Morse code


Morse Code: Morse version 4.0x

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These Notes apply specifically to version 4.0x (Custom versions 3.0x - see specific documentation only)

IMPORTANT: This is a DOS utility. It will run correctly under Windows 3.x and in Windows 95 (reg. TM Microsoft)

RECOMMENDED INSTALLATION: Unzip MORSE40x.ZIP to an empty directory/folder and run MORSE.BAT not the .exe. Please do not edit any files, they are verified during runtime and the program will stop functioning or become inaccurate and unreliable.

For Windows 95 only (TECH NOTE M11-97):
1 - Make a shortcut to MORSE.BAT

2 - Open the Properties to the shortcut,
and use "Apply"/"OK" for the following:
        a) Program:
                Run Maximized
                Check Close on Exit
                In Advanced:
                        Prevent MSDos detecting Windows
                        Suggest MSDos mode as necessary
        b) Memory:
                Set all boxes to Auto
                Check HMA
        c) Screen:
                Set to "Full Screen" and Initial Size to "25 lines"
                All else unchecked
        d) Misc.:
                All unchecked/Off except "Warn if still active"                        
The above has been tested successfully under Win95/Microsoft Client
LAN conditions.

We have not tested on other 32 bit platforms, but have not been
advised of any difficulties.

GENERAL: Most instructions are self explanatory. All the Morse files (EXE, DTA, TXT) must be present. ".MOR" files contain QSO's etc. The Video representation of the code has been included for people who have initial trouble hearing the sound patterns. For best learning results, use Video the least possible. The 'Insert Space' facility should be used by beginners. Choose a speed of say 12 W.P.M. so that the individual letters sound correct, and 'Insert Space' will extend the silence between letters. During individual character keyboard entries, the message 'BLANK' will appear and a distinct sound will be heard for spaces between groups or words; this should prevent you from waiting interminably for the next letter . . .

HELP: Is available when the program is running. Use 'Setup and Help' in the Main Menu, then press <H> and you will be given the Help Subject Menu.

TYPING: Is not case sensitive. When writing a new File, if you do not have to <ENTER> before the end of a line: the line will 'wrap around' and the finished text will not look so pretty, but the Code sent will be exactly the same. The Autocorrect option needs careful typing, but after one or two tries you will appreciate its usefulness. (Custom only versions 3.0x: ALL typing is CASE SENSITIVE throughout the program. Use LOWER case except for Bar Characters. Do NOT use <CAPS LOCK>.)

  • Words per Minute: w.p.m. is based upon 36 words of 5 symbols each with one blank between each word taking three minutes at 12 W.P.M.. Symbols include all alpha-numerics plus common punctuation, and a file called 'CODEZ' is included.
  • Speed: If you find that your computer runs a little fast or slow, either using 'CODEZ', Random Tests, or your own test files, use Initial Setup to <ENTER> the number of seconds your computer takes when using the default of 180 seconds.
  • Tone: The audio frequency sent in cycles per second. Your choice for hearing clarity and comfort.
  • Colour/Black and White: Your choice - let us know what you think. Some laptop LCD's have a better appearance in black and white.
  • Video: Is normally turned off for tests, but you can turn it on.
  • Custom only: Special Numerics:- Toggle On/Off with any key
  • Important: Use Setup to retain these values between sessions. All other session changes will be lost when you quit the program.

DEFINITIONS: (Taken from I.T.U. Regulations and used in Stormy Weather SoftWare's Morse Code Training Program)



For the purposes of determining the speed of transmission (words per minute), the program uses as default:

A WORD IS EQUAL TO FIVE LETTERS AND ONE SPACE taken at random from the 26 letters, 10 numerics and 9 pro-signs. The program includes a facility for modifying the speed of transmission (in "SETUP and HELP") based on a test file CODEZ.MOR.

The user may modify the "speed" by using a "three minute" file other than the above for calibration of the default 180 seconds in "Setup." Such changes will be re-used by the program during subsequent sessions.

TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS: "Random" tests will give you thirty-six groups of five characters each composed at random from the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, the ten numerals and . , ? - / [AR] [AS] [BT] [ERR] [SK]. At 12 W.P.M. the test will last three minutes. Very few people can use the keyboard fast enough to listen and type at the same time so transcribe to paper and at the end of the test either type your answer in for an automatic score or display the text and score your answer manually.

