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Thread: should people learn Morse?

  1. #1
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    Default should people learn Morse?

    theres been a lot of discussion between a few friends about learning Morse code. and i get the usual bull about it being too much of a pain to learn.
    its been over 40 years since ive used code but I am relearning it again. as well as teaching my deaf wife how to use it.
    Ive set up small keyer's with led's as well as buzzers so she gets a visual instead of audio.

    Imho I believe everyone should be taught it in school, Not just boy scouts!


    _ _ . . . . . . _ _ _ . _ . .

  2. #2

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    N6OAI, AC5PS

    I think it’s a good thing to learn, to just carry on the ham tradition. About 25 years ago I wanted my extra license so I could tx on any available frequencies. I struggled, I passed the 5 wpm on the first try. 13 wpm took me two attempts and 20 wpm three times before I passed, all that took a year. Then I loved it ! For several years 95% of my HF contacts were CW. Then job/life changed and I haven’t made a CW QSO in a long time.
    My copying speed has slowed but but haven’t forgotten CW.

    7 3 de AC5PS

  3. #3

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    I learned Morse code when I first got my license (1965). But I didn't have equipment that was good enough to use effectively for CW. But I did have a Heathkit Twoer and mostly worked 2 meters (AM). It wasn't until the early 80s that I obtained equipment that was sufficient for CW operation. At that time I was living in Germany and operating as DA2EU. I mostly operated CW on 15 meters, which always seemed to be packed.

    While I think Morse Code is a good thing to learn, I don't know that it should be taught in school. The only place that it would be useful is on the ham bands, with a ham license. And since Amateur Radio is just a hobby, we shouldn't be forcing our hobby preference in the schools. My XYL learned sign language, so that she could act as an interpreter at various meetings. She was very good at it and had a natural ability to understand almost any language. As for myself, I have enough trouble with English, and English is my first and only language.

    I passed the 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests the first time. But I was well prepared. When I took the 20 WPM test, I could copy around 27 WPM. So I found the test relaxing. But the rest of the hams testing with me, did find the 20 WPM test very difficult.

    At the 20 WPM test, there were about 8 other hams. I had just passed the Advanced and Extra written tests, in that same session, and was raring to go. One of the hams testing was there for the third time and wanted to use a keyboard to record his test. The VEs were accommodating and quickly set him up with a keyboard and monitor. The rest of the test takers were there for their first time.

    As the test started, everyone started to write. The test was one side of a simulated QSO and that is exactly the study material that I used. So I found it easy to copy. The ham with the keyboard started OK, but you could tell that he was very nervous. After a few stabs at the keyboard, he pushed it aside and started writing scattered letters on the paper. The rest of the group wasn't doing much better. After the audio part of the test was over, we had to answer the 10 question test. It was common, for those taking the test, to get just enough characters to answer some of the questions. If they got 7 of them right, they passed. But that wasn't the case here.

    When my copy and question sheet were checked, the VE said I passed. She didn't have to check the question sheet, because I had 100% copy. And, not just one minutes worth. I had the entire test message. But, as it turned out, I was the only one, in that group, that passed. I was very surprised. I often wonder why. Was it just a case of nerves, or were they unprepared? It was common for hams to take the test at ham fests, on the off chance that they copied enough characters to answer the questions. No preparation at all. I know a few hams that did it that way.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  4. #4
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    Since Monday is Morse Code Day, it would be a good day to start.


    https://ayearofholidays.wordpress.co...orse-code-day/

  5. #5
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    True not everyone would need morse It should at least be offered in schools.
    Once you learn it knowing how to send ciphered messages is just a matter of getting used to the cipher keys a few times to be able to send encrypted messages.
    But for the use of ham operators rarely will we have the need to send ciphered messages.

    as scouts we used to send ciphered messages to each other and drive the scout master nuts trying to figure out what we were saying.

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    Morse code involves dots, dashes AND == very important == spaces.

    I'm assuming your code represents "73", which is _ _ ... ... _ _
    Note that the two digits are separated and not run together (which is, unfortunately, the way a lot of new-to-code hams would likely send it.)

    Not sure what "ETEE" means, but that's what it says.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    Morse code involves dots, dashes AND == very important == spaces.

    I'm assuming your code represents "73", which is _ _ ... ... _ _
    Note that the two digits are separated and not run together (which is, unfortunately, the way a lot of new-to-code hams would likely send it.)

    Not sure what "ETEE" means, but that's what it says.
    yeah 73 and my first name Ted
    spacing difference is something i have to get used to all over again its been so long since Ive used it (more than 40 years)

  8. #8

    Default morse code learner

    Quote Originally Posted by gnuuser View Post
    theres been a lot of discussion between a few friends about learning Morse code. and i get the usual bull about it being too much of a pain to learn.
    its been over 40 years since ive used code but I am relearning it again. as well as teaching my deaf wife how to use it.
    Ive set up small keyer's with led's as well as buzzers so she gets a visual instead of audio.

    Imho I believe everyone should be taught it in school, Not just boy scouts!


    _ _ . . . . . . _ _ _ . _ . .
    I agree, it is a good skill to have. I am in my 40s and have started learning Morse code now and wish it were taught to me in school. I have also involved my 11 and 15 year olds to learn it with me. I am going to take my test this year.

    I found a great youtube video which helped me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8tPkb98Fkk. Hope this helps other folks.

