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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: Are you proficient

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Posted: 2008-12-03 04:50
How long did it take everyone to become proficient at morse code?

Posted: 2008-12-03 08:16
About 6 months, but I didn't try very hard during the first two. I started learning CW while I learned for my first (nocode) exam in 1997, on and off. After I passed it, I continued with CW a little more serious and got up to speed within about two months. The exam was at 12wpm, I could comfortably copy about 18wpm by that time.

Since I had no teacher and no literature about learning CW, I probably didn't use the best strategy. I started at very slow speeds (below 5wpm!) and with an unsystematic order of letters etc.

After the exam I was fortunate enough to get on the air quickly and through regular activity, my speed very quickly increased, at a much faster rate than just by training with a computer. The transition from copying everything I heard to headcopy was quite easy and worked without any special training: I just reduced what I wrote down from the whole QSO text, to just fragments like the name, callsign, report, to eventually nothing.

73, Fabian

Posted: 2008-12-03 13:07

after getting proficient what worked best for you to get up to high speed?



Posted: 2008-12-03 20:56
Difficult to say. A wild mix of real QSOs, contesting, Rufz and PED. About 6 months after I got my license, I was at about 40wpm. Transmitting was always the limiting factor, receiving went up to 60wpm or so quickly.

But although when you thoroughly enjoy what you do it doesn't seem like "work", a lot of time for practice is required. I have yet to meet someone who became an excellent CW operator without some practice.

Over the last few years, I probably spent more than two hours in average each day doing CW. Either on the air or with one of the numerous programs (mostly RufzXP and CW Freak these days) and of course I still listen to ebooks in CW.

The important thing for me to advance in speed is to practice a little over my limit all the time. It may be uncomfortable (especially when listening to plain text) sometimes, but it really helps. I suppose the biggest problem with CW in general is a psychological one; if you think a speed is over your limit, you will fail. The same speed (just above what you can do) labeled as something slower would be no proble to copy. Some double-blind tests for this would be very interesting! :-)

73, Fabian

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