Home > Resources


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.

Topics on this page:

Live Practice
Free Books

Related links on other pages:

FISTS-Affiliated Clubs  Provides details of FISTS Affiliated Clubs.  Many provide Morse classes.

Forms and Documents  Provides links to various FISTS forms and documents

Brasspounder Newsletters (Members' Area)  Monthly newsletters that include results for FISTS on-air Activities

Key Note Archive (Members' Area)  Contains Key Notes back to October 1987

Measure Callsign Weight  Measure callsigns' "weight" (time taken to send) in 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 DJ5CW provides online Morse training via his website https://lcwo.net.

You listen to Morse and then type in what you hear and are scored.  A big advantage is that it will run in a browser on most devices without the need to download/install any software.  Various features are included such as the Koch Method for new starters, Word and Callsign training for improvers and the ability to record your own MP3 practice files.

Morse Code Player

Graham G4JBD provides the Morse Code Player website that can play RSGB news items at chosen speeds and with selectable noise.  It can also play callsign groups, letter + number groups, number groups, letter groups and letters + numbers + punctuation.

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 selected speeds.


G4FON's Koch Morse Trainer

Probably the most popular computer program is from Ray Goff G4FON (SK) 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 or around the FISTS Centre of Acitivity 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 (November 2022), the best frequencies to meet up with FISTS members at distances of between 50 - 200 miles are on 40m around 7.028 MHz during daylight and on 80m around 3.558 MHz in the evenings.

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 Groups.io Group (reflector).
  • Ask David G4YVM to put a note in the monthly FISTS Brasspounder (Members' Area) electronic news letter.
  • Ask Robert M0BPT 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.

Essex CW Amateur Radio Club Practice Sessions

Essex CW Amateur Radio Club runs weekly nets on 80m and 2m to allow people to practise their CW, and also weekly training session on Skype.  For more information, please visit their Club Nets web page.

South Manchester Radio and Computing Club 2m Practise Net

S.M.R.C.C. runs a Morse practise nets on Tuesdays, 19:15 UK local time, 3.553 MHz.

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.

Free Books

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.

Back to Home page