Qrq Training Tips


Please share with us your QRQcw training methods that have worked best for you

Comment by Brett Miller on May 10, 2012 at 2:55pm

So it's been a year after I wrote all that junk up at the top.  I still agree with myself on probably more than 90% of it, but the bottom line is this:  If you are a CW operator, who is hoping to increase your speed...here is the way:

--------[ Have QSOs with real people as often as possible.

Comment by Brett Miller on May 10, 2012 at 9:27pm

I also want to reiterate that the alledged 50-55 wpm "hump" is in my opinion a very detrimental myth or hoax.  It doesn't have to be that way for young or new ops, and also many experience operators report no such 55 wpm speed hump. 

I believe there is a rational explanation why the hump is felt for many operators and not seen by others.  It is simply there for *some* people who copied by the letter for many decades prior to trying to QRQ above 50 wpm and being forced to copy by the word.  These ops had to then learn a new skill, which had its own time based learning curve.  We need to quit telling people to expect a speed hump.  It's psychologically counterproductive.

Comment by Rich Langford on June 4, 2012 at 5:48am

Thank you the very interesting topicand sharing your knowledge with us.  I am very much a beginer on high speed morse and I am having problems with sending cw at speeds over say 35 wpm, so I am learning to touch type using Mavis Beacon a touch typing teaching course,which over here is less than 10 pounds to buy. It is very good at teaching the basic finger positioning, but because they are teaching for use with a PC they try to teach capitals and punctuation, not much use to us. So my tip is get an old keyboard not connected to anything, and just have it in your lap when watching the TV and then as the actors speak try to write down what they are saying, I find it has helped me a lot to get my speed up and I have never seen this anywhere else before, and it works for me, Vy 73 Rich G4FAD

Comment by Brett Miller on June 4, 2012 at 9:22am

Practicing with an unplugged board sounds like a good idea, and it seems like you've got some real dedication to learning touch typing.  FB on that for sure.

Funny you would mention how formal training teaches us to capitalize and use punctuation.  Last night, during one of my regular QRQ skeds, I glanced at the LCD screen on my W5UXH keyer once and noticed I had capitalized an abbreviation...I think it may have been something like "QRQ" or "QSL", and of course it momentarily slowed me down.  Back in high school I had typing I and typing II class, after which I was typing an error prone 80 wpm.  I can type much faster than that now if I push myself, so for most of my qsos i am ahead of the buffer enough to go back and fix errors...usually.  But for full break-in CW I sometimes hang back closer in case I want to let the other op have a chance to interject comments.  Of course, I could hit the "dump buffer" key, but it's more elegant to have everything sync up nicely.  The goal, for me, is to feel as natural on both sides as a phone conversation or talking in person.  I still occasionally use punctuation, but I am trying to phase it out.  It's not as critical at the moment as I'm not as fast as some people.  QRQ for me, right now, means 45-55 wpm, because it's the extent of my receiving.  I'm working on that though, and after I get past 65 or 70 I plan on using no punctuation at all, since by that speed it could seriously break the continuity of conversational flow.

There was a piece of software I used several years ago to brush up on my typing when I was first trying to get into QRQ.  I can't remember what it was called, but it was a freeware trial version of some paid typing tutor program.  When you typed, it made a noise, and changed the color of the text you were typing.  An error would show up in red.  After the time elapsed, you were given statistics, including speed.  I wish I still had that, but I think I lost track of it years ago.  Chuck Vaughn has a nice link on this site to a web page containing a similar type of test.  I tried it a few days ago and it was fun and useful.  However, for me, the challenge is still copying, but even that is coming up to speed at a steady pace.  The more CW I work, the more natural it becomes to use it, at all speeds.

Comment by Chuck aa0hw on January 2, 2013 at 8:23am

FABIAN KURZ, provides an excellent example of being fluent in high speed morse code !

Look at all the books he has already copied in morse code:  


Books that I "read" in Morse Code, using ebook2cw (http://fkurz.net/ham/ebook2cw.html):


Comment by Chuck aa0hw on January 22, 2013 at 10:15am

Using MIXXX as a variable speed cw file audio player

Mixxx, is a free open source audio file player that has variable speed with excellent CUE and REVIEW hotkeys.  It is made for DJ's but makes for one of the best training tools for qrq training with cw audio mp3 files.

