New guy, and questions

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New guy, and questions

Postby KC2ZPK » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:36 pm

HI new guy here, so a little intro.

My name is John, KC2ZPK, passed my tech and general in December '10, was going to take the Extra, but didn't have enough study time for it. I have been interested in ham radio for many years, just never pursued it until this past fall when I decided I was going to take the tests. Even thought the FCC decided Morse code was no longer required, I feel it is a big part of what amateur radio is all about, which is why I am learning it, and will use it. I actually want to use the other modes as well.

I started the lessons at LCWO, and I am on #5, a little slow going as I don't have a lot of free time with a 10 month old running around, but I am progressing. I have the settings at: Character speed 12wpm, effective speed 5wpm, tone 800Hz. Are these good settings to start at. Should I change anything? Are there other teaching programs that I can do at the same time? Are there any drills that help with learning letters that are similiar, such as u, k, r which are ..- , -.. , and .-. ?

thanks
John
KC2ZPK
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Postby NT9K » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:24 am

Hi John, congratulations on getting your ticket! Yes, those settings look ok to me. I'd suggest getting the free program called G4FON. It will allow you to create text files and play them back at any speed you like. You can make all sorts of text files using the characters and words that you're having trouble with.

Another thing would be to get, build or buy a code practice oscillator as soon as you can. You will learn a lot faster by being able to practice sending what you're learning to copy.

I'd make up some scripts. Just lines of text on paper that you can practice sending from. Make them the common things that you will actually be sending on the air. Make a whole page of them, stuff like this:
QRL? QRL?
CQ CQ CQ de NT9K NT9K k
Tu John ur RST 579 57N Op hr Bill QTH FL SKCC NR 1926T bk
RFB rig hr is knwd 870 ant is loop es key is J38 so hw? k

Substitute your info and actual information. It's a LOT easier to send from a piece of paper than it is to memorize what you want to say. If you're in a QSO and get stuck, you can always look down and send a line from your script and get yourself back on track.

Other suggestions would be to check out the SKCC website. There are practice MP3 files you can use from 5wpm to 40wpm. Have you looked at the SKCC Elmer page? Get yourself a good Elmer too! Good luck..
73, Bill - NT9K
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http://www.nt9k.com
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Postby KC9KHG » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:51 am

I agree with Bill except on one point. I would set the character speed at 20 wpm.No less. Any less and you will count dits and dahs. That will slow you down.
I used G4FON to learn and set character speed at 25wpm and effective speed at 5wpm.
I still use G4FON every day. I am trying to increase my copy speed. I start at 40wpm word speed with 5wpm spacing to give my brain enough time to let the whole word sink in for about 5 min.,then 25wpm/5wpm for about 30 mins. or until I fall asleep! ha ha
I tried several programs to learn and I found G4FON to be the best. It has many different ways to set it up to be most helpful.
Good luck,and most of all have fun!

Fair well
Randy
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Postby KC2ZPK » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:04 pm

NT9K wrote:Another thing would be to get, build or buy a code practice oscillator as soon as you can. You will learn a lot faster by being able to practice sending what you're learning to copy.

Any suggestions on small kits?


I'd make up some scripts. Just lines of text on paper that you can practice sending from. Make them the common things that you will actually be sending on the air. Make a whole page of them, stuff like this:
QRL? QRL?
CQ CQ CQ de NT9K NT9K k
Tu John ur RST 579 57N Op hr Bill QTH FL SKCC NR 1926T bk
RFB rig hr is knwd 870 ant is loop es key is J38 so hw? k

Substitute your info and actual information. It's a LOT easier to send from a piece of paper than it is to memorize what you want to say. If you're in a QSO and get stuck, you can always look down and send a line from your script and get yourself back on track.


Sounds like a good idea, I started making flash cards for common phrases, so I could piece together a responce when the time comes.

Other suggestions would be to check out the SKCC website. There are practice MP3 files you can use from 5wpm to 40wpm. Have you looked at the SKCC Elmer page? Get yourself a good Elmer too! Good luck..

Once I get to the point then I think I am ready to go on air, I will be looking up an Elmer to give a hand.





KC9KHG wrote:I agree with Bill except on one point. I would set the character speed at 20 wpm.No less. Any less and you will count dits and dahs. That will slow you down.
I give the faster speed a shot.


I used G4FON to learn and set character speed at 25wpm and effective speed at 5wpm.
I still use G4FON every day. I am trying to increase my copy speed. I start at 40wpm word speed with 5wpm spacing to give my brain enough time to let the whole word sink in for about 5 min.,then 25wpm/5wpm for about 30 mins. or until I fall asleep! ha ha
I tried several programs to learn and I found G4FON to be the best. It has many different ways to set it up to be most helpful.
Good luck,and most of all have fun!

Fair well
Randy



Thanks both of you, I hope to be on air soon!!


On edit:

how is this code practice oscillator ?
http://www.mtechnologies.com/misc/ttone.htm
John
KC2ZPK
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Postby NT9K » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:04 pm

Hi John, that is the same oscillator kit I built. I like mine! I can take it anywhere and either use headphones or the external speaker. It was pretty simple to build too.
73, Bill - NT9K
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http://www.nt9k.com
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Postby k8jd » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:10 pm

I still insist the best way to practice copy is listen to a good receiver on 40M between 7105 and 7120 for slow CW QSOs.
Hearing perfect, noise and QRM free Code generated by a computer is nothing like what you hear when you finally get on the air.
I am afraid hearing some noise and QRM would freak some one out the first time a QSO was attempted.
73 from K8JD, SKCC 1395, Centurion 18, Tribune 12, Band Endorsements; 160, 80, 60, 40, 30M, 20, 17, and 10M

Ham radio is real Radio, CW is real Hamming!
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Postby KC9KHG » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:27 am

k8jd wrote:I am afraid hearing some noise and QRM would freak some one out the first time a QSO was attempted.


That's half the fun John!! :D
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Postby k8jd » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:04 am

No fun if you are used to hearing noise free Morse. I am afraid a first timer on the air would hang up the earfones and place an ad on e-bay to get rid of the radio !!:(
73 from K8JD, SKCC 1395, Centurion 18, Tribune 12, Band Endorsements; 160, 80, 60, 40, 30M, 20, 17, and 10M

Ham radio is real Radio, CW is real Hamming!
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Location: Commerce, MI


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