Morse Machine For iOS Almost Done

Hi everyone,

I’ve been working on that most of the time those days and I can say that the iOS version of Morse Machine is almost done… at least the HD version for iPads.

I tried on a small iPhone 4 and graphics is not ok so I have to work on that side. But on iPad (and probably on higher resolution iPhones) it should be ok.

Here are a few screenshots of how it looks right now.

You’ll be able to set the initial lesson, set the WPM (from 15 to 40 in steps of 5) and the CW Pitch tone (from 400Hz to 900Hz in steps of 100Hz).

This week I should be able to submit it for review to Apple. The actual average review time from Apple is about 8 days. Being my first iOS app I think it’ll take more and I also expect it to be rejected for some reason.

So I expect the app to be available sometime in the second half (probably late) February 🙂

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

Morse Machine For iOS Development Started

Hi everyone,

I started today the porting of the Morse Machine app to iOS.

Here are a couple of quick screenshots that show how it’ll probably look on an iPad. Later I’ll test it on iPhone.

So far, everything seems to go well and found no particular issue during the porting. I had to make different choices for the GUI but I’m quite happy about how it’s coming. I really hope to have it ready soon.

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

iOS Development Framework Ready

Hi everyone,

finally I found the time to setup the iOS development framework. Everything is running fine and ready for porting.

I develop using a multi-platform framework that allows me to save some time as I can reuse most of the code I already developed for all my apps, for iOS as well.

I’ll start with the “simplest” app: probably with the “Morse Machine” and “WSPR Beacon” apps. If everything goes well they should be available in a couple of weeks. Maybe less. It depends on how easy is the porting process and how fast I get into the relatively new development framework.

Anyway… just wanted to let you know that I’m ready!

Stay tuned 😉

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

Learn CW As A Game

Hi everyone, I keep receiving emails and feedback from people that has started using the Morse Machine app and they are all great feedback. The one thing they say is that learning CW with the Morse Machine it’s fun and a little like playing a game. And I totally agree with this point. My 7 years old kid it’s two days that keeps asking me to play with the Morse Machine app 😀 And this morning I realized that he’s getting into that for real as we heard 3 beeps sound from the TV and he said: “Dad, that’s an R!“. And he was right! I’m working on an update for the Morse Machine that will add a few thing that will give you even more fun using it:

  • More letter sequences: now there are a total of 5 different sequences.
    The sequences are:

    LCWO
    (the actual one):
    K M U R E S N A P T L W I . J Z = F O Y , V G 5 / Q 9 2 H 3 8 B ? 4 7 C 1 D 6 0 X

    KOCH
    (the most famous and used one):
    K M R S U A P T L O W I . N J E = F 0 Y , V G 5 / Q 9 Z H 3 8 B ? 4 2 7 C 1 D 6 X

    ORIGINAL MM
    (the original sequence from the 1977 article):
    Q 7 Z G 0 9 8 O 1 J P W . L R A M 6 B / X D = Y C K N 2 3 ? F U 4 5 V H S I T E

    ETANIM
    (one of the classical sequences):
    E T A N I M D S O U R C K P B G W L Q H F Y Z V X J 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 . / = ?

    OSCAR I7OHP
    (a great CW trainer here in Italy):
    A U V E I S 1 2 H T M O 3 N D B 4 G Z 5 R L F 6 Q W 7 J K 8 C Y 9 X P 0 . / = ?

  • Scoring: every time you end a session a score is calculated. The score is very simple and it’s give multiplying the average WPM of the session by the number of correct letter guessed. The app will record your best score. In the future I may add a “leaderboard” of your best scores 🙂
  • Time based sessions: You can now decide if you want the session to stop automatically after 5/10/15/20/25/30 minutes or run until you press the STOP button (like it’s now).

I also developed a real preference panel that makes everything easier to set. Everything described above already works and it’s tested so the update will be released soon. Thanks everyone supporting the development of the app and giving feedback, sharing it, etc. Thanks! 72/73 Andrea IU4APC

How To Use Morse Machine App At Best

Hi everyone,

The Morse Machine App is having becoming popular and I’m having great feedback from people using it.

Today I want to share with you 3 basic rules to get the most out of it:

  1. Use it every day. 15-20 minutes a day can be enough, but don’t skip. If you can do 30 minutes or more it’s even better, but at least 15 minutes are needed.
  2. Don’t go below 20 WPM. Even if at the beginning it may sound too much, try to get used to the 20 WPM sound. That will avoid you to listen to dits and dahs and only focus on the sound of the letter.
  3. Reset letters error score every time you use it. When you begin your daily “session”, go to the menu and select “Reset Settings”. It’ll only reset the error score of each letter. The lesson number, the WPM, the CW Tone pitch will stay the same. This will allow you to refresh even the first letters that otherwise will be assumes as “learned”. From day to day you’ll need to do a fresh restart.

That’s it.

I found the 3rd rule to be particularly important and useful to understand day by day what you really already learned and what still needs repetitions.

With 8-10 hours of total training you should be able to get the whole 40 letters/numbers/symbols set without particular problems. After that you’re ready to start getting faster and get words.

The Morse Machine method is the closest simulation I’ve found to what a real Morse code teacher would do. I’m only sorry that I didn’t learn about it before! 🙂

Yesterday I released an updated version supporting external physical keyboards (USB or Bluetooth). Also the sound has been a little improved. So if you haven’t done already, do the update.

I’m also working on a second update that should give the option to use the original letter sequence of the Morse Machine method. This sequence initially focuses on letters with a longer sequence so that you are forced to wait the end of the sound before recognizing the letter.

