Letter: Advice on Learning Morse Code

Dear Editor,
I have noted that the main characters in your novel Survivors use continuous wave (CW) Morse Code on occasion to stay in contact, around the globe. As a relatively new ham radio operator I am fascinated by CW Morse and have been trying to learn it for a couple years without a lot of success. Any words of wisdom or proven “best method” to learn CW especially for the over-50 age group? – J.S.

HJL Replies: There are a variety of inexpensive Morse code instruction tutor apps that will run on your smartphone or personal computer. While there are many methods of learning, I think one of the best is the “Koch” method. I’d highly recommend that you get a tutor program based on that method. Also, the skill of a straight key and a keyer do not really overlap. I really struggled to transition to a paddle keyer. It is probably easier to learn on a keyer and then shift to a straight key if you need to. For me, the straight key is intuitive, but the keyer is not.