I got my code practice in a little bit differently today. I was looking at You Tube to see what kind of videos they had of people with QRP (low power) CW (Morse code) radios. They had several videos of people building the kit that I have, the Pixie 40m ham radio.
Another video featured the MFJ Cub and in addition to showing how it went together, the videographer showed his first contact with it. I was able to copy most of it. He had put subtitles on the screen but I tried to copy the code without looking at the screen. I’m not quite there yet but I’m becoming confident that I can do this.
The key thing I’ve learned this time around (I’ve attempted to learn Morse code on numerous occasions) is the importance of learning the code at speed. Morse code sounds different at twenty words a minute than it does at five words a minute. At five words a minute, you get all hung up in dots and dashes. At twenty words a minute, you hear the sound of entire letters. That is when you can start to recognize the sound of entire words. And that is when you can copy code straight off the radio.
It is an exciting thing to learn a new skill. I am getting excited by the prospect of getting on the air old school with nothing but a key and headphones between me and my radio.