So, I'm looking for your real life experiences. ARRL has a list of programs to learn code with here. I've tried "Just Learn Morse Code" and "G4FONs Morse Training Program." Not much luck. Tried an app on my phone. A bit better, but sometimes the dits and dahs run together, so not great. Hams around here swear by http://cq2k.com/index.html I'd rather not spend money, but if I need to I need to. What have you used, and what worked or didn't work? Also, what sort of key should I start with on a budget? Seems like most people recommend starting with a straight key. What about starting with a sideswiper? I'm not sold on iambic anyway because I don't like the fact that you need electronics to make it work. I'm not willing to spend much more than $100 on my first key (because that'll take 2 1/2 months to save for).