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PPCMorse Tutorial

Learn Morse Code on your PocketPC PDA!

The PPCMorse forum is now online at http://www.n0hr.com/phpBB.

1) Download and install PPCMorse. Be sure to use the default installation directory.

2) Launch PPCMorse from the start menu or from the Program Files directory.

3) PPCMorse Main Screen

 

 

 

4) Configure buffer parameters from the settings menu.

Choose Settings -> Buffer/Parameters. Once this screen appears, select the frequency (pitch), message, dit length, spacing and weight.

Select the OK button once the parameters have been set.

Settings explanation...

This question leads to a discussion of PPC platform compatibility. The issue is simply that reliable/stable Morse apps can be easily written for the desktop PC because the programmers can use fairly deterministic timers within the PC. On a PDA, there is no "real-time" timer to count on as always being there, and stable. One "tick" on a particular PDA, with a particular CPU, and particular implementation of CE may be one duration on one PDA, and another on another. This is why I let the user configure the dit length, spacing and weight.

If you find some settings that sound approximately "ok", try this (with a stop watch):

  • In the buffer, have it send the word paris repeatedly. Tell it to send it 20 times (with spaces between: "paris paris paris...").
  • Time the duration it takes to play those 20 "paris" words.
  • The calculation would be:
     X wpm = 20 divided by the time (in minutes) required to play
     

So, you might try some settings that play 20 "paris's" in
 1.021 minutes giving you: 20/1.021=19.6 wpm

"Paris", by the way, is sort of a standard for this sort of thing.

For someone learning the code, I'd highly recommend the Koch method:
http://www.ees.nmt.edu/sara/sara/finley.morse.html
http://www.hfradio.org/koch_1.html

In a nutshell, you start by learning a very small set of letters - but played at the speed you eventually want to get to (not any slower). For example, the letters "K", "M" and "A" played at 20 wpm (character speed). Once you've hit some level of mastery of those (say 90%), add a letter and keep practicing until you're at 90%.

I did not learn CW this way (20 years ago), but wish I had. I can now copy @25 wpm in my head with little trouble, but think I would've got there faster by initially learning with this method. Others agree. I've designed PPCMorse to be "Koch-friendly".

So, to answer your question, I'd recommend setting the PDA to sound like it's playing the characters at a relatively fast pace (you might even pipe the audio back into a program like CWGet
http://www.dxsoft.com/micwget.htm to measure it in software), then adjust the spacing such that you are hearing bursts of a few characters that you know and build from there.

For example, on my iPAQ, I'd start out a CW newbie with something like this:
    wpmFactor = 44,
    spacingFactor = 100
    weightFactor = 100

   Settings->Practice

    Toggle everything off
    Select "Alpha", select it again.
    Select "Numbers", select it again.
    Select "Special", select it again.

   Choose your starting characters, "K", "M"

Notice that your practice characters will be displayed as well as the character group (word) that was just sent. Check your copy as it comes in. To a newbie this will seem fast at first. The analogy is a Spanish language student watching Spanish TV must think that things are going too fast - but he doesn't have the option of asking them to slow down. However, he can learn quickly by watching/listening to Spanish TV shows for children because the vocabulary is small - and build from there.

By the same token, start with a limited "vocabulary"/set of characters, and build from there at your 'destination' speed. Studies have shown (and I'd believe it) that trying to slow things down too much results in your brain automatically shifting to "dit and dah counting mode" - rather than
learning to hear the patterns/rhythms.
 

5) Playing the buffer

Choose Play->Buffer to play the text in the buffer.

 

6) Practice Mode - Available to PPCMorse-Pro users

Select the characters that you would like to practice. Groups of characters can be "toggled" by choosing either "Alpha", "Numbers" or "Special". The number of groups to be sent is configured with the "Groups" field.

Press the "Set" button when you have finished.

 

7) Playing Practice Mode

Once the practice parameters have been set, you can play a practice session. Note that groups vary (randomly) in length of 3 to 7 characters each.

 

8) Registration: PPCMorse-Pro

Once you have registered PPCMorse-Pro, you may enter the code that was emailed to you using the registration screen:

 

14-Mar-2007

 

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