Despite the elimination of Morse Code as a requirement to receive a amateur radio licence, the use of CW on the bands is more popular than it was before the change. It is growing all the time. Maybe folks are more likely to take something up if someone is not telling them they have to do it?
Maybe some of you once tried the code in the past but gave up on it for whatever reason. The code is frustrating to many people. At one time I would have been in that category. I hated the code! Over time I learned to like it as I came more proficient at it.
Good News: There is good news out there for anybody that would like to learn the code. There are now many programs and organizations that can help in the process. Maybe now is the time to break out that CW key and learn CW or if you are now doing CW, it’s time to maybe improve your skills.
I listed some publications (PDF), organizations and training aids below.
The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy, by William G. Pierpont NØHFF, Third Revised Edition July 6, 2ØØ1 (PDF)
Zen and the Art of Radio Telegraphy, by Carlo Consoli, IK0YGJ, Rev. 20100209 (PDF)
Learning Morse Code as a Language, by J. A. (Jack) Ritter W0UCE, Version 2.6 – June, 2015 (PDF)
To 20 WPM and Higher – Here’s Some Ideas, by Jim Reid KH7M (PDF)
Improving Morse Code Proficiency; Tricks of the Trade Overcoming Common Problems, by J. A. (Jack) Ritter W0UCE (PDF)
CW Related Organizations
Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) – The Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) is the fastest growing group of mechanical-key CW operators in the world. First organized in January 2006, our club has grown rapidly to include thousands of licensed amateur-radio operators from all corners of the globe. Here’s how it works; Membership is free, SKCC numbers are issued for life. Once you get it, it’s yours, Exchange numbers using a straight key, bug, or side-swiper.
FISTS CW Club – FISTS is a well established and recognized CW (Morse Code) organization in the world of amateur radio. Founded in 1987 by Geo Longden, G3ZQS, it now has a world-wide membership in the thousands and growing daily. What FISTS wants to accomplish; 1. To further the use of CW on the amateur bands, 2. To encourage newcomers to the CW mode, 3. To engender friendship within the membership.
North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) – No dues or membership fees – open to any licensed radio amateur or shortwave listener (SWL) worldwide with at least some interest in CW/QRP operation. Encouraging the use of CW and helping all hams increase CW speed and proficiency is a top club priority. Club activities are dedicated to QRP/QRPp operation, using CW and emphasize using simple wire antennas.
CWOps – Our goal is to bring together Amateur Radio operators who enjoy communicating by Morse Code (CW). CWops encourages the use of CW in Amateur communications, and it supports CW activity through planned events. CWops promotes goodwill among Amateurs throughout the world, and it fosters the education of young people and others in matters related to Amateur Radio.
CW Learning Tools:
Enjoy and good luck! hope to hear you on the bands!