Getting Started With CW

Fred Beatty, K8AJX


The Basics

Now, what do we mean by a “methodical” approach to learning the code. We are fortunate in this day and age to have the aid of software that helps tremendously. We will get into that shortly, but first we need to lay the foundations. One effective way to do that is to approach the characters from the simplest to the more complex in terms of dits and dahs. See the character sets below. Look them over to get a feel for the groupings, but don’t memorize them. Rather, mimic them, thinking in terms of dits and dahs and their association in each character to establish a basis for learning the sound of the complete characters.

  e dit v di-di-di-dah
  i di-dit b dah-di-di-dit
  s di-di-dit    
  h di-di-di-dit f di-di-dah-dit
      l di-dah-di-dit
  t dah    
  m dah-dah p di-dah-dah-dit
  o dah-dah-dah x dah-di-di-dah
  a di-dah j di-dah-dah-dah
  n dah-dit    
      z dah-dah-di-dit
  r di-dah-dit    
  k dah-di-dah c dah-di-dah-dit
  w di-dah-dah y dah-di-dah-dah
  g dah-dah-dit q dah-dah-di-dah
  u di-di-dah    
  d dah-di-dit    

Likewise, the numbers:

  1 di-dah-dah-dah-dah 6 dah-di-di-di-dit
  2 di-di-dah-dah-dah 7 dah-dah-di-di-dit
  3 di-di-di-dah-dah 8 dah-dah-dah-di-dit
  4 di-di-di-di-dah 9 dah-dah-dah-dah-dit
  5 di-di-di-di-dit 10 dah-dah-dah-dah-dah

And the punctuation you will use most on the air . . .

  . di-dah-di-dah-di-dah
  , dah-dah-di-di-dah-dah
  / dah-di-di-dah-dit
  ? di-di-dah-dah-di-dit

We will address commonly used abbreviations and prosigns after we learn the code and are ready to get on the air.

It would be a good idea for you to print this page so you have the character sets available to input to the computer program. That done, let’s get down to business.

Next Page: Just Learn Morse Code