Alan VK3XE
Amateur radio adventures

Learning CW

My interest in Amateur Radio is very much from the perspective of tinkering, and my “how hard could it be?” interest in trying things.

Reading more about some of the things people do for things like SOTA (basically go climb some hills or mountains with your radio), which I’m looking forward to giving a go, and combined with the simplicity and affordability of simple HF radios that are CW (morse code) only, I’ve been working on learning.

I’ve been using which uses the Koch method to help you learn what each character sounds like but too fast for you to count (so you can recognise characters purely by ear), but with pauses between words so you don’t get overwhelmed.

I’ve been going OKish, but only learning from sound to character has been frustrating me, and I’ve been wanting to learn to use a morse key to start practicing from character to sound to try and give my brain some more ways to start understanding the mapping between sound and character.

So I could do this, I decided to build a morse key, so taken a look on Thingiverse to see what designs were about, and printed two

The first feels good using magnets to repel each other and return the paddle to its starting position, but the magnet action is fiddly and I suspect easy to have the magnets come out and end up stuck in the wrong place

The second (Compact Morse iambic paddle by IU1OPK - Thingiverse) is simpler, using a small button switch to trigger, but of course feels clickky, in a way which annoys me a little. It is also much smaller, and suited to portable operation.