HOW I LEARNT CW

CW is difficult to learn...sometimes. In this page I would like to tell you how I learnt it. Perhaps it helps you.

The most important fact to learn it is the MOTIVATION. There are many CW training softwares, but many are very boring, and do not help on learning. Only a few of them really work out on this fact.
I learnt CW "playing" with a program. Every time I played with it I wanted to get more and more. It hooked me up.

Maybe you are one of those operators who would like one day to learn CW, but always find an excuse to do something else...something you like "more"...
Well, of course it is only up to your choice. But maybe it would be worth trying one day the thrill of the Morse code.

In this page I have uploaded the 3 programs which have hooked me to CW. Take them as a game. Play with them. Contest yourself..
And maybe you will also get hooked on CW. Good luck!

STEP 1:
To start with:
Morse.exe (98,2 KB)

This program is so simple. You see blue bars with letters, numbers (and signs if you want) below.
If you click on the bottom white box, you will hear the program keying a letter or a number of those blue bars. As soon as you recognize the character, type it in your keyboard. You will notice that character's blue bar will come down...if you miss it, it will come up.

When you type correctly a few letters/numbers a new blue bar (a new character) will appear...till all the blue bars are activated.

The computer will play random characters, but those which you make more mistakes will appear more often.
You can change the speed on the top right speed "wheel".

Play with it. Try to reach further every time you play. Don't get nervous and, if so, close the game and do something else...you will surely come back to it later...

STEP 2:
When you control Morse.exe try this program;
Morse Runner.exe (709 KB)

This program emulates a CW world HAM contest. You can choose different levels of pileup, from 1 to 9, and you can add QRM, QRN, QSB and other realistic features such as flutter or lids.

You have to make contact with as many stations as possible. TX and RX their progressives, like in a contest.
Be careful! for radio reports (599) and some progressives sometimes letters are used instead of letters in order to shorten the transmission times! For example, 599 would be 5NN...or progressive number 009 can be TTN or OON. You will get soon used to it.
Belive me, when you control the system, you have real good fun with this program (specially if there is no propagation outside).

STEP 3:
Once you feel you RECEIVE properly CW callsigns and reports, try this program:
G4FON Koch Trainer

This trainer can play random letters, usual words or real QSO words. This program will help you on decoding speed. Which is very good to follow QSO's. Otherwise you may understand letters but get lost on the real message.

STEP 4:
OK, now it is time for you to go TXing. NOT EARLIER !!!!
It is not reccomendable to TX before your reception isn't good enough.
Yes, you should be patient learning CW, but the most important thing are the motivation and a little perseverance.

Good luck and catch you on the air !