learning morse 2 ways

As part of my target this year, though within the last 6 months I’ve quite ignored this goal of mine, I want to learn Morse Code. I’ve started a little last year by listening to the online lessons of The Ham Whisperer on youtube and have taken the first 4 lessons with success, but have had little practice in real life as well as simple listening time in morse.

here’s lesson 2:

another thing that i felt was holding me back was the fact that i can’t keep up with the speed real hams transmit and listen to (about 25 words per minute) even though 5 wpm is the requirement for a Class A ham in the philippines. i wanted to develop both at the same time so i googled some stuff that do that and found out about Koch trainers.

Ludwig Koch apparently developed this method and has been highly recommended by hams online, even developing programs and apps that do just that: teach morse code using the method.

Today is Day 1. I cut my session to 1 minute just because i get frustrated when i miss letters and get distracted and then fail miserably at recovering. So i’m building it up to the recommended 5 minutes, minute by minute. and it’s looking good!

they say it gets harder the more letters you know and i’m almost afraid of reaching that point because i just might say, “oh forget it! who needs morse anyway?!” and stop. hopefully not. fingers crossed!

-.. . -.. .— .—- –.. -.-. ..-. –… …–

84th PARA Anniversary experience

di na ako gaanong nakakalabas-labas tuwing weekends. usually, it’s about doing chores and staying at home or preparing for the coming week. R&R sa mall is actually no R&R for me. magbabantay pa ng bata, gagastos sa pagkain sa labas. and kung sa malayo-layong lugar naman, traffic tires me out. buti sana kung maluwag ang kalsada. masaya ang joyride… kung walang traffic.

last sunday, i gave myself a treat and went out to the PARA Anniversary in Marikina. i told A that i was going and she generously let me.

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actually, my purpose was just to take a little peep as i have never attended one. photos during the event seemed to show that it was a hell lot of fun. another reason was to register my radio during the amnesty granted by the NTC at the event. sayang ang matitipid.

i went straight to the amnesty booth to get my radio registered and while waiting, i met people from DX3C. a pity i didn’t remember their callsigns but i’d really love to hear them when i stay in DU3 during the christmas break.

i digress. so after registration, i was told to claim my modified license on thursday. so off i went to look at the booths in the event. and GRABE… i was drooling over all the little things i saw. parang batang nasa candy store ang feeling!!! batang walang pera. huhuhuhu

i heard may raffle during the event sa mga nagregister. umasa naman ako manalo. sabi ko baka may awa ang Diyos sa akin na walang kwarta. but alas, dumating ang alas-5, umuwi akong luhaan.

di naman nasayang ang paghihintay ko, though. during the afternoon, a session was set for morse code or “CW” in ham speak. novices were taught 10 letters and asked to transcribe at around 8 letters per minute. the proficient-level hams had a contest and they were transcribing at 25 words per minute! what does that sound like? watch here:

amazing diba? i think i’m making this a life goal… i actually implicitly put this in my 100 Dreams list because to be a Class A ham, you need to pass the 5 wpm exam.

during the last moments of the event, i chanced upon Sherwin, a “batchmate” at the PARA seminar and passed the exams as DY1ZBV! i was so relieved to have met someone i knew in the event. he went with his clubmates from DX1CI (COMPASS Inc.) and that’s when i realized what i was missing: the camaraderie. i was a “lone wolf” and ham radio wasn’t as much fun when you keep to yourself and just listen. you have to learn how to interact with other people… and THAT is what i have to learn too.

so maybe now that my son is a bit older, i can be more active in the hobby and perhaps join a club. (DX1M seems to be quite inactive and its members too spread out) we’ll see.