How’s your morse code? If you are like me, I had to learn the code to pass the test to get an HF licence, at 12 words per minute no less, and have I used it since? Have I heck! So it’s true to say, I’m rather rusty at the code, and certainly not able to receive it at 12wpm any more. Nowadays of course, you only need ‘an appreciation’ of the code for your licence. But you’ll still find plenty of operators across the amateur radio bands, rattling the key to communicate.

At the Hog’s Back Radio Club we’re lucky to have some fine CW operators, and none more so than Mike G4FVG who is prepared to rattle the key at a polite rate to allow us the chance to practice our reception of the morse code. With the current lockdown situation, and club meetings restricted to online meetings only, we have a dedicated morse practice meeting every third Monday of the month at 8pm BST. If you’d like to join us for the practice, you’ll be very welcome – email the club for a meeting invitation.

If you’d like to get some practice in outside of this online practice session there are a couple of aids for learning, and improving, reception of CW.
MorseRunner – this is a contest/pile-up simulator, but you can turn the advanced features off (QRM, QRN, multiple stations, fading and LID operating) and turn the speed down… great way to integrate letters and numbers in a realistic way!
The ARRL Code Practice files – from 5wpm all the way up to 40wpm these files give you an almost endless supply of good steady morse to practice receiving. Text decode of the sent morse is supplied as well for you to check against.
Morse-It – for iPhone and iPad I can recommend this app for offering plenty of support and training while learning the code. Other apps are available too!

So I hope you’re join us one Monday, and get your speed up to conversational level across the amateur bands.

73 de Frank, M0AEU


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