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06-28-2004, 20:28
Anyone know of a good free program to help learn morse code? I am thinking about trying to upgrade my liscense.

06-28-2004, 21:38
Originally posted by GCPD724
Anyone know of a good free program to help learn morse code? I am thinking about trying to upgrade my liscense.

FREE??????? i dont know about that. i know you can download a program at a cheaper price and all that wil teach yu morse code. you can go to my website at: and if yu go there and click on links in there yu will find a morse code program site yu can download software to study and also download softwarwe for the question pool for all levels of the written license exams as well at another site too as well in the links on my webpage. so hope you will check it out and enjoy it.

good luck in yur hunt. best wishes and 73.
kevin N1KGM

06-29-2004, 07:42
You really don't need a program to learn morse code. Learning is simple, IF you do it right.

Too many people try to learn it backwards, by "sending" first. You should never "send" until you can receive at least two five-character words a minute. They try to learn it by saying "A ... DIDAH ... B DAHDIDIDIT", etc.

Here's how I did it...

I wrote down the code on a card, with the code characters first. For example: .- A
-... B
and so forth.

Then, say it out loud, five letters at a time, to memorize it, thusly:

DIDAH A ... DAHDIDIDIT B ... and so forth.

This method trains your mind to hear the morse code signal and visualize the letter. Let someone quiz you as you learn by saying the code and you reply with the letter.

The next step is to start copying it down. Yes, with pencil and paper. This also trains the mind and motor skills. The end result is you hear DIDAH, you visualize the letter "A", and you write it down.

The rest is just practice, practice, practice. Does it work? And how! I have my Extra Class license, my British Class A license, my 2nd Class Radiotelegraph certificate, and a 25 word per minute diamond on my ARRL proficiency certificate.

Try it. It's fun, and you'll learn much more quickly than with any of those whiz-bang machines or programs. And, once you get past the 18 word per minute barrier, you'll experience something amazing. Copying gets to be an automatic response, like playing the piano! It really does! I'm a little rusty, but when I copy at those speeds and above, I have to watch my hand to see what the message is. My hand seems to work automatically.

If you need a pencil and paper, let me know. I'll send you some.

Let me know how you do.

Good luck.

06-29-2004, 10:46
I'm going to have to disagree on this one.

Edited to say: Maybe unlawpup and I are saying the same thing in different ways. If so, My apologies to you uhlawpup.

NEVER see the letter written out in dots and dashes. Learn to hear a sound and just write the letter on paper. You do not want to translate in your mind.

Get someone you know to make you a tape of the letter and numbers, etc. at different speeds. They are very inexpensive to purchase.

If all you ever want to achieve is 5 words a minute, by the time you learn to recognized the sounds of the letters you will be at 5 words per minute.

If you desire to reach higher goals, seeing the letters in your mind will slow you down as you will have to learn to translate in your mind, an unnecessary step.

Hope this helps,


06-29-2004, 13:13
We are saying the same thing. The written card is to help you sound it out.

06-30-2004, 15:20
Morse Academy, obtainable from here.

07-01-2004, 13:33
Also try this one:

07-03-2004, 14:10
When you hear a character, you should know, without thinking, what it is. It should be a REFLEX. In fact, copying above about 10 wpm can only be done by reflex.
Above that speed, thought processes are too slow.
By the time you have figured out that the characters you just recieved was QSL?, you've missed a couple of sentences.

Practice copying at least 15 minutes a day at a speed above where you can copy 100% of what you are hearing. Always be pushing yourself. If you can copy rock solid all day at 5wpm, move on to 8wpm, then 10, then 12, etc.

At first you will copy each letter and number, but soon, you'll start to recognize whole words and phrases.
Those guys working code at 25wpm and above are not listening to each letter, anymore than you listen to each letter when talking to someone.

The best method for learning code IMO, is to use the Farnsworth method. This sends all characters at 18wpm, but has longer spaces between the characters proportional to the sending speed.
This way, once you get going, moving up the speed ladder isn't such a chore, since you are already used to hearing the characters at a fairly high wpm rate.

Check out this page.

Plus, the ARRL has over the air code runs at various speeds throughout the day. So if you have a reciever, you can copy actual code being sent over the airwaves.

Also, once you start learning to send code, get yourself a good bug and don't waste time or money on cheap stuff.

07-08-2004, 12:58
This is what you want- free and effective.

Download the "Koch CW Trainer" and follow the directions.

Set the character rate at 15 or 20 wpm, and the overall rate at 5wpm. Then start copying (important that you write down the letters on a notepad) and adding letters as described. The reason for the faster character rate is so that you learn the code as "notes in a song" instead of being tempted to count dits and dashes.

Once you get the letters, numbers and prosigns, start copying sample QSO's. Three weeks if you work for 20-30 minutes per evening with a positive, "I can do this" attitude. It is fun.

Other source is Gordon West's tape series, or NuMorse software that teaches the 5wpm code test.


07-08-2004, 13:19
I've never liked the Farnsworth method. If the code is sent with the proper spacing (dah=3 dits, dit between letters, dah between words)it has a nice swing and rhythm to it that makes it easy to listen to. Mind you, at speeds below 8 words per minute or so, Farnsworth type spacing is needed, but once you get above that, using the proper spacing and length of character components makes for smooth, easy copy.

Just my $.02 from many years experience. Your mileage may vary.

07-08-2004, 17:25
Here's the best advice I have seen;

spend 15 buck on the arrl cd's, its worth it. After spending much time researching and trying different things, I got the cd's and passed the test after 6 weeks. ag4lh

08-05-2004, 17:55
If my memory serves me correctly, you can get free code pratice at

A lot depends if you are just learning enough to get the 5 words per minute. Or if you want to really get profecient and go beyond.

Mingus Jim
08-08-2004, 12:20
You might consider listening to W1AW's practce sessions.

One thing to avoid though, is practicing with any clear text. You will more than likely memorize the words you are copying before actually learning the code. Practicing with random number and letter groups will take care of that problem.

Also, whatever speed you are trying to master, practice trying to copy a higher speed before the actual speed you want (this is where W1AW practice comes in handy). You may not copy very much, but you will notice that 5 wpm seems slower than it is. I did this when practicing for my Extra; I missed a lot at 25 wpm, but it sure made 20 wpm seem slower.

Both these hints are ones I and my fellow instructors used to use when teaching license classes. Another trick we used was for any speed under 13 wpm, we sent the code at 13 wpm spacing. The reason being, as one moved up in speed, the sound and rhythm changed so much at 13 wpm, that folks had difficult in adjusting to it. It you start with that spacing, moving up in speed is much easier.

Good luck!

08-15-2004, 18:12
Look here.