Programs to Copy CW

Here in Ann Arbor, I’m working to establish a permanent amateur radio station at the Hands-On Museum. As part of this station, I wanted to have some kind of “hands-on” activity. One thing that came to mind is to have a computer set up to let kids type their names in to a computer and then have it spit it out in Morse Code. I’m also thinking of setting up another display that will let kids tap out their names on a key while a computer tries to decipher what’s sent.

The problem, of course is that most computer programs are still not great at copying Morse Code, and what the kids send will probably be very choppy. Even so, I’m thinking about trying it.

Googling around for computers programs that can copy Morse Code, I found the following. Except where noted, these programs run on PCs:

  • CWGet. $30. This program seems to have a lot of users.
  • WD6CNF Morse Decoder. Freeware. Since this one is free, I think I’ll try this one first.
  • MRP40. 50 euros.
  • RadioRaft. There is both a free version and a commercial version of this program. The website includes a simple circuit for interfacing a receiver’s audio output to a computer’s serial interface.
  • MultiMode. $39-up. This program runs on the Mac.

In addition to these programs, I also found this article that describes a stand-alone CW decoder based on a PIC processor.


  1. Ronny, KC5EES says:

    While trying to show kids in my Amateur Radio Class what was being said on ‘overheard’ CW contacts, I used one of the CW Decoder programs. I don’t remember which it was, but I suspect it was the ‘FREE’ one, Morse Decoder. I found that the program worked pretty well as long as the sender was pretty consistent. The program ‘learns’ the fist of the operator and then can decode the signal. I recall it worked pretty well, so it might be what you need in the museum.

    Good luck.

    Ronny, KC5EES
    Austin, Texas

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