Episode #16 - Better ways to learn the code!


There are many ways to learn Morse code. People often take the leap and try learning on their own. That what Roland Simmons, K7FOP, did... until he found a better way!

Roland is an avid SOTA activator who had been packing not-so-light gear to peaks in the great northwest. His SOTA partner showed him an LNR Mountain Topper he would be using on the activation they were doing that day. Roland realized he could hold an HF radio, wire antenna, key and battery in one hand, and it was infinity lighter than a pack full of heavy gear! That's when he decided it was time to learn Morse code.

Roland began learning the code by himself using computer programs and help from CW operators on Facebook. When he felt he wasn't progressing as fast as he wanted he found other apps that worked better and helped him learn faster. Eventually, he enrolled in a CW Academy course and got on the air. Learning the code on your own can be tough. Roland discovered he didn't have to go it alone. There are many resources you can use that will help you learn the code as quickly as possible.

Listen as Roland shares some great advice about learning the code.

Listen to Stitcher Listen on Google Play Music


There is no reason to learn Morse code on your own. Your local and online CW communities are happy and waiting to give you advice, suggestions, encouragement and support.

If you are trying to learn the code and whatever you are doing isn't working... keep looking and trying new apps until you find a tool that works for you.

If you know all the letters and numbers, turn your radio on and listen. Try picking out as many letters and numbers as you can. 

Keep the learning fun!

Things break in the field, take a backup.

New CW operators should consider chasing SOTA activators. The exchanges are quick and easy. Chasing SOTA activators is a perfect activity for new CW operators just getting on the air.

99% of CW operators will slow down to match your speed. Get on the air at whatever speed you are comfortable at and have fun!

The question mark is your best friend.

Everyone makes mistakes! New CW operators, old CW operators and everyone in between. Everyone makes mistakes. Don't let fear keep you off the air my friend.



Learn CW Online (LCWO.net)

CW Academy



LNR Mountain Topper

LNR Trail Friendly Antenna

Morse Machine PC Software  -  Morse Machine Android App

Morse Toad App  -  iOS  -  Android

RufzXP PC Software

QRPGuys KD1JV Code Trainer

Emtech ZM-2 Antenna Tuner


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Bruce Pea1 Comment