Email Mentoring Works

I received an email from Carl 2E0CWC asking if there was a Mentor in the Midlands to help him with his Morse, to which I replied “NO” but I would be willing to Mentor him by email and asked him to send me details of his Morse Proficiency and Problems. This was his reply:

Hi Ian,

Many thanks for coming back to me. In response to your offer to join your Morse Training Group, I would be very pleased to and any advice you can provide me with would be hugely appreciated.

In short: I have been interested in learning Morse for quite a few years and with being a pianist everyone I spoke to said ‘it will be easy for you’. I taught myself in a number of incorrect ways (including crib sheets, mnemonics and similar) and culminated using an American chaps ‘learn Morse at 5wpm tapes’. Before long I was able to receive 5wpm with reasonable comfort. I developed this to 6wpm pushing 7 at peak. This is all well and good but I have been meandering with Morse now for a while making very few CQ calls as I am not confident at receiving CW at any reasonable speed and find the modem like bleeps on HF a world away from my current abilities.

Fast forward to last night: I read most of the articles on your website and I now think I need to go back to square one and re-learn using the Kotch method as the site suggests. (I have just tried receiving at 20wpm 15 overall and at this speed I just fall off my chair!!).

I hope that makes sense – I am trying not to waffle on! In short I am somewhat frustrated as I deal with rhythm every day of my life I think I have the making to be a first class 0perator but I will need to nurturing the correct methodology – and as I always say if a job is worth doing, its worth doing well.

Do you think there is some hope?!

Carl is one of the very many Slow Morse operators that are struggling and I was pleased to take him on, I sent him the relevant information about moving onto the Koch Method with a few tips to help him on his way. I was surprised at the rapid progress Carl has made in two days. his next email follows

I downloaded the suggested program yesterday and I have been working from the start again using your suggested settings. I can report back some very strange findings. Firstly, it is very challenging at the higher speed but I am finding it well within reach to pick it up at a comfortable level. I tend to settle with two or three rounds of more than 90% before moving on and in the sessions I have had yesterday and today I have gone from two up to 19 characters and slowly but surely the very frantic array of dits and dahs being thrown into my head seem to be slowing down and at times becoming quite manageable. It is a totally new experience copying at these speeds (and to be honest, a week ago was very much out of reach). As you so rightly pointed out the very hardest thing is to forget about letters you miss – I am finding that the biggest challenge. Other parts I am finding tricky at the moment are quick successions of E’s and T’s as this seems to increase the speed momentarily. I am setting myself a target of one week to cover all the signs in the program at the 18/12 setting.

It seems that the email Mentoring works and I would be willing to take on anyone else who required help. When Carl mentioned that the Morse was slowing down in his head, this was due to the reflex action kicking in, because he didn’t have to think about the character it gave him more time.I will keep you posted on Carl and we may be working him on the bands at 12wpm sooner than expected. Well done Carl

5 thoughts on “Email Mentoring Works

  1. I am 81 years young and trying to relearn CW so that I may use it. I would like to know what the Koch Method is and where I can get it. I have been in radio since about 1945, and I still have trouble with copy, so any help will be greatly appreciated. Tnx N 73

    • Just an update on Carl now M0SER

      “Happy New Year, Ian!

      Yes, it was great to meet you at Hamfest this year – just sorry I couldn’t sort myself out to do the test. I had a LOT going on the previous couple of months and had no time to look at CW.

      You will be pleased to know since then I have been enjoying getting a bit of time to play Morse! Since I saw you and with a bit of practice in the car (on CD) I’ve started to develop the ‘instant recognition’ you mentioned when we first spoke – wow! What a HUGE difference it makes – I’m no longer (for the most-part hearing dits and dahs but ‘letters’. Its much more relaxing and now means I’m on HF here at home (simple long wire) and enjoying CW contacts. I had a 45 minute rag-chew with a German station the other day. I’m very comfortable at 12-16 chatting away (providing I have a computer keyboard, I’ve still not mastered head copying for full sentences). Since the IR I amaze myself with being able to copy call-signs and ‘the jist’ of what’s going on at high speeds (in the 20’s).

      A big thank you for your advice early on – you now personally take pride of place in any conversation I have regarding learning CW.”

      Carl is now listed in the Morse Mentors Directory for the Royal Leamington Spa area

  2. Just an update on Carl, he helped me with the Morse Crusade stand at the National Hamfest 2013 and there is no stopping him and he can now take morse at 25wpm.

    Thank you Carl for all you help with the Morse Crusade


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