       All tests are timed and the Total Elapsed time of the test will appear on the screen, and on the Printout, if used, at the end of the test.

       Plain language tests are available; see the 'Files' option in the Main Menu.

QUICK KEYS: To save on typing time, 'QuickKeys' are available: e.g. you can type + instead of [AR]. The program recognizes which system is used. Where possible QuickKeys are in accordance with International Morse Code. All combination symbols (pro signs) may be enclosed in square brackets - [SOS], [Err] - but single key entries (QuickKeys) that correspond to each one are available. Those that are genuine Morse symbols are obvious - [BT], or double break is the = (equal sign), [KN], or go ahead specific station, is ( or left bracket.

Long/Quick Long/Quick Long/Quick Long/Quick Long/Quick
[Err] = ! [AR] = + [BT] = = [KN] = (  
'' = ' [AS] = $ [SOS] = * [KA] = % [SK] = _

       You can use them all the time, part of the time or not at all; the program will accept either long form or QuickKeys indifferently. Each time you might need them, a list will appear at the bottom of the screen. All output will be in long form.

INSERTING SPACES: You can slow a test down by inserting a space between each character. This will retain the proper sound of the symbol at the chosen W.P.M., but give you more time to write it down. Example 'NEW TEXT' becomes 'N E W T E X T', and if you have selected 12 w.p.m. (a good speed to practice listening to the sound), then the actual transmission will be at approximately 7 1/2 w.p.m. This facility is available for Text and Random Group Exams, and for Continuous Groups in 'Type and Listen.'

AUTOMATIC SCORING: is available. If you have used 'Inserted Spaces' do not retype the extra spaces. It is easier to use the QuickKeys to enter your answer, for example ! = _ ( + are easier to type than [Err] [BT] [SK] [KN] [AR] and all the 5 symbol groups will be neatly lined up. A printout of the Test is also available.

BLANK SPACES: Where required, a 'Blank Space' message will appear with a whistling audio tone; this is to remind you to press the Space Bar, otherwise you might think the program had stopped. This applies to Practice sessions only, not examinations.

KEYBOARD INPUT: In most cases where only a single character is required (like answering <Y>es to a question, or random character practice) you will not have to <ENTER> your choice. Longer replies will require 'entering' but detailed instructions are given at each point in the program. All Menus will scroll up and down, or you type the first letter of a Menu line to make your choice.

       Frequently, when you are asked if you want to modify input or output (w.p.m. Tone, etc.) one specific key is required to make changes (a Y for <Y>es, I for <I>nsert Spaces), any other key, including <ENTER>, being used for continuing without changes. When you get used to the options you will be able to get to your choice very quickly indeed.

       More often than not, a series of two or three <ENTER>s will give you your choice of default values.

INSTRUCTIONS: A highlighted instruction box for the next step will always appear at the bottom of the screen.

QUITTING: <ESC> is normally used to get back to the Menus. The Main Menu has a 'Quit' to exit the program. Most parts of the program allow you to keep repeating the same exercise. Pressing <CTRL> and <C> simultaneously will always terminate the program, but will not necessarily save any work in progress.

