Saturday, August 23, 2014

Learning CW Faster...Faster

I've really let my CW slide. I turned on the rig last night for the first time in over a month and realized that I couldn't copy ANYTHING, so I pulled out the trusty iPhone and opened DahDit (my personal favorite Morse app) and restarted the tutorial. About three characters in, on a whim, I dial the speed up from 13wpm to 20wpm. Within three days, I'm at 85+% on 29 characters!

I never understood the whole, "Listen to the character, not the dits and dahs," argument. Now, however, it's beginning to make sense. At 20wpm, I can't accurately count the dits and dahs-as evidenced in my deplorable performance distinguishing "2" from "J" in the last few sessions. Which, by the way is even more disturbing because I have a 2 call. :/ 

I always approached CW like math: there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Now, I'm approaching it like rock-n-roll: feel the beat, let it move you, groove along. As a bass layer, I am so used to hear the subtleties of a good drummer that I should have picked up on the similarity sooner. Decoding, and sending to a free, is a lot like playing a musical instrument. Needless to say, I'm totally geeking out on Ham Radio again, which is the whole point of a hobby...right?

Once I get back up to speed, or in this case up to speed, I'll finally be able to hang around the 40M watering holes, rather than being limited to the area surrounding 7.110. Maybe I'll be able to hang with the big boys. I can't wait! I also might need to check out a bug, I hear they are even more musical than a paddle or straight out wallet, here I come again.