Posted: 2010-05-24 07:37
I started from zero and finally finished my 40 lessons. It took me over a year. I had 3 continuous streaks of about 5 times a week, and two or three off periods of more than a few months. It took me more than 2500 tries, I usually did 10~15 or so tries a night. Later lessons were harder than earlier ones, but that's probably expected. I noticed that some nights I'd be much worse than the previous night, and some lessons took more time to complete, but I would usually have a breakthrough before 125 or so tries and was able to complete each lesson.(except for the time that I didn't practice for a long time).
Although this was my first time learning CW I opted for a faster speed of 20 wpm, 10 effective. I did this because at the slower speed I found myself thinking too much about the sounds and trying to visualize it, while at the faster speed, if I didn't know it I pretty much didn't have much chance to think about it, if I did I would miss all five letters in that block.
I have been doing "round table" format scheduled QSOs with friends/club mates on 80m for a while now, and they assure me that my code is improving; I can also tell that I am copying more than before. I'm hoping to have time to prepare a short YouTube video with a few of my tips that I found useful.
I have made my 3rd unscheduled CW contact this past Saturday.(QRP Portable) I'm looking forward to soon making contacts with the SW+40 kit that I build over a year ago.(I've been trying but it's been hard, and I have had to fall back to my FT817) In fact I started over a year ago thinking that I'd be ready for 2009 Field Day, but oh well; at least I'll have a shot at FD2010.
Just wanted to say thanks to all who are involved in keeping this site going. I think it's terrific, and it was just the right thing for me. And to all others trying to learn, "just keep at it".
Posted: 2010-05-24 09:26
Great job man! You set a goal and obtained it. Since you completed all 40, you officially can give advice to newbies that land on this site.
Do me a favor; pass the word to at least one ham per week about learning cw and tell them that the best way to do it is to come to this website. If newbies come here, try to encourage them and not scare them away. Everyone works at their own pace.
C'ya on the bands!