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Reviews For: Learn CW Online

Category: Ham Radio Education & Exam Prep Materials

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Review Summary For : Learn CW Online
Reviews: 23MSRP: FREE
Online CW Course using Koch methods. Also have various training drills for Koch lessons, code groups, plain text, words, and QTC. Practice code is random and generated uniquely for each session. User can change change speed and tone of code.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
DF2OF Rating: 2023-07-08
Worlds best CW learning site Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Absolute fantastic site! The very best to learn CW.
Thanks Fabian!
WA6WRA Rating: 2022-03-17
Excellent Swiss Army Knife for CW Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Been a HAM since the 70's. Barely passed 25WPM Extra CW exam.

I'm an on again / off again HAM so lost some skills over the years and
a few years ago could paper copy 12WPM (with numbers causing issues).
It was a bit stressful, not the fun I wanted it to be for QRP portable work.

So, I got some Sherlock Holmes stories (in CW), and code groups at
25wpm and played them in my truck while commuting to work, as I wanted
to do head copy.

Two years later I'm still not great ..It did get me to head copy letters
easily, but words and meanings were still a problem. I have a mental
block (likely to my poor initial learning technique, electroshock therapy
may be the only answer) for numbers, punctuation, and a few
letters (z and x).

I found a great youtube video from AD0WE,
which gives an excellent overview of the human elements
and limitations involved in learning CW.

I found out that I'm not alone when trying to copy
words over 6 characters in my head and it appears
that I need to start to do word recognition.

Back to LCWO ..

I find the UI excellent (I don't understand some of the
complaints). It has many features. My two favorite sections,
so far, are the Morse Machine (I selected only my most
problematic characters), and the ability to download
code groups with Farnsworth spacing to mp3s. Yes,
I'm back to listening in my truck while commuting.

It seems that LCWO is an excellent resource for
helping to learn CW whatever your learning style,
or specific issue happens to be.

NN2X Rating: 2019-10-10
Outstanding Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This program is free...Amazing..

I always say, if the program cost lets say, $100 there would be all 5's for review..Free never gets any respect...!

Look, the US military for training for CW and to reach 20WPM, is 8 months...What can one expect...You can't get to 20wpm in weeks....

I passed the Extra in 1980 (20WPM), however, I rarely used code, maybe 5 times over the nearly 40 years
This program for me is just refreshing my code..So far, it has been highly effective getting me back to 20wpm

What I like there are fine granular options, for every level...

All very good for me...

C U on the bands

NN2X, Tom
VK5ISO Rating: 2019-05-26
Updated review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After two years of use, I would like to update the review I posted last year regarding LCWO. Many other reviewers have described the numerous qualities and some of the weaknesses of the site.
Two aspects have become quite striking recently and have made using the site less pleasant than it should be.

The first is that one gets the sense (and others have commented about this) that Fabian Kurz, the site's conceiver and owner, has become an absentee landlord: there is little or no response to requests for changes or updates and he seldom, if ever, intervenes on the forum any more, which is a great pity as Fabian is one of the world's top HSM champions.

The second which led me to disconnect to a large degree is that the atmosphere of the forum has become quite toxic (it is, as always, two or three angry members who spoil the experience for everyone else). One gets the sense that the forum is not being moderated.

As of last month, the forum has become read-only (one can't post any new material) and I have a niggling suspicion that this may be a permanent state of affairs. It is really quite regrettable, but perhaps unavoidable.
HL1ZIX Rating: 2018-08-25
Working for me, but not easy! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Think of this as a 5/5, with one caveat that makes it a 4/5... and ONLY that minor detail:

I feel that a default setting of 20wpm/10wpm spacing is (as many have discussed) just too destructive to new hams. It should default to 20/5 for beginners, or they will quit too easily, without knowing IT'S OK to increase the space between the words. Why, after all of the suggestions for this, has there not been a change? A 20/10 start is a source of extreme frustration for MANY new hams.

I am currently on lesson 4, so still new within a week. I am comfortable with 22/6, at the moment. At that rate, I feel I am sufficiently pushing myself, and the morse is at a more common character speed (you don't want to reduce the character speed past 18wpm, in my opinion).

Overall, this is a wonderful resource!
K1HMS Rating: 2017-04-06
It works for me Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
There are programs I thought I liked better but I wasn't making progress. This one works for me. The nice thing about this program is you type directly into it and once the code group is finished it shows the code, what you typed and missed, and your percent score. It is much quicker than copying on paper and checking against a on screen list. It forces a discipline and provides an incentive to improve your score. It tracks your scores and number of attempts in each category from the first time you use it. There are graphs to see your progress. Do not be surprise if you get a couple of camel humps as you progress.

It has it all - character groups, your own text, QSOs, Koch, call signs, etc.

