CW Course Materials

CW Course | Halifax Amateur Radio Club
CW Course


The inital method of radio communication was Morse Code, sent using primitive transmitters and received by very "low tech" receivers. This approach was developed because voice modulation was not possible at that time.  To this day, many radio amateurs prefer to communicate using continuous wave or 'CW'.  It is called CW because the radio modulates a sine wave internally that runs continuously.  When the key contacts are closed, the modulated wave is sent to the antenna by the radio and the 'dit' or 'dah' is broadcast on the frequency where the radio is set.

Learning the code requires time, effort and a dedication to daily practice in order to become sufficiently proficient to pass the code exam, sponsored though the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC).  


The objective of this course is to develop proficency in sending and receiving Morse code at the qualification level mandated through RAC.  At present, this course provides training to a level of at least 5 Words per Minute (WPM).

The group will meet initially to review the course training methodology, establish meeting nights and review the hardware and software requirements for participation.  The instructors will assist the students with installing and configuring the software, interfacing a CW key or mouse to the student's computer and review the practice requirements.

There will be a weekly conference call to allow the students to ask questions and introduce the next week's learning objectives.

A questionnaire has been developed to assist with determining how best to integrate the 'key of choice' with the CW Communicator software for each student, based on the hardware they have available.  If you are interested in pursuing the Morse Code qualification, please complete the questionnaire and email it to one of the instuctors listed at the bottom of this page.
 <Questionnaire Document>

Software Tools

Listening: Just Learn Morse Code (

Sending: CW Communicator (

Support for CW Communicator - web page with hints, tips and 'How-To's' (


The following documentation is available to assist with learning the code:

a.    Copy of the code: Morse Code ditdah

b.    Just Learn Morse Code v1.23 (Help File)

c.    CW Communicator Manual v1.6


The following resources provide a more in depth discussion of learning CW and the CW Info spreadsheet contains links to a number of useful web sites that relate to CW and learning the code:

a.    The Art & Skill of Radio-Telegraphy 3rd edition 4-02

b.    Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy

c.    CW Info 2017 (list of resources)

d.    Contact:
       Dick (VE1AI -, or
       Don (VE1DTR -, if you are interested in taking this course.

Last Updated: 26 March 2017