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Morse Code Ninja



Background and Usage:

Select only one speed and type, which will cause a YouTube video to be launched in a new browser window. On mobile devices, the practice video will begin in the native YouTube app. (I have set up JavaScript to prevent you from selecting more than one, but it is not perfect on mobile devices.) There are a handful of speed and type combinations that do not exist. It is on my to-do list to create them and post them to YouTube. In the meantime, you will get a warning message saying that it does not exist.

The practice videos are sorted from easiest to hard. For each video, try to head-copy it. First, the word, callsign, or phrase is sent. Then it is spoken. And finally, it is sent again in Morse code. If you missed it the first time, the second time allows you an opportunity to learn it. I find it helpful to speak the word or phrase during the pause.

In terms of practice, it is better to have more frequent and shorter practice sessions over one or two long practice sessions per week. Ideally, practice sessions should be no more than 15 or 20 minutes long, with two to three sessions per day. Each video is long enough that you can keep coming back to it and pick up where you left off. As long as you are logged to YouTube on each device, YouTube will remember your place across browsers and devices. And each video is long enough that you will not exhaust it before progressing to a faster speed or more challenging type of practice.

The practice videos are intended to help you progress from 15wpm Instant Character Recognition to as high as 50wpm sentences. At some point, I plan on creating a similar formatted course to help people go from no proficiency with Morse Code to 15wpm Instant Character Recognition.

If there is something that you would like to see beyond what I have created, let me know, and I will see what I can do! And if you would prefer to have the MP3 files to listen to on your device, please contact me. I can easily share the files with you through DropBox. And if you would like to be notified of additional content, feel free to access my channel and click subscribe!

US States:

The US State abbreviations are a great step to go from copying individual letters to words. The abbreviations contain almost every letter in the alphabet, and there are only 50 states.

Ideally, you will hear the abbreviation in your inner voice as it is spoken as opposed to the abbreviation as a series of characters. Mental translations take time, and it will save you mental effort later on.

Callsign Prefixes for DXCC Entities:

It can be difficult learning to head copy callsigns. Practicing with callsign prefixes can ease the transition to copying full callsigns and, in my experience, learning the country that the prefix belongs to helps even more. For each callsign prefix, try to head-copy it and determine which country it belongs to.

A special thank you goes to Daniel (KK4FOS) at Buckmaster International for making this possible!

So how did I determine which prefixes to use? First, I identified the common DXCC entities by using the DXCC Most Wanted 2019 list, reversing it, and taking the top 25, 50, and 100 entities. It is a reasonable assumption that the least wanted DXCC entities are the most frequently heard stations on the air.

Next, I needed to determine which prefixes are most commonly issued by the governing body for each DXCC entity. For this, I reached out to Buckmaster International on whether I would be able to download and use their database to determine a list of callsigns issued for a given DXCC entity. The answer was no, but Daniel immediately provided the information I needed to figure this out. Once I had a list, it was a small matter of writing a couple of short Perl and R scripts to parse, filter, count, and combine data to get the most commonly issued prefixes for a given DXCC entity.

Sets of Words:

It can be difficult transitioning from copying individual words to entire sentences. I located the most frequent 2, 3, 4, and 5-word combinations in contemporary English. These sentence fragments are known as N-grams and should seem familiar and common to any English speaker. I have selected the top 500 N-grams for each set.

To my knowledge, this is an innovative idea that has not been done before! I have found this particularly helpful in learning to head-copy entire sentences.

Common QSO Phrases:

I came up with more than 200 phrases and their variations that can be found in a typical QSO. These videos will assist you to go from head-copying individual words and abbreviations to an entire QSO in Morse code.

A Sound of Thunder:

The Sound of Thunder is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. The sentence structure is not too complicated, and he does not use an extensive vocabulary. Both of these qualities make it a good candidate for a story in Morse code.

Send Practice


Directions: Ideally send this phrase without reading it as you send it.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogs back


Dit Warm-up Word/Phrase:


Mississippi sissies are sissier than Tennessee sissies


Dit Exercise:

Directions: Send each line correctly. If you make a mistake, start over.

She is him es he is she.
Is she he?
He is she.
Shall his be these?
Did she see his fees?
This is she.
N5SHS is his call.
Is NS5H hers?
Did she see these?
He is in these trees.
His tress are these.
His tree is here.
She es he.
She is 55 es she is his sister.


Finger Twisters:


Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs

Dells little feet looked different during summer session
classes especially after he fell off the roof in Mississippi
and shattered his goofy little glasses.


Musical Word:

GEGEBEN (German word for "given.")