Learning Morse Code

A long standing interest in learning Morse Code has been with me since my teenage days. Here I am and I’ve still not learned it. In October 2012 it became clear that unless I took steps to actually learn it I would not. Simple as that. Do it or don’t but if you don’t then you have to live with that decision.

Once upon a time while walking to work aged 16 I’d read off car registration numbers in my head. I learned how to interpret what I saw to dots and dash’s but I never learned to send and receive.

In my twenties having got a Morse Code key, a cheap plastic one, I learned to send but badly and I never learned to receive.

In my thirties I attended an evening class and found myself struggling to get over 10 words per minute. As I commuted on the train I’d listen to it using a Sony Walkman. Eventually my work situation changed and I think I no longer had a car and therefore I was no longer able to attend the evening class’s on time. I never learned it by that method.

Now it seems the only thing that prevents is the desire to learn. There are many resources available from online tutors to G4FON’s Koch Trainer. This is now what I am using to learn. The settings I’ve chosen are 20 words per minute with an effective speed of 15 words per minute. This gives me a bit of time to think between the characters. I’m just a few letters short of the full alphabet and then I’ve 9 numbers to go through.

G4FON’s trainer is a Windows program and yes it does work on Ubuntu 12.04 using WINE.

For me I’ve found a standard process occurs as I learn. A new letter or group of letters is fairly easy to learn. Then as I introduce them to the other’s I’ve already learned everything goes to hell. I become stuck.

But here’s the strange thing, perhaps by modern education standards anyhow.

If I continue to persist and work at it, eventually I get over that issue and I begin to make progress. Strange stuff eh??

It takes about a week to get comfortable again. Essentially every day I try to do something. Thats about half an hour to an hour every day. The most I’ve gone is two days without doing any practice and that is even worse because it takes me a day or two to get back to where I was and its only from there that I know I am making progress again. So when I feel I am making no progress and everything is going wrong, its time to reflect that this will pass if I keep at it and that it will happen again when I add new letters. Eventually though there will be no new letters to add.

Its like learning anything. If you continue to practice and work at it you will get there. If you do something other than that there’s every chance you won’t get there at all. That’s what my experience shows me. What about yours?

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