CW must be learnt on a daily basis using a step-wise approach.
Keep traning day by day, without exceeding in time spent.
In Ham Radio applications, learning CW can be approached in a phased way:
In this phase, we concentrate only on receiving.
Start using a software, preferably Super Morse gradually introducing the following groups:
ETANIMKeep training in daily essions of 10-15 minutes, not more. Start from 10 WPM as a minimumm when you are able to copy all the characters in a group, go to the next group.
When you learn all groups, go to phase 2.
Phase 1 takes an average of one month: please keep in mind to follow your natural speed and inclination. There is no hurry, its just a game !
2. Speed up to 20WPM copying with paper and pencil.
Ok, now you are ready to purchase your first telegraph key.
Go to eBay and get a Lionel J-38 straight key: it is cheap and is a very good value for the money.
Use a PC to transmit groups of characters, receive them for 5 minutes and, then, re-transmit the groups with your straight key trying to repeat exactly the same time and spacing.
When you are able to copy 90% of the characters, speed-up of 1 WPM up to 20 WPM (click here to download a 20 WPM sample QSO 800 kB mp3).
Go on air, now you are ready ! Do not be ashamed to ask for QRS (even if you should not even ask for it: a real RT knows when a QRS is needed ...).
Keep this phase as long as possible e.g: one year or so, since this phase is crucial to achieve the correct timing and spacing that will be vital for the subsequent phase and, if you wish so, it will save you a lot of pain when changing kind of telegraph key.
In this phase, add the following characters:
This phase is tough, most people occurr in several difficulties such as:
At 20WPM, you will find that it is impossible to write everything on paper and you need to abandon this way of copying CW.
This step is rather delicate and time-consuming.
Don't worry: keep training and QSOing, time will give you all that you need.
Some hints and tips:
Remember: accuracy trascends speed - be stylish with CW, go slow and be precise.
From time to time, find a friend with whom you might train for QRQ.