About Ian G4XFC

Ex RAF Special Operator Telegraphy Morse Intercept Operator during the Cold War RSGB Morse Assessor up to 30wpm Webmaster www.g5fz.co.uk Webmaster www.themorsecrusade.g5fz.co.uk Webmaster www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

Morse Training Group

I have started a Morse Training Group at The Lincoln Short Wave Club which is not related to Morse Classes but up to the individuals to do most of their training at home on their computer with mentoring when needed. I have found out, having mentored some students by email that their is no restriction by location and I am willing to mentor students by email if asked to.

If you are having any problems learning Morse code then use the contact form on this website and tell me what your problems are and I am sure I can sort it out for you.

Morse Mentors

I am pleased to announce that Jeremy GW3VOL has contacted me, offering to be a Morse Mentor in the South Wales Cardiff & valleys area. You can contact him through QRZ.com if you require any help in that area.

We need more Morse Mentors in all areas and if you are an experienced operator and willing to give a little of your time to help others them please contact the Morse Crusade

Lets Have A Happy CW Year

Happy New Year and lets make our New Year resolution to help others achieve the same enjoyment we get from using CW.

I have had good news from Tom EI5CA about the Morse Class he started late last year and he has ended up with 5 students dedicated to learning Morse. Well Done Tom and hope you will share your experience with us.

I am giving a presentation using Microsoft Power Point at my own club in February which will then be the start of a club Morse Training Group for all levels of CW, I seem to have plenty of interest at the moment for it.

If anyone wants my Power Point presentation I will put a download on this site once I have polished it up.

I would like to hear from anyone else starting teaching Morse and how it worked out for them so either comment on this post or send me a message.

Keep pounding the pump handles and encourage others to learn how to do it in 2012

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to All



Copying Morse

This is something that I do in my head like a lot of experienced Morse operators but the subject of writing it down has reared it’s head a couple of times recently. It is very rare that I write anything down these days as most of my work is down on a keyboard, but the times I do pick up a pencil I would find it difficult to copy 20wpm. Continue reading

Copying Morse in Your Head

After a recent email from Bill W5WMB about his progress in learning Morse code and how he was starting to copy in his head, I realised that the subject of copying Morse code in your head needed a bit of coverage to avoid any misconception about it and not to try and do it too early in the learning process.

Most experienced CW operators copy most of the QSO in their head and only write down the relevant parts of the standard contact RST, Name and QTH. When you are skilled enough to do this, all of a sudden CW becomes even more enjoyable and suddenly you are talking to people using CW without really thinking about it. You should find it quite easy to follow a basic QSO without writing it all down as it is usually sent in a standard defined format.

Before you think about copying Morse Code on your head, you should be competent at copying  CW speeds at about 15 words per minute  with no problems. If you have to think about the Morse characters then you are going to find it very hard to try and read it i your head as you will have an even longer thinking time and remember that reading Morse code should be a reflex action to gain any sort of competence.

One of the hardest things to do is to find enough confidence to throw away your pencil but when you have done it, the Morse experience becomes even more pleasurable but don’t try it to early in the learning process.


Czech Morse Keys

Czech Morse KeyMarconi 365 AI had heard a lot of good reports about the Czech Morse keys, but had no intention of owning one, as when you own a Marconi 365A you really don’t need another key. When I got the Marconi key I actually sold a few of the keys from my collection, as I preferred to use the Marconi 365A.

Due to unforeseen circumstances at the National Hamfest 2011 I urgently needed a Morse Key for Morse Assessments, so I though I would get a Czech Morse key because of the reports that I had heard from other operators that had purchased one.

I am pleased to say the the Czech Morse Key lived up to all my expectation and although the Marconi 365A will remain my favorite key I will be happy to take the Czech key about with me whenever I am operating out of my shack. I do not have to write any reviews about this key as there are a lot of good reviews to look at on the Czech Morse Key website.

National Hamfest 2011

Visitor Trying Out the Morse Keys at the Morse Crusade Stand

Visitor Trying Out the Morse Keys at the Morse Crusade Stand


The Morse Crusade stand at the National Hamfest 2011 was a complete success with over 50 visitors signing the Guest Book.

I apologise for not being at the stand all the time, but I was also taking the Morse assessments, next year I will be having more help so their should always be somebody on the stand.

Eight Morse assessments with three passes, it looks bad but four assessments were for 30wpm and the candidates could not write it down even though they could take in in their heads. I have told them to learn to touch type and next year will have a proper keyboard for them to use so I hope their will be more success at higher speeds next year.

Learn CW Online

At LCWO.net you can learn Morse telegraphy (CW) online in your browser. You don’t need to install a program on your computer, and you always have your personal settings available, from any computer on the globe with an Internet connection. You can also easily track your progress by means of different statistical functions. For the learner a course is available using the Koch Method but it is also a good site for any Morse operator to advance his skills further and it is free to use. Continue reading

We are Evolving

When I started the Morse Crusade I knew I had to let it evolve because I was blinkered by being trained professionally using the Koch Method and wanted the opinion of others so that the website could evolve with an open mind.

I though that The Morse Crusade was going to be controversial like Darwin’s publication “The Natural Evolution of the Species” and it was going to be difficult to convince others about the pitfalls which can happen in learning Morse Code, however I have been proved wrong and very pleased with the positive comments I have had from everyone, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the Morse Crusade.

