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This page provides access to various items including Key Note newsletters and resources you can use to help you learn or improve your Morse code.

Please choose one of the following:

Learning or Improving Morse

New!!! FISTS Affiliated Clubs  Provides details of FISTS Affiliated Clubs.  Many provide Morse classes.

Forms and Documents  Provides links to various FISTS forms and documents

Activities Results  Contains Brasspounder and results documents for FISTS Activities
Key Note Archive (public)  Contains Key Notes from 12 months ago to October 1987
Key Note Archive (Members' Area)  Contains Key Notes back to October 1987

Measure Callsign Weight  Measure the "weight" (time taken to send) of callsigns in Morse

Learning or Improving Morse

There are many options.  Computer-based Morse training gives you perfectly-formed Morse code and can provide incentive by giving you scores or other feedback.  However, one-on-one Morse training with a human being or live contacts on the radio can be much more fun!  A good idea is to mix computer-based training with other activities involving real people.  Additionally, human operators rarely send perfect Morse, so getting some practice at listening to morse sent by other people is important.

Some computer-based training allows you to type in what you hear and then provides you with scores and guides your training based on your results.  This can give an incentive and sense of achievement.  The downside though is that you also need to learn to type quickly and accurately.  In fact, the typing in itself can become an obstacle to learning Morse and doesn't reflect real operating practice; most people handwrite brief notes and/or copy in their head only.

Try not to let "stage fright" get the better of you.  It's not an exam and there are no marks out of 10!  If you miss something your QSO partner sends to you, you can ask for a repeat or just bluff your way out and say there is QRM or QRN - the other person will be none the wiser!


Learn CW Online (lcwo.net)

Fabian Kurz DJ1YFK provides online Morse training via his website http://lcwo.net.

You listen to Morse and then type in what you hear and are scored.  A big advantage is that the only software you need is the Adobe Flash Player, which is already installed on most computers.  Various features are included such as the Koch Method for new starters, Word and Callsign training for improvers.

W1AW Practice Files

The ARRL (USA national radio society) provides copies of the W1AW Code Practice MP3 Files for various speeds between 5wpm and 40wpm in MP3 files, which you can either listen to online or download for your MP3 player.  These provide a mixture of plain language (taken from the ARRL QST magazine) and callsign training.  As well as the most recent files, there are hundreds of additional files available.

Hand Sending Training film (US Army)

There's a very entertaining, helpful and humerous US Army training film from 1966 on hand-sending Morse and adjusting keys, entitled "INTERNATIONAL MORSE CODE, HAND SENDING".  Part of the film covers American-style hand/arm positioning, but the majority of the film is very relevant to all styles of sending.

South Manchester Radio and Computing Club Practice Files

The S.M.R.C.C. Morse Practice web page provides MP3 Morse files with text, QSOs and letter groups at 12, 18 and 25 w.p.m.


The FISTS CW Course is a Morse code training package suitable for beginners and improvers.  It comprises:
  • The well known K7QO course on CD to learn the code (including files containing the texts sent).
  • Two practice CD's made by our own Mary G0NZA, which are great for people that want to improve from the 12 wpm level.
  • An A5 booklet with forty-odd pages that includes all the texts for Mary's disks.
This package is a real help to anyone that is learning Morse code and we are very happy to be able to offer it.
The price just covers the costs of having the disks mastered and printed and the booklet produced.  If you would like a copy, please visit the Club Sales page.

We would like to thank Chuck K7QO and Mary G0NZA for allowing FISTS to produce these disks.


G4FON's Koch Morse Trainer

Probably the most popular computer program is Ray Goff G4FON's Koch Morse Trainer.  This uses the proven Koch Method and provides additional features for improvers such as Word training.  You can also use it to convert text files into Morse code.  The program can be used to generate Windows sound (.wav) files.  By installing some free MP3 software, you can also use it to generate MP3 files for your MP3 player.

CW Freak.NET Callsign Trainer

For those who have mastered the basics, the CW Freak.NET program by Satoshi Imaizumi JI0VWL provides callsign training.  As you copy callsigns correctly, the speed gradually increases.  You can also see how you compare to other users worldwide by looking at your place in the international monthly, yearly, and permanent ratings.  (Submitting your own results to the lists is optional).

RufzXP Callsign Trainer

For those who have mastered the basics, the RufzXP program by Mathias Kolpe DL4MM and Alessandro Vitiello IV3XYM provides callsign training.  As you copy callsigns correctly, the speed gradually increases.  You can also see how you compare to other users worldwide by looking at your place in the international RufzXP Toplist.  (Submitting your own results to the list is optional).

Morse Runner Contest Trainer

The Morse Runner program by Alex Shovkoplyas VE3NEA simulates contest pile ups with interference from other stations etc.  Even if you're not interested in taking part in contests, this program can be fun and help you learn to cope when conditions get busy on the air.

Live Practice

Contacts on the Air

Listen out and / or call CQ at a speed that you prefer on the FISTS Frequencies.  You don't need to be a member - FISTS encourages contacts between members and non-members.  (However, why not join us?)  For Europe, at the time of writing (September 2009), the best frequencies to meet up with FISTS members at distances of between 50 - 200 miles are on 80m around 3.558 MHz.

Pre-arranged Contacts

You can arrange contacts with other people on the air ("skeds").  Please include your location (town/city/country), what frequency bands you can use and your email address or some other means that members can use to contact you.  Places you can ask are:
  • If you're a FISTS member, you can contact volunteers listed on the Arrange Slow Speed Morse (QRS) Contacts web page by email or telephone.
  • The fistscw Yahoo Group (reflector).
  • Ask Chris G5VZ link text to put a note in the monthly FISTS Brasspounder electronic news letter.
  • Ask Graham G3ZOD link text to put an item in the FISTS website news page.
  • Ask the Key Note editor link text to put a note in the next quarterly FISTS Key Note magazine.

GB2CW Slow Morse Transmissions

The RSGB (UK National Radio Society) organises slow morse transmissions on 160m, 80m, 6m and 2m from various volunteers around the UK under the callsign GB2CW.  See the schedule for days, times and frequencies.

W1AW Slow Morse Transmissions

The ARRL provides slow Morse transmissions on 160m, 80m, 40m, 20m , 17m, 15m, 10m and 2m from their headquarters station W1AW.  Although some distance from Europe, W1AW is frequently audible due to good antennas.  See the schedule for days, times and frequencies.  Although there are copies of the transmissions available as MP3 files on the ARRL website, it's good practice reading live transmissions over the air along with the inevitable noise and interference.

RSGB Morse Tests and Certificates

The RSGB (UK National Radio Society) now offers free Morse competency tests and certificates.  Many people enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of passing a test that recognises their achievements. These are available for various speeds and are conducted by an examiner.  They are not related to licence privileges in the UK or elsewhere.

G4LHI On-air Training Sessions (Huntingdon, UK)

Peter G4LHI runs Morse training sessions available in the Huntingdon area at 19:30 on Mondays, 20:00 on Tuesdays & on 2M, 144.7625 MHz, which usually go on until just after 21/22:00.  Have a listen & see if you can hear them & just call in on the breaks if you wish.  Talk back is on FM on the same frequency.  For more information, please contact Peter; his email address is available from his QRZ.COM entry.

South Manchester Radio and Computing Club 2m Practise Net

S.M.R.C.C. runs a 2m Morse practise net on Monday evenings.


There is a free, downloadable book entitled The Art & Skill of Radio Telegraphy.  This contains much information on learning Morse to a very high standard and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Morse code.

Another free, downloadable book is Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy. This is a Morse tutor book with an emphasis on the psychology.

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