"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
Tips for Learning the Morse Code
By: Scott O'Keefe - N4RI - Sunday, March 12, 2006
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THE K7QO CODE COURSE?
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 with it.
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
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
BY THE WAY, if you are between the ages of
6 and 15 you should become a whiz kid and show all of us up.
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
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.