LearnMorse Code in 20 Lessons
You want to learn Samuel F. B. Morse's (shown above) most famous code. The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) wants to help. Mark Kleine N5HZR developed this series of web pages to help you learn the 40 characters of the International Morse Code in about 20 lessons. Additionally, you can continue to practice hearing your code for another 20 lessons. In the first lesson we introduce two characters, the letters K and M. Think of this as if you're learning the sounds 'momma' and 'dada', as an infant. You'll listen to these characters, learning to hear, and differentiate their two sounds. Then, you'll come back each, and every day (or two) and listen to 2 new characters in 5 lessons of 5 minutes each. You don't have to listen to all 5 at one time. You can listen to a couple the 5 minute sessions at breakfast, one at lunch, and the last two in the evening. Make each lesson enjoyable, and you'll have a better experience.
Each day you'll build on the characters you already know. During the first week, you may feel frustrated or you may have trouble hearing each individual character. However, by day 5 or so, you will start to notice that the characters are 'slowing down', and you can differentiate the characters. In reality, you're simply learning to hear these tones quicker.
You should concentrate on how each character sounds, and don't rely on a visual representation of the code. Listen to the characters, and hear the rhythm of each one. You will hear Morse Code sent at 20 Words Per Minute (WPM), sent at full speed, from the very first lesson. These tones are purposely sent too fast to count the beeps. You should be training your ear to hear the sound of the character, like you hear the sound of a word. Listen when you are able concentrate on what you're doing, and not overburdened with other activities. Remember, this should be fun. Enjoy the process. So, when you're ready, sign up for the free reminder emails right here, and start with lesson 1, we hope you'll make it through the 40 lessons, and LearnMorse!
The best way to learn Morse Code is to spend 30 minutes a day listening to code. The best way to make that happen is to have someone else remind you to do it. Enter your email address, and click SUBMIT to start receiving these messages.
As you learn Morse Code, you may have questions, or get frustrated. To provide you with a way to connect with others learning Morse Code, join the LearnMorse Facebook Group.
Here are the individual lessons, so you can go directly to the page you want to learn. The best way is to start at the beginning, and work your way down the line. However, if your training gets interrupted, you may want to start back in mid stream. You can restart your email notifications from any of the lesson pages.
- Lesson 1 - Learn K & M
- Lesson 2 - Learn R & S
- Lesson 3 - Learn A & U
- Lesson 4 - Learn P & T
- Lesson 5 - Learn L & O (Letter Oh)
- Lesson 6 - Learn I & W
- Lesson 7 - Learn N & period
- Lesson 8 - Learn E & J
- Lesson 9 - Learn F & 0 (Number zero)
- Lesson 10 - Learn V & Y
- Lesson 11 - Learn G & comma
- Lesson 12 - Learn 5 & slash
- Lesson 13 - Learn Q & 9
- Lesson 14 - Learn H & Z
- Lesson 15 - Learn 3 & 8
- Lesson 16 - Learn B & Question Mark
- Lesson 17 - Learn 2 & 4
- Lesson 18 - Learn C & 7
- Lesson 19 - Learn D & 1
- Lesson 20 - Learn X & 6
In these last 20 lessons you listen to QSO's, Quotes from Famous People, Random Words, and text from the NASA Apollo 11 moon mission. These sets let you improve your listening skills, and your writing skills using real world words instead of random jibberish. Feel free to come back here and brush up your skills later in life. Start here if you already know the code, and simply want to brush up on your listening skills.
- Lesson 21 - Practice on Sample QSO's
- Lesson 22 - Practice on Famous Quotes
- Lesson 23 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 24 - Practice on NASA Transcripts
- Lesson 25 - Practice on Sample QSO's
- Lesson 26 - Practice on Famous Quotes
- Lesson 27 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 28 - Practice on NASA Transcripts
- Lesson 29 - Practice on Sample QSO's
- Lesson 30 - Practice on Famous Quotes
- Lesson 31 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 32 - Practice on NASA Transcripts
- Lesson 33 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 34 - Practice on Famous Quotes
- Lesson 35 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 36 - Practice on NASA Transcripts
- Lesson 37 - Practice on Sample QSO's
- Lesson 38 - Practice on Famous Quotes
- Lesson 39 - Practice on Random Words
- Lesson 40 - Practice on NASA Transcripts
Morse Code is fun, and easy to learn. However, what's hard is to remember to spend the 30 minutes each day to practice. Now we've created a Twitter account that has each day posted to provide the proper link, and a reminder to practice your code. Follow LearnMorse or use #LearnMorse and you'll see the 40 messages.
OK, if you really want to know the details about how to learn Morse Code, you need to read The Art and Sound of Radio Telegraphy by William G. Pierpont N0HFF. This 211 page document goes into every endless detail about learning Morse Code. Pierpont's information seems to match what happens here in the LearnMorse program. There's a ton of historical information available in that document, but by the time you read that document, you could probably already be copying 20 WPM code. Learn the code, then read that manual, if you've got time.
This program is based on the Koch method of learning Morse Code. In this method, the listener will be start by learning two letters at 'full speed'. Once you can reliably copy those characters, at a level of about 90%, or '9 out of 10 dentists', more characters are added. You now listen to all learned characters until you can copy them at 90%. This is repeated until all 40 characters are mastered.
To make the files used here, Ray Goff's G4FON Morse Code Trainer program was used to create 200 five minute WAV files, (5 files for each of the 20 lessons, plus 5 files for each of the 20 practice lessons), and the 200 text files that contain the 'answer key file' that hold the actual text that was sent in the audio files. These audio files were created using a 675 Hz tone, sent at 20 WPM. 20 audio files were created to demonstrate the new characters for each day. These uncompressed WAV audio files filled up about 10 gB of disk space, and had a very low audio output. The files were normalized, using the Audacity program, to make the tones loud enough to hear on all types of devices, and were converted to compressed MP3 files, reducing data needs by 90%, to about 1 GB for the entire project. A page was created for each lesson, that links the audio files, and displays the 'answer keys' for each lesson. Finally, a custom email system was built using a MySQL database, some PHP code that collects email addresses and stuffs them in that database, and a stand alone C# program then sends out emails every hour to those on the list. People can sign up to start the program on any day, and they will receive an email a day until the last NASA text practice run on day 40. Each email contains a link that the receiver can use to stop them from receiving future emails.