Last night, Thursday September 14th, was lesson 2 of my Level 1 CW Academy class. Not sure what happened to our Northern Indiana student but he did not make it in last night. I put in the time since Monday on the Morse Trainer app and I was feeling good about how I would perform during lesson 2. That feeling was pretty short lived.
Everything started off bad when I arrived home only minutes prior to the start of class and I had to rush around getting things set up. When I fired up the computer to get Skype rolling Windows decided it needed to do some reconfiguration after an update which cost me a couple of precious minutes. That set me off right off that bat. The instructor thankfully called me a third time on Skype and I was able to participate. My frustration became apparent as soon as he started to send words and I started struggling right off the bat.
I have come to the realization that I have to be in a quiet environment to copy effectively right now. I hope that will change down the road but right now it is what it is. I started the class with the shack window open and even with headphones on I heard the kids playing outside and my dogs barking downstairs. My concentration blown I excused myself to shut the window so I could try to resurrect what was left of the session. I did do a little better going forward once I got some of the noise out of the way but I still had some issues.
One student is sending on a KX3 with the optional paddles. His computer microphone picks up every clack of his paddles and kills the rhythm for me. Another has a tone that it seems struggles to get out. I am not sure if I will do better in the upcoming classes by not being late to start with and lowering my frustration level but I sure hope so.
Anyway, some of you are stopping by because you are interested in taking the course and you are curious how it works. Notice I put all my personal stuff at the top so you would have to read through it to get to the part you wanted. I kid. I kid.
So, here it goes. Lesson 2 added letters and numbers to the original letters of T E A and N and, as an added bonus, we started numbers. The new letters were O I and S and the numbers 1 and 4. This session started out by the instructor sending us words and the four of us raising our hand when we had it. We moved on from that to copying three word phrases sent by the instructor and then he had each of us send a three word phrase and our fellow students had to copy. Beyond the problems I already stated that I had we all had some issues with copying due to improper spacing.
At the end of Lesson 1 we were told to practice sending our call signs. We were asked to send them tonight and our fellow students had to copy. This went fairly well except for some of the students who had not learned some of the letters that were in some of the calls. Again, sending suffered some due to our spacing. The instructor suggested we start practicing using the word Asian to work on our spacing because it is easy to run together and the word be unintelligible.
We returned to sending three word phrases and copying until time for the lesson to end. We will be back for Lesson 3 on Monday. Stay tuned!