As I was watching Paul VA6MPM’s very interesting Zoom presentation about Summits On The Air the evening of February 17, Ken Smith VE6AGR caught my attention by mentioning that CW is commonly used for SOTA and that he is using the internet to practice. What? Another group using CW!

I had made an earlier post to this site about the CWCOM system for practicing Morse Code via the internet, and I am interested what applications Ken is using. I got Paul VA6MPM to ask Ken on my behalf how he is practicing CW on the internet. I have edited Ken’s responding email a little, I hope without destroying his message.

The internet-based learning aid that he mentioned in the Zoom meeting is VBand which allows Practicing sending solo or sending & receiving with a few buddies, on the internet, with no embarrassment of actually transmitting on the air

Find it at  . You can make certain keys on your computer mimic a key or paddle but by far the best way to use this site is to buy the optional interface dongle they sell, which enables you to connect a proper iambic paddle to the computer.  Some people have trouble with latency, though, so it’s not foolproof.

Other Learning Aids:

Android apps with no data connection required

For listening rather than sending practice:

Morse Machine — good tool for initially learning the characters and main punctuation signs

Morse Mentor – a next step from the above, adds prosigns & generates random-length groups of random characters. Is great for call sign practice, because you don’t get to infer things by anticipating the rest of words.  Has Farnsworth timing options as well as the usual adjustable character speeds.

QSOSender3 — generates 2-minute or so messages with content from typical QSO’s – call signs, signal reports, QTH, rig info, 73 & other pleasantries, etc.

Downloadable Windows applications,

no internet connection required to actually use:

G4FON Koch Morse Trainer

Web site resources requiring an internet connection

ARRL Code Practice files (Code Practice Files ( – are great to practice receiving long blocks of actual text from old QST magazines.  Various speeds available.

LCWO on-line (  and seem to get good reviews in lots of places but Ken hasn’t used them.  The latter apparently allows you to inflict noise and interference on yourself to really hone your skills.

Practice sending and receiving anywhere, anytime

Build the code trainer kit from QRP guys:  Ken says, “This kit was so easy I even built one and it worked on the first try – which is something I cannot say about ANY of my other pathetic forays into electronics.” Use whatever paddle you like with this tiny keyer kit (great for travel):

Ken wishes us good luck with our CW learning exercises.

Thanks to Ken Smith VE6AGR for all this information!