Jump to content

BuyTwoWayRadios.com

Photo

CW Coder/Decoder Software vs. Learning Morse Code and Attitudes


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 SeldomSeen

SeldomSeen

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts
  • LocationLyons, Colorado
  • GMRS Callsign:WRFP275
  • Ham Callsign:KF0ACC

Posted 17 May 2020 - 10:22 PM

My attempt to learn Sam Morse's code at an earlier period in life was a total failure. Now that my older brain isn't what it once was I wouldn't dream of attempting it. In order to take advantage of Technician privileges I'd still like to communicate in this mode whenever I get into HF. The question that concerns me however is this: Will the old boys who had to learn the code as a license requirement harbor any resentment toward an upstart that only uses software and a computer? What is the proportion of all CW mode users rely on a computer to handle the translating?


"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." - Mae West


#2 marcspaz

marcspaz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 663 posts
  • LocationLocation Location

Posted 17 May 2020 - 10:58 PM

There are a ton of encoders and decoders out there, but if another operator is free-handing it and is not transmitting in a consistent speed, they fail to copy correctly.

Yes old-timers and people who took the time to learn will give you grief. But many of those same people will brag about all of their unattended, automatic FT8 contacts to Japan when they were sleeping. So I wouldn't sweat it.

There really is no way of gauging how many people use automatic tools, but I'm willing to say it's a lot. Especially since many HF radios made in the last 20 years have memory slots for pre-programmed words and phrases that are used often.
  • berkinet, kipandlee and SeldomSeen like this

#3 Lscott

Lscott

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 307 posts
  • GMRS Callsign:WRBZ532
  • Ham Callsign:KC8LDO

Posted 18 May 2020 - 07:09 AM

My attempt to learn Sam Morse's code at an earlier period in life was a total failure. Now that my older brain isn't what it once was I wouldn't dream of attempting it. In order to take advantage of Technician privileges I'd still like to communicate in this mode whenever I get into HF. The question that concerns me however is this: Will the old boys who had to learn the code as a license requirement harbor any resentment toward an upstart that only uses software and a computer? What is the proportion of all CW mode users rely on a computer to handle the translating?

Don't worry about it. Switch to another repeater or use the VFO to find somebody else to talk to. The crappy attitude was at its height around the time the FCC dropped the CW requirement for all license classes. There were endless debates, some still going on, about the merits of dropping or not dropping the CW requirements. Some of the old timers hated that change, and likely will never get over it. I guess they though of it as a some kind of exclusive club. If that was what they valued most then they got into Ham radio for the wrong reason. Go out, make contacts and have fun.


  • SeldomSeen and DOCSGMRS like this

#4 kidphc

kidphc

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • LocationPotomac, MD
  • GMRS Callsign:WRDD287
  • Ham Callsign:W3HRD

Posted 18 May 2020 - 08:29 AM

Everyone I have met has been cool you are trying to learn CW. Some are bitter that they had to struggle with it to simply get a "Novice". I would just spin the dial and find some one else. Sometimes, even posting to a forum asking about a practice partner for "slow CW" will net some one to chat with via CW. Once you learn it you need to use it or you will lose it shortly.
 
I have been using this smartphone app "morse toad"
 
Rather then learning the dit/dashes that correspond to a letter, listen to the tone patterns in your head and do a copy. A ham in my neighborhood (doesn't live here, travels a lot and is using his friend's address) pretty much is strictly CW. If you are musically inclined he said he has seen new user have an easier time with it. Instead of going ".-." equals R in your head and write it down. He said you should try and train so ".-." sound is trained in your head as "R". It is hard to explain in text. You kinda will understand what I am trying to say, if you speak a second language where you are trying to translate the foreign word in your head to your native language, is what you want to avoid. Instead you want to be able to see and apple and instantly translate into apple in any\ language. VIDEO OF WHAT I WAS TRYING TO EXPLAIN.
 
Also, I have this as a visual reference. It may help you also.
IprWm7g.jpg

  • berkinet and SeldomSeen like this

#5 kidphc

kidphc

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • LocationPotomac, MD
  • GMRS Callsign:WRDD287
  • Ham Callsign:W3HRD

Posted 18 May 2020 - 08:50 AM

You'll get there. It's not an overnight skill. Keep trying and one day you'll be like this guy with a straight key.



#6 SeldomSeen

SeldomSeen

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts
  • LocationLyons, Colorado
  • GMRS Callsign:WRFP275
  • Ham Callsign:KF0ACC

Posted 18 May 2020 - 09:36 PM

I started studying with FreeMorse.com today and am already making progress like never before. Being able to use CW seems to have so many advantages. I would still get the decoder software just to verify that I received information correctly. With CW even after I get the General license I won't have to talk to the surly octogenarians on HF. They bounce between God talk, politics and foul language (that you wouldn't want your mother to hear) like balls on a pool table. I was under the impression that such things were frowned upon by the FCC.


