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LCWO Public profile: Monthow

[Monthow] Name:Monty Howard
Location:Tampa, Fl U.S.A.
Signed up:2019-10-02
User groups:
About me: After an illness, medication prescribed to me is creating issues with my motor skills, reflexes, and ability to learn or retain information. Concentration is also slowing my ability to associate the sound with letters. In addition, I am nearly 70 years young but this surely has nothing to do with learning, hi hi.

I am doing exercises in Morse Code to help counter these changes to my normal learning, recall, reflex and concentration abilities. Morse Code is also a worthy form of communication that society must preserve because it is far from dying and still offers much to mankind when other forms of communication fail.

Around 15 years ago I studied Morse Code for the first time. Within 2 months I had learned all of the letters, special characters, numbers, and punctuation. My speed was 20WPM received (18wpm perfect copy) after listening to the characters sent at 30WMP. Today I am struggling with receiving 10WMP but bouncing back. Surprisingly some of the letters have never been forgotten yet I have trouble typing my received code. Trouble attributed to medication and its impact on reflex response.

Everything we are told about the wpm speed at which we learn is not always true. Not if you have learned to recognize characters by sound and have avoided lookup table translation which inserts an additional step in decoding characters received. From prior knowledge, I can attest that learning at speeds slower than 10 WPM can cause students to learn by lookup table translation rather than the sound of received characters.

Recently I discovered a change I made to not go below 10wpm effective speed could be hindering my current progress. This is because of the effects my medication have on my motor skills, reflexes, and age. To counteract this I am keeping my character speed up around 30~35wpm while relearning, with the effective receive wpm at a lesser rate until my typing reflex improves and I stop trying to correct single errors while receiving code, a habit formed while coding computers for a career. Any advice I could offer to aid in this would be learning touch typing.
Looking at the keyboard while typing is not the right way to type.

I would not wish my situation upon anyone, it is frustrating after knowing I had done so well before. My goal was to get on the air at 20wpm working toward 30wpm proficiency within a few months. Now that corrections to how I am taking these lessons have been made progress is moving along fairly well. I may not meet my expectations but I should not be far away from the accomplishment of 20wpm error-free reception.

Something good is coming from my decoding ability decline. I will never let Morse Code slip away again and re-learning code is good for anyone's aging mental health. I have made a pledge to myself that I shall preserve Morse Code and use it daily until I go silent or become unable. For those who believe in a life hereafter, there is a possibility I could be enjoying Morse Code for eternity.

I also learned something from my experience re-learning code. I learned to never again tell anyone how easy code is to learn because it is like everything else, some have a gift for it and others take many months or years of patient practice. The one thing I will hold on to is that listening to characters in code sent too slowly while learning is a hindrance to learning to code fast. When characters are sent to slowly it is easy to develop the dread lookup table translation of those characters. Listening to the characters as fast as you can easily understand a character will help ensure you are learning to recognize the sound of the character. For me, this is around 35wpm now and will improve quickly.