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Thread: should people learn Morse?

  1. #1
    gnuuser's Avatar
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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/

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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
    gnuuser's Avatar
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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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