Just a quick update on my CW learning progress!
I’ve finally finished learning all of the letters & numbers, and am now concentrating on the prosigns. We’re now approaching lesson 11 within the Morse Trainer application which basically starts giving you real world QSO chatter to attempt to copy. At this point, it’s my belief that I just need repetition to increase my speed. The instructor is still only sending maybe around 7-8wpm tops, but he’s slowly starting to pickup the speed as we approach the end. I think the goal is 10wpm if I’m not mistaken for the level 1 course. I’m pretty sure i’ll accomplish that goal.
Consistent practicing is still key, even if it just entails pulling out my cell phone and listening to morse code with an app trying to decode letters. It was also suggested that I learn the top 100 most commonly used CW words, a Google search quickly turned up plenty of posts/articles about the most commonly used words/abbreviations. I’ve programmed those into the Morse Trainer application for android, and I just listen to small groups of them repetitively.
I’m pretty tough on myself, but have to step back occasionally and realize that I’m only halfway into the course, and I’ve already got this much down. Hopefully with several more months practice, I’ll increase my speed and feel comfortable enough to call CQ on the air. I’ll definitely have to post something along the lines of ‘Please be patient w/ me – I’m a new CW operator’ on my QRZ page, so folks don’t think I’m drunk keying or something, lol.
So that’s that! I’m not blazing along by any means, but I’m trying not to burn myself out in the process. No reason to rush – I’ve always got digi & voice to keep me company. But there’s still this underlying desire to get on CW quickly because I see so many POTA & SOTA spots pop up on CW. SSB & Digi just aren’t as common.