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Old 06-08-2005, 07:07   #1
GSD17
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CW help...

Ok, I passed my general theory about 7 months ago... needless to say, I NEED to get my CW out of the way, what is the easiest software that you guys know of to use, I know I can get it, I just have to commit to it, and would like to know the best program you guys know of, I know about 1/4 of the alphabet already off of another CW program, but it is super boring....and the guys voice makes me want to strangle someone, I cant stand to listen to him.... lol;g
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Old 06-08-2005, 14:27   #2
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Boring or not, you need to concentrate on it until you've got it down. You are extremely lucky that you only need 5WPM now. I had to take 13WPM for my General both sending and receiving and without the second chance with written questions. I had a similar problem after I frittered away my Novice privileges on 2 meter voice without doing much HF CW. Then the Novice expired. I got the Tech but it didn't allow me to use HF CW at all.

Anyway, you might check your local ham club because many if not most of them offer code classes. Listen to W1AW daily on the air and download their recordings from WWW.ARRL.ORG website to your PC or iPod. That works pretty well because they also provide the text files to verify your copy. You can buy courses with tapes, etc. but spending time with it should get you to 5WPM very quickly. The time will be required no matter what you buy.

I found the punctuation characters the most difficult to remember and you will have punctuation characters in your test so get them down too.

Personally I now spend most of my mobile HF time in the CW portions of 17, 20 and 40 meters. I've found that speeds that were leaving me with my mouth open a year ago are actually readable now. I'm using a Vibroplex Iambic paddle key with a Kenwood TS2000 from my truck for my two hour daily commute to work.

You won't regret getting your General. It opens a whole new world of ham radio for you.

As a VE, I can vouch for how much easier the code test is now. You only have to receive at 5WPM plus you can pass even if you don't copy enough contiguous text by answering the written questions about the message.
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Old 06-08-2005, 15:35   #3
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Check out this thread:

http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=346829

Lots of good info there.
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:07   #4
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Thanks, I wasnt meaning to try and find the easy way out, I know there is a commitment to it, I know I have to dedicate the time to learn it, I want to, I just wanted to know if there was a specific program that anyone had used that was easier to learn from, something "catchy" ya know. Sometimes I need something that sticks out in my head to remember it, either way, Im gonna go practice now, thanks.
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:43   #5
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Code

Back in 1999 I already passed my general theory tast and was sitting there at the table with headphones on ready to take my 13 WPM test. When I was told I passed it I was probably the happiest person alive just then. After a couple of months I passes my advanced test in front of a VEC team down in Maryland. A couple of months latter I went for my Extra theory and passed that.

Now here comes the interesting part, I needed my 20 WPM to be able to get my Extra class ticket. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. I dedicated at least 2 hours a day listening to code, trying to copy different tests, such as those on QRZ.com. I have never failed any of my ham tests till it came to my 20WPM tests. The first time I sat there he started the tape and my mouth just hung open, I don't think I copied a single word. It took 4 attempts, but I finally did it with a 9 out of 10 score.

My point being if you want something bad enough, you will have the fortitude to do it. Don't be afraid to go there to simply find out what it's all about. If you don't make it the first time, you will have valuable insights on how the test will be given. I do know back then that they had 3 different tests for each code class, I have no idea what they do now for just the 5WPM. It takes dedication and commitment. By the way after I passed my 20WPM, I never used code again. YMMV
Good luck, Dennis
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Old 06-09-2005, 22:46   #6
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I have one that that is just called morse.exe. It is a single file that does not install anything. It is freeware with no license requirements. If you want to PM me with an email address I would be happy to email you a copy because I don't remember where I got it.

If you don't like it, just delete the file and it's all gone. It does not install anything on your computer.
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Old 07-30-2005, 17:11   #7
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Try "Code Quick" at http://www.cq2k.com/
I bought the total package (software, cd's and flash cards)and passed my 5wmp test 3 weeks later. As mentioned in other posts,
the FCC is proposing to go to NO CODE for any license class so you might keep this in mind if you are wanting to learn CW just for license upgrading.

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Old 07-30-2005, 18:03   #8
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Re: CW help...

Quote:
Originally posted by GSD17
Ok, I passed my general theory about 7 months ago... needless to say, I NEED to get my CW out of the way, what is the easiest software that you guys know of to use, I know I can get it, I just have to commit to it, and would like to know the best program you guys know of, I know about 1/4 of the alphabet already off of another CW program, but it is super boring....and the guys voice makes me want to strangle someone, I cant stand to listen to him.... lol;g
There are several good freeware programs, I can't remember the name of the one I used, but the two things I would suggest are learning to copy random sequences (callsigns appear frequently in the code test questions), and practicing daily, but not too long, maybe 15 or 20 minutes a day.