  • FileNames: DOS rules apply; use a maximum of 8 alpha-numerics, starting with an alphabetic letter - no punctuation marks, etc. The program will automatically add the suffix '.MOR'. The files that come with the Program have self explanatory names.
  • List: This option will list all the files currently available in the active directory with a .MOR suffix, i.e. that can be used to send Morse Code. Note that if you 'rename' any ASCII text file to include this suffix, the program will run it, but some characters (&,æ etc.) will produce [Err] when sent.
  • Type a New File: Choose a File Name (you will get a message if it is not to DOS standards, or if it already exists - in which case you would type over it and lose the old contents!) then type in your text. Use the <ENTER> key before the end of a line to avoid wrapping around. To save the text, press <ENTER> twice - once to get to a blank line, once to save.
  • View a File: This option will display the text of any '.MOR' file in the active directory.
  • Delete a File: This only works for '.MOR' files. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion.
  • Practice with a File: After entering the File Name, you will be asked if you want to see the text displayed and want to change the w.p.m., tone or switch the Video on/off. Practice then starts, with you typing in each letter as you hear it. You can repeat the same symbol by pressing <BackSpace>. If you are right, the letter will be displayed; if you are wrong, your computer will send you a nasty noise and repeat the symbol. At the end of the file, or earlier if you press <ESC>, you will get your score.
  • Create an exam from a File: This option starts just like PRACTICE but allows you to 'Insert Spaces' to slow down the test by approximately 35-40% while retaining the sound of the symbols at your chosen W.P.M.. Video is switched off (unless you have turned it back on again!) as this would not be realistic for a real exam. At the end of the file (or earlier if you have held down <ESC> until the end of the next symbol) you can choose between manual correcting (just display the text) or Automatic - type the text and your computer scores you, or a Printout of the exam.
  • Individual Symbols: Each time you press a key, the symbol will be sent, Video will be displayed if turned 'on', and the corresponding character will be printed. Use QuickKeys or [ ] for pro signs.
  • Grouped Symbols: Will normally be sent with no pause for keyboard input between characters. Just listen to the group, and repeat it as often as you want by pressing <BackSpace>. If you have your practice key handy, this is a good check for your sending, by listening to a short group (for example, your Call Sign), then sending it yourself. Video can be 'on' or 'off', and you can use the 'Insert Spaces' option. (You have the possibility of pausing for keyboard input between symbols, but 'Practice Files' or 'Random Groups' are probably more useful for learning.)
           Note that your last group is retained between sessions, but you can obviously retype it as often as you want."
  • Preset Groups: This portion, the fundamental learning and speed building aid, is made up from 8 Groups comprising all the alpha-numerics, pro signs and punctuation, and contains, in order, the following options:-
    • GROUP 9:- Use this for your own choice of 'difficult' symbols; you can use it entirely on its own, edit it whenever you wish, or use it in conjunction with other Groups, in order to increase the random possibility of the character being sent.
    • CHOICE OF GROUPS:- Use from one Group up to all Groups combined.
    • CHANGE:- W.P.M., Tone, Video; current parameters are displayed.
    • SINGLE or MULTIPLE SYMBOLS:- To start with, send the characters singly. As your speed builds, send in longer multiples - from 2 to 9 at a time. The 'Insert Spaces' option is available for multiples.
    • Use QuickKeys or [ ] for your answers and to edit Group 9.

IMPORTANT: It should be noted that the CODEZ.MOR file included and used for a calibration of 180 seconds in the "Setup" program gives results confirmed by several expert telegraphists as to speed, and that are verifiable when compared to the transmissions of W1AW (American Radio Relay League). However, the random choice of 5 symbol words in "Exams" gives rise to elapsed Test Times averaging 203 seconds due to the higher incidence of numerals and prosigns.

This can be corrected by defaulting to approx. 203 seconds in "Setup", but Examination Organizers should be aware that it is our opinion that such a default certainly errs on the side of "too fast". If students practice with 203 seconds default, they will never have problems later!

Examinations: The following notes and messages apply:


     During or after this test, you may type in your answers for
automatic scoring, otherwise you will have to correct manually.
At the end of the test, a red on white notice allows you to catch
up the last few letters if needed. You will then be able to edit,
or type in your complete answer.
    As you type, your answer will appear on the screen: your typing
will AUTOMATICALLY scroll and wrap at the end of lines. The following
will be automatically corrected before your editing at the end of the
test: Carriage return (Red ¶) or a space are equivalent
Backspace (<- ) deletes previous character.
Note that End of File (Red ») cannot be removed, it is there for your convenience only.


This software uses the following keyboard characters:
a through z
0 through 9
. , / ? = - + as are normal on US type keyboard
plus the following 'prosigns' (Bar combinations) (Quick keys that may be entered as [KN] etc. using square brackets) ! as [ER], error, ( as [KN], $ as [AS], * as [SOS], % as [KA], _ as [SK]

If UNRECOGNIZED characters are entered they will be treated as ERRORS unless retyped.

KNOWN LIMITATIONS: Depending on the quality of the User's hardware (internal speaker and driver), audio quality will deteriorate above a certain speed (in the WORST known case, approx. 35 w.p.m.). This is NOT a software limit and can be attenuated if not completely corrected by the use of high quality headphones.

Additionally, many Sound Cards (for example, Sound Blaster by Creative Labs) are equipped with a two pin plug normally marked "PC Speaker" which allows signals to the internal speaker to be input to the sound card which will in most cases improve the quality of the Morse Code

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February 2, 1998
Copyright Stormy Weather SoftWare Ltd, 1998