Apr 05 2011

Improved settings for Ham Morse in development

Published by at 10:42 pm under HamMorse

Now the audio quality of the app is in good shape I’m working on another area that needs some attention – the settings and configuration. In the current version (v1.32) everything is on one screen and while this is compact it also means you have less control over which characters are included in your practice and my ability to add other features and controls is limited.

To address this I have completely redone the settings page and used a more conventional table layout that iPhone/iPad users are very familiar with. This is still a work in progress but below are some screenshots of what I have so far.

Main Settings Page

Here’s the main settings page that you reach when you click the (i) button on the front page.

Main settings screen

Its more organized than it was before – the character word per minute and font size sliders are near the top and now we have a new Volume control that many people have asked for – this allows you to set the volume of the code separately from the volume of the device itself – your ringer can still be loud but your morse code can be less noisy.

Content Settings

Below the sliders is the content settings section. This is where you can configure which characters are included in your practice set and which are not. Previously you had to set them in groups, now you have control at the individual character level. This is the same for Letters, Numbers, Prosigns and Punctuation.

Letters configuration screent

Koch Configuration

I’ve added something slightly different for the Koch character progression. The Koch method takes the morse code characters and organizes them in a standard order that is optimized for learning and retention. You learn the first two characters (usually K and M) and then when you have mastered those, add the next character, and so on. This is an established method and works very well, however, if you want to use a different order now you can. In the screenshot below K is the first letter that you will see and I am moving the letter “M” from the second position down to the third position and “R” has moved up into the number two position.

To change the order in which the letters appear you click Reorder and the ‘move’ buttons appear on the right hand side of each letter. To move the letter to a different position touch and hold the button and then you can drag the letter to a different position in the order. You could rearrange the whole set of characters this way but if anyone has suggestions for alternative character orders that would be broadly useful please let me know. I can store these different orders in the app so you don’t have to do really large scale changes manually.

Help Pages

Now that I have space, I am also including help links and other documentation that should provide a better introduction to Morse Code, how to learn it and general background links of interest.

This is still in development along with some other features for the main part of the app like Continuous play – turn this on and the app will keep generating code, if you are listening to News feeds it will work its way through all the news channels in turn. This makes it far easier to have a long practice session where you dont have to keep restarting the player after each block of morse.

I’m hoping to put this out in April after testing, etc. If you would like to beta test this new version please let me know and that will help spur things along. The other benefit of all these changes and moving over to the table layout is that this will make conversion to an iPad app that much easier, stay tuned for more developments in that area. :)

Cheers – Simon.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Improved settings for Ham Morse in development”

  1. Davidon 06 Apr 2011 at 7:57 am

    Looks great but current version won’t download from iTune Store

  2. Simonon 06 Apr 2011 at 8:46 am

    @David Sorry to hear you are having problems downloading from the iTunes store – that’s not something I have seen before. I have sent you an email to see if we can figure out what might be going on.

  3. Allanon 07 Apr 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Simon

    I also cannot download from iTunes.

    cheers….Allan

  4. Simonon 07 Apr 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I think I have narrowed down the problem to a contract that had silently expired on the Apple website, causing the app to become ‘temporarily unavailable’. Fortunately googling around managed to turn up some posts such as this one:

    http://www.duffresearch.com/blog/when-ready-for-sale-isnt

    which gave me some suggestions and I think I have pushed the appropriate buttons behind the scenes to get things back on track. This may take a little while to get things back on line but hopefully the app will be available again very soon. Its somewhat annoying that Apple doesn’t let you know about these things ahead of time but thank you to David and Allan for letting me know!

    Simon.

  5. Rickon 18 May 2011 at 7:39 am

    I just downloaded the app yesterday. I like the app, I just wish I could adjust the space between letters. I want to hear the letters at 20-25 wpm but the space at 10-15 wpm until I don’t need to write them down.

  6. Simonon 18 May 2011 at 11:31 am

    Hi Rick,

    Assuming you are using a more recent version of the app (v1.3+) you can do this by using the Character Speed control on the Settings page. To achieve what you are looking for, go on to the settings page (click the (i) button in the top right corner of the main screen of the app) and then down at the bottom there should be a Character Speed Slider. Change this to the speed at which you would like to hear the letters (eg. 20 wpm as you mentioned in your comment). You can then use the overall speed slider back on the main screen of the app to slow the total sending speed down to 10-15wpm. This will still send the individual characters at 20 wpm but will add in extra space between characters and words to slow the overall speed down as desired.

    Let me know if that works or if I am misunderstanding what you are asking for.

    Cheers, Simon, AA9PW.

  7. Matt Sparkson 18 Jun 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Can you add a delay between when the character sounds and the appearance of the character on the screen.
    Currently at the first dit or dah, the character shows up (unless its an i or t) thats before the letter has finished sounding. So if you are watching the screen you know the character before it sounds.
    if you could delay it one beat or so, you would have a chance to guess it before it shows.

  8. Mike, K6MKFon 27 Jun 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Simon,

    I now own your nifty Morse tutor app, and I like it very much. I selected your app to get the Morse Code part of my brain back on-line after many years of SSB and digimode operation.

    I do have a couple of suggestions for your app:

    1. Let the user enter his callsign into the app. If the user’s callsign has been entered, use it in the QSO practice sessions. The user needs to train the brain to recognize their own callsign – particularly useful for DX when copying your call and RST is about all there is to the QSO.

    2. Let the user enter and save text files, with a title, to be played back by the app. I would really appreciate this feature to be able to practice for specific contests. I would enter text that would playback likely contest exchanges and use this feature to prepare for operating the contest.

    3. Could the app be made so that it would run in the background like the iPod app, so the user could do other things while listening to code in ‘full immersion’ mode? This is clearly a ‘nice to have’ feature and so 3rd on my list.

    Thanks for this great little app. Already my code speed is up a couple of WPM!

    73 de Mike, K6MKF

  9. Simonon 28 Jun 2011 at 9:32 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the comments and I’m really glad you like the app.

    * That’s a really good idea to add in a callsign (and name) for the QSOs, I will put that on the to-do list.
    * I have been thinking about the contest exchange for just the reasons you mentioned. I would think it would be nice to have some standard formats pre-programmed into the app (select ‘ARRL DX’, ‘IARU HF’, etc) and then the option to customize to allow people to add in different formats as required?
    * I will look into running the app in the background. When I first created the app this didn’t work very well but the device technology, the operating system and my code has changed significantly since then so I will see what this looks like now.

  10. Phil Andersonon 21 Aug 2011 at 9:59 am

    Hi Simon; tnx for nice app. I looked at the “i” pages and see that char and spacing can be different, ok. Now what I really want is to be able to maintain char and intra-word spacing (between characters) at the character speed but slow the speed between words. This is idea to practice recognizing words and time to say then between, eventually decreasing that IWS. tnx Phil, W0XI.

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