Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One step forward two steps back.....

About 6 months ago I wanted to make it a goal to increase my copy speed of call signs and numbers to help out with my contesting. The first thing I had to do was master the proper keyboarding for the numbers. The letters were no problem thanks to my mom who insisted I take keyboarding while in high school. So began my relearning which finger was used for what number. That surprisingly went very well and before I knew it I was off  looking for programs to increase my copy speed in combination with my keyboarding. I came across Morse Runner which by the way is a great program. I was able to start off slow and easy. As time went on I added QRM, QRN, QSB and fading. This program only seemed to send code at random speeds up to about 25 wpm. I began the search for a program that could increase my speed, I came across a website called LCWO (Learn CW online). You have to register and come up with a password but this site has been great in helping my speed move upward. Now my dilemma is this.......over the past week my speed has seemed to drop!! I am having brain to keyboard lockup, hitting two keys at the same time, having no idea where a certain letter or number is on the keyboard and to top it off hearing the call and having to go back over and over again to copy it!!! If I understand learning correctly this is all part of the process????? It sure is frustrating and at times when I start my code practice session I end up stopping and packing it in thinking it's just not a good day for code. I am going with the theory that learning at times is one step forward and two steps back at times?

7 comments:

  1. Hello Mike,

    Not sure about the hand ear coordination but WOW...what a beautiful key! That's truly the top of the line in my opinion.

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  2. Good morning John, yes the hand ear...or ear to keyboard has been a challenge these days for some reason. I think it's just one of the humps I have to get over. As for the key its a Signature begali key and yes it's a fantastic key. Very smooth with magnetic return and nice and heavy so it does not move at all on the desk.
    Mike

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  3. Good day Mike,

    You might try CW Freak.

    This is a program which steps up and down CW speed as you copy correctly or make a mistake respectively. It also has a training or practice mode. Results can be uploaded to an archive.

    http://www.ji0vwl.com/cw_freak_e.html

    results are posted for 20 and 50 "QSO's". It has been over a year since I last played and my last posted results are still there.

    Morse Runner is good practice and so is CW Freak but there are each different. Give it a try, you may just get hooked.

    Speaking of which, I must practice some more as it makes a nice relaxing break from the work a day world I too often find myself stuck in.

    Oh, it runs only on Windows. I tried on LINUX using WINE but had some problems.

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

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  4. Good morning Graham, I have looked into CW Freak but have not gone so far as to installing it on my PC. Most if not all of my practice time for CW is done before work in the morning hours. The Laptop that I use has Ubuntu as it's OS and as you said and I found out Wine does not support this program. But I am going to have some time off over the holidays so I may load it on my Windows PC at home and give the program a go. Thanks for the suggestions and have a nice Holiday season.
    Mike

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  5. Hi Mike, nice to see you're practicing CW skills.
    Morserunner is great...I often plays the WPX competition mode. CW Freak is OK but you have to copy the call at the very first try.
    On Linux I love QRQ, a programme written from Fabian DJ1YFK. Very similar to CW Freak but still you can ask for oe repeat of the call (settings can be changed).

    A speed drop is normal...which speed are you at? Personally I got to 50WPM (peack RX speed) and now stucked there. Its just a matter of keep concentrating on the same call/sound for a given period. I usually listen to some CW recordings (usually P40E SO2R cqww contest effort) during my train trip to the university.
    Don't get pissed off, keep going :)

    Stefano

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    1. Good morning Sefano, well say I am not at 50WPM yet I am in around 30 to 35 during contests but that is not conversational CW!!! I have viewed CW freak but have not installed it. I will look up QRQ as on my laptop I am running Ubuntu and I can give that program a go. Also it's sure is an advantage to have repeats on the calls as you are wanting to increase your speed. Thanks for the encouragement and for the programs that I will look into.
      Mike

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