Why Learn Morse Code?

Obviously morse code is no longer required for your license, and in the UK hasn’t been since 2003, at least other than the morse appreciation part, but there are a few reasons why you might want to learn Morse Code.

Make more of your n Watts

Whether you’re license limited, for example in the UK we are limited to 10, 50 or 400 Watts depending on license level, or limited by your rig, Morse Code will give you an advantage over SSB. According to the RSGB website Morse Code has an advantage of 10-20 dB, obviously it can’t beat the new digital modes such as FT8, but there is definitely more bang for your buck over SSB.
This was my reason for learning Morse code, I started learning morse code June/July 2020 to make more of my 10W while the intermediate was unavailable online, however after pausing to take my intermediate I decided to continue as I was still struggling (well unable) to make SSB contacts and it seemed like an interesting challenge and a fun way of making contacts.

Fun to try

One of the main reasons we do anything in Amateur radio, because it is interesting an enjoyable and Morse Code is no exception, it’s a great challenge and very satisfying to acheive QSOs.

Survival comms/prepping

This is not a big thing here in the UK but for many in the USA, prepping and survival are the main reason for being a radio amateur, and if the proverbial hits the fan it is a lower power mode which doesn’t require computers etc.

Historical interest

Obviously Morse Code is particularly interesting from a historical point of view, at first via telegraph it was the only long distance form of communication, and was vitally important in WW2 communications. There are a huge number of keys and an extensive amount of historical gear out there for use. For those with a historical interest it really is fascinating.

It’s growing in popularity

Somewhat counter-intuitively since no longer being mandatory for Amateur Radio licenses, after an initial drop in interest, Morse Code is now growing in popularity once again. There are a number of very active Morse Code groups and there is plenty of CW to be heard on the bands despite the rise in popularity of digital modes such as FT8.