Continuous Wave (CW) Operation
The page details the Continuous Wave (CW) mode of operation, and lists resources available to the community about this mode.
The best way to learn morse code is to listen to sounds and tones of each character as a word. Counting the dots and dashes will slow down your progress, and limit you to about 10 words per minute. The N5HZR LearnMorse program lets you learn two of forty characters per day, using the 20 wpm Koch method. Here you can sign up for a daily email service to remind you to continue your training. If you'd just like to touch up your skills, you can just sign up for the 20 days of practice messages.
At the start of each year, on January 1st, from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC, Amateur Radio operators celebrate Straight Key Night. This is not a technical contest, but is an event to bring out all hams and encourage them to use the CW portions of the bands. More information is available on the link to the ARRL web site. Break out a key, and pound out some Morse Code.
The Mystic Stamp Company has a page that details August 16th as the anniversary of the first transatlantic message being sent. These messages were all sent by wired telegraphy, and predated the wireless technology we use today.
The North American QRP CW Club - NAQCC is the club for low power CW operators. There's no membership fee, and a lot of discussion about this mode. They offer monthly challenges that let you test your CW skills against the world.
Ray Goff N4FON ex G4FON wrote a great CW Trainer program that can be used to learn Morse Code from first dit, or dah, or to help you brush up on your current skills. You can download this free program to your computer, and then send text as Morse Code to your speakers for your listening pleasure.
Steven Phillips has created a very nice page that documents the Morse Code sounds of the letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and special Morse Code Q-Codes.
Andrea Vaducci has a great way for you to learn Morse Code by listening to him play the drums. His YouTube video is a great way for people to get the hang of the musical rythm of Morse Code.
The hit RUSH song YYZ is named for the International Air Transport Association airport code of their local Toronto airport. Here's a link to a YouTube video so you can enjoy this song. Oh, yea... the intro to this song, has drummer Neil Peart and bassist Geddy Lee pounding out the letters YYZ in Morse code.
Steven Phillips has also created a very nice page that documents the phonetic alphabets that are used by radio communications workers worldwide. This allows us to accurately transmit detailed characters when the conditions are unfavorable. While most of us are used to the NATO wording, he's assembled nine other character sets to show the different codes used worldwide.
Denis Anson is an occupational therapist, and he's created a 103 slide PowerPoint slide deck that talks about Morse Code, in detail. He's got all of the usualy detail, but his twist is that he believes that kids with disabilites should be taught Morse Code at the same time that unaffected kids learn to use a pencil. He details how "sip and puff" switches can allow a user to communicate with Morse Code at 20 wpm, with limited motor skill, and a minimal cognitive load. His workshop details a method for teaching Morse code to individuals with disabilities. The method described is based on the Farnsworth method, developed for teaching Ham radio operators and others how to send and receive Morse effectively.
To speed up the transmission of text, a great number of common words have been abbreviated and some of these are very common on the ham bands today.
OK, if you really want to know the details about how to learn Morse Code, you need to read The Art and Sound of Radio Telegraphy by William G. Pierpont N0HFF. This 211 page document goes into every endless detail about learning Morse Code. Pierpont's information seems to match what happens here in the LearnMorse program. There's a ton of historical information available in that document, but by the time you read that document, you could probably already be copying 20 WPM code. Learn the code, then read that manual, if you've got time.
Here's the PowerPoint from Mark Kleine N5HZR's Morse Code presentation on 11/12/2106 that was presented to the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS). This presentation talks about Morse Code for those that WANT to learn morse code, as opposed to those of us the HAD to learn Morse Code.