In the last century up to the eighties the main method for communications from ship to shore has been executed with morse telegraphy. Therefore the majority in our education has been training in morse keying, listen to morse telegraphy and write down with a pencil or the typewriter. The first six weeks we had daily some hours training with the typewriter to type quick and save in blind modus.
To learn morse code there are different methods, e.g. the Koch-method and so on.
The schematic system of the morse code is good explained in a Huffman-drawing. I made a flash program therewith for our marine radio exhibition on board the museum ship type “Frieden” in Rostock Schmarl seen left in the first picture. But altogether every method is useless without training, training, training.
It was a hard training time during three years. For listening training we used normally an electronic morse code reader with paper stripes. It could be adjusted to every speed with high precise morse code.
A special highlight was our honoured teacher and good friend, Mr. Walter Wipper with his “Marmor-key”. He used her like Stradivari his violin. Regrettable he died 3 years ago, but he's unforgettable.
To train morse keying we started with mechanical morse keyer with ink writer on paper stripes, awful. After one hour the arms were complete tired and the fingers were blue from ink. And at the end the teacher checked the dashes, dots and the spaces with dividers if they where in exact length.
For the examination after three years to get the second class operators certificate we had to listen plain text with 130 letters per minute writing with typewriter for five minutes, listen mixed groups with 110 letters per minute writing per hand, without any error, and we had to key plain text with a speed from 120 letters and mixed groups with with speed from 110 letters per minute for five minutes.