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#51 - Morse Code Progress

About a week ago I decided that I was going to try to learn CW or Morse Code. I have been listening to the CW code lessons online all week and began practicing for several hours a day every day since I received my keyer/paddle combo on Friday.

I have made some progress, but so far I am not completely happy with the progress that I have made. I am learning the letters, and learning to form words, but there is a catch that has plagued me all my life.

Throughout school whenever I would take a foreign language class I always ran into a problem. I was able to speak the language and say what I wanted to say, but when it came time for me to translate what other people were saying I had a problem.

So far CW is not being an exception to that rule it seems. I am able to transmit code, but I am having a lot of trouble copying the code being sent to me. Apparently, my brain only wants to work in one direction. Outgoing is coming easy to me it seems, but when I listen to code being sent, it all runs together and I am unable to recognize the differences between the dots and the dashes.

The class is wanting us to learn CW at 20 words per minute, which supposedly makes it easier to become faster later so that you are able to get up to "conversational" speed, whatever that is. When I slow the code down to 10 WPM I am able to recognize the patters of the letters and words, but when I speed it back up they all run together again.

I will speak with the mentor of the class tomorrow night and let him know what I am finding and see if he has a solution. Perhaps this is a common issue that he is familiar with.

All I know right now is that it is extremely frustrating to have to send and receive at two different speeds. When I try to slow down and send code at 10 WPM I make mistakes because it doesn't sound right to me.

I am still having problems with transferring what I am learning from short-term memory over to long-term memory. I am able to remember at night what I learned that morning, but by the next day it has mostly been wiped clean from my memory and I have to relearn what I went over the day before.

Another issue that I found is that I can read a word or group of words that are printed out and am ale to send it in code, but I am really struggling when I try to just think of a word or phrase to send. So if I write it out first, I can transmit it with little difficulty, but if it is not written out then it is a challenge for me. This doesn't really work when you are trying to speak with someone else and answer their questions. I can't stop and write out my answer so that I can see it before I transmit.

Now I remember why when I first got licensed I waited until they came out with a "No-Code Technician" license to go and get mine. Learning CW is difficult, but perhaps I just have not figured out the key to making it easy yet.

Well, that is long enough for a break. Time to get back to studying. Perhaps one day I will get it.

Until next time,

Aloha and 73

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