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The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:

from Tom C. Lish II, N6AJR on September 21, 2002
View comments about this article!

The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:

I have found a down load that will let you learn the code easily, at a good rate of speed and with minimum effort. It's from Ray Goff in the UK and it's a super program. You might want to look at this one even if you already know the code because it can take you to 50 wpm if you'd like to try.

It starts off by sending you 2 characters, M and K and you copy these two down on paper in 5 minute sessions until you hit 90 % correct, then you add the next letter. You continue to do this until you can recognize all 46 characters and Pro signs and numbers. Every time you get proficient at the letters that you are doing, simply add a new one.

This is called the Koch Method and was actually thought up by a Psychologist type fellow in the 1920's, but only now is the computer technology available to do it easily.

You can also add noise, reduce signal strength, and other things to make it more like on the air, but you don't have to use this option if you don't want to. The slowest rate is 15 WPM and the fastest is 50 wpm but you can do 1/2 or quarter speed and slow it even more (around 3.5 wpm is the absolute slowest.) If you start at 20 WPM and then listen to it at 15, you swear you can take a nap waiting for the next character. Really, the program is that easy to use.

The only problem I had with the entire program is that it wants to unzip itself to my Temporary file on the hard drive and then I had trouble finding it. I recommend that when it ask you to unzip it to C:\ Temp, you choose a sub directory of your choice. You then go there and run the SETUP icon and it puts it on your drive in a separate sub-directory, which is easy to find (I think its G4FON directory). Copy the shortcut for the program to your desktop and have fun and learn the code. It works with Win 95 and 98 and several others, about all you really need is Windows and a sound card. Contact Ray at his site and I believe he may have a Linux version, and possibly a DOS version cooking.

This is a super easy way to learn the code at 15 or 20 wpm from the start, and you can also use it to improve your code ability in the future. All you VE types, this is a freebie to copy to CD-Rom and hand out to your new tech's who want to learn the code.

My hat is off to MR. Ray Goff, G4FON, who took several ideas and made this program that really works. All Ray asks for is that you drop a line to him if you do any type of improvement on the program so he can share it with everyone else.

Check this out; I think it may solve your no-code blues problem. This is so easy it should be illegal!

73 Tom N6AJR

Check out the G4FON website at:

Member Comments:
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The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by AD5LT on September 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Good article and my hats off to to Ray for providing this resource, and his time in making the program. Would have made learning the code for me alot easier when I first learned the code for the fun of it way long before I ever thought about getting a license. Thanks Ray
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by N6AJR on September 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Just a note to update, Talked to Ray in Email today and he is continuing the development of this program to make it even easier, so check his site often to get the latest updates, like the companion program to let you type in your practice and have it "graded automatically", and easier down loading (it goes to its own subdirectory instead of temp internet file to unzip) and other responces to this great FREE program.. 73 tom N6AJR
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KB9IV on September 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Watch Out!!! Downloaded this Turkey and Unzipped it........It uninstalled my Network driver!!! The .exe
did nothing wouldn't open. Use at YOUR risk!!
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by WA2JJH on September 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
How ever you learn it...great. I would guess when your young, it is easier to learn anything new. Maybe that is why Boy scouts know code.

It was interesting that a psycological way, was used many years ago.

I learned code the wrong way. By first learning to send code on a code practice oscillator. I find I can send code much easer then receive it.

Some one I knew from high school said he would not write down each letter. He would copy the whole word in his head. We both passed the 20WPM. He went on to copy 40 WPM and win all sorts of contest's. Funny however, he got bored of ham radio, and let his licence laps. He got his 20WPM extra, only to not keep his ticket up to date. Those days the licence terms were short. You could not EFILE either. One had to use a yellow form. I think it was form 410.

One of the few good things the FCC did, was have longer ticket terms.

Anyway, I would just listen to W1AW for code practice. That is how I went from 5 -13-20.