Good luck,

Last edited by VOB; 02-19-2006 at 22:02..
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:58   #9
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Btw, they will dropping the code requirement shortly. Probably next couple of months...
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Old 08-01-2005, 14:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by HtpaKin
Btw, they will dropping the code requirement shortly. Probably next couple of months...
Do you know this for a fact? All I have heard so far is only a proposal to drop code.
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Old 08-01-2005, 18:25   #11
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There has been talk about this for several years.

Right now, it is only a proposal

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/07/20/100/?nc=1
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:35   #12
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I think it's a certainty this time around:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/08/02/100/?nc=1

Here's a quote from the story: "A random sampling of the more than 360 comments filed at this point suggests the tide is running firmly in favor of the FCC's stance. Some even praised the Commission."

I know there's been talk for years but I don't know if there's ever been a proposal from the FCC to drop it. Yes, it is only a proposal now. It's in the comment stage, after which, I think they will adopt it and drop the code requirement.
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by HtpaKin
I think it's a certainty this time around:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/08/02/100/?nc=1

Here's a quote from the story: "A random sampling of the more than 360 comments filed at this point suggests the tide is running firmly in favor of the FCC's stance. Some even praised the Commission."

I know there's been talk for years but I don't know if there's ever been a proposal from the FCC to drop it. Yes, it is only a proposal now. It's in the comment stage, after which, I think they will adopt it and drop the code requirement.
It does look promising enough at this stage that I am keeping an eye on it before I get my next license. I will still learn code and but it won't be a do or die type of learning.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:29   #14
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I've always wondered what the point in knowing CW was. I could understand if some old-timers wanted the art to live on. However, I don't see any practical purpose in knowing it. I think they should just require it for the Extra class, and keep it around 13 WPM. It's not like the party someone is CWing with is going to get mad if they can't do 20 WPM. Every Ham is free to move off the frequency and find someone their own pace. Besides, I just want HF priveledges without CW. That would rock.
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Old 08-07-2005, 22:19   #15
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CW is still a large part of the amateur community. As I type this, I am listening to FW5ZL on CW operating from Wallis & Futuna Is on 14016.5. I was calling him, but there are 100's of stations calling him and the pile is quite large. I worked a CW Q on the bird earlier today, as well. I have 230 DXCC confirmed and just about everything from here on out will be on CW as the expeditions/rare DX dont operate as much phone as they do CW. CW is alive and well in this hobby.

The US amateur population is falling by 1,000 hams per month. At that rate, in 5 years we will lose 10% of the total licensed hams. While I think something is necessary to get more people interested in the hobby, IMO dropping the morse requirement is not going to bring more people. It is going to allow the no code tech access to HF. It is going to allow those who are already hams, to upgrade easier. It doesn't appear that it will attract anyone new to the hobby. I can't see how it is going to help the hobby. I don't have the doomsday view that many have, however I think I will stay in the bottom 25KHz of the bands much more often if this happens.

Dropping the CW to 5wpm makes it so easy, that it is hard to understand why someone, who wants to be part of this hobby, won't put the time into becoming proficient at 5wpm. In abscense of a medical reason, not obtaining a CSCE for 5wpm is just lazy.
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Old 08-12-2005, 16:12   #16
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Pride of Achievement

It seems like making things easier is the rule-of-the-day any more. They made public schools easier and now we see high school graduates with poor reading and math skills. When schools required a reasonable level of performance, graduates had greater pride and reaped more benefits after they finished. Now parents and students are complaining that the SAT exams are too difficult. How else can a minimum level of education be measured? I like the fact that they're grading schoools in Florida according to student SAT scores and allowing students to go elsewhere with vouchers. We all lose if our kids don't even try to make the grade.

Anyway, I said all that to say that ham radio seems to be going the same direction. Some hams say that making licensing easier will bring more young people into ham radio. I think not; they have cell phones, iPods, PCs and broadband internet where years ago, ham radio was more fascinating because there wasn't so many other choices and we could build our own radios. I think that, as the FCC makes things easier, we will see more CBer types on the ham bands. Also, after the CW exam is eliminated, we will start losing those portions of the spectrum to commercial users. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminate the written exams altogether.

CW was something to compel the applicant to work a little harder for their ticket. I never did make the 20wpm grade and stayed with my 13wpm General for many years. I upgraded after they lowered the requirement to 5wpm. Now, I have Extra privileges and, since I'm on-the-air 10 hours/week on HF CW mobile, I can operate well above 20wpm but don't feel like I really earned it.
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