Text Messaging vs Morse Code


Keith Kaiser, WA0TJT, at the Heart of America Council, North Star District, staged a text messaging versus Morse Code competition at a recent event. Check out this video, which begins with the famous Jay Leno test, to find out who won this time.

Morse Code versus Text Messaging from K2BSA on Vimeo.



  1. Who every was sending the Morse code was slow. I am not a Morse operator but I could almost copy the CW. My guess is about 10 WPM. A brew of operators at 30 WPM would have won.

  2. IF the CW was sent at a decent speed their would have been NO CONTEST….

    I do believe the CW was sent slowly in order to “rig” the demo.

    Not a bad thing but is that the Scouting way?

    Perhaps 18 WPM as W1AW does the bulletins would have been more appropriate for all concerned?


    William M. Coverdell

    Eagle Scout class of 1965
    Pony Express distract

    • The Leno original had the operators running close to 30 WPM.

      With the keyboard availability on new cellphones, good operators at 40 wpm or more would still have won.

      The slow speed used would have put good ops to sleep. 🙂

      • The Leno CW ops were loafing at 25-30 WPM. Put a contest op in who loafs along at 40 WPM or a Russian speedster for regularly runs upwards of 100 WPM and they’ll blast texting out of the park. If you slow it down even further, you could race against someone writing it by hand, posting it by letter and waiting for it to be delivered and still win. Let’s be real, texting doesn’t have a chance.

        John KB4CRT

  3. Agree with previous comment. Code was at a beginner speed, so folks who do code on a regular basis would have easily won. However, it IS a great event to familiarize folks with amateur radio and Morse code.

    (By the way, it almost sounded like they were saying “Morris” code rather than “Morse” code – maybe was just my ears…)

    Anyway, much thanks to those who put on the event and shared it with us.

  4. I have to hit the “Fail” buzzer on this one.

    This is NOT a recreation of the original Jay Lenno test. The CW was sent MUCH slower.

    How about repeating the test with a couple of high-speed CW operators (to duplicate the speed of the code being sent on the Jay Lenno show) and still give the kids smart phones with autocorrect and full, on-screen, keyboards.

    Unfortunately this “demonstration”, IMHO, does not do ham radio any good.

Comments are closed.