CW Hints

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From: Jeffrey Herman (jherman@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu)
Date: Fri May 13 1994 - 17:01:35 EDT


I never gave my thoughts on learning the code so here goes:

I can thank the US Coast Guard Radioman School for increasing my speed;
here's what they did:

To graduate, one of the dozens of requirements was attaining a speed of
22 wpm, so from the first day of school all the characters were send
at 22 wpm with lots of space between characters, i.e. initially the
coded groups were being sent at maybe 5 wpm but the speed of each
character was 22. Each week they'd just shorten the space between
the characters while maintaining the same 22 wpm for each character.
I hope that makes sense to you all.

We were taught to `copy behind' - don't hit the typewriter key too
quickly - lag behind a bit. I'd get around to typing a character
while the NEXT was being sent. Oh, our typewriter keys were blank -
we were learning touch typing at the same time we were learning the
code.

We only got to play with straight keys - the instructors all had bugs -
we were all awed by those Vibroplexes. I believe we had to attain
a sending speed also of 22 wpm.

Coast Guard policy was that to use a bug on the job at one's duty
station (after graduation) one had to have attained a RECEIVING speed
of 25 wpm - sort of a reward.

Keep in mind that most of those entering RM school had never learned
code and were not hams. Their entrance scores (to get into the CG you
have to take a battery of tests) were high enough that RM school
was one of the service schools they could choose from. RM school
had at least a 95% grad rate so their code methods were sound. I have
to periodically remind those in the code/no code debate on
r.r.a.policy of this fact, for some pro no-codes argue that
there are some who CAN'T learn the code. Bull. So there.

Those of you who read r.r.a.misc saw on this week's Newsline that
a group of manufacturers of HF gear are going to start a petition
to reduce the code speed to 10wpm so more hams have HF privs.
Altruism, or more sales?

Phooey.

.073, <----- that's my QRP `best wishes'
Jeff NH6IL


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