For those curious the letter sequence is: Q 7 Z G 0 9 8 O 1 J P W L R A M 6 B X D Y C K N 2 3 F U 4 5 V H S I T E

Any suggestion and feedback is welcome.

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

Morse Machine Is Out!

icona_grande

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that the Morse Machine app is available from the Google Store.

It can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iu4apc.morsemachine

What’s the Morse Machine app?

This program teaches you to receive Morse code (CW).

It starts with two letters and adds more when it sees that you are ready. This is the easiest way to learn code because the computer thinks about the practice you need next instead of wasting your time with stuff you already know or confusing you with stuff that you don’t.

The original idea comes from Ward K9OX (http://c2.com/morse/).

The app uses the Koch method letter sequence and starts with the first two letters: K and M.

For Each letter you have a column showing how high is your error score. It starts from 100 and lowers as you start guessing letters right and increases when you are wrong or you take too much time to recognize it.

SETTINGS

WPM (Words Per Minute): let you set the speed of the CW playing. The suggested speed is 20. The minimum is 15. You should choose a speed that does help you focus on the sound of each letter and not on the dits and dahs.

CW TONE: choose a tone frequency that suits your ears. Default is 700Hz

LESSON: sets the lesson level. By default you start with lesson 1 (2 letters) and as you get confident with them new ones are addedd.

MINIMUM LEVEL: sets the minimum average error level before adding a new letter.

RESET SETTINGS: resets the error level of each letter back to 100%.

Any feedback and suggestion is more than welcome!

72/73, Andrea IU4APC

Morse Machine App Almost Done!

Hi everyone,

the Morse Machine app is almost done! It should be ready in a day or two.

The only thing missing is the saving of letter scores so that you can stop whenever you want and restart from where you left, a few statistics like the number of letters guessed, WPM reached, etc… and the icon!

But I’m very happy about how it came out. Simple and effective!

Definitely the best way to learn CW in my opinion.

I spend some time trying to find the best way to balance the right/wrong guess but I think I’ve found the right one.

I also added a lot of options so that you can adjust the app behavior to your needs.

The initial version of the app is based on the Koch method. In the future I’ll also add the option to use the “original” letter sequence (it focuses initially on letters with the highest number of elements and the coming down to the simplest ones).

Can’t wait to release it. I’m sure that people will love it! 😀

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

Morse Machine App In Development

Hi everyone,

as I wrote a few days ago, 2015 will be my personal CW year 🙂

I want to become really proficient in CW and to get better and better I’m trying to find some good training. My personal best choice goes to LCWO.net website. Really well done and with a lot of interesting tools to learn and improve your CW skills.

My preferred tool so far is the “Morse Machine“. The tool is not a LCWO original idea but it comes from Ward K9OX.

Let me use Ward original words to describe what the Morse Machine is:

“This program teaches you to receive Morse code. It starts with a few letters and adds more when it sees that you are ready. This is the easiest way to learn code because the computer thinks about the practice you need next instead of wasting your time with stuff you already know or confusing you with stuff that you don’t.”

Immediately I thought that it would be cool (and useful) to have the Morse Machine running on Android phones/tablet as well and I just started the development of the app.

The app works by starting with the two first letters of the Koch method: K and M. For each letter you have a column showing how many times you have to guess that letter to consider it “learned”.

It plays the letters randomly and you have to say which one has been played. If the answer is right, the column goes down by 1. If it’s wrong the column value is increased. And so on, until the first two letters are considered “learned”. Once this happens it adds the 3rd letter. It plays the new letter more frequently than the previous ones. When also the third letter is learned, the app adds the 4th and so on.

The status will be saved so that you can stop and start from where you left the next time.

I personally love it and found it one of the best ways to learn and improve your CW.

It should be quite easy to develop and I’m already at a good point.

Here are a couple of screenshot of the initial development.

Very simple but it’s almost all it’s needed for the Morse Machine 🙂

As usual I’ll keep you updated on the development of this new app!

72/73 Andrea IU4APC

CW Beacon App Is Out!

cwbeacon_icon

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that the new CW Beacon app is available starting from now in the Google Store.

The link is: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iu4apc.cwbeacon

The CW Beacon app generates CW customized audio signals that can be sent periodically. By monitoring the reception of those messages on reverse beacon networks, you can verify how good is the performance of your radio setup (radio+antenna) and/or popagation conditions over different bands.

This app is intended for patented ham radio operators and should be used in conjunction with a tranceiver using its microphone (audio in) port.

The default message format is:

BCN DE # @ &

Where:
# in your call sign (add /B to be recognized as a beacon)
@ is your WWL locator grid
& is a custom message

For example:

BCN DE IU4APC/B JN64DD QSL IU4APC AT YAHOO.COM

To use the app all you have to do is:

  1. Set the message (red chars). You can use prosigns for it. # for call, @ for locator and & for a custom message. The line with the orange chars shows the message that will be sent.
  2. Set the call, locator and a custom message. The locator can be automatically calculated by pressing the GPS Button.
  3. Set the WPM speed.
  4. Set a custom frame size (the number of minutes between Each message send) or leave the automatically calculate suggested minimum value.
  5. Set the audio Frequency.
  6. Press START To immediately start sending the CW message
  7. Press the REPORTS Button to open the reversebeacon.net page with REPORTS showing where your message has been heard.

NOTE
The STEREO checkbox enables the sending of dits and dahs on different audio channels. This can be used to drive external hardware to emulate a real paddle. I can anticipate that an hardware device should be soon available for that.

For any suggestion or request of support contact me at: iu4apc@yahoo.com

72/73 Andrea IU4APC
http://alphapapacharlie.com