Learning Morse code with a smartphone app?

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for an Android or iOS smartphone app to help learn Morse code and improve speed and accuracy?  I’ve been poking around the App Store and Android Market.  There are MANY choices and I’m hoping someone will be able to save me a little time and frustration.

Something’s come over me lately.  I’ve had this renewed interest in learning Morse code.  Well, not really “learning” — more like “re-learning.” I had to learn the code when I became licensed twenty years ago, but like most things I studied at the time, I promptly forgot it after the test was over.  What a shame, really.  I honestly viewed it as an antiquated, useless requirement.  I never imagined that I’d ever want to use it.

I’m looking for a new challenge.  For me, I think that challenge is QRP CW.  I love this hobby.  There are so many aspects that it literally can take a lifetime to explore them all.

Matt Thomas, W1MST, is the managing editor of AmateurRadio.com. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “Learning Morse code with a smartphone app?”

  • Tom AJ4UQ:

    I like sms2cw. It will play your text messages in cw. Biggest problem is that I am usually not ready to copy when something comes in, but it’s good in the car to get the gist of a message without looking. Most of the tutorial programs are poor because the on screen keyboard is not fast enough.

  • Chuck Heath K6ZIZ:

    Hi Matt – two suggestions that are working for me: Get the K7QO Code Course, V.3 You can download it from but it’s a huge file (more than 500 MP3’s). Normally, you can buy the disk from Nancy at but they’ve run out of disks right now. However, I can send you the same disk for $1, since I still have a few left. (Chuck Heath, 3800 Goat Rock Road, Ukiah, CA 95482)

    Second, go to “Learn CW Online”, and listen to their 40 lessons – starting at a high speed (18-20 wpm). You need to learn Morse REFLEXIVELY, WITHOUT ANY THINKING. Learning the SOUNDS at high speed pays off later, as Chuck Adams points out. They offer many programs to help you progress after mastering the basics, one or two letters at a time, so you copy code without ANY mental “translations” – you just react to the SOUND. Indeed, learning Morse is learning the SOUNDS of a second language! From individual letters, you will soon progress to hearing whole words. Really!

    50+ years ago I learned the WRONG way, so I still sometimes fall back and mentally repeat”di-di-dah dit” before saying “F” – WRONG! No thinking allowed!

    I really believe this is the way to learn Morse Code. I hope this helps you, Matt. Let me know if you want the K7QO Code Course disk. Cordially & 73, Chuck

  • Chuck Heath K6ZIZ:

    Hello again, Matt. Didn’t realize all the URL’s would be edited out of my message. Please contact me via my QRZ email address to “fill in the blanks”
    73, Chuck

  • Jan DK3LJ:

    Matt,

    specific to portable devices there is:

    On Android:
    – Morse trainer light (free), a little app that generates practice texts in CW for you. It comes with a QSO mode which is fun to listen to when there is some spare time during the day. The free version is hard wired to 12 wpm, there is a commercial version where the speed can be adjusted.

    – Morse code reader (free) is an app that decodes CW through the microphone surprisingly well. It’s a good training aid if you want to practice keying. Just key the TX with sidetone on in RX mode and watch your own code being decoded.

    On iOS:

    – Ham Morse (AA9PW) is a great iPhone/iPad app that generates practice QSOs, has all the Koch lessons and can generate random words and prosigns for listening practice. Good program but unfortunately only comes in an iPhone version so it looks a bit pixelated when run on an iPad).

    – MorseKey (free) simulates an Iambic key on the touch screen. It does not decode or do anything fancy, it just simulates the key. Although it works great and is fun to use, it simulates IAMBIC A mode (I believe), not the more common IAMBIC B so it takes some time to get used to.

    Same as previous posters, do not forget to look at the fabulous offering of LCWO.net – Great site.

    Enjoy! 73 de Jan DK3LJ

  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    Bravo Chuck, Chuck Adams is right! A dit at 10 wpm is still a dit at 20 wpm. I’m surprised that the ‘old way’ has hung on as long as it did. How I loathe the old way! Every time you go to a faster code speed, using the old way, you must learn the code all over again. Do it once, do it right! Learn it at a faster speed, start at 20 wpm. Yes, it will take a bit longer to ‘Get on the air’ with code, but when you do, you’ll be able to really use it and have a real conversation with it.

    Go for it Matt!

    de AA1IK

    Ernest Gregoire

    73

  • Matt W1MST:

    Thank you so much to everyone for the suggestions. I really appreciate it!

  • Nick KG9E:

    I have a few CW Morse code trainer and practice Android apps available on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. One is a Morse code TX/RX CW trainer app based on the Koch method, the other a CW Morse code practice oscillator with straight and iambic key. It translates the code you tap out into English and CW prosigns. Please see the following webpages for more information:

    http://www.kg9e.net/apps/AmateurHamRadioMorseCodeTrainer/

    http://www.kg9e.net/apps/AmateurHamRadioPracticeKeys/

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

E-mail 
Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.



Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.


Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

 
We never share your e-mail address.

Please support our generous sponsors who make AmateurRadio.com possible:

KB3IFH QSL Cards

Hip Ham Shirts

Georgia Copper

Ham-Cram
Expert Linears

morseDX

Ni4L Antennas

N3ZN Keys

West Mountain
R&L Electronics


Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!


  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor




Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: