted: 2019-03-26 13:22
Recently turned 60 years (old?). Licensed for 1.5 years and looking forward to an active retirement. I've loved the idea of getting a license since my teens, but the code requirement kept me back. Now I have a license without the code requirement and the time and motivation to learn CW.

LCWO.net is a great site because I can pick up practice from anywhere I have a web browser. I've been working on learning code for almost a year. After I learned the alphabet, I quit practicing my copy. I recalled the letters at random times when sitting in parking lots or in traffic. It took a while to get things in order when I started studying again, but it seems to have sunk in a little more. A little practice sending with my oscillator made using an Arduino and some PC speakers helps too.

Now a General class operator. Hope to become better at CW before I study for Extra in 2020 after the question pool rolls over.

73 Jim N4FAF

Posted: 2019-08-29 23:06
Yes, I am somewhat new to CW. Haven't used it since I was originally licensed back in 1972. Figured it's about time for me to learn it and learn it well.

73, Joe AE5EI

Posted: 2019-09-07 23:32
Greetings and Hallucinations.
I have carried a General ticket for thirty years and maybe have made a dozen CW contacts back at novice. Iíve also had everything on the shelf and have been inactive for a very long time. When hurricane Irma went through, it got me thinking I should get the station set up. Michael just went through and that spurred my procrastinating self into finally getting some CW practice - which is when I found yíall. Iím in final preparations of selling this QTH and moving permanently to a sailboat. Maritime Mobile CW. How cool is this going to be?
Iíve started the practice sessions at thirty-five wpm with open spacing. Iím guessing, as that seems to be the average speed I hear on many of the juicy nets. Iím guilty of the old counting method of copying CW. Essentially Iím learning this all over again. Here we go! Iím not going to let life get in the way again.

73 de N1EYO
Dave - Merritt Island FL

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