I’ve pretty much learned the Morse alphabet, now. Oddly, I can do it without errors in order (A through Z) but if I just randomly pick a letter, I sometimes forget it. I know it with perspective but not without. That should come in a few more days. Then the hard part begins.
Yeah. We weren’t taught in order. Rather we started with the short letters first. Now is the time to start sounding the letters out. When you’re looking at a menu or a sign or whatever. Pretty soon it will come more quickly. You’ve gotta mix them up. You have a great foundation now but you have to break away from the sequence you learned. It’s no big deal and frankly kind of fun. I hope you keep going with it. It will never die I believe. It’s become so arcane that it’s almost a secret now. You can get practice tapes. Hell, youtube probably has some, I dunno. Keep going. Maybe someday we will communicate from south to north America.
By the way. What is it that you consider the hard part?
I agree, it’s hard but it’s fun. I have a big presentation I’m preparing for on Tuesday but I’m not letting up on the Morse. It’s fun to learn. I’d love to try a bit of DXing someday. I have no equipment yet so it won’t be soon.
The hardest part? Nothing is really an obstacle so far but I can tell you I turned up my morse tutor app to 60 WPM just to listen and I couldn’t make ANYTHING of it. It was just one long string of noise. At 20 wpm, I can’t keep up yet but at least I can hear the letters.
In the Navy we copied with typewriters. Faster than trying to write. After a while it becomes something similar to the rhythm in music. Johnny Cash was an operator in the Army. He said “for some reason I was good at it.” Speed will come.
My longest contact was with Azerbaijan from Florida.
As far as a key goes. Iambic paddle is the way to go. A bit pricey but worth it.
I don’t have a key yet but I will almost certainly go iambic. I’m going to focus on copying code first, then keying later. It’s going to take me some months to get to 20 wpm copying, and even longer to go faster if I am even able to. I’m not sure I even want to. There’s a comfort to morse at 20 wpm. It’s unpleasant sounding at 60.