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Thread: Koch method - starting rate

  1. #1

    Default Koch method - starting rate

    I'm starting out learning Morse code.

    So, 20 wpm character speed is clear. But is it OK to start at something like 15 wpm "effective speed"? I mean, one can speed up from there after one's learned to copy that, can't one? (I don't think anyone learns Morse using the Koch method at 50 wpm - do they?

  2. #2


    I doubt that would be very effective. I've never quite understood this system, but CW at 50wpm is far to fast to assimilate for a beginner. I would have thought 12-15wpm is a more practical and easier to achieve speed to start with. After all, not everyone on the air can do 12wpm very well.

    I was trained by a Royal Navy submariner. We started at 12wpm - and our speed was supposed to have remained constant. The gap between characters gave thinking time and this gradually shortened. My problem was my sending speed increased considerable - up to over 20wpm, but my receive maximum was around 15. In use, I'd send to fast and the good operators speeded up to my sending speed and I got lost. I have no idea what I was sent in my test - I could write it down but not actually read it, and the examiner took the paper away before I'd had a chance to read it! I don't think I could have learned at a faster speed.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    With my wife


    I would suggest setting the character speed at 20wpm and the spacing at around 12wpm to start. If that's too much, set spacing down to 10 wpm. The reasoning behind this is that you will get proficient at some point and 20wpm will seem slow. If you learn the sound of the characters at 20wpm, the spacing will decrease till it matches 20wpm. It will happen but only if you stick with it. So, enjoy your new language and practice practice practice! GL & 73

  4. #4


    20/12 is comfortable/do-able. I started with 20/20 and was getting frustrated. My biggest problem is trying not to go back and make corrections...

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