Nick Cook

My name is Nicholas Cook and I live in Mobile, Alabama. I have recently become interested in the prospect of ham radio as a hobby and started looking into it. My "stepping stone" was acquiring a citizens band radio (Midland 40-channel with sidebands, circa 1977) and soon I stepped up to a Radio Shack scanner (Radio Shack Pro-2052) to see what was going on locally in the amature radio scene. The more frequencies I found and dug through, the more I heard morse on the air. This coupled with most everything I've ever heard or read about ham radio convinced me that if I was to become a ham I needed to learn morse. Not simply to "fit in," but with an understanding that morse is an essential tool for any radio operator as it may serve to be one of or perhaps the most reliable form of communication. At that point I set out to accomplish what I had pictured as being a very daunting task.

After googling a few words ("morse code" of course, I think I may have used CW in the search string as well) I came up with some resources and started reading and digging. Soon I came across your site and your program. The DOS-based "morse.exe" made itself available and with the tips and stories on your webpage devoted to the software I decided to give it a try. (The fact that it was free helped out a lot too!) I'm glad I did, I think it could be the best thing I could have done to learn the code.

I knew 2 letters when I started. "S" and "O." What a surprise, eh? I don't think there's anyone in the civilized world that hasn't encountered morse for "S.O.S." somewhere in the popular media. So with 2 down and 34 to go - and a healthy dose of preparedness concerning attitude and expectations garnered from your website - I set off using your program. In 5 days of practice (one hour per night on average) I know the entire code. (Attached to this e-mail you'll find a screen-shot of the end of my 5th night's practice session.) I use it at work, sending e-mails composed of -.. .. -'s and -.. .-'s. I read things, car license tags and such and the come across in morse now. What I at first considered to be a "daunting task" I had looked at as a game, something fun and rewarding, mostly due to the common-sense ideas on your site that prepared me to think of it that way. This payed off in a big way.


I'm astonished at how easy it really is to learn with a little time and determination. I have your program and the preperatory information on your site together as one unit to thank for this. As an aside, I think that your tips and ideas on the attitude and techniques (short, fast bursts at the end of the session, 10-15 minutes of nothing after the session to let what you've learned gel, look at learning morse as something fun and rewarding) should be bundled with the software should someone ever procure it from some other source and miss out on all the great wisdom and experience to back up the otherwise spectacular software.

In short, thanks. This is the only resource I ended up using for learning morse code and after 5 days I fel that I'm ready to start listening to and copying samples. I'm still debating whether to get them off the local airwaves, I wouldn't want to be confused by messy code but then one has to learn to deal with that one day anyway. I feel confident that I know the code, as with some of the more familliar letters the answer pops into my head before I realize it. I've found myself hitting the right keys without thinking. Truly awsome.

I do not have my ham license yet so I can't include any call letters, but rest assured when I get my technicians class (with morse) I will e-mail you back with them. My area of choice so far is turning out to be DXing so perhaps we'll even cross on the airwaves one day.

73s to you and yours Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Wilson. Thanks again for the spectacular program and I'll be sure to reccomend it to anyone I ever find that is interested in learning or even brushing up on their code.

-- Nick Cook

P.S. Did you know that by rearranging the letters in "The morse code" you can spell "Here come dots"? I thought that was kind of neat.


Last edited August 28, 2004
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