"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." - Mae West


#7 kidphc

kidphc

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • LocationPotomac, MD
  • GMRS Callsign:WRDD287
  • Ham Callsign:W3HRD

Posted 19 May 2020 - 07:37 AM

I started studying with FreeMorse.com today and am already making progress like never before. Being able to use CW seems to have so many advantages. I would still get the decoder software just to verify that I received information correctly. With CW even after I get the General license I won't have to talk to the surly octogenarians on HF. They bounce between God talk, politics and foul language (that you wouldn't want your mother to hear) like balls on a pool table. I was under the impression that such things were frowned upon by the FCC.

Those things are frowned up. There are gun laws, drug laws and laws in general that are broken by people all day long. You'll learn where to stay away from and again just adopt the mentality of " spin the vfo". You can't unfortunately, change other people only yourself. You can make some awesome friends on HF even if it is only for a few minutes. Don't let those type of things discourage you. Your are going to see the same issues with any hobby, group of people or the likes. To loosely quote the Simpsons "like people some of them are just jerks". Just the nature of things. You are going to find the chill, the angry, the elitist, the lazy, it's just life. You'll find them all. Makes life interesting!

 

Here is another CW study tool. http://www.g4fon.net/


  • SeldomSeen likes this

#8 SeldomSeen

SeldomSeen

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts
  • LocationLyons, Colorado
  • GMRS Callsign:WRFP275
  • Ham Callsign:KF0ACC

Posted 23 May 2020 - 09:22 PM

I now have learned and used all of the letters except Q,X,Y and Z. Those come tomorrow. I can send at 10 wpm and receive at about five with a character speed of 15 wpm. I don't thing that's too bad for only six days of study. But there is a problem however. Every time I use the letter 'V' (...-) The first few minutes of Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 goes through my head for the next half hour.


  • berkinet likes this

"Too much of a good thing can be wonderful." - Mae West


#9 berkinet

berkinet

    Senior expert on absolutely nothing

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 811 posts
  • GMRS Callsign:WQYR510
  • Ham Callsign:WB6TAE

Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:52 AM

I now have learned and used all of the letters except Q,X,Y and Z. Those come tomorrow. I can send at 10 wpm and receive at about five with a character speed of 15 wpm. I don't thing that's too bad for only six days of study. But there is a problem however. Every time I use the letter 'V' (...-) The first few minutes of Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 goes through my head for the next half hour.

 

Congratulations. You will just have to live with Ludvig Van. In tact, from the wikipedia...

[Beethoven's 5th symphony] has sometimes been referred to as the "Victory Symphony".[13] "V" is coincidentally also the Roman numeral character for the number five and the phrase "V for Victory" became a campaign of the Allies of World War II after Winston Churchill starting using it as a publicity stunt in 1940. Beethoven's Victory Symphony happened to be his Fifth (or vice versa) is coincidental. Some thirty years after this piece was written, the rhythm of the opening phrase – "dit-dit-dit-dah" – was used for the letter "V" in Morse code, though this is also coincidental.

 

As to the Q. That one is easy. The ham code to call for a contact is CQ.  -.-.  --.- (repeated seemingly endlessly) That can get stuck in your mind even worse than ...-


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#10 Gwen

Gwen

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • GMRS Callsign:WQWH592
  • Ham Callsign:NG3P

Posted 28 October 2020 - 04:04 PM

I've tried several methods to learn the code in the past. I got enough of it with the old tapes to get through the Tech Plus test when it still had 5wpm code on it, and then General a few years later. Extra, though, was after they got rid of the requirement. But I forgot most of my code because I didn't use it. I've tried online stuff, programs, pocket tutors, you name it. The only thing that got me to learn my code well was taking the free courses from CWOps, their CW Academy. It takes a while, because it's an actual class held online, and each class is like 9-10 weeks, twice a week for an hour or so, with daily practice. But it's FREE. You have to sign up in advance and wait for an opening, but I found that it's worth it.

 

Or you can check out the Long Island CW Club. They're VERY good, and have a more individual online training, and work into getting you practicing on the air with a code buddy. I thought about it and decided on CWAcademy, but your mileage may vary.

 

As far as software goes to decode Morse, the best one I've ever used was good old CWGet. You do have to pay for it, but it's cheap and it's worth it. It's the most accurate and the most unobtrusive decoder I have. It's better than the one in my KX3, and that's going some.

 

You can see what CW Academy is about here: https://cwops.org/cw-academy/

Long Island CW Club is here: https://longislandcwclub.org/

 

73,

Gwen, NG3P


  • berkinet likes this

#11 rickh

rickh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts
  • GMRS Callsign:WQHJ382
  • Ham Callsign:W2rgh

Posted 05 November 2020 - 11:34 AM

I hear ya! I did pass it back when was one of the hardest things I ever learned. Sending is easy reading however is not unless, you go at it hours per day day after day and eventually it will be like a skilled musician can hear a tone and tell you what key it is .

I have not used it in so long I can only pick out individual letters every now and then and that equates to about 3 WPM! No one ever sends it that slow so I get behind in a flash and give up.

I have always heard to learn it learn to recognize words not individual letters, I was taught by the letter.

 

I do keep at hand a pocket decoder has a scrolling LED and runs on 9volt battery very small and very handy.

Rick H...


Rick H

WQHJ382

W2RGH





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users