How did you learn CW?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by NU8J, Jul 13, 2012.

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  1. NU8J

    NU8J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am in the process of learning CW and wanted to see how you learned CW and what do you feel was the best way to learn.
  2. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know the letters and numbers and a stuff like ? / and . and thats about it. So I am at the very early stages. made about 30 QSOs so far. For me daily practice with the small rpogramme I downloaded from the ARRL website - I think its call the Morse Machine not sure. About 40 minutes a day in 2 20 minute sessions. Then once I was running through all the characters OK at a speed about 12WPM I moved onto LCWO and straight to recognising callsigns. After 3 or 4 weeks of that I started practicing sending for about a week as well, and all through that period January - March 2012 listening to the CW portions of the bands....

    Then I did my first QSO, almost by accident, when a very strong call came though on 30m and nobody was answering. So I did.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    At the age of 13 because it was required to get a license. Practiced with a buddy who also wanted to become a ham, just by sending back and forth while together (no radios). We didn't have any tapes or records or CDs or computers, or anything. Just us.

    It went pretty quickly and we had no idea what speed we were going. By the time we took our Novice tests (5 wpm requirement) it turns out we were going about 15 wpm and just didn't know that, so the code sounded horribly slow. But it was an easy way to learn.
  4. KD0NZL

    KD0NZL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the ARRL's CD "your introduction to morse code" I just started listening to it at work. I'm a deputy sheriff and spend many hours a day in the car. when its a little slower, i pop the disc in and grab a notebook and try to learn a little. i'll see how it goes and hopefully someday it will sort of just click.
  5. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm using the G4FON Koch program off the internet. I try to do it about 30min a day when time allows (that hasn't been a lot lately. I start at 7WPM then move to 11WPM after I've learned the character group. I'm up to 6 characters so far.
  6. NA7H

    NA7H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check out You can also download the ARRL code practice MP3's on their website (you may need to be a member to do that - can't remember). I've been using those MP3's on my drive to work and back. It's tough learning to copy in your head but I think working on that has helped me.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Many swear by it and it might be great for some, but IMO the G4FON program is horrible.

    I really think any program where you "listen" to the code is horrible, so it's not just that one.

    After teaching code classes for 30 years to about 1500 students, I formed the opinion that sending is what actually works for people to learn the code. The more they send, the faster they learn. As soon as they know five letters, they're sending to each other and making sentences. Keeps it more interesting and more stimulating.

    I really believe the biggest obstacle to learning Morse is that it all happens too slowly, and the brain works a lot faster than people are using it to learn code, so it's boring and easy to break concentration. Imagine trying to learn a foreign language at 5 wpm, or even 20 wpm. Impossible. Most students would be sleeping before they heard the next sentence.
  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had personal instruction from a retired Navy Radioman. I just called him dad. :)
  9. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Practice, practice, get on the air! The goal is to get on the air. After I wrote letters and the code my dad would send to me. Generally seemed to be if I could receive, sending was no problem. Took about one month to get to where I could pass the novice exam. BY the time my license arrived, I was code expert and all I use 37 years later.....
  10. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think WIK is bang on with his code classes - after I knew the letters and numbers what would have been great would have been a code buddy to just practice sending back and forth. Plus I think the class thing I would have quite enjoyed - adding to my social life and all that! But most of us people who want to learn but these days don't HAVE to lear, like me, are individual atoms knocking about in an empty space. So we do it essentially on our own. I have to give great credit to M0BLO for giving a talk on morse that was so good that a few hours later, that very night I made my first QSO with HA2PP. People make such a huge diffence to the code experience. I have joined FISTS and SKCC and now I find there is a large community of nice folks who will help people like me in our first steps, its brilliant.
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