1
$\begingroup$

Is there an app that sends random morse code that I can copy to paper, then shows me what was sent for me to check my work? Basically an app that works like the MFJ-418 Code Tutor. All the apps I find have me hunt and peck for keyboard letters as I copy. Doing that on my phone can be awkward and causes errors. I would rather practice copying code to paper as I would off the airwaves.

Android app preferred does not need to be free

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by Kevin Reid AG6YO Feb 1 '16 at 2:29

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question asks for recommendations for specific products, services, software, or electronic designs, which are off-topic as they attract opinionated rather than comprehensive answers. Please consider rephrasing your question in terms of what you should be looking for given your use case or whether a specific product has the capability you need." – Kevin Reid AG6YO
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I Googled "Android CW Trainer" and got a whole page of Android CW training apps available. One of the first listed supported a feature allowing you to supply your own text to be used in the sending CW. This was an app by IZ2UUF. Also, copying code to paper is a bad practice and it is limiting to your skill in code copy. Copying in your head is what you want to learn. Why? Well, you get up to around 20 wpm and you will start having trouble keeping up with your writing code to paper. At 30 wpm I don't think it is possible to write to paper by hand -- at least not by me. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Jan 10 '16 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ Learn CW Online (lcwo.net) is not an app, but it's a great resource for improving CW skills. $\endgroup$ – Riccati Jan 11 '16 at 19:06
2
$\begingroup$

From my own experience about 60 years ago and from what other's have said to bolster this same experience, the best CW practice is to listen to on-air CW. Of course, it is best to learn most of the alphabet by whatever means suits you. But, as soon as you can start copying fragments of words or maybe just every other character or so, start listening to the actual ham radio CW QSOs that go on every single day and night.

The ARRL has practice sessions at different speeds per a schedule that is available on the ARRL web site: http://www.arrl.org/w1aw-operating-schedule

The frequencies used for these ARRL transmissions (from station W1AW) are at 14.0475 or 7.0475 (and others but these handle day and night).

Also, it is not important to get every single character and sometimes even words can be skipped or ignored. When I am working a station and running above my comfort speed of about 20 wpm, say 30+ wpm, I miss a lot but not so much that I can't continue with a QSO.

Also, you learn faster by pushing your speed. If you are comfortable at 5 wpm, listen to someone at 10 to 15 wpm.

The CW portion of the bands (low end of the band) are also grouped into the faster and slower areas. Note that this is not an official grouping but just the typical practice of ham radio operators. The slower CW operators seem to hang out around the 050+ KHz range (that is, 14.050, or 7.050, etc.) and the faster ones are lower. But, not always. You find the reverse too.

Day time hours, the 20 and 30 meter bands are best. At night though, 40 meters is the best and then 80 is good too but not as dense in CW activity as 40 (usually). And, a lot of the CW traffic on 80 is scheduled CW message handling nets.

No, this is not software for an Android but it is a better way to learn CW. Learning live CW with the usual QRN and QSB (and, even QRM at times) is good for the ear.

Also, I have mentioned various CW code speeds in this message but it is not important that you know the speed you are listening to. I understand that there are some signals that are way too fast, and way too fast for me. I can copy a call sign and some stuff at 40 wpm (usually) but I have heard some guys at 60 wpm and it is just a sound blur to me (no dots, no dashes, just almost a buzz). My Elecraft K3 radio actually will read out the CW speed in wpm and it is very accurate if the sender is an electronic keyed and it gets worse with more poor "fist" in sending by straight key or Vibroplex or whatever.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

The Morse Trainer (http://www.wolphi.com/ham-radio-apps/morse-trainer/morse-trainer-manual/) does exactly what you're looking for.

It provides random QSO, the first 20 lessons of the Koch method, and supports Farnsworth method, which I highly recommend because many of us consider it best to listen to the actual character speed at the rate we are attempting to acheive, while increasing the spacing between the letters so the brain can have time to adapt to receiving at slower rates.

This has the effect of you not having to relearn (i.e., train your brain to comprehend) the same characters over again when the delivery speed changes - it's not a problem to hear live code slower, just faster.

To surprise yourself, you can dump (paste) random pages from Wikipedia or any other textual source into the app, and even have it randomize that text. That way you have no idea what code you're going to copy.... and of course, the text is displayed, as you stipulated.

Moving forward, it should be noted that perfectly delivered code is NOT the real world - no one's "fist" is perfect code, so with respect to this phenomena I'll defer to the answer that @k7peh provided: Learn to listen to live code delivered by real people. Again, you'll need to let your brain be trained to copy this code accurately because any morse code tutor program is incapable of delivering this sort of imperfection.

Listening to w1aw is good, but an Android app that can tune into, say 20 meters, and offer you the opportunity to get a handle on different fists will go a long way toward getting you back to your morse tutor endeavoring to hear words, rather than characters, and then back to live radio again, where you'll eventually find yourself not even hearing/seeing the characters, but rather, the words themselves, eventually even anticipating the next word before it is sent.

One more thing, when switching back and forth between the tutor app for increasing your copying speed and accuracy, and live a live QSO, search in the novice and general portions of the particular band you choose, people there will generally be sending code at a slower rate - this will save you a lot of anguish from missed characters/words.

I hope this helps, and congratulations on your commitment to learning code!

73 de kd6ncg

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

I've tryed some mobile apps and recorded CW, but I adapted myself better to the "Koch's method" (http://www.justlearnmorsecode.com/koch.html).

The Just Learn Morse Code (http://www.justlearnmorsecode.com/download.html) is one of the softwares that implement this method.

I'm still learning, but making pretty decent progress daily.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Before you go for an app try this free website. lcwo.net I found it very useful.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

You might want to try code practice sound files you can download from the ARRL in a variety of different speeds. Each sound file comes with a plain-text transcription that you can compare to what you copied when you listened to the file. The content is a paragraph or two of text, not random characters, but it might still work for you. They create new practice files every week.

Here is the link: http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

For paper and pen training I recommend Morse Trainer for Ham Radio from Wolphi LLC. Itt can play random groups of letters (you can use the Koch method), play random QSO like texts - or a text file you choose.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.