CONTINUOUS WAVE (CW) & MORSE CODE
Lets take a look at CW, also incorrectly referred to as Morse Code. CW or Continuous Wave is the mode used, and Morse Code is the common name for the "language" that we use on CW.
CW may be a slow mode of communication and is not well represented by the amateur radio masses, but let's face it, CW has more efficiency at getting a signal through in marginal conditions than FM or SSB. When a disaster strikes and the electrical grid is down and gasoline for running generators is short, you won't be operating QRO stations or have power to run computers for digital modes. Powering a 12v battery with a solar panel may be your only option and a QRP radio working CW is perfect in this situation. You will be able to operate a QRP CW station this way all day and night indefinitely without worrying about running your battery down.
CW's power density is superior to any non-digital mode. A 5 watt CW signal packs as much punch as 100 watt SSB and let's not even discuss the inefficiency of FM or AM. In extended emergency conditions, using CW could mean the difference between getting a message through and not.
Although the FCC no longer requires you to pass a CW longer to become an Amateur Radio operator today, CW has not gone away as many feared would happen with the requirement being dropped for licenses. In fact, it seems as though it has had quite the opposite effect as more and more new Amateur Radio operators are learning how to send and receive CW.
People are seeing the obvious benefits of using CW as there has been an explosion in the radio market for QRP radios. More and more low power QRP radios are coming onto the market every year from multiple manufacturers.
We stress the importance of learning CW to our members so that they have it as an available option in a disaster or emergency situation. In this section we will be posting a lot of information and resources that you may find useful in learning CW. We also plan on holding CW training classes for our members in the future.
Used with permission from AA4OO - HamRadioQRP