I went through Koch from lesson 1-20 at 20wpm actual and 2 wpm effective. And then letter and word groups with the same settings. Set speed to fixed else it speeds up every time you enter the correct character. Limit words to 3 characters and a session to 1 minute. You will get

Issues: You have to be logged on so it is useless on air planes etc. For some modes you can limit it specific character groups like letters or numbers. For Koch lessons above number 20 there are punctuation characters which can not be excluded from the exercise. On my iPad and cell phone some of these characters are two menus away and take too long to reach which makes a 100% impossible.
VK3MEG Rating: 2016-05-15
GREAT intuative learning Time Owned: N.A.
This site has helped me finally get a grasp of cw. i tried many times and failed i finally decided to make a strong commitment to learning. and i have found this site very good. my progress has been painfully slow i can send but my rx isnt great 18 months on i know all the letter and finally they are automatic no looking up i just react i try to come to the site ,most days even just for one quick run on the callsign trainer. as you get better it gets tougher lots of i's,s's, and h's this is frustrating but also rewarding the satifaction of getting lots of callsigns @ 28 wpm is unbelieveable for me. morse machine is also fun. everyone has a different pace some are slow some are quick but if you really want to do cw this is a great place to start. i'm a dx'er and i can now mix it with the best in the toughest pileups without relying on a decoder with the op running @ 30 -35 wpm to scare off the newbies.
Find out why some dxpeditions go to a rare location and dont take a mic i could never understand when i was an ssb only op now i get it ssb while fun is not as satisfying as cw.
good luck i'm still learning and hope to work you one day in cw.
KW4JA Rating: 2015-11-20
couldn't figure it out Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I signed up online and spent about 30 minutes pressing links but never found anything that resembled a training program. It was a going around in circles experience. Perhaps I was using a wrong browser but couldn't the site advise me my browser was wrong. Life is too short.
KE0ANY Rating: 2015-06-23
Simply amazing! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
To all you new guys out there who don't know a dit from a dah this is the site for you! It is also amazing for those of us who are coming back to CW, or looking to boost our copying speed. If you don't want to make an account with the site simply enter the word "test" into the username and password slots. The site is known for rx practice but you can also practice sending CW ( ) with your mouse or touctouchscreen, it is a fairly new feature and is "highly experimental" at the moment. I would like to see the TX Training have an option to plug in a straight key, or a keyer in to the microphone jack of a computer. This would make sending much easier, it's not to bad on a touchscreen but can be a little tricky if the mouse moves on the desk.

Over all it is one of the best CW learning sites out there. I have recommended it to all my friends who are interested in the code, licensed or not. One of the other cool parts of the site I forgot to mention is the "Convert text to CW" section . You can type in your own custom text and select the speed which goes from 5 to 150 WPM not a typo 150 WPM! The speed goes in 1 WPM increments Farnsworth or actual speed. The tone can be adjusted from 250 Hz to 990 Hz in ten Hz increments. It comes in MP3 format and you can download directly to your phone, or MP3 player. There is a limit to how much text you can generate though (I have exceeded this many times!) I haven't figured out the exact number of characters yet but it is a lot!

This site is simply amazing and anyone can learn CW no matter how young or old you may be, give it a shot you will be surprised! Did I mention it's free and they don't clutter up your emails. Try it, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!

One last piece of advice for the new guys, set your character speed to something 25 WPM or over, 35-50 is perfect for beginning. you want to learn the sound of each character instead of counting the dits and dahs. For example you want your mind to hear a sound and without thinking, translate the corresponding letter automatically. You should Never listen to 5 WPM code unless the character speed is above 20 WPM. Otherwise you will start hearing this dah dit dah dit.... dah dah dit dah at slow speeds like 5 WPM your mind will start using a "lookup table" or a chart. This will make it Extremely difficult to increase your copying speed. It is better to listen to CW that has fast characters spaced at 10 WPM than straight out 5 WPM. For example if you hear da-di-da-dit..... da-da-di-dah you will still have time to decode the message but you will do so by sound and not with a lookup table or a chart.

That's my 2 cents worth on the subject... okay that was more like a dime :P

73 DE Peter KEØANY .-.-.
N3IMU Rating: 2013-11-01
Great for Any Experience Level Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This site is great for learning CW if you're brand new to it, and also for maintaining and improving your skills later. I was just on it a few minutes ago to sharpen up a bit before ARRL CW Sweepstakes this weekend.

Beginners can start with LCWO's implementation of the old but still effective Morse Machine program, and/or proceed through a series of lessons based on the same structure. That structure is called the Koch method, and it's absolutely the best way to learn the code. There are also smartphone apps that use the Koch method, and if you're serious about learning it you should use one of those in addition to this site so you can practice anywhere.

With LCWO, you enter the text on your keyboard, so your speed won't be limited by how fast you can hand-write. It also has exercises I haven't seen on the smartphone apps, such as one where you can practice copying QTC exchanges for the Worked All Europe contest. There are also exercises that let you copy callsigns and words, where the sending speed adjusts continuously based on your accuracy. That's a great way to push your speed up once you've completed the basic Koch course.

On top of all that, it's free. So go do it.