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Thread: Advice of KB1WSY
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Posted: 2012-02-27 14:02
I read on the eham forum a very very good advice of KB1WSY,
so I copy it here.
I think a "one size fits all" method may be too rigid. I'm about one third of the way through the Morse learning process using the Koch method i.e. i have learned 15 characters after about three weeks. Until a few days ago I did it strictly at 15/20wpm meaning that the characters are sent at 20 but spaced at 15 -- a combination of Koch and Farnsworth. After reading a lot of advice including these posts and the book "Breaking the Code" by N1IRZ, I have recently altered my training regimen by doing this: (1) When a new character is introduced, do the random character drills as described above until reaching 90 percent accuracy. (2) Next, switch to a 15/15 speed, cutting out the Farnsworth, and do the drills until again reaching 90 percent accuracy. (3) Move on to next character.
The two types of code, with and without Farnsworth, are almost like two different languages. Although it is much easier to learn the new characters with Farnsworth spacing, I have decided that this artificial crutch should be removed *during* the training of each new letter rather than waiting until the entire code has been learned. Why? Because (a) real code and real QSOs don't use Farnsworth spacing unless the operator has a bad fist, (2) I am seriously concerned about developing a bad fist myself if I don't quickly get accustomed to "real" CW (actually I haven't started sending yet since I have yet to build my code oscillator kit!), (3) in the real world there will be all sorts of different fists to copy on the air and it is good to vary the routine a bit while learning.
Having said that, most of you have vastly more experience with this and I'm a total neophyte. It's a lot of fun, I must say.
On last thing. For reasons that I don't really understand, while Farnsworth spacing makes the new letters initially easier to learn and copy, the code itself is much more tiring to copy. I find that I am quite exhausted and cannot wait until the 5-minute drill is over, it seems endless. However this is not at all the case with "normal" (15/15) code: I get to the end of the 5 minutes and am quite ready to take another 5 minutes. There must be something deeply harmonious about the "normal" spacing if it is so much more pleasing even to a total beginner like myself.
About the only thing that worries me about doing 15/15 is that in theory, it might make it harder to speed up to 20/20 later??? What do people think??? (The advantage of 15/20 being that the ear gets accustomed to hearing the characters sent at 20.)
73 de Martin
Posted: 2012-02-27 14:55
I find that Farnsworth timing gives me time to think about the character, so that I learn it the hard way, not by reflex. The same goes for Morse Machine. Too much thinking time encourages the long-winded look-up table way of reading the code, and it takes a lot of concentration, which is tiring. It's also a thought process that can be very hard to break once you've learned to use it...
Posted: 2012-02-27 15:44
I find the advice of that guy so excellent. That is because on this website as far as I know a mixture of Koch and Farnsworth is offered, it learns you Morse code, you succeed when you reach lesson 40.
Some people are complaining afterwards when finished, that they ask for QRS on the bands, but a special kind of QRS, because they can't copy the regular QRS but want wide character spacing.
(20/10) not (10/10) or even (5/5).
I recognise his description, because when I follow lessons Koch here, (before being deleted by the webmaster) I needed utmost concentration at 20/10 and I hardly have a problem copying words on this website with 40 wpm regular character spaced.
His offered solution is the best way I can think of, because a guy starting with the course on this website 20/20 quit early due to lack of stimulating results. Even the guys in the northern parts of the netherlands, my home country, called 'Friezen' (better than dooien) quit, and they, just they are always proud on their "going on till death follows" behaviour.
Morse Machine is very bad in my opinion, because it gives you time to think, and stimulates thinking about the received character. Just thinking is prohibited, it retards learning the unconcious reposnse reaction.
When I am touch typing, and are starting to think about the place of a character on the keyboard, I really don't know and get lost. Thinking is absolutely prohibited.
That was the advantage of the Morse requirement in the past for ham requirements. You had electronic engineers laughing about such a simple exam but they failed Morse code. So Morse code made the exams more honest because electronic engineers and greengrocers or bike repairers, both had to exercise, the engineer had no advantage by his IQ.
So the ham world was a better one than as it nowadays is without home brewing and without Morse Code. No wonder the number of hams is an alltimes hight touching the max number of CB amateurs.
Posted: 2012-03-12 21:01
Excellent comments by pd0ldb, Lea de Boer. Thank you.
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