Morse Code Training Help


Please also see the FAQ page for answers to some frequently asked questions.

Morse Controls (Timing)

Understanding how to control the timing of the generated CW is important. All the tools are completely flexible in this regard. Please see the video below to understand what "Character Speed" and "Farnsworth Speed" are and how to use the features in the Morse Controls pop-up.

If you're interested, I've written up some of the maths behind the Character and Farnsworth speeds.

Playback Controls

Most of the tools follow the same pattern: select the content you want to practise (whether characters, words, QSO, headlines, etc) then set up the Playback Controls to play the content in the style that you want. The playback controls are complicated though!

The Playback Controls interface can be toggled between a detailed view with lots of additional help and embedded timing controls, or a summary view for when you know what you want. The view is changed using the "Detailed controls" toggle:

Playback Style

To make things simpler, some preset "Playback styles" are included.

The sequence for each is as follows:

All the preset styles turn on "Repeat" so that you get a continuous stream of messages. The two "Morse Code Ninja" styles copy the style of the superb pre-recorded resources available on the Morse Code Ninja website.

Message Modifiers

Some tools have one or two optional "message modifiers" which can be used to modify the Morse that you will hear in step 2 of the playback sequence. The modifiers are "Build Up" and "Speed Racer".

More information on these can be found below.

Build Up

The "Build Up" modifier was suggested by Glenn, W4YES. It works differently depending on whether the message is a word or phrase:

Speed Racer

The "Speed Racer" modifier boosts the initial speed by 50% and then repeats the message, stepping down the speed a few times to your chosen values. The Morse Repeat (in step 5) will play at the boosted speed if it is selected. There are many options related to the Speed Racer modifier and these are found in the Speed Racer control pop-up. You can choose there whether to boost the character and/or Farnsworth speeds, and how many times to play the message.

Playback Sequence

For each "message" that is played (e.g. QSO, headline, word, phrase), the sequence defined by six numbered stages is followed. Adjusting the settings lets you choose what you hear and see for each message.

  1. Show & Say Before: the Flashcard and Speech buttons let you have the message spoken and/or see a flashcard before you hear the Morse. You can choose the (minimum) duration of the flashcard with the Flashcard Time setting.
  2. Morse: this one is mandatory! The message will be played in Morse code using the Morse Controls settings (for sound, light, vibration and timing). Note: it is only in this part that the timing set in "Morse Controls" has any effect. Use Count to choose how many times it plays (1 to 5) or have it repeat until you press the Next button.
  3. Recognition: you are able to choose how long you need to recognise the Morse you have heard before moving on: the Recognition Time. The button cannot be deactivated: instead set the Recognition Time to zero.
  4. Show and Say After: just the same as step #1 but occurs after the Morse.
  5. Morse: if you want a reminder (now you know what it is) then enable this.
  6. Bell: turn the bell on to clearly indicate that the sequence for that word is finshed and that you should get ready for the next one.

Settings Import/Export

All the settings in a page are stored locally in your web browser, so if you close a page and then come back to it, everything should be how you left it. You can use Save Settings to save your settings into a file (in JSON format, so you can load it in a text editor) which you could provide to a class or send to a friend for them to upload with the Upload Settings button.

Clicking on the Share Settings button generates a really long URL ("link") which encodes all the settings. It then opens your operating system's "Share" system (different on phones and desktop) which allows you to copy the link (at minimum) and may also let you share the link on social media for instance. Again, sharing such a link with a friend or with a class is a good way to ensure that you all have the same set-up. The following link (abbreviated for display) will open the ICR trainer with the letters of CW Academy session 1 selected, set to generate sentences of three 3-letter words, with the "Speech After" playback style selected and 20/15 speed:

Finally, if you get your settings in a mess, you can use the Reset Settings button to set everything in the page back to its default value.

Tag Format

Used in CW Generator and Word List Trainer

It is possible to control and change the timing and pitch using "tags". The tags change parameters within a single message, work relative to the initial values and do not affect the user's settings. For example (click on the tiles to listen):

More documentation about the tag format is available in the morse-pro library source code.

User Settings

CW Academy Morse Code Trainer

The CW Academy Morse Code Trainer is designed to help students learn the characters of the Morse code alphabet. It is used in the CW Academy beginner training program.

Practice Content

The "Practice Content" section lets you choose what messages you will practice:

The "Session" number (with left and right arrows) refers to sessions 01 to 13 in the CW Academy's Beginner CW training program.

The "Copying" and "Sending" buttons pre-set program parameters for either copying or sending practice.

There is a choice of six types of message (though not every type is found in every session):


The current message is placed into the "Message" box.

Word List Trainer

Upload or Input: Custom Word Lists

As well as choosing from the ready-made word lists, you can upload, type, drag & drop, or paste in your own lists using the "Upload or Input" tab of the "Parctice Content" area (see screenshot below).

Screenshot of the upload or input tab

The software needs to know how to extract "words" (or messages) from the input, so the "Split text by" option lets this be defined:

There are then two "Adjustments" that can be made to the interpretation of the input. Sometimes the input text may include the same word more than once (particularly if you paste in a story or article). If "Allow word repetition" is not ticked then each word from the input will only be shown once in the soundboard. If it is ticked then words will appear in the soundboard potentially multiple times, reflecting their occurrence in the input text.

The option "Remove '<BT>', '=' or '^bt' from the end" is useful if you are uploading a word list prepared for other software where each line of the file is a word/message and the lines end with one of "<BT>", "=" or "^bt". With the option checked, any of these will be ignored.

Defining Morse, Speech, Display and Repeat

A powerful feature of the software is that you can define the following four things separately:

This ability is used in the ready-made "USA state abbreviations" list where the first line (for example) is {AK|alaska}. This means play and display "AK" but speak "alaska" (if speech is selected). The format options are:

The software does its best to speak the text sensibly but it is useful to be able to define the speech separately, particularly for abbreviations. Being able to define the Morse repeat element separately when combined with the "tag" format described above can be used to emulate the Speed Racer control:

Defining what is displayed separately to the Morse can help in some cases, such as:

Play Options

The "Play Options" controls in the Word List Trainer are more complex than the other tools. They change how and when the next message/word from the chosen list is played.

Selecting all three buttons will mean that all messages will be played once in random order.