Bad at CW, new, or just need a refresher and practice?
You’re in the right place!
(For those new to this, hams use CW (continuous-wave) synonymously with Morse Code)
This is a weekly group (maybe a net eventually) for learning and practicing the basics of Morse Code and CW operation. We’ll be roughly following the CWOps.org basic program, and you can find the most relevant learning resources below.
We’ll be learning CW at 20-25 words per minute(WPM).
DON’T FREAK OUT!
You can do this! All research says that in learning CW if you learned slow, you will need to relearn it fast.
So, learn it fast to start with, and your road to CW fluency will be that much shorter. Read this article on instant recognition for more info on this.
The goal of learning CW is to learn the sound of the letters, and eventually some words, rather than translate in our head. So don’t bother learning the dots and dashes for each letter. I know, that sounds counterintuitive, but if you are thinking of the dots and dashes it will only slow you down. We want to hear the sound didah and automatically think of the letter A. Didah should be the same as someone saying ‘ay’. Dahdit should be the same as someone saying ‘enn’, with an immediate image of the letter N in our heads. Hearing the letters faster in CW (20-25 wpm) will actually make this process easier as it’s very hard to translate dots and dashes at this speed.
Take a look at the CWOps Online Morse Code Trainer. We’ll be making a lot of use of this in our daily practice.
That brings up the most important part. There’s no way around this! The most important thing you can do to learn CW is the three Ps. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Again, DON’T FREAK OUT! You do NOT need to spend hours upon hours each day. For best results, I found 1 to 3 sessions of 10-15 minutes each worked much better for me. Usually one in the morning, and one in the evening. I found I could focus on the drills for shorter periods, and it is in the focus that you will achieve effective practice. As you get better, you’ll end up spending longer anyway, just because it’s fun!
So, join us! Go to our facebook group page, and let me know you’re interested and are planning to join in.
- CWOps.org-Their resources page has a LOT of great stuff for beginners. Here are a few that we’ll be focusing on.
- ARRL’s W1AW daily code bulletin schedule
I suggest sticking with the above Morse Code Trainer but here are a couple of worthy alternatives.