Comms question

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by McFlasher, Dec 26, 2006.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm after some advice.

    Here's the story - I'm from the Republic of Ireland and in the Irish Naval Service. I passed out a few months ago and I'm now doing branch training for comms.

    It's not too bad, but I am struggling with Morse code. I find the sound easier than flashing. I keep practicing but it's not really helping, just wrecking my head.

    Does anyone have any tips? I would post this question on an Irish military forum but we haven't really got one.
  2. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    The way I learned Morse was to ensure that I was fully conversant with the letters and numbers before trying to read audio or light. The simple and boring way I made sure of being fluent was to mentally translate into Morse every sign, bill-board, advert, shop name, pub name, etc that I passed in a certain period (limit to say half hour) each day. Once I was comfortable with the alphabet then I started on audio / visual Morse and kept on practising.

    We've got the forums, its our military future that's in doubt! :(
  3. I suppose if you were to write out "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" (which uses all the letters of the alphabet) and try to translate that into Morse you would have to recall every letter in Morse, which might help with the memorising. Just an idea.
  4. Use flash cards to help you learn the alphabet. Once you are familiar with that its then just a case of practice.

    What ever you do try not to count the dots and dashes. If you do you will have some short term success and then hit a brick wall.

    You need to recognise the sound of each character not the dot-dash composition.
  5. practise practise and morepractise m8
  6. To help me I used to read vehicle number plates and transfer it into morse. Lots of them.
  7. I don't know if anyplace still sells them, or even where i got them, but back is the early 70's when i was at Mercury, i bought a set of morse keys and a small light that were battery operated. You could even plug headphones into them. They helped me no end as you could practice tx'ing and using the headphones, rx'ing. I'd use letters and anything else i could get to practice with
  8. Hey Lads,

    Thanks a million for your tips so far!!! I'll certainly be trying them out.

    It's like Novocastrian said, I think alot of my problem is that I have been counting the dots and dashes and trying to visualise them. Guess it's gonna be a hard habit to get out off.

    I found a piece of free software on the internet ( that sends you random letters/words. Although it may be starting to drive my folks mad, it's quite handy! :lol:

    Thanks again!
  9. There are still Radio Ham nuts out here who still use Morse Angwish... :lol: Get yer bats on and run up and down Laundry Hill in your brownhatters overalls for half-an-hour to get yer brain in gear! :wink: :lol:

    McFlasher, try visiting these folks. If you're keen I recommend the (more expensive) paddle type keys otherwise you can pick up a cheap basic key for practicing with. I bought my last one from HMS President's "obsolete" stores, plus a pair of semaphore flags back in 1991 for £2.


    PS: I've just noticed that the paddle keys are now much cheaper than the standard keys. It used to be the other way round in the 1980s! I paid £220 for a paddle key in 1979! It looks like you can get something similar for around £70 now :roll:
  10. There are still Radio Ham nuts out here who still use Morse Angwish... :lol: Get yer bats on and run up and down Laundry Hill in your brownhatters overalls for half-an-hour to get yer brain in gear! :wink: :lol:

    Slight change of subject here. I prefered faith, hope and charity myself, heard some scary stories about the laundry when i was there 8O :!: 8)
  11. McFlasher - as what FlagWagger said i also did the same thing when practicing my morse code. Every sign, number plate, etc, etc i would go through in my head what each letter was in Morse code.

    In addition to this, several times me and my oppos would go and get the hand held (is it the 5"?) lamp and one of us would sit a fair way down a corridor or the opposite end of the flight deck (obviously when there is no flying! Haha!) or wherever is most convenient and the other would flash away the morse code and we would do this continuously.
    To make it interesting we would have conversations and chat only by light, which also makes it fun to learn. Doing this made me really good at flashing light hence that was my part of ship during Thursday Wars and one time i was actually filmed by a program for ITV which was shown sometime in 2001/2002 of me on the signal deck of HMS Campbeltown doing flashing light during a Thursday War. Only thing is, you couldnt tell it was me as i had my anti flash on, kevlar helmet, etc, etc! Suppose that that was my 5 mins of fame!!!
  12. Some people have a natural aversion to a series of noise and this is a recognised medical condition for which there is no cure, as far as I am aware.
    For instance if a group of people are talking in a pub, the listener can only focus in on one of the group; a disco is nothing other than a stream of annoying noise, certainly no kind of entertainment.
    Or, a squeak in a car that most people ignore sets you on edge.
    I went through hell on earth learning the code (typing was no problem) and tried all sorts of things to help none of which worked.
    My morse was never any better than adequate and it was only years after leaving the navy that I found out that this was far from unusual.
    As you say you find the sound easier than flashing this may not be pertinent but worth bearing in mind.
    Whether there is a similar problem with eyes I don't know but my experience of years teaching high speed driving taught me that a LOT of people have problems assimilating what they see.
  13. First post but think I can remember the order things were taught in all those years ago (27 years ago!!)

    E I S H

    T M O

    A U V

    N D B

    W J

    G Z

    F L

    C Q X Y

    K P R

    May have them in the wrong order, but I think you will pick up on the grouping.
  14. HookieBuntz - Yeah that sounds very familiar the order of the letters you put down.

    I remember all the dits together such as e, i, h and s.

    And all the Dahs together such as t,m, and o.

    Gotta say youve got a good memory to remember the order that they go in.
  15. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Keep practicing mate, alot of people suddenly hit a wall and can't read morse at a particular speed, it's called "morse blind" may find that wall at 8 words a minite but be able to read it again at 10 words a minite.
  16. I've only just seen this Angwish. Scary stories about the Laundry? 8O Surely not? :wink: I can't believe that you'd really prefer to double up and down FH&C though.... are you a masochist? :lol:
  17. I wrote a poem to help our flashers learn Morse when I was in the RNXS :D Problem is I cannot remember what I wrote! That's senility for you!!! :oops: :(
  18. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    See my sig :)
  19. Thats was spurred my interest in becoming an OM (C). I grew up with amateur radio / ham radio.
    Tried to get my licence for it when i was at Colingrad but they said cuz its a civvy licence you have to sit a civvy test for it, even though we covered all of that stuff (apart from audio morse) in our comms course!!!!!!!!
    So never did it in the end!!!!!!! :roll:

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