Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Get your news the old fashioned way

Morse News

I'm always looking for ways to improve my CW copy skills.  When I'm away from the radio and have some spare time I use a program called Morse News.

Morse News interface displaying a "Top 100 words" feed scrolling at the bottom

It's an application that pulls RSS feeds and translates them to Morse.  It has useful configuration options and even allows different "sounders" to be used. 
For instance: you can listen to Morse the way railroad and Civil War telegraphers heard it via the clacking Telegraph sounder, or the early 20th century spark gap transmitters.

The application is free but only runs on Windows computers.  I'd love to see something like this for my phone.
As with all software downloads from an untrusted source use your own best judgement whether to install this software and protect yourself from malware.  I haven't detected any malware from my install but that doesn't mean it's not there.
Here's the link: http://sourceforge.net/projects/morse-rss-news/files/Morse%20Code%20Tools%203.2/MorseTools32Setup.exe/download

That's all for now

So lower your power and raise your expectations


Richard, AA4OO


  1. Hello Richard. Thank's for this find. I use "Morse CT" with my android phone (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hunt.morseDit). It's simpler than Morse news but very well in public transport when I go (back) to (from) work...

    1. Pierre, thank you for the suggestion.

      The thing I find lacking in mobile applications such as Morse CT is that they only send letters rather than real text and conversational sentences. Since the Morse News application is sending actual (and ever changing) news articles it is a better approximation of on air conversations (minus all the cw abbreviations and prosigns) so I find it makes for good practice, plus I'm hearing actual news.

  2. Richard, I'd be interested in your experiences, over time, with Morse News. Keep us informed.
    I am convinced that the nature of the text presented will force higher levels of concentration and more meaningful increases in CW speed.
    Rick KA8BMA

    1. Thanks for the interest Rick... I've actually found an Android application that I've been using for over a week now and will probably write a review soon. I agree that listening to actual sentences rather than just random words or letters is helping my copy speed. One of the drawbacks I didn't mention in Morse News is all of the distracting punctuation, quote marks and parenthesis characters that don't occur in most amateur communication. I wish Morse News offered an option to filter out non-QSO type characters.

      The "perfect" morse comprehension application for ragchewing would use the common (and not so common) abbreviations of words used in actual QSOs. I find that while I can copy a 23wpm machine generated paragraph, my comprehension of actual QSOs with poor fists and haphazard abbreviations is about 5wpm lower.