My local radio club is wanting to do a CW course. We have around 8 people willing/wanting to learn and at least 2 cw operators willing to help.
The part I need to figure out is how to put a format together, as it wont happen unless I organise it. I am one willing to learn(after i stopped learning again due to life a few months ago)
We want to utilise 2m VHF as well as self study and some team study on the club nights.
Any ideas or experience with this please let me know.
My initial thoughts were:
- Create a morse CD or use the K7QO morse training CD, which is what FISTS offers.
- do some on air Morse copying at very slow speeds to assist with learning the alphabet.
- do some team copying on the nights?
That’s about all i have.
Any ideas or experience with this please let me know. it will be gratefully appreciated.
The applicants wanting to learn, are everything from complete beginner to a G4 callsign wanting to brush up.
Can’t help too much with this, our club also started a cw course but as I don’t get time to travel 30 miles every week I don’t go often.
This is the tutor I use nilex morse tutor download from here http://noseynick.org/va3nnw/cw/download.html
I find it very good but that is just my preference.
Edit: I also record the cw to mp3 for use while out walking using Audacity.
Best of luck
If your group is really varied in skill level then a mixed-mode net might offer something for most folk. Use SSB and CW with a sensible offset so folks listening on SSB hear the CW sensibly (provided they don’t have an automatic notch filter active ). Folks listening on CW will, of course, need to switch to SSB if one of the net participants decides to use voice rather than Morse.
For on-air learning, I found the mixed-mode GB2CW Thursday morning broadcast more helpful than anything else, especially early on. I think it’s a pity so few of the GB2CW broadcasts are mixed-mode.
Here is a link to the Graz CW School webpage:
It is all in German, but you may get useful info by using Google translate. There are cheat-sheets for QSOs in the documents section; these are really useful for those first few practice QSOs, whether on air or off air. For software we use ‘Just Learn Morse Code’ in the Graz CW School, but personally I also think ‘Morse Machine’, either online at LCWO, or for Android, is great for learning the alphabet
CW Trainer for Android is also good as you can increase the the word spacing; something that only a few apps allow:
They could all be used effectively in a learning environment. We emphasise the need for self study at the Graz CW School, sessions are there to help correct errors and provide support, but we all know it is up to the individual at the end of the day. If you are going to Friedrichshafen this year I would be happy to meet up for a chat about what we do. Otherwise, I will be in Harrogate in July for a few days.
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU
I’m no expert, just a current student about ready to make my on-air debut and I’m guessing even with a “class” 90%+ of the study/learning is going to be solitary. So a “class” is really about encouragement, comparing notes, a bit of practice and guidance. If you can all agree on a curriculum that would be helpful but not critical. So far the most helpful tools I’ve used are G4FON trainer (http://www.g4fon.net/CW%20Trainer.htm) LCWO.net and an Android app called Morse Toad (very similar to Morse Machine…and very rewarding.) But I’ve experimented with a dozen other apps, and they all offer something. The main thing a group would offer is enthusiasm and support. It is no simple task bending your brain to a stream of dits and dahs and I have quit numerous times. As long as the class isn’t taught at 3 wpm you can’t go wrong, just keep people engaged!
PS I keep my main study at 15-20 wpm but indulge in some “junk food” at times at 3-10 wpm. I know this is not encouraged these days, but in a group situation you may have to have some low wpm moments to keep the troops happy.
Might be interesting to have keys/paddles + radios (or some way to generate sound), and a splitter with pairs of headphones so you could do QSO practice off air (I really wish I had this! the on-air fear factor is huge! Think Phone x10!)
PSS Lots of YouTube vids are helpful (inspiring) too. (especially the SOTA ones!)
A classroom setting can be used to set up a net type QSO with scripts handed out to each operator. Each op sends a word allocated. Then gradually introduce something more like a QSO. RST and name. When people are more confident get them to send something not predefined.
On air nerves can be soothed by reducing the unknowns to gain confidence.