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Morse Code Ninja

Practice


Sorted from easier to harder:
 
Speed:
Type:

Playback Options:

1) YouTube:
From the selection above, select only one speed and type, which will cause a YouTube video to be launched in a new browser window. On mobile devices, the practice video will begin in the native YouTube app. (I have set up JavaScript to prevent you from selecting more than one, but it is not perfect on mobile devices.) There are a handful of speed and type combinations that do not exist. It is on my to-do list to create them and post them to YouTube. In the meantime, you will get a warning message saying that it does not exist.

If you have YouTube Premium, you have the added benefit of saving the videos to watch offline. And perhaps more usefully, you can continue to play the video on a mobile device with the screen turned off!

2) Direct Download:
If you would prefer to have audio files to listen to on your device, you may download ZIP files by speed. Each ZIP file is around 1GB in size and contains all of the practice sets as MP4/M4A files encoded with AAC. These files will playback on current operating systems and handheld devices. But Android users may need to download a compatible player from the App store. There are several free players available for Android devices.

To get the most value from these files, avoid memorizing the content! To do this, you will want to ensure that you continue playback from where you left off. Some players will automatically do this for you, and others will not. iOS devices will save the position if the file is set up as an audiobook.

Please only download the speeds you intend to use in the immediate future. Every download adds to my hosting costs. I will update the files as new content is added. PayPal donations are appreciated, even one $1 is helpful to offset your download.

3) High-fidely MP3 files:
If you would prefer to have 256kbs MP3 files or your device does not support MP4 files, please contact me. I can easily share the files with you through DropBox. Please note that the entire collection is more than 200GB in size! So you will need a paid DropBox account. If you don't have one, you can sign up for a free trial and then cancel within the free trial period. When you contact me, please provide the email address associated with your DropBox account.

4) 256GB USB Flash Drive:
If you do not have access to high-speed internet, please contact me to purchase a name brand 128GB or 256GB flash drive with absolutely everything I have created as MP3 files. There is 2,000 hours worth of content! It will cost in the neighborhood of $30 or $40 depending on the size of the flash drive, which includes shipping, and will be payable via PayPal. The larger flash drive will have the MP3s encoded at 256Kbps while the smaller flash drive will have the MP3s encoded at 128Kbs. Otherwise, they are the same.

I am currently seeking a retailer to handle the logistics of providing the material on a flash drive and not charge much more above the cost of it.


Background and Usage:

The practice videos are sorted from easiest to hard. For each video, try to head-copy it. First, the word, callsign, or phrase is sent. Then it is spoken. And finally, it is sent again in Morse code. If you missed it the first time, the second time allows you an opportunity to learn it. I find it helpful to speak the word or phrase during the pause.

In terms of practice, it is better to have more frequent and shorter practice sessions over one or two long practice sessions per week. Ideally, practice sessions should be no more than 15 or 20 minutes long, with two to three sessions per day. Each video is long enough that you can keep coming back to it and pick up where you left off. As long as you are logged to YouTube on each device, YouTube will remember your place across browsers and devices. And each video is long enough that you will not exhaust it before progressing to a faster speed or more challenging type of practice.

The practice videos are intended to help you progress from 15wpm Instant Character Recognition to as high as 50wpm sentences. If you need help going from no proficiency with Morse Code to 15wpm Instant Character Recognition, then check out my Morse code course.

If there is something that you would like to see beyond what I have created, let me know, and I will see what I can do! And if you would like to be notified of additional content, feel free to access my channel and click subscribe!


US States:

The US State abbreviations are a great step to go from copying individual letters to words. The abbreviations contain almost every letter in the alphabet, and there are only 50 states.

Ideally, you will hear the abbreviation in your inner voice as it is spoken as opposed to the abbreviation as a series of characters. Mental translations take time, and it will save you mental effort later on.


Callsign Prefixes for DXCC Entities:

It can be difficult learning to head copy callsigns. Practicing with callsign prefixes can ease the transition to copying full callsigns and, in my experience, learning the country that the prefix belongs to helps even more. For each callsign prefix, try to head-copy it and determine which country it belongs to.

