Ham Radio 360: CW for the Newbie w/KI4WFJ Episode 41

Ham Radio: CW for the Newbie!  with Justin, KI4WFJ.



Justin Hornby, KI4WFJ
Justin Hornby, KI4WFJ

In a Fo Time First, we have a ‘Studio’ Guest.  My Friend and Neighbor, Justin Hornby KI4WJF, came down to chat with us about Learning CW and getting your code on the air!


from Vibroplex


Justin has been licensed for a while now, and over the course of time had an on and off relationship with Morse Code…until Now!  Justin got serious and finally took the bull by the horns.  He shares with us his secrets to learning the Code and how he makes use of it as he continues to enjoy the hobby!

Make sure you check out his show notes below!

The Tri-bander as mentioned from qrpkits.com

From Justin:

free browser based teaching tool; uses Koch method and has plain text training; I use this now to practice on lunch at work or whenever I want to practice without a radio.
free week long trial but normally $9.99 a month;  this is what I used to really get through learning the characters and practicing; I highly recommend.
what sets SKCC apart is it’s membership is free.  Members are friendly and they have monthly scheduled activities that give a reason to get on and practice. Have morse elmer program for practice buddies and the sked page helps find contacts.
North America QRP CW Club; I also have joined the NAQCC and play in their contests and activities as well.  Another friendly free club/group that has a lot of participation.  Contests are laid back and fun; a great way to practice and improve your speed once on the air.
Check Ebay or junk boxes at hamfests for straight keys–try to get one that is fully adjustable–bearings,spring force,gap; it makes all the difference in the ‘feel’ of the key; I use this one:
The capacitive touch paddles I have I use sometimes is model P6:
A practice sidetone oscillator helps to get timing and feel for sending-just practice imitating sending good code you have listened to.; many radios can be setup to create the sidetone w/o transmitting for practicing; the IC-718 can do this
The ARRL W1AW practice transmissions are a good way to get used to listening to morse over the radio and practice decoding before jumping in making QSOs.  There’s a big change between listening to practice code on the computer and dealing with QRM and QSB!!  Also, all the files, text and mp3 are available on the website so you can listen, decode, and check your work w/o having to stick to the broadcast schedule or have a radio handy.

Press the Gray Button and Send Me a Message!

We wanna hear from you for our New Years Show!  Press the Voice Mail Button and tell us what you have planned for the New Year and the Hobby!!!


Merry Christmas Y’all!

from palmettotraditions.com
from palmettotraditions.com


73, K4CDN


  1. Great show, Cale! Happy birthday and Merry Christmas in advance! Mine is two weeks after Christmas…Elvis’ birthday!
    I hope Star Wars rocks for ya! I’m hoping I can see it while I’m off between Christmas and January 4th.

  2. Great show and great timing! I have been thinking about starting to learn cw at the first of the year so really enjoyed this program. Keep up the great podcast and Merry Christmas!

    1. I like the Morse Toad…here is a Tweet I received: “… @FoTimePodcast #morsetoad app is very cool. My 7 year daughter has learned more than me… thanks for sharing!…”


  3. I was listening, Cale! I enjoyed the show and am glad to hear that the CW force has awakened in Justin. 🙂 Now, we gotta get you going.

    I just wanted to comment that I really believe that the way to learn to send is with a paddle and keyer–and this is coming from a guy who struggled with a straight key for many years. You’ll send better code right off the bat, and it’s a whole lot easier on your arm and wrist. I think that makes operating CW more fun, and as you know, having fun with Morse Code is what I’m all about.

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