I would walk by street signs, and translate them to code. We had a secret language in high school.
The hams were able to talk about anything right in front of teachers. Our wood shop teacher knew code.
So in shop it was QRT. I remember Mr Pronsky saying...HMMM so your trying to get your ham tickets.
Now there were two ELMERS, one is a glue, the other
was a mentor.

I am not against No-code Hams at all. I just have good memeorie's of learning code. I wish some of My Bio-medical classe's were as care free and simple as learning code. I am not saying learning code is easy.

Well, what ever method works for you. I read some where that 99.47% of the worlds population does not know code. Must be something to it, besides being milliwatt for milliwatt the most power efficient mode.
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by K0AST on September 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This program is simply excellent. I have used it, along with the MFJ-418, and it has really helped me along. The features that allow you to degrade signal, add noise, etc are really something. Ray has produced a fine program here. As for the guy who says this toasted his network driver -- I doubt it.
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KC0IOX on September 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Downloaded it today to try and it worked as advertised. No problem. Thanks for the link. Looks like a nice program to play with. 73
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by G4FON on September 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks to Tom N6AJR for his continued efforts in bringing my software to the attention of all the members of the amateur radio community.

To KB9IV who chose this forum to vent his alleged problems with a network driver without having the courtesy to contact me first and who interestingly does not provide email contact details! Drop me an email describing you problem and I will do my best to resolve it.

Tens of thousands of copies of this software have now been downloaded from my web site and apart from a few sound card driver/interface problems, which I have been able to resolve through changes to the software, nobody has reported any other issues.

As Tom notes, a new version will be out around the end of this month, so if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements, now is the time to let me know.

73 Ray, g4fon

RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KG4UPX on September 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is one nice program! Ray has really done an excellent job of putting this together.

Speaking as one who is trying to learn CW and has downloaded other programs and used CDs, I believe this to be the best method to learn code!

The premise of this unique style of learning is a solid one, you don't memorize, but actually LEARN the code. What a concept. CW is a language to be lodged in the ROM chip of your brain, and this is what this program does.

For instance, if when speaking verbally with someone, I had to actually spell out the words in my head before pronouncing them, not only would this be a difficult way to communicate, but it would demonstrate that my knowledge of the language was severly limited. This program makes code a second language which "rolls off the tongue" (so to speak) and makes using CW as natural as speaking.

I used to pace myself when learning code so that I didn't spend too much time at one sitting trying to learn, thus becoming burned out. Now, though, I get caught up in this learning process and actually ENJOY working for longer periods.

I'm still in the process of learning, but I believe Ray has given me a whole new outlook on code and a way to learn it so that it will not be easily undone!

I highly recommend it!

Pete (an unsolicited testimonial)
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KE4MOB on September 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very, very good program. Ray, give yourself a pat on the back!

Steve KE4MOB
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by K4NR on September 23, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I think software is a great way to get the basics down. After that, get on-the-air and make QSOs, play around in some CW contests, listen to higher speed QSOs. I found it to be the best way to get your speed up.

I still remember those first few QSOs on 40 CW. The initial feelings of fear giving way to feelings of accomplishment.

I went from no ticket to extra (20 WPM) in less than 4 months. I made hundreds of CW QSOs to get my speed up to 20. I had planned on never using CW again, but somewhere along the way I found I really liked the mode and now 90 percent of my QSOs are CW.

While I'm okay with the 5 WPM requirement, I feel sorry for those hams who will never get to really know and appreciate Morse.

73 de Tom, K4NR
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by K3EJ on September 26, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The best code learning program that I have ever seen. I have seen many. The price is right too. FREE. A good way to increase speed. So many realistic conditions possible. 73, George
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by WB4ILP on September 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Great program. Have it running in background now. Was fast and easy to set up. When prompted I chose to set it up in Accessories and with a few clicks I'm at the Koch icon. Wonderful flexibility with speed, tone, noise and even clicks ! Jim/WB4ILP
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KD5TGN on September 28, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Very well done! I installed and had it running on an NT 4.0 sp6 machine in minutes. The only problem was that the soundcard doesn't like the windows call back feature, which was only a matter of checking a box in the setup screen.