A special thank you goes to Daniel (KK4FOS) at Buckmaster International for making this possible!

So how did I determine which prefixes to use? First, I identified the common DXCC entities by using the DXCC Most Wanted 2019 list, reversing it, and taking the top 25, 50, and 100 entities. It is a reasonable assumption that the least wanted DXCC entities are the most frequently heard stations on the air.

Next, I needed to determine which prefixes are most commonly issued by the governing body for each DXCC entity. For this, I reached out to Buckmaster International on whether I would be able to download and use their database to determine a list of callsigns issued for a given DXCC entity. The answer was no, but Daniel immediately provided the information I needed to figure this out. Once I had a list, it was a small matter of writing a couple of short Perl and R scripts to parse, filter, count, and combine data to get the most commonly issued prefixes for a given DXCC entity.


Suffix Practice Sets:

I created several practice sets to help you recognize words that have the common suffixes ES/S, ED, ING, and LY. Practicing these will help you avoid getting tripped up by anticipating the wrong word, such as expecting RUN and getting RUNNING instead.

Each practice set contains the Top 100 words for a given prefix and the corresponding root word, such as FIX and FIXED. The selection of words is randomized, so 50% of the time, you will receive the root word while the other 50% of the time, you will receive the word with the given suffix.

I identified the Top 100 words for a given suffix by processing Google's entire English 1-gram 2012 dataset to yield the top 250,000 words, which is based on their project of scanning millions of books! Once the words were ordered by frequency, I evaluated words with the most common prefixes and suffixes (dis, in, im, il, ir, re, un, ed, ing, ly, s/es) and found that only the suffixes were common enough to merit an entire practice set. For example, the top 100 words with a suffix of ES/S were found within the 112th to 1,085th most frequent words while the top 100 words with a suffix of IBLE were found within the 231st to 61,807th most frequent words. So it may not be worthwhile to focus on the lesser common suffixes and prefixes until mastering a substantial vocabulary.


Sets of Words:

It can be difficult transitioning from copying individual words to entire sentences. I located the most frequent 2, 3, 4, and 5-word combinations in contemporary English. These sentence fragments are known as N-grams and should seem familiar and common to any English speaker. I have selected the top 500 N-grams for each set.

To my knowledge, this is an innovative idea that has not been done before! I have found this particularly helpful in learning to head-copy entire sentences.


Sentences from Top Words:

I have created practice sets based on the Top 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 Words to continue your journey in head-copying sentences. If you know the Top 100 Words and the common punctuations, you are ready to go.

These sentences are of limited complexity and length. The length of each sentence is limited to between 3 and 12 words. And each video contains around 275 unique sentences.


Common QSO Phrases:

I came up with more than 200 phrases and their variations that can be found in a typical QSO. These videos will assist you to go from head-copying individual words and abbreviations to an entire QSO in Morse code.


A Sound of Thunder:

The Sound of Thunder is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. The sentence structure is not too complicated, and he does not use an extensive vocabulary. Both of these qualities make it a good candidate for a story in Morse code.


Send Practice

Panogram:

Directions: Ideally send this phrase without reading it as you send it.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogs back

 

Dit Warm-up Word/Phrase:

Mississippi

Mississippi sissies are sissier than Tennessee sissies

 

Dit Exercise:

Directions: Send each line correctly. If you make a mistake, start over.

She is him es he is she.
Is she he?
He is she.
Shall his be these?
Did she see his fees?
This is she.
N5SHS is his call.
Is NS5H hers?
Did she see these?
He is in these trees.
His trees are these.
His tree is here.
She es he.
She is 55 es she is his sister.

 

Finger Twisters:

RADIOTELETYPEWRITER

Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs

Dells little feet looked different during summer session
classes especially after he fell off the roof in Mississippi
and shattered his goofy little glasses.

 

Musical Word:

GEGEBEN (German word for "given.")