One step forward two steps back…..

About 6 months ago I wanted to make it a goal to increase my copy speed of call signs and numbers to help out with my contesting. The first thing I had to do was master the proper keyboarding for the numbers. The letters were no problem thanks to my mom who insisted I take keyboarding while in high school. So began my relearning which finger was used for what number. That surprisingly went very well and before I knew it I was off  looking for programs to increase my copy speed in combination with my keyboarding. I came across Morse Runner which by the way is a great program. I was able to start off slow and easy. As time went on I added QRM, QRN, QSB and fading. This program only seemed to send code at random speeds up to about 25 wpm. I began the search for a program that could increase my speed, I came across a website called LCWO (Learn CW online). You have to register and come up with a password but this site has been great in helping my speed move upward. Now my dilemma is this.......over the past week my speed has seemed to drop!! I am having brain to keyboard lockup, hitting two keys at the same time, having no idea where a certain letter or number is on the keyboard and to top it off hearing the call and having to go back over and over again to copy it!!! If I understand learning correctly this is all part of the process????? It sure is frustrating and at times when I start my code practice session I end up stopping and packing it in thinking it's just not a good day for code. I am going with the theory that learning at times is one step forward and two steps back at times?
Mike Weir, VE3WDM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

9 Responses to “One step forward two steps back…..”

  • LarryW2LJ:

    Mike,

    Nice paddle!

    72 de Larry W2LJ

  • Edwin YV5EN:

    Don’t worry Mike, some days are better than others.
    Keep CWing and enjoy.
    72, 73 de Edwin YV5EN

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Thanks Larry it’s the begali signature key and it sure is a gem and the feel is amazing.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Edwin, thanks for the advice and I had the same idea that it takes time and there is going to be good and bad days. The learning curve has to continue as I have gotten to this place before and became discouraged and stopped. So I will plough through it
    Mike

  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    It sure is part of the process, and I know it well. Recently I revived my playing the Melodica, or Melodion as is is sometimes referred to as. I’m switching from the clarinet. The Melodica is a keyboard, exactly like a piano, only I blow into it. The finger memory from the clarinet is of no use whatever on a piano keyboard. Its frustrating trying to play songs that I can play well on the clarinet. I sound like a 5th grader on the Melodion, and yes, some days are better than others.

    A famous conductor was stopped on the street in New York and asked, “How do you get to Cargnige Hall?” To which the famous conductor replied, “Practice, Practice, Practice!” So~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~, that’s what I do!

  • Byron N6NUL:

    If my experience is any guide, what you are going through is normal. I, too, started using LCWO to improve my speed for contesting and have discovered that I am essentially re-learning CW! Indeed, at my desired speed, I have exactly zero achievements. It’s going to take a while! Stick with it!

  • Mike Ve3wdm:

    Good morning Ernest, it’s true about practice and in the past this has been the point were I have stopped for some time and then came back to it….All that did was had me almost start over again. It’s true practice practice is the way to go, I guess these days most of us just expect to keep going forward.
    Mike

  • Mike Ve3wdm:

    Byron that seems to be the advice that has been coming my way and in the back of my mind I know it to be true. The ups are great but it’s the downs is where the commitment is needed.
    Mike

  • Nolan KI5IO:

    Mike – You certainly are not alone. I’ve been ‘putzing’ with improving my CW skills for far too long and only this past year have gotten more serious about it. I was licensed in mid-1970s and upgraded to Extra when CW was still a requirement here … but I never touched a key once I got the upgrade.

    I’ve been collecting some paddles and keys and have been spending a reasonable amount of time with LCWO and various KOCH programs and am doing better.

    Also, now that I’m ‘semi-retired’ I can spend a bit more time and learn more.

    Reading comments like yours helps me stay on track as well.

    73,
    Nolan
    KI5IO

Leave a Comment


Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

 
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed and Twitter (@amatradio).


Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

 
We never share your e-mail address.

 
West Mountain Radio
TEN-TEC
DX Engineering
N3ZN Keys
Ham Shirts
Georgia Copper
R&L Electronics
Aspect Solar
GigaParts
Win4K3 Suite
Austin Amateur Radio
N4PY Software
KB3IFH QSL Cards
Associated Radio
InnovAntennas/Force12
Hip Ham Shirts


  • Matt W1MST, Editor


Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!