Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Amateur Radio How-To's

Morse Code Tips...

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The best thing you can do is to get on the air and actually use the code under real world conditions.  There are a lot of means of keying a radio, but I strongly suggest you learn with a straight key to begin with.  In the legendary SHTF situation, you may not have anything better to key with than a couple of bare wires.  check out the SKCC,

Membership is free and they do a lot of on air elmering.

Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn't even listened to code since I took my 5 WPM test back in the early 90s.  Figured it was time so I'm starting over.  I'm using a mix of the G4FON training sw (Koch method) (, Chuck Adam's K7QO training course for my mp3 player, W1AW code transmissions and listening to actual QSOs (not ready to dive in yet).  Finding that the training sw really helps as I can push the character speed to 20 or more WPM which forces me to listen to the pattern rather than counting dits & dahs.  Thinking the biggest gains will come once I get proficient enough to actually get on the air.

I've been using "Learn CW Online" at which lets you track your progress.  It's free and easy to use which is nice.

I think just abt everybody starts out counting dits and dahs - it's just the way it is.  Now a disclaimer from me...I'm no expert that's for sure, but my Elmer told me quite awhile ago to "listen for words not characters".  Now in my opinion this makes a lot of sense.  Take for example:  when you hear 'cq' when listening to your rig, you've heard it so many times you know what the characters 'c' and 'q' are automatically.  You don't think, hmmm c and q, you hear it and know what it is.  Let me share this with you.  Another long time ham told me abt a book called The Art and Skill of Radio Telegraphy.  You can google it and even find an online version of it you can read.  But because I am a book nut, I bought it.  Agn, in my opinion, the best dang book on Morse Code ever printed.  I have read it cover to cover three times.  I am not trying to sell you the book, I have no financial interest in the book, I just believe in the book.  If you wish, check it out.



Sweet fancy Moses! That 30 WPM doesn't even sound like different letters... sounds like modems talking or something!   :o :)


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