This course ran on the local repeater GB3NB from January to May 2020. It takes a ‘learn from scratch’ approach at the seemingly high speed of 25wpm.

This is based upon the notion that CW is a collection of sounds and once recognised as a ‘musical’ sound at 25wpm, the only stumbling point is how quickly the characters come together. When sending words or abbreviations these lessons use extra inter-character spacing so its not such a daunting task as 25wpm morse might imply!

The actual ‘live’ course spanned 20weeks. Each session from the course is provided in a weekly folder so that you can catch up on a missed week or maybe revisit a segment you remember having trouble with in the live session. It is probably best to attack this in week order so that you have enough characters to make up the words or phrases in the exercises at the end of each session.

As with all learning, practice is vitally important and you will not do this by just turning up every Tuesday evening for the hour-long live session. The aim is that when you do get on the air with a key, it will not seem so intimidating in view of the many faster QSOs you might hear on the bands. Its just another language like learning to speak French, for example, hearing it at the same speed it is spoken and not at an artificially slow speed will put you in a great position on the bands as you learn. Also, its worth considering trying to hear the sounds and simply ‘head-copy’ since when we speak to each other we are not writing it all down before replying, so why do it with morse?

As the lessons progress you will find yourself hearing examples of words or abbreviations sent with 25wpm characters but extra space between them plus a final time at full 25wpm ‘line speed’ so you can start to recognise how the phrase as a whole sounds. This word or phrase is then built into your vocabulary and hopefully you will recognise it on the bands. The ultimate practice is to spend time listening to the bands and without worrying about writing anything down, just try to decode and visualise the odd word in your head. It will be patchy at first, but soon the more regular phrases will come into view quicker and then you will be head copying your morse and finding that elusive fluency in CW that all the practice is designed to achieve.

Each sample MP3 file is supported by its associated text file so you can follow the sounds visually in the early stages. Soon you won’t need to look at the text… and there you have it, a CW op is born!

Please feel free to ask for advice or tips and do let me know how you are getting along with the files.

73 de Jim

G3YLA

Notes

There is a great video of a talk on learning morse at 25wpm which was presented by Ray, G4FON at the RSGB Convention https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBmuoLUV1LM

There is further information on Ray’s website at www.g4fon.net where you can also find the RSGB Convention video as well as download his Koch Method CW Trainer, highly recommended.

A new online weekly course run by Matt, M0PTO, is running on YouTube and is well worth adding to your practice routine. This also tackles morse at 25wpm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHG9BR2WJr0
 
There are numerous teaching programmes online, but another one I like is CW Player by Gabriel, F6DQM http://f6dqm.free.fr/soft/cwplayer/en/cwplayer.htm This allows you to practice the letters and figures against a timer by pressing the appropriate key on the PC and also includes an entertaining morse game based on Mahjong