"In days of old, when ops were bold, and sidebands
The word would pass, by pounding brass, and all were contented."
- Author Unknown -
The Art and Skill of Radio -
Telegraphy: A manual for
learning, using, mastering and enjoying the
International Morse Code as a means of communication.
William G. Pierpoint N0HFF
"For those who are interested in
telegraphy, for those who would like to learn it, for
those who love it, and for those who want to improve
their skills in it."
Tips for Learning the Morse Code
By: Scott O'Keefe - N4RI - Sunday, March 12, 2006
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THE K7QO
FISTS makes this wonderful course available free of
charge. To get a copy, when available, send an SASE big
enough to hold a CD and with enough return postage to
Nancy WZ8CPO Box 47, Hadley MI 48440. FREE Send SASE and
enough postage to hold a CD.
Just Learn Morse Code: click here
But things are easier. You don't have to
pass 13wpm code. Not even the 5wpm. There is NO code
requirement anymore. ANY CAVE MAN CAN DO THAT?
Sorry guys, I really didn't know you guys
still existed. Buy your own xxxx meal and let's get on
What is needed to learn to learn the code?
The present theory that seems to work most
of the time is to learn the individual letters at much
higher speed, but space them farther apart. Then as one
get more proficient, space the letters closer and closer.
The brain seems to absorb the code better this way.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
At least 2 times per day. 15 minutes each.
NO ONE, BUT NO ONE INTERFERES WITH YOUR SESSION. This may
require waking up early and going to bed later. Repetition
is the key. Perseverance is the way.
Go to QST and cut out a picture of your
dream HF rig. Tape it to your refrigerator door or use it
as computer desktop wallpaper. Look at it often. This will
give you motivation. MOTIVATION, THE DRILL SERGEANT SAID,
IS THE KEY. You have to be your own Drill Sergeant.
Visualize making contacts with far off
countries around the world, or dream of chatting with some
higher class operators on HF. Now isn't that FUN? If it's
not, your in the wrong hobby.
Practice code religiously and you should
learn it easily. Some of you may be able to do it in a
couple of weeks, Some of you will take much longer. The
older guys will need more concentration, but have more
available time than the young bucks.
BY THE WAY, if you are between the ages of
6 and 15 you should become a whiz kid and show all of us
The world's fastest code operator is a
very young woman in Eastern Europe. She copied the top
speed of the RUFZ program at the World Championships of
147wpm. I have no idea how she does it, but there are many
out there that do well over 60wpm. Our US champion W2UP
did 97wpm at the World championship and he is an adult in
his late 30's or early 40's.
In Eastern Europe, where cell phones are
probably not widely used and TV is probably I Love Lucy
etc, CW is called a SPORT.
The fastest Hams seem to be in the 8 year
old and up to teenager. Remember how easy everything was
to learn when you were just new merchandise.
If you young and older guys still have
trouble, after giving it your best PERSISTENT SHOT, I will
then be happy to start a code class.
All a code class does is to give you the
desire to go home and practice. PRACTICE, PRACTICE,
PRACTICE! You get the drift?
If you want something bad enough, you will
If you have a key and keyer available, grab the telephone
book and practice sending the code. This mixes letters
with numbers and is good practice. If you are new and have
not yet sent code, learn with your hand opposite your
writing hand. Reason, you can send cw with one hand while
writing with the other. I switched from my right hand to
my left hand a couple years ago. The initial problem with
switching from the dominant hand is you will not be able
to send with the dominate hand after switching, because
you will make mistakes. This happened to me. I switched,
practiced using the phone book for one month with the
opposite hand. Got good at it, I thought and then froze up
during a dx contest, switched back to my right hand and
couldn't send with either. I stopped the contest and
didn't go on the air for one week. When I went back I was
ok. Now I can switch back and forth without too much
effort. I learned to send left handed on a keyer set up
for right handed person. Reason, you never have to change
procedure if you are visiting someone's shack.
Using the phone book to send will help you
learn the code in a much quicker time than practicing
receive mode only.
If you learn only to receive, when you
pass your test, you will never get on CW and learn how
much more fun it is than SSB (just my opinion).
Knowing CW can help you get your
certificates much quicker than only SSB. Both are
necessary for Dxing.