How to Learn Morse Code…

How to Learn Morse Code and Make Radio Contacts - David González, EA7HYD

I first came across this ‘Dummies Guide to CW’ in it’s native Spanish form on the authors website www.cw4u.org and from the sample pages I was really impressed…so impressed that I emailed David, EA7HYD in March 2018 to offer my support in producing an English language version. Fast forward to January 2020 and David has just published the English/American version and updated the Spanish version. Details on how you can get a copy below!

So what was it about this guide that caught my imagination? Well, it’s presented just like a normal Dummies Guide breaking everything down into small and easily digestible parts. The graphics, layout and cartoons make navigating the book easy and intuitive and it is simply an easier read than other CW training books I’ve seen.

Front cover
Chirp chirp chirp cartoon

The content is logically laid out and quickly dives into the important stuff…the how, what, why and when of learning CW. All of the important knowledge required by a fledgeling Fist is delivered in bite sized nuggets along with recommendations of how to self train using lots of different resources and leveraging the Koch and Farnsworth approaches.

David uses example QSOs heavily to highlight the order information is normally given in, to give examples of different types of QSO and to explain, in detail, step-by-step, all the parts of a QSO and a lot of variations that new Fists may encounter.

Example contest exchange

After focusing on learning to receive and the format and content of QSOs the guide goes on to the subject of sending, different keys and the approach to using them. The guide concludes with some more advanced knowledge like contesting and working split and wraps up with an interesting mix of history, reference material and other CW related guidance.

Example data card from EA7HYD

An initial English translation was made by Jesús Pacheco González and I provided my support translating and editing for free (I have no commercial interest in the guide). My reward was being able to add a section on SOTA to try and get more new Fists up on hill tops! In translating we stuck to American spellings as the USA probably has more new Fists per capita than anywhere else in the world but David also kept the language simple so that other, non-native English speakers can easily enjoy it too. There’s a European flavour to the use language and that’s how it should be given David is Spanish. 

Example page showing part of a QSO

In working on the translation I have re-read the book many times and it has made me smile every time with funny and really well observed advice which I wish I had known when I was learning.

If you are starting your learning journey, having a 2nd (3rd, 4th, 5th…) attempt at learning, stuck in your progression or simply struggling to get your new found skill on the air, you will find ‘How To Learn Morse Code And Make Radio Contacts’ essential and supportive reading and, I believe, worth every penny.

How To Learn Morse Code And Make Radio Contacts (Como Aprender Código Morse Y Realizar Contactos En Radio) by David, EA7HYD can be ordered from Amazon, price £14.50/$19.50/€16.70 (different countries may have slightly different exchange rates).

 

The author also provides a related website where you can download additional, supporting material including MP3s of the QSOs used in the book, a Facebook page and expect to see a YouTube channel develop over time..

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