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
MORSE CODE ALPHABET