There are 4 hotkeys that are already default on MIXXX. 

the keyboard letters "a" and "s"  and the keyboard buttons "F1" and "F2"

"a" -  fast rewind/review

"s" -  fast forward/cue

"F1"  -  incremental slow down (adjustable by %) - I prefer 5 percent

"F2"  -  incremental speed up (adjustable by %)  - I prefer 5 percent

The method I found most useful is to use the review hotkey to go back over a missed word multiple times until you finally are able to copy it.  You can slow it down by hitting the keyboard letter "a".  If you find that at the current speed and after multiple repeats of  hearing a missed word,  you still are not able to copy it,  you can slow it down by tapping the "F1" and try again a few times and if you still do not copy it,  keep hitting the hotkey that slows it down("F1")   until you finally are able to copy the missed word,  then slowly creep the speed back up with "F2" and listen to the word again a couple of times,  hit "F2" again and speed it up and repeate this process untill  you reach the original speed.  The "F2" hotkey speeds the audio file up by 5 percent.(if you select that in the MIXXX options / interface)   Pick a speed for a cw file OR create a cw file with FABIAN's qrq program,  where you can copy around 70 to 80 percent of it...so there are not too many missed words to go back over...check out the video demo of this training regime HERE

Comment by Chuck aa0hw on February 18, 2014 at 1:32pm


This is an intro video on how to create and use TEXT TO MIDI files for qrq cw practice. The midi files that you create from text, are much smaller than audio mp3 or wave files. Being able to vary the MIDI PLAYER's playback speed AND / OR the pitch of the cw audio tones are strong advantages for qrq cw practice with this setup. The MIDI PLAYER, takes the MIDI FILE and converts it to a virtual cw keying output, just like a CW KEYER does to key your rig. However, in this setup, a software CODE PRACTICE OSCILLATOR is keyed by the MIDI PLAYER's MIDI OUTPUT.

1. Mfreqshifter
2. General info on MIDI
3. loopMIDI
5. Bipper CPO vst plugin
6. C- tuner VST PLUGIN
7. Engineers Filter VST PLUGIN
10. Morse MIDI

Comment by Rich Langford on June 16, 2015 at 1:29pm

Hello All,

When I am using a Ten Tec Omni 7 to receive over 50 wpm Morse, I find the best way to resolve the cw is to have the filter quite wide (maybe 500 Hz plus if conditions allow) then I use the RIT to tune in the station till the tone is quite harsh. I find it easier to read the dits and dahs then. Also I have the AF set Below the RF control and the volume as low as possible,  again this seems to help. Is there any advice that the more experienced operators on here can give us newbies?Thanks, 73 Rich G4FAD.. 

Comment by Paul E. Genaw on June 16, 2015 at 9:02pm
I have my bandwidth set at 300/250 Hrz .... I like my
RF gain just below 9 . under my AF gain
Thats for stations with clear copy signal
of 559 -599 some QRM/QSB ..... from
35-50 WPM . my digital filters are all in
the center posistion, I think true copy is
on the air with real QSOing .... longer
then 3 minutes.... Nice Rag Chew.
Good Luck ... CW is A-1
Paul K8PG
Comment by Chuck aa0hw on February 9, 2017 at 11:43am

QRQ CW TRAINING - advanced setup for FABIAN's QRQ APP - send a random list of words

Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK

The tone from Fabian's QRQ APP, is diverted and regenerated so that you can manually dial in the received CW PITCH, RISE - FALL time, RAISED COSINE window, VOLUME, ETC...using some free VST PLUGINS and a FREE vst host... https://www.image-line.com/support/FLHelp/html/plugins/Minihost%20M...

here are the free plugins that perform the cw regeneration
1. sineCW - http://qrqcwnet.ning.com/forum/topics/home-brewed-software-code-pra...
2. reagate - http://www.reaper.fm/reaplugs/
3. Mbandpass - https://www.meldaproduction.com/MBandPass
4. Mtuner - https://www.meldaproduction.com/MTuner
5. SPAN - spectrum analyzer vst plugin http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/

pulse/jack module:


this video is using LINUX MINT 17.3 & W.I.N.E.,
however, you can still get this to work on windows OS,
in a similar fashion, since mini-host modular VST HOST, is native windows application.

Comment by Chuck aa0hw on February 10, 2017 at 7:45am

QRQ CW TRAINING - sineCW - CPO for qrq cw training on Learn CW Online

demo's a setup that redirects the audio output from the LCWO website, to some unique VST PLUGINS that then key an adjustable software CPO VST PLUGIN called sineCW(see link below) which outputs a much cleaner cw note/tone from the usual Learn CW Online audio output

THE A position(all the way to the left) is the normal LCWO audio
THE B position(all the way to the right) is the audio from sineCW

sineCW will let you adjust:
4. RISE and FALL Times
5. center and q of its internal audio bandpass filter
6. type of tone, sine, square, saw, pulse etc...

more info on sineCW here:

this example is using LINUX and the JACK AUDIO CONNECTION KIT and PULSE AUDIO JACK MODULE...from KXstudio
Jack Audio lets you redirect the LCWO browser audio output and
send it to a VST HOST where the Regate and sineCW vst plugins process the original LCWO audio and use that audio instead to key the software CPO sineCW..


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