CWOps Intermediate class – Done

Well I finally finished my CWOps intermediate class last week.

To be honest it was starting to get to me, especially when we started on the 25 WPM QSO’s and Short Stories.

Basically I listened to both several times at 25, then at 20 so could get the gist of each one. But no pain, no gain right?

I talked to my Advisor about it (as did the other classmates). He made a point of discussing this during our last session. The net net being, we really didn’t have our Instant Character Recognization (ICR) down. Made sense to me.

He suggested using RutzXP improve ICR. Essentially set the mode to Training, select Letters / Figures (numbers), with a speed of 30 WPM. Also set the Group Length to 3 (to start), and the Number of Groups per attempt to 50.

Start the session, then head copy all three characters before typing them in. Besides helping with ICR, it also helps with copying behind.

I’ve tried it a few times and did some improvement. I’ll continue to update my progress in this regard.

Now as for my final personal assessment. My goals where solid 20 WPM conversational speed, and mid 20’s for contest mode. My conversational goal is questionable. I can do 20 or so if the sender has a good fist, little if any QRM/N or QSB. Otherwise I’m pretty comfortable at 18 under normal conditions.

As for contest mode, I think I exceeded my goal. Just last week I pulled down S&P 35 contacts on the mid day CWT. Plus I’m running about 40 (Run) for the Sunday SST. Plus I can handle a busy POTA activation at 17 WPM, with a solid 60 Q’s per hour.

My plan is to not take any more classes until this fall or early next year. This will give me time to apply what I’ve learned, plus work on my long list of to do’s.

CWOps Intermediate class update

Sorry for not updating my progress over the past few weeks. Let’s just say I was busy and leave it at that.

We are up to Session 11 now, and the speeds are slowly rising. The advisor keeps reminding us that the goal is to learn words. I’ve found that knowing the words by sound gives me more time to figure out new words, and keep track of the gist of the QSO.

The class assignment has us listening to the Short Stories at 18, but I’ve started listening to them several times at 25, then 20 before trying to keep track of the words for the report.

I activated a POTA site yesterday on CW and absolutely noticed an improvement in my receiving and sending. Heck I even picked up a couple of Park to Parks (P2P) contacts. I ended up with 40 CW and 12 Phone contacts. Not terrible considering the QSB on 20 and the fact that I was using a Hustler RMS-20 on the truck. One treat was working one of my class mates from Alberta. He was running QRP into an EFHW.

My best RutzXP Toplist sits at 6188, but are averaging around 5000. Those darned double slash call signs drive me nuts.

The Morse Runner scores are staying fairly consistent. I’m currently running the single call mode at 27 WPM with QRN. My average over the last weeks is about 32. Not to bad. I’ll probably stay at 27, but add QRM in the next week or so.


CWOps Intermediate Class Session 4

We another week in the books. Still making some progress, but there is plenty more to do.

Day 1:

  • Did really well with RutzXP with score of 10,000 and a top speed of 31.
  • Morse Runner was 36 verified with at 26 WPM.

Day 2:

  • No major issues with the Short Story or QSO. But do need focus on the first few letters of the word.

Day 3:

  • RutzXP score was 8772 at 29 WPM.
  • Morse Runner was 31 verified at 26 WPM

Notes from the advisor.

  • Reviewed how to run Morse Runner for training. This includes the basic Single Call mode, and using it to work on memory skills.
  • He reiterated that one of the goals at this point is to take words from the big unknown bucket and move them into the smaller known word bucket. The smaller bucket will get bigger over time. We must be patient.

I record a video about how to use Morse Runner for single call training.

Until next week.


CWOps Intermediate Session 2

Well session 2 is in the books.

Made some progress this week, but realized that I’m still getting distracted with other Ham Radio stuff. Specifically tinkering with my new radio, and contests.

The major distraction was setting up for the NAQPCW contest. Mind you, nothing is wrong with contesting but it consumed way to much time. Just this week I added a Winkeyer III, a line from the headphone jack to the computer Line In, hooking my FTDX 3000 back up (For SO2R). I easily spent over 20 hours tinkering with stuff instead of studying.

So, with that in mind I’m going to forgo contests until the class is done. Well not completely, I’ll still try to get on SST every week. Its only an hour, and the station is already setup for it.

Ok, on to the update.

Day 1:

  • Sending the Warm up and Drill at 26 WPM. Still making some errors, but that is expected.
  • My Morse Runner verified score was 30 @ 25WPM. RutzXP score was 8230 with a max speed of 34.

Day 2:

  • Had to slow down to 13 WPM to copy 70+ percent of the short story and QSO.
  • Per the advisor, the goal is to learn the words. Not speed.

Day 3:

  • Continued sending practice at 26WPM. Also started using CW Get to check my sending and spacing.
  • My Morse Runner verified score was 32 at WPM. RutzXP was 8951 with a max speed of 35 WPM.

Session 2, Day 3 Morse Runner

I also started tracking my progress on a spreadsheet. Here is what I have to date.

Some observations and advisor inputs

  • RutzXP and Morse Runner are windows applications. You will need to figure out how to run these on a Mac (Using Wine) or Linux.
  • You will need some keyboard skills to be remotely successful with these applications.
  • The advisor recommended the CW practice speed should match the speed that you can RX. His logic is you are training your ear to hear what is on the air. A word at 25 WPM sounds different than at 13.

That’s enough for now. Time to dig into Session 3.

73, Dana

CWOps Intermediate Session 1

I started the CWOps Intermediate Class on Monday Jan 4th, 2021. My goal is to post something every week detailing my progress, lessons learned and probably setbacks.

My basic class was completed in Nov 2020. I’ve maintained my daily practice sessions, and am doing well so far in this class. For example I’m up to 26 WPM in Morse Runner (Pile Up / No options enabled), and peak out in the low 30’s in RutzXP. I’m also participating in the SST, some CWT’s, and occasional CW contest. Mostly S&P, but have been know to RUN if the stars align.

Morse Runner, Pile up mode

You can find the class assignments -> here, and the practice files -> here.

Session 1, Days 1- 3:

Lesson learned.

  • Stay focused on the code being sent in the practice files. Don’t tinker with your radio or day dream. If you miss the first two letters of a word, it is most likely gone.
  • Remember you are learning how to do this or that. Dropping down to 13WPM gives your brain time to process the letters, build a word, and put the sentence together.

Instructor notes:

  • If you make an error sending, send three short dits, then wait for a full two seconds before sending the correct word.
  • If you mess up the word again, do not send the dits. Wait two seconds and go for it again.
  • Start each training QSO (Online) with three V’s.
  • Spent some time going through Morse Runner and its oddities. For example, I didn’t know you could change the RIT if a station is off frequency.
  • Use CwGet during sending practice to see how you are doing.