Getting your CW speed back up.


Hey Jim...
You'd be surprised at how fast your cw CAN come back.
Being a US Navy radioman means you were one of the best cw op's in the world!
Don't sell yourself short.
At Radioman cw speeds, it's head copy and simultaneously typing what your hear. 
A guy out here, NF6T, back in the day, took the FCC's 20 wpm cw test for his extra class license.
He brought his small manual typewriter with him, and the lady administering the exam allowed him the courtesy of using it. I always thought that was nice of her. She had a reputation for being a "meanie".
Moving along, you can do it!
LONP #76

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim K5SP <jinnis@...>
To: 070Club <>
Sent: Wed, Jul 18, 2018 3:21 pm
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

I am left handed, learned code in the Navy in Radioman School.  We had to copy 20 wpm to pass, I aced 22 wpm, and was working on 36 wpm when class graduated.  So, don't think being left handed has anything to do with it.  However poor hearing and lots of years not using much CW has moved my speeds waaaayyy down.
Going to look into those lefthanded items, just could not use a right handed speed key, or a paddle.  Tried using a paddle by turning upside down but that did not work so good.
Jim K5SP #483,  RMC-USN Ret.

On 7/18/2018 4:03 PM, Jerry N9AVY wrote:
Am being the "musician thing" is folklore ...   there was an old song from 60's/70's that I used to call "the  didadit song and now I can't remember the name of it !     It went didahdit  didahdit didahdididah   or something like that, hi !

Jerry  n9avy

From: Ray Clements <r.clements@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

I can easily hear Morse sent at 20 wpm, but the problem is translating that into the alphanumeric characters.  If I listen at 20 wpm with a Farnsworth speed of 5 wpm...lots of space between characters, then I can come close to getting it. I have tried copying in my head; I have tried copying on paper, I have tried copying on a keyboard (I can touch type about 50-60 wpm), but nothing seems to work. I have tried several CW learning programs, but I can't seem to get there.

Some folks have told me that since I am a musician, that code sent by iambic keying should be easier for me to copy, and it it easier than straight key or bug, but I still struggle. I have not give up...maybe one day I get there.

Ray N9RWc

------ Original Message ------
Received: 02:39 PM CDT, 07/18/2018
From: "Jerry N9AVY" <n9avy@...>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA


Appreciate your comments.   Sending CW is never the problem... most people top out around 25 wpm on a straight key.   The problem is receiving at 5 wpm... if you can receive at that speed, you probably copy at faster speeds.  

The problem is that no one should ever try copy at 5 wpm.  What is needed is to copy around 13 wpm and they move on to higher speeds. One common trick was to listen to 25 wpm machine sent code (W1AW) without ever writing any on paper... just try to pick out letters here and there. After that, go back to 13 wpm and you'll be astounded at how slow it seems... trying 5 wpm , you'll probably fall asleep between characters !

It's sort of like running with a 50 lbs. pack on your back... when you take it off and run without it, it feels great ! It works for some on CW.

I commiserate with all those who struggled with code.  Did that for years until the light bulb went on, but it required months of daily code practice (we maybe not daily, but 3 -4 times a week ).

In sort, use whatever works .

Jerry  n9avy

From: Ray Clements <r.clements@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

True, you no longer HAVE to learn Morse code. 

As a boy I was in Boy Scouts (the group that no longer exists). In order to achieve the rank of 1st Class, you had to be able to send and receive Morse at 5 wpm using buzzers, flashlights, etc. I never could master the skill and dropped out of scouting as a result. I completed all of the other requirements for 1st Class and even had the necessary merit badges to qualify for Star rank. But because I could not master the Morse code requirement, my progress in scouting was stymied.

As a young man, I wanted to get my Novice class ham license. Although I could easily pass all the technical tests, the 5 wpm code requirement prevented me from becoming a ham.

When I neared retirement, I learned that the code test was no longer required for an amateur radio license. I studied for a couple of weeks and easily passed both my Technician and General tests at the same sitting. Less than a year later I studied until I understood all of the questions and answers in the Extra pool; I did not memorize the answers. I knew the material so well, I completed the  50 question test in less than 15 minutes. 

Because I have many friends who are good CW operators, once again I tried learning Morse code. The interesting thing is that, with practice, I can send code at 20 wpm, but I still struggle to read code at 5 wpm. I do not know why; but my mind does not seem to be wired for instant recall of Morse characters.

I am not a fan of SSB phone on HF, either. I hate noisy bands and pileups. I set a goal to make 100 SSB phone contacts and once that goal was achieved, I quit using the mode. 

Thus, I am thankful for digital modes such as PSK, RTTY, MFSK, Olivia, and FT8.

Ray N9RWC 

------ Original Message ------
Received: 01:17 PM CDT, 07/18/2018
From: "Jerry N9AVY" <n9avy@...>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

The thing is ...  you don't HAVE to learn code,  you GET to...

From: W7RIV <nnegrom@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

I started doing coding. I'm a newb to the hobbie and I didn't have to learn it. I didn't want to learn it. Once I found out I didn't need to do CW I went and looked up when they were testing, there happened to be a test the next day. I went and passed the Tech/General exams after an evening of study. I didn't pass the Extra on such short notice. I couldn't make it to the test in Sept, and passed Extra in October. Once I got into ham radio and started to do more with HF, I was  hooked. I then wanted to learn CW. I can send like a champion. I have issues hearing and get caught up on the parts I've missed. What I was using, I really liked it. But, I think it does require 2x 15 minute sessions a day.  

I love CW just like I love data modes. I'm not a huge fan of the SSB side and lots of talking. I like to see how far I can get, and with how little of power.

Bryon, W7RIV

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 10:58 AM Jerry N9AVY <n9avy@...> wrote:

They do make left handed keys.  Really, check out Vibroplex and they have semi-automatic keys both right & left.  
Don't think it's a matter of being being left or right handed.  As Paul said, it's a muscle memory thing.  

Jerry  N9AVY

From: John Hendry <archer@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [070Club] local VHF GROUP IN MY AREA

I'll give it a try.   Code has always been my Waterloo.   I've been told its a left brain vs right brain thing, and that its exceptionally difficult for those who are left handed to be able to learn code.  

something about processing time in the brain being slower for some things.  


Jim,  K5SP #483
Member Services Director

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