I am 31 yo and I want to learn Morse Code

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by CT2FZI, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. CT2FZI

    CT2FZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello and 73,

    How are you all doing?

    I am a ham radio operator since early 1996 and my CW experience is close to null.

    I am allowed to TX in CW, all bands.

    Unfortunately I do not know Morse Code, not at the rate we hear on the CW QSOs... And I still have to train my hear to CW :)

    So, what is the basic first step for me? I understand that its not going to be easy, but I am not easily defeated!

    Does anyone have a old morse key that I can borrow? :eek:

    Thanks in advanced,

    Luis, CT2FZI
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is a good self study course, and a good computer program you can use.

    The K7QO code course is on MP3 recordings, so you can download it to an MP3 player and take it with you.

    The G4FON code software is for the PC.

    Both have been very successful. They both teach you to immediately recognize the letters when you hear them, without counting the dots and dashes.

    Both of these can be found online.
  3. K4PP

    K4PP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am learning as well. Currently sending reasonably but copy not so well. What I have done is used CWGet to capture some ragchew they were doing at about a gazzillion miles a minute. Then I make a file to play back the qso using G4FON at a reasonable speed that I can copy it. Seems to be working. I also have a lists of common words I play back and copy.

  4. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recommend G4FON. It is a free download program and runs easily on computers.

    It takes you through each letter of the alphabet and all the numbers, in a logical order that is easy to learn.
  5. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sorry. If you haven't learned CW by the time you're 8, there's no hope.

    Just kidding. :) It HELPS if you've learned code by 8 but it's not necessary.

    Here's a top secret hint that I tell everyone. Think about this:

    What did you learn to do first....talk or spell?

    Talk, of course! Why should CW be any different? Traditionally, when we teach CW, we are basically teaching people how to SPELL before they can TALK. This is a sure-fire way to keep hitting plateaus of speed. The way to learn code is to listen for complete words...or at least parts of words. Learn what AND, THE and ...ING sound like. Learn what your NAME sounds like. Learn what your CALLSIGN sounds like. Learn what THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOGS sounds like.

    Try it...you'll like it!

  6. CT2FZI

    CT2FZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice tips!

    Hello and thanks to everyone...

    I only wish that I was introduced to Morse Code when I was 8 ;)

    Luis, CT2FZI
  7. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am just a beginner but I have been listening to these records from the 1940's:


    They are old, and the phonetics are a little strange and sometimes hard to understand but overall it has helped me a lot... I put all the MP3's on my iphone and listen to them at work when I am not busy. Interesting piece of history as well.

    I too can send ok but I can't copy very fast at all... practice practice practice.
  8. W0VYE

    W0VYE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Practice. Practice, practice. Buy a key. They're cheap, and every ham should have one, just on general principles, even if it's never used. They look sexy. (Well, they do to me, at least. ;p)

    If you stay with it you'll want a paddle. (I assume your xcvr has a built-in keyer.) There are many. You might save some money at a swap meet or on-air swap net.

    Try to copy QSOs on the air, along with code practice from your PC or whatever. That way you'll know what to expcet when you get on the air.

    I think it's normal to be able to send a lot faster than you can copy. In pre-keyer days I was usually working hams who were a lot faster than I was, and I often fell into the trap of speeding up my own sending. This usually encouraged the other guy to speed up, and suddenly I found myself only copying 75 percent. This shouldn't be a problem with a keyer. Just don't get in your own way. There's nothing wrong with slowing down, or with asking the other guy to slow down. I'd much rather slow down than be asked for fills or repeats constantly, if that's the choice. ~73 es have fun!
  9. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am 38 and just discovered amateur radio and morse code. You have a good head start on me :) I made my key from a hack saw blade (with finish sanded off) and a piece of bamboo flooring I found. Total cost, $4, the cost of the 1/4" mono plug.

  10. CT2FZI

    CT2FZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is being a true ham!

    Wow, I am very impressed.

    I really liked your idea, I will do it myself :)

    I guess that one thing about being an ham radio operator is like do thinks work, with the available materials...

    Once again, thanks!

    Luis, CT2FZI

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