Practice practice and more practice.


 Moving along with my contest code...I call it contest code as it's really not conversation code as that takes a bit more skill. Not saying that contest code does not take skill but you kinda have an idea with contest code what to expect.........a call sign, a number or in some instances a name. Conversational code is more whatever the heck you both are going to talk about. Now mind you the RST, name, QTH and WX are kinda standard it's when the op deviates from the plan and gets going on about the vacation his family took in your hometown.......I digress. 

I have been trying to build on my contest CW speed, accuracy and most of all confidence. I have been doing that with these programs G4FON cw traner, RufzXP, Morse Runner and LCWO code practice programs. What I have found is you have good days and you have not-so-good days. There was a practice session when I would hear the code and freeze wondering for some crazy reason what that letter was. Then the mixing up of letters on the keyboard, going to a "G" but end up typing an "H". Oh and then a big confidence builder is when the contest program send you "SH5IH" 

The most recent issue I was having was hitting between the letters on the keyboard and gong for letters on the 3rd row up such as "W, T or Y" but hitting the numbers above those letters.  I finally figured out what the issue was. Seems when I was practicing on my Mac laptop the keys are closer together than on my Lenovo keyboard. I was doing twice as much practicing on my Mac laptop and my fingers were trained to only move slightly on the keyboard. This meant issues on the larger Lenovo keyboard. The solution was to bring the Lenovo keyboard to the make and use that. 

Anyway today I was thrilled to get zero mistakes on the G4FON CW contest trainer today......I know I know I am all ready for the big ego bubble burst the next session when missing more than I copy. But so goes the contest CW battle. For now, I am bathing in the success! 

This weekend is the annual running of the RAC Canada Winter contest and I am entering the CW only category and yes you guessed it I am going to be calling CQ..........unless I see a nice RAC multiplier worth 20 points!! 


Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

9 Responses to “Practice practice and more practice.”

  • Paul:

    Mike
    Had never heard of the G4FON Contest trainer, thanks for mentioning. Searching around found a download site for a shareware version. Full featured version for $30 US. Which one are you using?

    73 Paul
    w2eck

  • Terry VE5HF:

    Yes G4FON is a great practice application. I also use Ham Morse on my iPhone and listen to the news in CW. You might also want to consider joining the LICW (Long Island CW) group as they have lots of online practice classes and resources for learning CW, but also many other aspects of Ham radio such as kit building, radio repair, antennas, POTA and SOTA operation, etc. I have gained a lot of practical skills from participating in the online classes they present even though I no where near NY. The website is https://longislandcwclub.org . Good luck with your training and hopefully talk to you on the air.

    73’s Terry. VE5HF

  • Good morning Paul and very nice to hear from you, I too found out about G4FON software from just surfing the web as well. On the site you can download version 3 of the trainer, but as you mentioned the full version is 30.00. Unfortunately, G4FON suddenly became a silent key. The link on his webpage that allows you to purchase the full program no longer functions.
    Terry VE5HF in his comment above does mention the Long Island CW club and he also provided a link to the club.
    I am a new member to this club (life membership) and with your membership Terry does a great job giving a brief rundown of the benefits of the club. As a bonus, membership allows you to download the full G4FON program free….well the cost of the membership, but you really get a lot more from the club other than the G4FON program.
    Paul look the club over and really at this time it’s the only way to get the G4FON full program.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Good morning Terry, thanks for the info and link for the Long Island CW club…….spoiler alert…. I am a recent new member, and you are correct, the resources there are huge for CW. The number of classes they offer is unreal, and all the other opportunities to explore CW are just too many to mention.
    Thanks for the link and for sharing the info in your comment.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Paul E w2eck:

    Mike or Terry
    Ok so just joined the Long Island CW Club, but don’t see any link at their web site where I can download the full G4FON Contest Program. Can you help?

  • Paul E w2eck:

    Ok – see the link under Links to Other sites- Morse code teaching software.
    But don’t see how to get full version via LICWC?

    73 Paul

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good evening, Paul, they have an IO groups site……are you familiar with IO groups? When you joined in the email you were sent there should be a link to the LICWC IO group? Once you are there you go to the files section from there to G4FON morse trainer, then to the G4FON exe installer. Once installed you then can direct the program to the KE8AQW authorization. It’s at the bottom of the files in the G4FON morse trainer section where you found the exe file. Paul if you have any issues please email me directly at [email protected] and I will be very happy to help you out.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Paul E w2eck:

    Cancel my last request – received membership info from LICWC with instructions on downloading the software. thanks again for bringing to my attention.

    73 Paul

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Paul, thanks for getting back and you will find the program a great help in moving you along in contesting.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

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