I received the message below today and thought that I need to put a “Guidance” section on this website. Before receiving this, I was going to point to other websites for information, but although there was good information out there, it was not complete.

I found difficulty in the Old Method. It’s good to know that you are going to put it right. And CW is gaining interest down here in Brisbane

73 Harry VK4DFG

So Harry you’re putting a lot of weight on my shoulders and making me put my head on the block, because I am going to write a guide on learning Morse with the good points and the bad points. I again would appreciate comments from others about their experiences so the guide can be as comprehensive as possible


Fists CW Club

Fists CW Club The International Morse Preservation Society

I am pleased to announce the the Fists CW Club, The International Morse Preservation Society, are helping the Morse Crusade by featuring the Morse Crusade on their Latest News bulletin on their website and have also added a link to the Morse Crusade in their Links section on their website. Thank you Fists for your help.

Don’t Read Morse Listen to It

One of the biggest hazards of learning Morse is the Crib Sheet or Flash Card with the character and Morse equivalent written down for you to look at. You can learn Morse code with these aids, but you can’t use it and end up with the counting syndrome again which leads back to a previous post “Still Counting?“. Morse is a language and should be listened to. Continue reading

Message From Barry G3JGO

I was helped to learn Morse by G3GCU an ex Bomber Command RO
about 1952. I well remember him saying that slow, machine accurate
Morse is NOT the way, one has to learn letters at say 12-15 wpm from
day one, with big gaps to keep the WPM down to what you can handle.
Like the phrase “six teenagers” which gives three different meanings
if said too slowly, as the brain tries to interpret what it has
already got.

Regarding tried and tested methods, I once heard of someone who had
“always” taken the hot ashes out in a bucket. On day his son-in-law
bought him a polythene bucket !!!!! He blamed the son-in-law, not the

Barry  G3JGO

Thanks Barry the more messages and comments we get the better for the Crusade.

Building Up The Crusade

I am still building up the Crusade and thank Southgate ARC for putting it on their news, I would also like to that everyone who has posted comments on the website as everything helps to move the Crusade forward and although it’s still in it’s infancy I am optimistic that it will grow. If we even get one Morse Instructor or one student to change their views then we have succeeded.

The Morse Crusade can be followed now on the following sites, so join and add your voice to the Crusade;

Facebook, Twitter via @TheMorseCrusade  and Yahoo Grooups

Morse Readers

I thought I might just write a little post on the subject of Morse Readers as although they are a good tool for Morse operators who can read at least 12wpm, because they can be used to practice your sending ability and the readability of the Morse you are sending, however as a learning tool for reading Morse they should never be used as it will cause problems with your learning.as you can’t receive Morse and look at the screen at the same time and also there is always some delay before the character is displayed on the screen which could throw your concentration.

Morse Aptitude

Your Morse Aptitude is your personal ability to learn Morse Code and some find it easier than others to learn. Most armed forces professional Morse operators would have taken a Morse aptitude test before they started learning, this is because the government did not want to spend lots of money training someone who was going to find it very difficult to learn. If you failed the aptitude test you were redirected to another occupation. Continue reading

Let the Crusade Begin

This is not a revolution to take over and throw to one side other Morse Groups and take over the world of Morse, we would like to think it is more of a crusade to change the way of thinking in training Morse and work with other clubs, groups and societies. To promote Morse and to find a standard way of training that is not detrimental to the learner. Continue reading

Still Counting?

Are you one of the Morse operators still suffering from the 5wpm Morse Test and finding difficulty progressing forward with your Morse speeds? I have listened to many sad stories about this and you have my sympathy. But there could be hope at the end of the tunnel if you are willing to retrain and begin to learn Morse as a language. I would suggest you read “So You Would Like to Learn the Secret of Morse”  and start again from the beginning.

I would like to say at this point I have no experience of this situation and would be very pleased if anyone that has been in this situation and overcome it please comment on this post and give your advice.

So You Would Like to Learn the Secret of Morse

Morse is a Language and not a Code and should not be learned as such and my views are held by other operators World Wide. Learning Morse Code by dits and dahs will haunt you for a long time and if you are counting dits and dahs I would recommend that you stop immediately and read my post on “Redefining Slow Morse in Amateur Radio”.

Learning Morse is not easy and you must be dedicated and willing to put aside at least half an hour a day every day for practice. You will find that sometimes you will struggle and get mental blocks on some characters, but remember that you would not be on your own as most operators have gone through that at some time or other. We have all persevered through the hurdles it can throw at you and now enjoy the music of Morse. Continue reading

Why Morse?

As a child I was always intrigued with the sound of Morse Code though I could not understand it, and now as a Morse Operator I am mystified why people watch me and I know they don’t understand anything I am sending. When my club opened the Radio Museum at East Kirkby Airfield it was decided to only use SSB on the amateur station GB2CWP that was located within the museum. Visitors to the Radio Room just walked round looking at the exhibits and left showing no interest in our active station till one day we changed mode to CW and Morse filled the air. It seems we don’t need a flute like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, we just have the volume of the radio loud enough for the Morse to be heard outside the Radio Room and the visitors come flooding in and surround the operator. Why?

So what’s good about Morse Code and is it worth the pain of learning? Continue reading