Learning Morse with Skilman

As a kid in London I remember reading magazines such as Victor and Valiant. All adventure, all fun and ripping stuff for an 8 year old and somewhere in this was my first exposure to morse code. All the dits and das where clearly going to win the war for the Brits.


When I got my General ticket back in the late 90s I had to pass the 5 WPM morse test and since then haven’t ever used it. The fact is morse and Paul are like oil and water; don’t mix so well. However there is a little seed buried deep in me from my Victor days that wants to operate morse. With my new found love of SOTA and a desire to minimize gear weight and a recognition of the waning propagation as the cycle dips maybe CW is something I should master and use.

So with this goal in mind I tried the free samples of the Skilman “method” and then went on to purchase the audio files. So far so good and while painfully slow I’m beginning to master morse to the point I actually could imagine using it. I particularly like the approach that Jessica (and Aaron) Parks have taken. They provide some compelling evidence why their approach is grounded in contemporary learning psychology; I’m sold! One of many interesting tidbit was to treat the whole learning as an audible event and really not write anything down and definitely not the raw dashes and dots (not that I ever did this).

Each learning session covers 3-4 characters/pro-signs, typically lasts 30 minutes and is broken into these 3 areas ;

  • Presentation – expose you to the new morse character
  • Retrieval – single random selection that you need to identify
  • Signal detection – find one character our of 3 sent

Dr Parks has a pleasant, energetic and upbeat voice that is easy to listen to. Dr Parks makes the point that the most important promises are the ones you make to yourself and so lets see if I am active on CW in 2015. I sure hope so.


  1. K7EXJ here. Dits and dahs might actually have won the war; but they were the dits and dahs of Nazi radio operators sending encrypted messages that were subsequently decrypted by the boys and girls at Bletchley Park. 🙂 As far as you learning them, the cwops guys have an actual school they run over Skype for 8 weeks (I think) and it is pretty well done according to a couple guys on eham.net (on the CW forum). I’m just mooching around your blog marveling at the photos and your dedications to both SOTA and NPOTA. Well done! As soon as the wx here gets to 70F I might go outside. 😀

    Good luck. Thanks for the blog. 🙂


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