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Thread: Copying using Computer or paper?

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Posted: 2012-03-09 02:18
I'm wondering: Is it effective to learn copying CW via the computer keyboard when in practice you'll probably need to copy to paper? If you learn by listening and typing- I wonder if you end up bypassing the brain in going from the ears to the typing and when you need to go from ears to pencil it doesn't work. Currently I'm copying to paper - which makes keeping statistics a bit difficult but it seems to be safer in the long term. Thoughts? I expect to use CW primarily as a backup when on the boat and QRN is such that voice isn't effective.

Posted: 2012-03-09 16:00

Of course it is strange when you can only copy on a type writer.
In the past that was important for commercial use, but not for ham radio.

Formal governmental organised examinations for CW and proficiency tests on hamfests require writing.

When you just copy from the hambands, writing is often required when you meet guys (and gals but not me) with bad readable fists and wrong spacing.

After all you will end up with copy in your head and only jotting down the things you want to remember.

Best thing you can do is do 10 lessons Koch and write what you receive,
Each 10-th lesson : type it over what you wrote in order to check your results.

It yields you a reward, because you complete the course then according to the statistics in one tenth of the lessons actually done.

Posted: 2012-03-10 06:52
OK - I think you've confirmed what I was thinking - better to learn copying to paper, but your twist is to use the keyboard about every 10 times for learning stats to conform with the software progress charting. Fair enough. I'm assuming that I'll meet you on the bands and your fist will be classic and the spacing superlative - where have you been all my life? ;)

Posted: 2012-03-10 16:29
Hmmm... For exercises I take copy on paper and then type what I've read in for checking. Takes twice as long, but is usually somewhat less frustrating than trying to type what I hear directly...

Posted: 2012-03-12 20:51
When first I became interested in CW, I tried the paper way and found it dificult but, I soon got used to it. The key is consider it fun:-) Then, when you have learnt all the code it will become much easier to learn another style of recording what you hear.

Posted: 2012-03-14 03:12
I no longer have to think when I use a key board, the words just come out. I think that eventually, this will happen with CW and you will not even have to copy it. I would think that writing by hand would tend to slow down you copy.

Posted: 2012-03-14 14:23
As a matter of fact, you have to know what you want.

We want conversation in amateur radio.

May be taking callsigns, because you are a contest adept, just swapping 5nn and sequence numbers. Look for a decoder, because all "conversation" transmitted is computer generated, and decoders are good in decoding computer generated Morse code.

When you really want to talk and listen to people you need converstational proficiency.

Don't think that when you can conversate using plain language you can do the same speed in random characters. Your speed will be roughly 0.5

In general your proficiency speed halves when you go over to something else.

May be plain text to random characters, may be call signs to plain text. Your speed roughly halves.

Furthermore: When you copy by writing or typing there are two possibilities:
1. Understand what is said during copy
2. Not understanding, just copying by typing or writing. That are the guys that think in the meantime at something else, or talk while copying.

To me it is obvious and clear, that is what is undesired. When your QSO partner gives a bk you have to know what he was talking about, and it is not desirable you have to collect that knowledge by reading back what is really said.

So exercise what you really want to do. No callsigns when you want to rag chew, when you want to type or write, always try to listen what is really said. Corrects arrors during writing, seldom or never s h 5 or d b 6 embarrasment left.

When you look at my public records on the website, it look like I am proficient at 65 wpm. Thta is not true. I put in fiexed speed 65, copied 2 words correct, and that makes the claim. However at 40 wpm fixed speed I at least copy half the wordt correct, I never repeat words, and the high score was when I had 22 uit of 25 words correct at that speed.

Posted: 2012-03-19 01:14
Since, my ipad was stolen, I have been using a Android tab and, just the one finger:-) Actually, I can touch type but, it been more comfortable using my tablet.

Untill now, the letter R lesson four, makes me reach right across the keyboard wasting time. Then, when R is pressed, its time to zip across to K or watever.

Perhaps, it time to plug in my USB keyboard:-)

Obviously, when the time comes to mover over to paper, it will be a little more challenging for a while. Such is life.

Posted: 2012-03-19 17:52
You have understood, that it is, just as with touch typing, necessary that you recognise a character instantaneously and WRITE it down, without thinking.

When you exercise the way you do, you are learning Morse with the aid of a hunt and peg keyboard. Think about what you heard and you don't know, you just learned hunt and peg, so what do you think yourself about that way of exercising?

WRITE and REALISE what you hear, in order to prevent that in ham radio you have to read back what you wrote down in order to know what the other guy was telling you.

Just WRITE down what you hear, exersice that, and one out of 10 exercises copy it by typing the written result in your computer, in order to check it for a score.

Posted: 2012-03-24 11:12
G`day from Australia,used to be an old hand in sending on the airwaves,lost touch and i wonder where i can now get in contact with other hams via this computer.I speak both English and Dutch
Best 73`s de hank vk5bhh.

Posted: 2012-03-24 13:48
Hi Henk,

Subsribe at www.eham.net they have a forum and one chapter is dedicated to Morse code,

There many mouldy old guys are hanging around, also Dutch callsigns. One of them VK2GWK Henk Tobbe is also active overthere.

Posted: 2012-03-25 04:42
Please consider that todays digital receiver radios mostly have the capability to convert CW into text on an LCD display when received if that is your objective. They also use a lot of power requiring 120v or 240v depending on your country.

Consider the following case for hand copy.

World politics and distructive capabilities keep increasing. If this translates into warfare and mutual distruction, CW could be the only means of civilized communications because it is portable and resistant to jamming because of it's narrow bandwith and power efficiency as compaired to voice communications. A 12V Li battery and a solar charger could keep you on the air indefinitely.

Because of it's compatibily with QRP (low power) transmission characteristics, you can work the world with 5 watts with a properly tuned antenna. It's done every day with a radio that will fit in your pocket.


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