Headlines… differently

As some of you have read, I have been studying for the Ham Radio license exams. I have pretty much absorbed the Technician material, and have moved on to studying the General material.  I am also absorbing Morse Code.

To that end, I found a great blog which posts podcasts of news headlines in Morse Code!

You can also select different news services and hear their headlines rendered in Morse Code.

Fun and useful at the same time!

If you are interested in these things check out

AA9PW FCC Exam Practice


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Ham Radio, Just Too Cool, Lighter fare. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. ray from mn says:

    Didn’t they drop the Morse Code requirement for the license some years ago, Father?

    I have a short wave receiver and I hardly hear any code any more; very few voice transmissions too. All the major international radio stations seem to have dropped them since internet transmissions are so much less expensive.

    I suppose there are bands that I don’t get where Morse is still used. Maybe after 12/21/12, that will be all that there is for communications.

    I just noticed for the first time that there is some symmetry to that date.



  2. pledbet424 says:

    There are areas of each Amateur band where CW dominates. Not as crowded as in the old days (70’s for me), but no shortage of amateurs to rag chew with.
    Unless you have an actual communications receiver with the ability to detect CW, you probably would hear very little.

  3. ContraMundum says:


    Yeah, there was a lot more of CW McCall being broadcast in the 70’s.

  4. Ray: Didn’t they drop the Morse Code requirement for the license some years ago

    Yes, the Morse Code requirement for the license has been dropped.

    However, quite a few people are using Morse Code in certain bands (HERE).

  5. asperges says:

    CW is used on all HF bands and there is no shortage of afficionados worldwide. It also overcomes the language barrier insofar as there is a standard way of exchange which does not require anything approximating conversation or need for linguistics. CW signals also survive better than phone on crowded and noisy bands and where there is QRM (interference) and QSB (fading). Narrow filtering can isolate a weak tone and make it audible in very poor conditions. It is used much less on VHF and above.

    73 de G4NJH

  6. acardnal says:

    ditto what asperges said.

  7. revueltos67 says:

    There’s a group called CWOPS that runs a “CW Academy”. If you’re interested they’ll pair you up with an experienced CW operator who will be glad to set up regular, on-air CW sessions at whatever speed you’d like (called a “sked” in ham-speak).

    Here’s the link: http://www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html

    I hope you do continue with CW – the people involved are great and, to my mind, it always has been and always will be the heart of the hobby.

  8. revueltos67 says:

    A lot of ham lingo comes from CW “Q signals” – standardized 3 letter groups beginning with Q that are substituted for often-used phrases during CW operation. For instance, QSB and QRM in asperges comment above are Q signals. “QRZ?” means “who is calling me?” and there’s a very popular ham website, qrz.com, that, among other things, provides a web page, accessed by entering the ham’s call sign, for nearly every licensed ham worldwide.

    Awhile ago I had a CW QSO (contact) with a Czech operator, OK2WI, with an interesting QRZ page…

  9. chris1 says:

    Ray from mn, does your sw receiver have the ability to monitor single side band (ssb)? If so, check out 7125 kHz to 7300 kHz as well as 14225 kHz to 14350 kHz. Plenty of activity.

  10. pledbet424 says:

    Father Z…first Amateur radio. Second, stamp collecting. It is inevitable.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Good luck with your exam Fr. Z!

    I like the idea of trying new things. I can’t understand how anyone can be bored, there are so many things to do! Right now I am taking up biking, really “triking” as I have just gotten a recumbent trike. (lots of fun and I feel like I’m ten years old again) I am trying to squeeze in either taking up knitting and art.
    My son just sent me the best gift, I guess he knows me. He sent me a tiny “kalimba” a little “thumb piano” and a songbook with many songs in it. I am having so much fun learning songs on this little instrument.
    We are in the world a relatively short time, but God gave us healthy and productive ways to spend our free time, if we have any.

  12. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Morse code shows up a lot in early science fiction, notably in George O. Smith’s techie/engineering stories, and E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensman stories. So it will aid your literary enjoyment in ways you haven’t mentioned as yet, and which non-Morse code folks like myself can only envy.

    In the immortal words of the filksong, “Brekkekkekkex, QX, QX.” :)

  13. Kenneth Jones says:

    Just a little Elmering… the term 73 is taken to mean Best Wishes, which makes “73s” Best Wisheses, which, even to a ham, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
    Ken KB3JA

  14. Bryan Boyle says:

    kenneth: beat me to it. almost as recundant on fone as saying ‘best 73s’.

    don’t know what’s funnier…that or the occasional slip i hear from new folks that say ‘my 20 is…’ before they realize they’r not on 11 meters…:)

    looking forward to the day when I can loq a qso with the good Father..

    Bryan wb0yle

  15. transparent2one says:

    the movie Frequency with Jim Caviezel sparked my interest in HAM radio. Not that anything like that could happen but very interesting to think about.

  16. Andy Lucy says:

    My 9th grade science teacher put the Morse monkey on my back. There ought to be a law against teachers luring young and impressionable students into such a fun and interesting hobby!!! hi hi hi

  17. Sandy says:

    I have had a soft spot in my heart for Ham Operators since the 70’s when that was the only way to hear my husband’s voice from the Antarctic, even though he sounded like Mickey Mouse! :) He was flying the Navy’s ski-equipped Hercules in support of NSF – exciting and scary times for both of us! God protected him many times. Our oldest in the high desert of mid-California recently got his Ham license. I have a feeling that in the future these people are going to be important for communication when things in the world go badly.

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