Monday 8 August 2016

CWCOM - Configurations & Settings instructions


 you should do before starting to use the prog  

 This is most important to do, early on, as it guides you through some pages of settings that make cwcom work properly for you,.

To start... open CWCOM. by clicking the icon on your desktop.  

        you will be presented with the "text screen" 

The Following is a list of Settings & Configurations, that should be done on the FIRST RUN of cwcom.


Note.. If you run VMware or are trying to run cwcom inside a virtual box... it will not connect properly... In the case of VirtualBox.. there will be a significant keying/sound/decode delay, due to double processing of the signals.

In the case of VM ware.. you should disable it/them.  In windows it is  Control Panel > Network Connections. Once disabled, the program should show your correct IP address on the Connect Window and you should also appear on the IONOSPHERE site, once you are connected.

First run Settings...

Click on the  "Configurations" icon... the one to the right of the Black Letter A

Configurations window appears.....

( this is the first thing to click on, when starting CWCOM,  after you have done these settings, to initiate the "comport"  if you are using an external key)... see note below....


click on the Morse tab.....
Untick  "Flashing Light" on Transmit
Untick  "Flashing Light" on Receive

Adjust the slider on "Incoming Morse Speed" to 70%
( This reduces "Buffering" on computer of incoming signals, and removes a long delay between overs)

Adjust the "Incoming Morse Tone" to about 820 ( you can change this later on if you want) 
(This is a lower tone than default high pitch, which is much easier on the ears - and reduces"clipping" )

You can find the COMPORT number, in Windows, in,
  Control Panel> 
                 Device manager >
                                Ports Com & LPT 
       ( click on the > triangle  to see the comport number)

     Your comport number will remain "selected" for the next time you start cwcom.


you will need to click on the Config icon,  to select "COM Port" every time you start cwcom. If using an external key.


   LINUX AND MAC users see special pages for instructions on setting the comport number .

Click on the Translation tab....

Tick ( checkmark)  Translate Text Only ( so three ticks in three boxes on that section)

Adjust the speed to around 20 wpm.

(this may seem fast... but... it speeds up the reception and decoding of typed messages from distant stations) .
      (also your ears will become accustomed to the speed, and it will help you to read faster morse by watching the screen at the same time ! ! ! )


Click on the "Morse Key" tab....
      * you will need to click on this one, first, every time you start cwcom to select the "comport" if you are using an external key *

If you are using the down arrow key... the Keyboard is the default setting, but you need to click the mouse cursor on the screen for it to be effective.

If you are using an external key... checkmark the morse key section

 Iambic for paddle 

 Manual for straight key (vertical key)

For Iambic key... select "Looping Method"

For Straight key.... select "Reset Method"

If you want to use an external key... 
you need to read the instructions on page.5.... Connecting a Morse Key


Click on the Transmit tab.....
Adjust the WPM to something near to your estimated speed.

For Down Arrow... set about 10 wpm.

For Paddle Key ... set to your estimated speed... but do not apply the "lock"

For Straight Key..set to your estimated speed...

For all types of key.... do a short test transmission...  I suggest 


KEEP GOING.  DO NOT CORRECT ERRORS. the computer needs to read the timing of your sending to adjust the decode speed.

Iambic key users... do not lock the result...but keep a note of the settings for future reference.

Straight key users... when you have a good copy on screen, you can "lock" the speed.
You may need to restart cwcom for this to take effect.

You can also do this "off line" before connecting to the server on the "world icon"

Click on CLOSE


Morse Mail is not used...


Click on the Speaker Icon and adjust the TX Pitch to about 820  ( lower tone than default high pitch and easier on the ears! )


Click on the World icon....   to start using cwcom... BUT>>>  do this first, for the first time only ! !


Check the "Address" on the Remote Details 

the Address box should read ......[ ]

          MAKE SURE THAT YOU USE THE CORRECT "Remote Details" address.

 on the "Connect" window ... 
not   [

You can now enter your callsign, or nick name,  in the "Call Sign" box... and it will show when you are "on channel" and on the Ionosphere current user list. 

If you do not have a ham callsign, you can use your first name, or a "psuedonym", which will identify you "on channel" in the same way. 

NOW>... you are ready to communicate !  world wide.... using the old skill of Morse Telegraphy, as used on the ORIGINAL INTERNET in the late 1880 ` s  ! ! .




To get started.

Click the desktop Icon to open CWCOM

Click the "configuration" icon  between the black letter A and the Spkr icon

Choose your "morse key"... default is Keyboard... you can type as normal, or you can use the Down Arrow as a straight key

(note.. when typing, you will not hear morse, but the receive station will) 


(choose Comport and the number selected if you are using a USB to Serial Converter or the Serial Port  to connect your external key to the laptop/computer)

See page 5 ...

Close the "configuration" window by the X

(optional - next click the black letter A and choose your font and font size - this only affects your screen, not the distant screens)

Click the third icon from the black square... this is the IONOSPHERE that shows the active channels, and any stations on them 

(Minimise this and park it somewhere - see Page 9 of the blog )

Click the "blue world" icon next to the black square... this is the "connect" window .

You can put your callsign in the "callsign box".. and it will be showing on the IONOSPHERE and also when you start transmitting .

Click the "Connect" box, and you will be connected to the IONOSPHERE server, and be able to qso with others on channel.

Click the "Disconnect" box when finished using cwcom before closing with the X






     If you are using a paddle key,.. you need to change from Manual, (default) to Iambic.  and if your morse comes out as a series of TTTT TT TTTT TTT T TTT T TTT , then you need to check your "Transmit" tab and the speed settings or to change from the default "Looping Method" to the Reset Method

Any Problems.... send me a detailed email 

and I will get back to you with an answer  ( hopefully ! ! !)...

Text-to-speech function is limited to 200 characters


  1. Hi MorseMan!

    I'm a new ham and a Mac user, taking a CW course from our local amateur club. I scrounged a PC laptop from work, but as a result of frustration with the derelict machine, I finally decided to take a chance on installing WINE on my almost 10 year old iMac. It worked like a charm from the get-go! I haven't delved into attaching the iambic paddle yet, but when I do, I'll pass the information along.

    Thank you very much for making this valuable resource available to us!


    VA1TIM (Tim)

    1. Hi Tim,
      Thank you for the positive feedback on the blog and your success with the old MAC machine.
      Your comment makes my efforts with this blog worthwhile. !
      73 good luck with the morse, and your eventual licence !.

      p.s. check out the how to learn morse code page on here too ! ! .