William Rovas' story was entertaining and enlightening. However he
does point out one of the weaknesses of tapes. When you have a tape, you
are copying the same conversations over and over. You don't have any
control over what is coming out of the tape.
There are many free/cheap CW training programs available on the
net, or on diskette at hamfests. Being a bit of a Unix geek, I prefer
"superior morse" at sepftp.stanford.edu:/pub/UNIX_utils/morse/morse.tar.gz.
There are some patches in sepftp.stanford.edu:/pub/joe/morsepatches.tar.gz.
There is source to a program which randomly generates QSOs included. There
is support for Sun, Irix, Linux and goodness knows what all included. The
code looks like it would be easy to port to an unsupported architecture.
excerpted from the usage message:
For the raw beginner trying to learn morse code I recommend
the following sequence:
Start learning the alphabet:
morse -r -s -T -d -w 5 -F 15 -p 5 -E -10
Then drill drill drill:
morse -r -s -T -d -w 5 -F 15 -p 5 -E 0
Real-time drill, with hints if you really need it:
morse -r -T -d -w 5 -F 15 -M 2 -E 4
QSO | morse -e -T -d -w 5 -F 15
The dreaded random-letter test:
morse -r -T -d -w 5 -F 15
Finally try for greater and greater speed:
morse -r -T -d -w 13 -F 24
Please send updates/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Get the latest revision from sepftp.stanford.edu before hacking!
I believe that there are similar trainers for DOS/MAC/WIN
computers. Some of the are also free. You can find them at the major
ftp sites, or web pages, or simply by doing a web search. Please adhere
to any license agreements which come with the program.
In summary, tapes make a good start. Tapes can provide a didactic
structure which is important to your early learning... Computer programs
can provide the flexibility necessary to deal with your personal needs.
Nothing can replace your drive to learn morse.
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