Tuesday, February 27, 2024

My quest to learn CW (3)

 This is my monthly update about my quest to learn CW. I got to the point that I'm stuck. It took me 35 times at lesson 27 on LCWO to learn that I have to lower my expectations. The speed of 28wpm with effective speed on 8wpm is too much for me. I've lowered the speed to 7wpm effective. I really need more time between the letters. It is not only to understand them but I need to find the right key on the keyboard as well. I'm shure I could write the letters down a lot faster but it is what it is. After I lowered the speed the 36th time I was over 90% which is enough to go on the lesson 28.

Graph from lesson 27. I almost gave up at the end, then at 7wpm effective it took me 1 try.

Writing the letters down is what I did during the ARRL DX CW contest this month. And I was surprised by the amount of stations I could decode. Although sometimes it took me listening a few times before I could complete the call and the state abbreviation. It was fun to do the decoding without the computer. S&P that way is certainly possible. However this is not "instant" decoding like in a QSO or when running. I have the feeling that it will take me a few years before I manage to do that. We will see how things will work out.

In the mean time I rehearse at least 15 minutes every day. Hopefully I can tell I have improved next month.


Alexander PE0ALX said...

Hey Bas,

Nice reading your blog! I'm starting my course on CW this Saturday at the Morse Academy aboard the SS Rotterdam. Looking forward to it, but it will be tough I guess. I'm an absolute beginner with regards to CW.

Alexander PE0ALX

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hallo ALexander, leuk dat je ook lessen gaat doen in CW. Die morse academy op de SS Rotterdam leken mij wel wat. Helaas is dat voor mij aan de andere kant van het land, het is dik 4 uur rijden naar Rotterdam ;-). Heel veel succes en misschien dat ik je eens aantref op LCWO. 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Good morning Bas and thanks for posting your progress. I can understand at times the frustration but always take time to look back and see how far you have come. It's great that you are using the keyboard as in time your speed will get to the point that you are not able to write fast enough. If I could be so bold and suggest you think about adding a key boarding (via your PC) program to teach you how to touch type. It would be an added bonus to composing blog post, decoding calls into a program and many other things. It's also along with learning the code a great exercise for the mind. Just a thought....
Keep up the CWing and very nice to read of the progress.

Jan, OZ9QV said...

It's good to see you progress with CW, too. I started in 1975, and I have had a lot of fun doing (mostly simple) QSOs, a bit more than standard 599, but not much plain text.
In the time before weak signal digimodes CW was the most efficient mode.
Yes, there are some roadblocks, but persistence is what you need, and it looks like you have it.
As you are using the keyboard I will second Mike's suggestion.

Vy 73 de Jan, OZ9QV

PE4BAS, Bas said...

@Mike, tnx for your comment. I will think about your suggestion. But the main focus will be learning CW.

@Jan, I wish I had started to learn CW earlier but then my time was occupied by other interests. It is a matter of priorities of course. Now I'm 55 yrs old and it's getting hard to learn new things. It will take time.

73, Bas

Martin, PE1EEC/PE6X said...

Hi Bas

If you have plenty of charcters down, start training yourself on combinations of letters. There are apps and online videos which offer this for 2, 3 and more letters. That way you build up memory. It's an issue which a lot of learners have to deal with, forgetting the previous characters sent. You can do that Farnsworth spaced at 7WPM. But don't forget to challenge yourself by doing a/a few short 1-minute sessions at a higher speed, then fallback to your comfortable speed and everything sounds "slow-motion" 😄

Well, good luck, don't give up, you'll get there. 73, Martin, PE1EEC/PE6X

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hallo Martin, ik oefen niet alleen de lessen in LCWO. Dat zou te beperkt zijn. Ik oefen ook de andere oefeningen zoals letters/cijfers groepen en callsigns/woorden. Er zit vooruitgang in maar het gaat langzaam. Elke dag minimaal 15 minuten oefenen soms meer. In het weekend is het vaak wat minder dan heb ik het te druk thuis. Op het werk oefen ik vaak in de middagpauze. 73, Bas