Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"The Art And Skill Of Radio-Telegraphy," by William G. Pierpont, N0HFF, is available as a free download. It is the definitive handbook on learning Continental Morse Code as used in radiotelegraphy. Yes, you missed out on the heyday of The Candler System; what N0HFF is giving away is better.

(Printed, bound copies of the Fourth Edition with a nifty new cover were available at the same site for $11.50 American until they sold them all. Fifth Edition is promised soon).

I recommend this book, which starts out with the profoundly fundamental advice to learn the code by the sound of the letters, not as "dots and dashes," and further to begin picking up word-elements as early as you can. I did neither when I originally learned. Beginning wrong made getting past about ten words per minute a real struggle until I started over, concentrating on code as an aural language, a patterned series of sounds.


  1. Downloaded it; thanks for the link.

    Looks very interesting.

  2. I'm gonna snag me a copy as well. Thanks!


  4. Back when the code requirement for Extra was 20wpm, I tried and failed to pass the code. I would get close, 18-19wpm, but just couldn't get over that 20wpm barrier. My problem? I couldn't write fast enough. My local FCC office wouldn't let me bring in a typewriter to copy the code.

    Now, it doesn't matter. But passing that test was always a goal. I did get an ARRL code certificate later for 25wpm, but I cheated---I used a typewriter to copy the code.

  5. Using a typewriter is the only way to do it at 20-wpm and above. I just can't get over that barrier, either. Maybe if I start off really slow and work my way up...

  6. I one of those no code VHF/uhf geeks that realized
    CW is a most have. I still sound like a lid but I can complete a contest qso.

    The book is a great catch.