    For people who want to learn receiving morse code, I wrote a simple python code that can be used to learn receiving morse code. I have written it for Linux using Python 3. Feel free to learn from it, distribute and modify the code as you wish. https://github.com/tbhaskar78/pymorse

    Visual medium to learn is an extremely good idea. I will try to add a visual component to my code as well, thanks for the idea.

    _ _ . . . . . . _ _ _ . _ . .

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    Many years ago, Morse stopped me from being licensed now I can see it was because of maybe the worst method of learning I "invented".
    After Morse being dropped, it was a piece of cake.
    But. Morse code is extremely useable - it is possible to hear it at the noise level (sometimes, noise DIMINISHES after starting to send cw).
    It is one of the best tools how to "push" the message to the other side of the planet.
    It has the smallest bandwidth of any modes.
    So it is extremely effective.
    When using codes and abbreviations, it is international. No need to learn English.

    But at the same moment:
    nowadays we have so broad possibilities what to do with the radio that some/many of us will not touch the morse key in their whole career
    they would be happy with FM phone, SSB phone, packet radio, whatever
    we need to use all the designated bands, we need people to prevent losing the bands, so it is not reasonable to require morse code exam

    learning morse in school? WHY? to elevate amount of hassling? not enough?
    morse need approx. one month of daily trainiing to learn only basics, to be able to read not so fast sending
    that "scout level" is unusable and I am afraid their learning method is bad... if it is the same used here in my youth by Pioneers (something like scouts, but leftist and atheistic) it is completely counterproductive (mnemotechnics and other "rationalizations" instead of learning sound patterns)
    what helped me a lot? not being pressed to learn morse! this is exact opposite of mandatory learning it at school
    I would say it has almost zero usability for 99.99 % of people. Even those "proficient" scouts are unusable as operators, unable to send anything right.

    @tbhaskar78 the guy in the video is doing exactly opposite what you need to do - no lookup table of any kind!!! it is like learning Chinese - strange sound patterns we are not used to but containing information
    lookup table of any kind will hold you back, this is exactly the mistake I did 35 years ago (fortunately I forgot my LUT after not being used - it is so bad that having any traces of learning any kind of LUT instead sound patterns will cause problems when trying to learn those sound patterns, NEVER!!! NEVER!!! start learning any LUT! and I would say never use "dot" and "dash" terminology instead of dits and dahs)

  10. #10

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    Teaching my self code now... I'm disabled...I had an accident at work and it has resulted in 5 herniated discs.... While I'm working with disability I'm loosing my mind.... So I decided to teach my self an international language...

    If any one knows of a cheap .... Very restrictive budget.... Assembled qrp unit let me know.... The fact that signals skip off of the ionosphere is the coolest thing in the world.. long time listener of ham this is my first time I actually have Benn studying for the test. My son said I need to stop watching the news.... It depresses me.... And work on a hobby.... I decided to get my ham licence... I just wish my neck would let me do projects....

    New guy...

    Sent from my LM-Q730 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    this site offers the cricket radios in 40 and 80 meter. and 30 meter
    they usually come in kits but email the kitters they may build them for you or have them built and sent to you.
    they are easy and fun to build.

    most qrp activity is usually at evening to night but Ive picked up a few throughout the day.

    http://www.4sqrp.com/index.php

    I will be kitting out the ozark patrol reciever when the supplies arrive. ( I built this radio in an hour and a half) could have done it quicker but i took my time to prep everything carefully!

    there are other kit sites i have on file. If you would like a list of them let me know.
    too much blood in my caffeine system.

  12. #12

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    The first company has suspended orders.... I was looking for something like the nor call 40 nine-er I was very impressed by what I read about it.... Not sure the rockmite has the power to get out ....

    Thank you for answering me back.
    This seems like an encouraging forum...


    73s

    Sent from my LM-Q730 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by apoetwarrior View Post
    Teaching my self code now... I'm disabled...I had an accident at work and it has resulted in 5 herniated discs.... While I'm working with disability I'm loosing my mind.... So I decided to teach my self an international language...

    If any one knows of a cheap .... Very restrictive budget.... Assembled qrp unit let me know.... The fact that signals skip off of the ionosphere is the coolest thing in the world.. long time listener of ham this is my first time I actually have Benn studying for the test. My son said I need to stop watching the news.... It depresses me.... And work on a hobby.... I decided to get my ham licence... I just wish my neck would let me do projects....

    New guy...

    Sent from my LM-Q730 using Tapatalk
    Excellent! Have an upvote!
    The attitude you display tells me you will get there no problem. I just wish I had some details for you regarding qrp rigs. Maybe gnuuser can be of help there. Best regards (73)

  14. #14
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    i purchased a pixie 2 from this site.
    https://www.pixiekits.com/
    you have to go online and download the assembly manual.
    its pretty easy to assemble and low cost.
    its only a half watt transceiver but it does work well with a 1/2 wave 40 meter dipole or a slinky dipole.
    but here is another source for neat kits.

    https://www.breadboardradio.com/index.html

    dx sales on 4sqrp.com have been suspended for now but all sales are active here in the US.
    The also have volunteer builders there, you just need to email them.
    Last edited by gnuuser; Wed 9th Sep 2020 at 22:24.
    too much blood in my caffeine system.

  15. #15

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    Thank you...

    Sent from my LM-Q730 using Tapatalk

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