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Statistics to track progress on CW speed

I’ve been using RufzXP to work on my Morse Code speed over the past few months. It’s a good way to kill ~10 minutes while eating lunch or sitting on a plane.  When I looked at the report showing my scores (and max CW speed), I wondered how I was doing overall.  So, being the geek (engineer) that I am, I plotted my scores and maximum achieved speed. Then, I added a trendline to each.

Morse Code Speed Improvement graph

My goal is to hit 10,000 points this summer and consistently hit max speeds of 40+ wpm.  Even though I haven’t made it to either one of those, it’s good to see the progress. If you look, you can also see a hole in the data.  There was a period between June 8th and June 25 where I was on the road and too busy to practice. Same thing with Memorial Day Weekend. Those periods without practice hurt the trend.

Anyway, using statistics and data analysis in ham radio has been done before – so this is nothing new.  Guys have analyzed their contest scores, DXCC counts, sunspot trends… you name it.   Some of us just can’t watch good data go to waste.

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3 Responses to “Statistics to track progress on CW speed”

  1. You are doing very well, and your experience mirrors my own with RufzXP. I also plotted my own data in Excel and found that due to regular practice with RufzXP, my trend line was nice and steep, indicating a definite improvement over time. I think that you’ll definitely hit 10000 soon. My tips for getting better scores are to wear headphones, and to try to develop a reflexive, rather than an analytical approach to typing in the callsigns heard. I’ve hit a bit of a wall at the moment, and I am trying to crack the 13000 barrier…however, I’ve found that a few days rest between attempts does help although I am not 100% sure why this should be the case.

    Good luck and hope to work you on the air on CW soon :)

    Steve, M0RNA

  2. Steve

    Thanks for the pointers and encouragement.

    I’ve found that headphones make a huge difference and I also need to lock out any background distractions (cellphone off, email shutdown, etc.).

    As for a few days rest between CW practice attempts helping, I’ve found something similar. I’ve only been practicing during lunch while at the office for about 15 minutes. That means that weekends, vacations, etc. will leave some built-in rest days between attempts. For some reason, I think this helps my RufzXP score progress – I’m not sure why. I recently scored a 9975 – so I’m closing in on 10k.

    73
    Pat NØHR

  3. this is really interesting — and Excel to boot!

    There is, of course, nothing like a CW contest to increase the speed, but the sustainability of that is really supplemented by practice of some sort.

    While learning CW is kind of like riding a bike in that you don’t forget, speed and efficiency make a difference with practice.

    I think the breaks are simply the way the brain reconnects the synapses to get the speed up. Who knows?

    Scot, K9JY

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