Monday, September 13, 2010

Improving your morse - random thoughts

It's a long time since I worried about 'improving my morse'. It's not that it's superb or anything, but it's more than adequate for what I want to do with it. There's not much that I hear on the air that I can't copy - although I have a sneaking feeling that speeds in the international CW contests are creeping higher, and I have to listen to some calls a bit closer than I used to!

But I was having an interesting chat with Ian, G4WUH this morning - prompted by a comment of mine that the mobile rig I'm trialling in the car this week, the Yaesu FT1900E has a built in Morse trainer. Haven't tried it yet, but can see it would be good to have running whilst you were in the car.

It was interesting talking to Ian this morning about improving morse speed. Ian's background is a professional radio officer who was trained to use morse. Ian said that one of the ways to improve your speed and competency is to listen to as much morse as you can - for example, have the rig running whilst your watching TV or reading. It's almost as if the subconscious brain starts to process it and it becomes a 'background process'.

This will help you if you want to be able to send/receive morse at the same time as doing something else. I CAN send morse and talk at the same time, but it's not easy AND I'm inclined to forget what I said...!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Tim

Interesting thoughts. Although I've let it slip again now, a few years ago I improved my speed by listening to tapes in the car, which I recorded myself from a Morse tutor application. This was helpful, but it would have been better if I had also listened to Morse on the air, which is very different to the machine generated stuff. Is it me, or is there a lot of very fast but very bad Morse on the bands in recent years?

By the way, following your recommendation in another blog post, I ordered an IC-E92 and a DVAP access point. I'm waiting for the UPS man to deliver them sometime today. I have found someone who says they will register me, but I don't think there is any way to check other than waiting until the DVAP connects, so it may be a while before I'm actually on the air!

Kevin, G0DBI

Tim said...

Hi Kevin,

Great to hear from you.

You're absolutely right - there certainly is some fast, ropey morse around! To add insult to injury, people sometimes use unusual abbreviations. Once you get used to it, it's fine, of course, but it can be a bit alarming when you first start listening.

Great about the E-92 and the DVAP. You'll love it. If you find that you're not able to get registered on D-STAR a reasonably timely fashion, let me know and I'll put you in touch with someone who might be able to help. I don't like to think of you sitting there not being able to use the kit!


VE3WDM said...

Good morning Kevin, some very good suggestions. Funny Morse code and I have a love hate relationship. I do have the FT-1900 rig and use it to increase my speed. I am at the point were the rig offers 30 wpm were I am ok. The next step is 40 no steps between. That is some step for sure, I will try just having the tutor going in the background while I do my hour commute. Not sure I can do that at home the XYL seems to not hear it as music to her ears.


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