CW (Morse Code) Reference Guide

CW, which is short for Continuous Wave is also often referred to as Morse Code outside of ham radio circles. Below you will find the most commonly used Prosigns and Abbreviations used in CW as well as the usual letters, numbers and even some intentional characters for those you may be bilingual and adventurous enough. Additionally I have provided some links for learning (or relearning as it was in my case) CW as well as some extra links and info which may prove to be useful.

My wife likes to bring my coffee to me Saturday mornings in this cup when I am generally on the radio. She purchased it for me a few years back. I wore it out pretty good now, might be time for a new one. If you want one too, link opens.

Note: Prosigns run together (See below) and Abbreviations have spacing between characters.

Letter / SymbolCWProsign / AbbreviationCW
A.-AA New Line.-.-
B-...AGN Again.- --. -.
C-.-ANT Antenna.- -. -
D-..AR End of message.-.-.
E.AS Wait.-...
F..-.BCNU Be Seeing You-... -.-. -. ..-
G--.BK Break-...-.-
H....BT New Paragraph-...-
I..CUL See You Later-.-. ..- .-..
J.---CL Clear/Going off the air-.-..-..
K-.-CT Start to Copy-.-.-
L.-..CQ Calling anyone-.-. --.-
M--CQ DX Calling DX-.-. --.- -.. -..-
N-.DE From-.. .
O---ES And. ...
P.--.FB Fine Business..-. -...
Q--.-GM/GA/GE Greetings--. -- / --. .- / --. .
R.-.HH Error in sending (8 dits)........
S...HW How / How do you copy?.... .--
T-LID Poor Operator.-.. .. -..
U..-K Over/Back to you-.-
V...-KN Invite a specific station to transmit-.--.
W.--OM Old Man (Operator)--- --
X-..-Q-codes see HERE
Y-.--UR You are..- .-.
Z--..R or RRR Roger._. / .-. .-. .-.
0-----RST Signal Report.-. ... -
1.----SIGS Signal... .. --. ...
2..---SN Understood...-.
3...--SK End of transmission...-.-
4....-SOS Distress message...---...
5.....TKS/TNX Thanks- -.- ... / - -. -..-
6-....YL Young Lady-.-- .-..
7--...XYL Wife-.-- -.-- .-..
8---..5NN 599 (Report)..... -. -.
9----.73 Best Regards--... ...--
Ampersand [&].-...88 Hugs and Kisses---.. ---..
Apostrophe ['].----.
At sign [@].--.-.International Letters
Comma [,]--..--Ä.-.-
Equals sign [=]-...-Á.--.-
Hyphen [-]-....-Å.--.-
Period [.].-.-.-É..-..
Plus sign [+].-.-.Ñ--.--
Question mark [?]..--..Ö---.
Slash [/]-..-.Ü..--

Learning CW, at any age, can be a challenge. Take my word, I know! Since I am more of an auditory leaner, and you SHOULD learn by ear, not by reading I found these useful: (Link will open when you click on these) I have owned all of these at one time.

The Intro CD above is the official one by the ARRL and is very good. The Skilman uses blocks of characters to build on and uses both sending and receiving techniques. I found this to be very original and on of my favorite ones.

Of course everyone knows Gordon West (Gordo) and he has created these great set of CDs which I used to listen to even in my car on long drives or anyplace I had time. I also highly recommend these, of course start iwht the 0-5WPM. These all use the Koch method or a variant of, which folks seem to have the most success with. I personally found strengths in all of them and using a combination of the above achieved the most success. But of course I do realize we are are different. I like to revisit these CDs every few months personally.

Of course there are also books with learning theory and they are worth checking out. They all use somewhat different yet similar approaches if that makes sense. Might be a nice complement to give one a little background. I have looked at these three books below (links open to Amazon for purchase, just as the items above) and they are all good in their own way.

Here is a list of other resources to continue your CW adventures. I am only listing things I have used AND I recommend:

Additionally there is a lot of software out there for the Android, iOS and even windows apps that do a decent job, but I am yet to find a good replacement for the CDs above.

Just remember, have fun learning and the rewards come soon after!

If you find something incorrect and/or have an update, I would really appreciate if you could let me know by contacting me. I like to keep things as up-to-date as possible. Thank you! - Lucas / W6AER



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