If you know code but are stuck using paper and pencil . . .

No pen!

It’s relatively easy to learn to drop that pencil and start reading code in your head. You already know Morse code so it’s just a matter of developing confidence and getting some appropriate practice.

The first step is to start listening to a novel totally in English (no code!) three or four times a day, perhaps fifteen minutes per session. It will seem somewhat strange having words spelled out to you at first but this is fundamental to the process. Initially, simply concentrate on assembling complete words.

Once assembling words is relatively easy, you will automatically begin to string them together into complete sentences. Remember that you can rewind the player as necessary to make the task easier. Depending on many factors, you might find this initial step easy or somewhat difficult. It could take a day or several days to feel comfortable absorbing a full sentence.

Once you can comprehend an entire sentence, it’s time to introduce Morse code. Because you already know all the Morse symbols, select all the characters on the matrix and set the “percent time” to 10% for starters.

Use CheX after each session to increase the length of the string of random characters that you can store in your short-term memory. The program will let you know how you’re doing at all times.

Continue listening to the novel, forming complete sentences in your head. Very gradually increase the percentage to 100% . . . and you’re there, never again having to worry about sharpening that pencil!

The real advantage is that now you will be able to progress to significantly higher code speeds because you will no longer be limited by how fast you can write.

To perfect your fist and send like an expert . . .

Get a code practice oscillator (or use your transmitter’s BFO off-air) and a key. Use the audio recorder built in your Mac or PC and start recording your sending. What do you send? Why, the text that appears on the bottom of the Session page! Play back what you sent and replay the perfect code generated by MorseFusion. Compare the two and repeat the process using the same text until they sound virtually identical. After a few repeats, move on to another section of the book and repeat the process.

Eventually, your fist will improve to the point of perfection!

We hope you benefited form this brief tutorial. Please see the FAQ for additional helpful information.

Please don’t hesitate to email if you have any questions or comments.

And for further reading and motivation, take a look at The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy. This book by William Pierpont, N0HFF, is arguably the best that exists on the subject of learning Morse code. The material covered is fascinating, spanning close to a hundred years of radio telegraphy.

And if you want an interesting comparison of the telegraph and the Internet, read Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century On-line Pioneers, Walker and Company, 2007.

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