CW Thread

…with apologies to Mick for completely overwhelming a different and interesting topic.

Anyway to go back to Terry G0VWP who mentioned MorseRunner… yes that’s fun but have you tried RufzXP if you want a workout?

It starts sending callsigns at whatever speed you like and if you copy them correctly, it cranks the speed up a little until you make an error and it slows them down again. So you “top out” at your own level… fun… for some :slight_smile:

Could be useful for practice in copying fast calls sent at activators in pile ups.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Will have to look at this one Marc sounds good fun will down load later and check it out.

73 Terry G0VWP

In reply to G0AZS:
Wow absolutely great! Just what I need!! When I did the old BT morse test many years ago, letters was one part of the test and numbers was a completely separate exercise, and never the twain should meet. So although after I passed, I did a lot of 144 cw when there used to be a regular group working in this area, they were all familiar call signs and I never did get to grips with reading call signs properly.

We had a wonderful RSGB slow morse station in the NE through the 1980’s and I can still read my recorded tapes of the esoteric text he used to send, but throw in a call sign and and the combination of letters & numbers always throws me off track. Maybe this can get me sorted. I wonder if anyone else found the same issue as a consequence of the old separation between letters and numbers in the old test or was it just me. Got the program installed already and will be hoping it can fix my hang-up.

…exactly the issue I used to have/still have at high speed…

When RufzXP throws in /qrp, /m, /p or G/xxxxx etc too… that really sorts you out… hi

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Same problem here, a trend is emerging…

Wonderful toy, but sobering to struggle at 10wpm!

Long way to go before I dare take to the key again

(but at least I’ve mastered dah-di-di-dah-dit!!)

73 de Paul G4MD

In reply to G4MD:

A chap at our local club reckins the best way to learn is to learn at the speed you want to be able to send and receive at. I think he suggested 30wpm. He says thats this is how the forces used to teach it. Not sure how true any of this is as I’ve never tried it but it does have a kind of logic to it, as the best way of learning languages is to be thrown in at the deep end.


Absolutely… that’s the essence of the Koch method… I learned from experience that after learning up to 12 wpm for the test… I needed to “reprogram” my brain for characters at higher speeds…

i.e. I should have started learning with each character at least 20-25 wpm with massive gaps in between.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0CQK:

When the Morse test was administered by BT you had to read plain language English for three minutes at 12 wpm followed by figures at a slightly slower speed.

This qualified you for a “Class A” amateur radio licence, but was totally useless for preparing you to use CW on the air beacuse you could not read mixed latters/figures, so could not read a callsign. You had to have further tuition in order to prepare for a live QSO.

The Morse test passed on to RSGB and I was appointed Chief UK Morse Examiner in 1991. The Novice licence was introduced in 1992 with a requirement for a 5 WPM Morse test. I introduced a simple “rubber-stamp” QSO format Morse test using “Farnsworth” spacing with a character speed 12 wpm and longer gaps between characters to give extra thinking time which reduced the overall speed to 5 wpm. Successful candidates were then capable of going straight onto HF and using their CW skills to build up speed.

The following year I changed the 12 wpm to a similar QSO format (much wailing and hows of protest). This was not Farnswoth because by this stage candidates had to be capable of reading hand sent Morse from a variety of “fists”. However, successful Novice candidates had no problem because they were already familiar with 12 wpm characters and had reduced their thinking time by on-air QSO’s.

You are quite correct in thinking that Morse with a character speed of 5wpm sounds completely different to 12wpm. The brain has to start all over again and this was the reason for the so-called 10wpm “barrier”.

Hope this answers a few questions.

I retired from the post in 1999


Excellent advice and “straight from the horse’s mouth” :slight_smile:

Yes I was chuffed when I passed my 12 wpm BT test but then totally demoralised back then when I just couldn’t handle a QSO with letters, numbers, prosigns etc… Nobody told me about Farnsworth speed (and the Koch method of learning) then :frowning:

It’s only taken me 17 years to get hooked again hi

73 Marc G0AZS

What I am finding, as a learner, is that Farnsworth has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you are accustomed to hearing the characters at the speed you will end up using. The disadvantage is that you lose the rhythm of the words.

I am finding that doing SOTA activations on CW has suddenly ‘bumped’ me up from about 10wpm to about 12wpm.

In reply to G4SSH:

Hi Roy, it’s only just clicked with me who you are, after reading through you post, hi.
I have had lot’s of correspondence from you in the past because I was one of the RSGB appointed morse examiners for the county of Flintshire, or was it Clwyd back then?
We were based at The Daniel Owen centre, in Mold and over a period of time we had approx four examiners, Brian, Norman, Eddie and myself.
I was with the service for approx 4/5 years until it’s demise.
It’s a small world in radio circles, hi.

P.S. You did a great job as UK Chief Morse Examiner.

vy 73 Mike

In reply to GW0DSP:

Fine Mike. Yes, it was Clwyd and we had in excess of 300 vastly experienced Morse examiners who were dedicated to the task. It was a fantastic resource and we had great fun. I remember most of them and still contact many on the bands.

73 Roy G4SSH

In reply to G4SSH:

Yes it was great fun and I miss it, a pity it was stopped, but as a means to obtain the hf bands I thought it was unfair.
I have since lost touch with my fellow examiners, because I was qrt for about 12 years and have only been qrv again for about a year now, but managed to get back into the cw after a week or two. I love the cw, it’s my favourite mode without a doubt and through it I have made many friends both at home and abroad.


Hoping to be QRV on around 3.550MHz CW sometime between 9.30 and 10.30pm local this evening, if anyone fancies a go. I need to find out how much my holiday has set me back … :frowning:

In reply to M1EYP:

On the walk back from SP-004 tonight there was a slow morse session on 145.525 FM quite loud - wonder where it was from.

I seem to remember that Annick M0HDE used to run these in the past, but she might be away at college now.

Anyway, QRV now on 3.548 cw.