Learning Morse Code – A Week In

A week ago I decided to start learning morse code. Currently under lockdown I can’t take the intermediate course to get 40W privileges so I’m stuck with 10W with my fan dipole, this is reasonable on digital modes, but with propagation as it is I’m really struggling on SSB and I’m hoping that CW will help me get some non digital contacts. Additionally I find CW really intriguing!

I’ve now been learning morse code for a week and have ‘learned’ the whole alphabet, but not special characters or numbers yet. I am using the Chuck Adams K7QO Code Course which I can thoroughly recommend, see Learning Morse Code for more information on this and various methods of learning morse code.

One of the main things I’ve noticed over the last week is that it’s important if I miss a character to just move on and put a dot in place, if I worry about a character for too long I just get stuck miss the next one and get flustered.

I’m fairly impressed with the Chuck Adams K7QO Code Course and I do seem to be making fairly rapid progress. I’m not sure if I’d be making more progress with the ‘pure’ Koch method, but I think that the most important thing at the moment is to stick to what I’m doing and if I can get through the course I think I’ll definitely have reached a decent level of proficiency.

At times I’ve struggled with some of the characters that have been added and as you get further through the alphabet obviously it takes longer to learn the new characters as they are a smaller proportion of the character set you are copying. To deal with this I’ve used a character randomiser and put (for example) 40 of each letter I need to practice in, I then added a space between each and put it into the great text to morse converter at lcwo.net with the settings and speed I wanted and voila an mp3 of the characters I needed to practice. An easier alternative which I discovered today is the “Ham Morse” app, it just isn’t quite as flexible as the text to more converter.

All in all I’m pretty happy with my progress and am hoping that in not too long I’ll be able to start practicing sending morse and then make some contacts and really make the most of my 10W!

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