The Morse Code, or CW, was deleted as a license requirement by the FCC with an effective date of February 23, 2007. In order to obtain an Amateur Radio license by the FCC you need to take and pass an exam and the FCC provides the actual pool of test questions on line, which makes getting your license fairly easy. But for those who which to learn CW or to improve their proficiency, then you have a multitude of ways to learn.
The CW Operators’ Club was founded in 2010 and aimed at increasing the number of competent CW operators on the HF CW sub-bands. The CW Academy was launched by the CW Operators’ Club in 2012 and is a program that addresses all levels of enthusiasts: from those aspiring to become licensed operators who want to learn and use Morse code; to veteran operators who are intent on increasing their CW skills, speed and activity. The CW Academy semesters are eight-weeks long and held three times per year (Jan-Feb, Apr-May and Sep-Oct). The classes are free and taught by Alan Maenchen, AD6E, with class group sessions on the Internet (Skype). Alan’s classes are for Hawaii residents and primarily for licensed hams. You can sign up at the website “The CW Operators’ Club” which is listed below.
Classes are typically held twice a week and days and times are worked out between the instructor and students where possible. If not, classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays of each week.
Students are given daily assignments prior to each meeting, and the twice-weekly meetings are held online using Skype group calling (audio/video). During the online meetings students and advisors can all see and hear each other, as well as Morse being sent by any of them. Using Skype creates, in effect, a virtual training room. It is helpful to have a CW sending device or a radio so you can practice sending CW during the class sessions.
The class being offered is a Level 1 class. This is for beginners and operators whose code speed is 10 words per minute (WPM) or less. The objectives for the students in this class are to learn all Morse letters and numbers at a letter speed of 20 wpm and a word speed above 15 wpm; to learn conversational protocols; to be introduced to contest QSOing; and to be introduced to DX pileup best practices.
There is no cost or obligation to participate in CWops CW Academy Classes and membership is not required. Enrollment is open to anyone with the desire to learn or improve his or her proficiency in Morse Code.