Learning the Morse Code.

When most people think about Morse Code they will think of a series of dots and dashes. The dots and dashes that make up the code must be thought of as sound patterns, and so each letter or number must be remembered as a very short tune. The letter A for example consists of one dot followed by one dash, but must be thought of as the sound that it makes (dit-ah).From now on all dots and dashes will be referred to as dits and dahs. For letters that begin with a dit the dit is usually shortened to di, and so the letter A becomes (di-dah). Recognition of the alphabet and numbers in this fashion is essential to one becoming proficient in Morse Code, and after a while with enough practice this recognition will become automatic. When sending Morse code there are four guidelines that must be obeyed in order for the recipient to be able to decode it correctly: One dah is equal in length to 3 dits. The space between elements of a character is equal to 1 dit. The space between characters is equal to 3 dits. The space between words is equal to 7 dits. There are various ways in which people learn the code; some prefer to memorise the code in groups of four or five letters or numbers at a time, whereas others prefer to memorise the alphabet and numbers in sequence.

Groupings that will help us easily remember morse code alphabet

1. Learn all letters comprising of all dits- EISH
2. Learn all letters comprising of all dahs- TMO
3. Learn all letters that are similar in structure- AUV NDB
4. Learn all letters that are opposite in structure- FL GW QY
5. Learn all letters that are inverted in structure- KR PX
6. Then learn all of the other letters- CJZ

It is no use to set aside a couple of hours one day a week as your study period.
It is far better to study for a short period (say 15-20 minutes) every day of the week, and you will find that you will remember more (listening to Morse takes a high degree of concentration).
It is also unwise to study when you are fatigued.

There are tape that we could copy from fellow amateurs that is designed to bring you up to Novice standard (5 words per minute). Set 2 code is sent at 8 words per minute and Set 3 code is sent at 12 words per minute. If you do not wish to learn using the cassette method then you might want to use one of the many computerised morse tutors. Example of this program is the Morse Code Academy (M.A.). Most of these devices have headphone sockets and the provision to attach a Morse "key" so that you may practice sending code using the unit's built-in practice oscillator. The pitch of the Morse tone is also adjustable on these units. If you own a computer, then you might consider using a Morse training program using available freeware or shareware morse program by radio amateurs. An advantage of using a training program is the ability to input a text file and output it as audible Morse. Another alternative is to attend Morse classes organised by your local Amateur Radio Club or Society. Here in the Philippines there are amateur clubs that are teaching Morse Code in the evening. Only listen to the Amateur bands when you feel that you are ready to. Then, when you feel that you have reached the required standard for the Morse test (5wpm for the Novice test or 12wpm for the normal test) you may start to build up your sending speed. Only a "straight" key may be used in the exam.

The two rules to follow when sending Morse are:

1. Never send Morse faster than you can receive it
2. Never send Morse faster than the person with whom you are in contact


* = dit - short tone
_ = dah - long tone and the duration is about 3 dits

1 dit = space between elements of a character
7 dits = space between words


Letter Morse Phonetics
*- didah Alpha
-*** dahdididit Bravo
-*-* dahdidahdit Charlie
-** dahdidit Delta
* dit Echo
**-* dididahdit Foxtrot
--* dahdahdit Golf
**** didididit Hotel
** didit India
*--- didahdahdah Juliet
-*- dahdidah Kilo
*-** didahdidit Lima
-- dahdah Mike
-* dahdit November
--- dahdahdah Oscar
*--* didahdahdit Papa
--*- dahdahdidah Quebec
*-* didahdit Romeo
*** dididit Sierra
- dah Tango
**- dididah Uniform
***- didididah Victor
*-- didahdah Whiskey
-**- dahdididah X-ray
-*-- dahdidahdah Yankee
--** dahdahdidit Zulu


In Morse Code for numbers and puctuation:

Number Code Punctuation Code
1 *---- Period *-*-*-
2 **--- Comma --**--
3 ***-- Colon ---***
4 ****- Question Mark **--**
5 ***** Apostrophe *----*
6 -**** Hyphen -****-
7 --*** Fraction Bar -**-*
8 ---** Parentheses -*--*-
9 ----* Quotation Marks *-**-*
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