Ed's Radio (AA6ED) – Morse Code

Telegraphy - 1860 - Petrol Schaeffler Vienna No 3326Proficiency in Morse Code was once a requirement for an Amateur Radio License. While this requirement was removed in 2007, knowledge of Morse Code is still very useful. Many of the National Traffic System Nets are still conducted in "CW" or Continuous Wave.

Many tools are available to help you learn or increase proficiency in Morse Code. These include audio files, desktop software, mobile device apps, and even live radio broadcasts in CW. Some of these must be purchased, but a great many are free.

ARRL's radio station, W1AW, sends Morse Code transmissions on many frequencies and at speeds varying between 5 wpm and 35 wpm. See the W1AW Operating Schedule for day of the week, time, and code speed.

An even more convenient resource are the W1AW Code Practice MP3 Files. These files are available for download in speeds ranging from 5 wpm (novice speed) up to 40 wpm (insanely fast!) You need not be a member of ARRL to access these mp3 files. Access is free to everyone. With each code file, you can also download a matching text file to check how well you are copying the Morse Code. Play these files in the car while you carpool and imagine how excited your passengers will be! Can you spell "Geek" in Morse Code?

An Internet search will provide you with a long list of software to help you learn the Code. My preference is the free CW Training Software called the Koch Method CW Trainer developed by Ray Goff (G4FON). Look around and find the one that works best for you.

Once you've developed some speed with the Morse Code, try learning some of the Q codes commonly used to abbreviate things in CW.