Practicing CW / Morse Code by Listening to Real Stations

I’ve come to the realization that it is much more interesting to practice CW by listening to real live stations. Lately I have been tuning around the bands to find a QSO or station that is transmitting somewhere near what I think I can copy. Often times I am not able to copy very much but ever once and a while I realize that I have written down a small word (or two) and maybe even a callsign or name.

Tonight while surfing 40m, I came across W1AW’s slow code practice session. This was great. I was actually able to copy multiple sentences. It was much more fun than using a practice application that spits out random strings.

If you are interested, I’ve posted the current W1AW operating schedule. You can find the original (and updates) on the ARRL website.

Pacific Mtn Cent East UTC Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
6 am 7 am 8 am 9 am 1400z Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code Slow Code
7 – 9 am
10 am -12:45 pm
8 – 10 am
11 am -1:45 pm
9 – 11 am
Noon – 2:45 pm
10 am – Noon
1 – 3:45 pm
1500z to 1700z

1800z to 2045z

Visiting Operator Time
1 pm 2 pm 3 pm 4 pm 2100z Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code
2 pm 3 pm 4 pm 5 pm 2200z Code Bulletin
3 pm 4 pm 5 pm 6 pm 2300z Digital Bulletin
4 pm 5 pm 6 pm 7 pm 0000z Slow Code Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code Slow Code
5 pm 6 pm 7 pm 8 pm 0100z Code Bulletin
6 pm 7 pm 8 pm 9 pm 0200z Digital Bulletin
6:45 pm 7:45 pm 8:45 pm 9:45 pm 0245z Voice Bulletin
7 pm 8 pm 9 pm 10 pm 0300z Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code Slow Code Fast Code
8 pm 9 pm 10 pm 11 pm 0400z Code Bulletin

I think I am making some respectable progress. It’s hard to find time with two kids and a full-time job but a few minutes of practice here and there really does pay off.

73 for now!
VE1XT

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