This was the program that I've been waiting for! Keep up the great work.

The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by K2MIT on September 30, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
After trying to learn CW 3 times over 20 years with tapes (I memorized them and didn't build proficiency), I saw a May, 2000 article in QST on Koch method and I learned it in 6 weeks and got into HAM radio because of that article.

Its the best method. You don't memorize anything and you learn a letter and move on, cummulatively using each new letter.

But you have to do one thing: Practice one hour per day religiously. Either 2 1/2 hour session or if you can, 1 1-hour session. That's the key: doing it regularly and often.

Now if I can only remember the code I learned in 6 weeks.....

K2MIT (dedicated phone user)
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by W6OJ on October 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Anybody know if a Macintosh version is available for free of for pay???
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by AD7DB on October 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
After you've learned all of the characters and are starting to get good at copying them, go sit for a code test even if you don't think you're quite ready for it. Here's why.

1. You might just pass the test anyway. GREAT!

2. If you don't pass, you will at least know what it's like in a test situation. Some hams learn the code and can type it into a computer without any problem whatsoever. But try to hand write it on paper and forget it. You need to be able to do it on paper when you go to take your test. So the next time you go for the test you'll (hopefully) be a lot less nervous and already familiar with how it's going to be done.

The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KG4UPN on October 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I'm just now starting to work on my code, being a newbie to ham radio with my Tech license. I am workng with an Elmer, and I found this program thru an internet search. They are very complimentary to each other, even though the techniques are a bit different.

The features this program have concerning chirp, signal strength, etc., I think are going to be a very nice touch (once I get the "basic" code down!).

My hat's off to Ray for putting the time and effort into this to help us out!
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KC0AIX on October 11, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Black Cat Systems has a Morse code tutor using the Koch methode for Mac's


Mike Pappas
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KA3MEN on October 14, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I did not have any of the problems stated in other reviews. I find Ray's progam a great learning tool.
Ray, thank you for a great progam.
The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by K4TIN on October 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
G4FON has an excellent, versatile program, downloaded without a hitch. Code protesters, if you can't get it with an aid like this, I don't know what to tell you.
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KC8JRV on October 21, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I also would like to know if this program is available on Macintosh or could be converted?

Please respond to this serious inquiry.
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by WB0DKY on October 22, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Guys and Gals,
I had absolutely no problem down-loading the program and it installed flawlessly.
I am really enjoying using it and it certainly helps getting out of the 13 words per minute rut. Good program and it was free! 73 de WB0DKY Harold
RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by N8ZUX on April 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
G4FON's web site has the latest ver. 4 it takes it all the way down to 3 wpm, I blown money on ARRL Tapes, CD, and did alot of reasearch Memorizing a Tape or CD is easy & a very bad Habit. I downloaded the Koch Method, and found that worked the best, I have a copule DOS programs and downloaded a Shareware and it would crash, I don't see the need to pay someone big bucks for something you can download for free. I have a busy SKED and that helps, but I still listen to the CD's when I am not at home, it has helped, but I found great progress with the KM I was even locked up at the point of numbers. I hope to break that deadlock.

Sugguestion everyone Just put in Morse COde in Google be surprised what the response is, also put in CW, Koch method, G4FON, Amateur Radio you will spend alot of time finding Hints & Kinks, Elmer ideas, etc..

Hope to Pass my 5 WPM Soon

RE: The Easy Way to Learn Morse Code:  
by KC2MWA on April 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunately morse code is no longer a requirement in Bot Scouts. About he only place you can find it is in the Radio Merit Badge booklet. It seems to have gone the way of Wig Wag and Semiphore to methods of signaling with flags. I will be trying the Koch method as I want to earn my General License. At 63 I am a newly licensed Technician.
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