BDSM and CW

I have a friend who’s hot for Digital Ham stuff.  He’s a big “TEOTWAWKI” sort of guy who values digital comms for getting a message through when band conditions aren’t pristine.  He doesn’t want to learn CW (continuous wave) though…

On top of needing all the standard HAM equipment

…digital modes require:

A modem
A computer
An agreed to transmission protocol (and there’s a lot of them.)

…CW requires:

A keyer/paddles

You could argue CW also requires a protocol – but Morse Code is the standard.  Now, the question is how to learn Morse Code.

I picked up a straight key app on my phone to practice keying.  It’s not worth much, but at this point I know the alphabet from a “sending” perspective.  I don’t have the rhythm down to satisfy my phone regarding individual letters and words.  I imagine who ever is on the receiving end of my transmission w i l l b h o r r i f i e d b y t h e c a d e nc e.  More troubling though is that this has no impact on my ability to copy (receive) Morse Code.  I can grab one letter at a time from a string, but it’s a lot tongue hanging out, squinty eyes attention and focus.

I’m still working through it, 30 minutes a day for two weeks.  My ability to copy individual letters is improving.  Ultimately though this should be as fluid as regular language…  Time will tell.

I bounce between the following resources:

www.lcwo.net
http://jk3.us/morsegame/

I will confess the Koch Method of learning CW doesn’t interest me.  I immediately and unintentionally try to game the system.  This leads to 90% copy rates right up until the wheels fall off somewhere around lesson 3.  Drinking from the waterhose of 5 character strings is a two minute exercise of frustration.

I think kb6nu may be the way to go.  His thoughts on teaching CW are here.

 

 

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