Friday, 5 August 2016

CWCOM - A program to communicate using Morse Code over the internet

CWCOM is a program, written for Windows 95, but is still working today. ( it can also work on LINUX and MAC machines...  see pages 13 and 14 on this blog for detailed instructions)

 It is an excellent program for those Radio Amateurs, who, because of local housing restrictions on antenna`s, cannot use the radio for their hobby, to practice and enjoy communicating in Morse.

      When Morse Code was first used, the operators used simple morse keys, like an on/off switch to send a current down a telegraph line, to a distant station.  The series of on/off connections was governed by the Morse Code, invented by Samuel Morse, and his friend.  It was primarily used between large towns and cities, and invariably by the railways of the time, to pass messages. As the system grew, and spread, around the various countries, it became the original internet. And so, with CWCOM we have come full circle, so to speak, as we can now use the modern version of the internet, to communicate around the world, using Morse Code.

        To this end, I have written a series of tutorials, about the setting up and configuration of the program, although there is an excellent "help" page embedded in the program for quick reference.

 MAY 14 2017.....Download the CWCOM installer from

or version 1.47 .... from....

you will notice that it says the program was written for WINDOWS... this is true, but I have also used it with WINE on a LINUX platform  ( see page 13 of this blog)  and I have had reports that it will work on MAC through WINE..  (See Page 14 of this blog for MAC users)...

     For Linux users, I have a tutorial on Page 13 of this blog, to get the comport and dial out permissions required to establish communication from the morse key to the computer.
      MAC users... There is a special page on how to install WINE and CWCOM in wine on PAGE 14 of this blog.


Ok.. so.. what do you need to use CWCOM to communicate around the world...

1.  A computer...... doesn`t need to be anything special... a basic modern(ish) machine will do.. this is not a high end "game" program that needs tons of processor power etc.

2. the computer needs to have a SERIAL PORT 

3.  Laptop  ?  they don`t have serial port... BUT.. you can use a PL2303  USB to Serial Converter, as supplied by PLUGABLE , in the USA,  ( )  or on EBAY...

4. A morse key.... you can use a straight key, or a paddle key, or you can use the down arrow on the keyboard, ( up to about 10 wpm) (click the mouse on the text window first)

 5. A 2nd Mouse, as an adapter..... see page 15, "Keying with a mouse".. ( scroll down the page for instructions to make mouse adapter ).
                                                      ... or the mouse... ( but you need to keep the cursor in a little black square in the top left of the screen !).

                 You can, if needed, also, type on the keyboard,. (click the mouse on the text window first).

6. to connect a key to the computer, you will also need.... an in-line stereo phono socket, the same size as the jack plug on your key.. ( or you will need to wire up a new jack plug accordingly).      and a length of three core wire, suitably long,(or short) ( to make a rats tail connection)  to  the DB9 socket, to fit your SERIAL PORT on the back of your computer, or the DB9 plug on the USB to Serial Converter lead.


Showing a short "rats tail" connector for use with Laptop usb serial converter = longer lead to connect to the rear of a tower or desktop , so that the key jack/socket is available "on the desktop"  without going behind each time to connect a key.

7 . You will also need to DOWNLOAD  CW Communicator from the site

 edit.... 14 MAY 2017....
at present the cwcom site is not working.... therefore to download the cwcom software... please visit

 It comes as a simple .exe file.... so the install is quick and easy.

Note... the pin numbers for connecting a key to the DB9 socket are on the Help File     ?   icon on the top of the screen in the program . 

 Note that the pin numbers are usually shown on the "face" of the socket ( i.e. the holes side ).. and that they are "mirror image" of position on the back of the socket for soldering.




showing a longer version of a "rats tail" with in line socket and jack plug from key

That is the end of the introduction to CWCOM as a program... I will follow this up, with a guide to what the icons along the top of the screen are for.... and also another tutorial on how to do the initial set up using the configurations tab.

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