cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How can I.....

Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

How can I.....

One for the techy guys (and gals)
I have been interested in Morse Code, since I was about 8 years old. I was trained to be a Radio Operator in the Royal Navy. For 12 years I used morse daily, at speeds of about 22 w.p.m. I still have that capability, even though I left the Navy over 35 years ago!.  However, there is very little morse on the airwaves now, so I have been searching around to see if there is any way morse can be used over the internet.  It would seem there is...!  a program called CWcom is available, and it can be used from the keyboard, by typing the message, or by using the "down arrow key" as a morse key.... so far so good....
I still have my original brass straight key, that I used in the Royal Navy, and hook it up to a "local oscillator" to keep my "hand" in.... however, I would like to be able to use the key with the CWcom program, to contact other like minded nerds over the internet.... here is where the problem starts.....
As I understand it, the CWcom program allows the use of a morse key, through a COM port, and needs a "serial" input from a 9 or 15  pin D plug/socket connected to the Morse Key.
My laptop, Dell Inspiron 1500 has 3 USB ports, a Mic and Phones socket, and a ethernet socket, .... but the only 9 pin D socket seems to be for adding an additional/alternative monitor.
Question for the tech guys.... Please can you tell me ,how can I connect my Morse key  (or maybe I can`t)...
(mods... if this is in the wrong place, please move it !.)
12 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,245
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 101
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: How can I.....

You *might* be able to get something like this http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-RS232-Converter-Cable/dp/B00077DJIQ to work.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,277
Thanks: 441
Fixes: 40
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: How can I.....

As Adie says, a USB to Serial convertor might work. I've used them for a number of applications where legacy s/w needs a serial port and most of the time they work fine. A quick look at the CwCom site seems to indicate that the configuration selects a standard COM port  when used with the serial method so it stands a reasonable chance of working. Only issue might be that it says COM 1 to 4 whereas a lot of the USB to serial convertors may well choose COM 5 upwards ( but you can usually fiddle with control panel to get them to use an unused COM 3 or 4).
Edit , a quick google for 'cwcom usb' returned this http://www.qsonet.com/qbb/viewtopic.php?t=822&sid=60f08c5a3d3de7ddb6ba008a2d3bbdb3
Most of it will probably make more sense to you shutter than to me but it does imply that CwCom will work with a Usb to serail convertor.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: How can I.....

Thanks for both replies..... food for thought on both links there.... have actually come up with a "conversion" job on a mouse to use for keying straight thru the usb port, BUT will have to get in touch with the guy who wrote CWcom to see if it will work with his program....
will report back when (if) I get it working. !
73`s
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: How can I.....

Sounds like an interesting project, but it set me wondering.  Is morse used these days? for real I mean.
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: How can I.....

I had a morse program years ago on my Nascom 2, and there were plenty of programs around for all types of computer .
There are still many radio amateurs who are faithful to morse -  http://www.fists.co.uk/
Ony 22wpm ?? - I thought you military ops could do 40's ?? . some of the merchant ships radio ops could do 30's - I watched one once listen to the morse, typing it out and talking to me at the same time !. .

Some of the radio ops could even read punched paper used by teleprinters coming out of the machine at 50 wpm
But sorry not seen any programs myself for use over the internet
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: How can I.....

Yes, Morse is still used.... I often "copy" station 4XZ which is the Israeli Navy broadcast.... the messages are in 5 letter code.... Also, some of the international coast stations still use the Morse Code for identity purposes, even though the main form of communication is radio teletype (of various kinds)...
Of course, there are still many many amateur radio operators who ONLY work on morse code contacts....
There are occasions when the only method of getting a message through the noise on the airwaves will be to use morse and a human ear to decode it from out of that noise...
Mal0z.... the standard morse broadcast to ships at sea was 22 wpm. but that could be increased to 25wpm if traffic was busy.... I don`t think 40 wpm was a manual speed for broadcast, but may well have been used as "high speed" morse which was recorded on a tape recorder by submarines... to keep the amount of time on the surface with the aerial up, to a bare minimum.The radio operator would record the "sked" then the sub would submerge again whilst the operator replayed the tape(s) at a more "liesurely" speed to copy them.
A quick google on fastest morse speed comes up with this
On July 2, 1939, McElroy broke the world record code speed at 75.2 WPM, which remains unsurpassed today.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: How can I.....

adaptor available from Maplin, use one on my weather station http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?moduleno=29968 £12.99
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: How can I.....

OOooooooooooooops  Maplin RIP - OFF time.....
see this
http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-RS232-Converter-Cable/dp/B00077DJIQ

I reckon Maplin must be using Amazon as a major supplier and making a fortune ! ! !

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: How can I.....

that is an Amazon reseller item from ILUVLIFE, you have to watch the postage and terms from them
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,814
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: How can I.....

So, even with the postage, it is still cheaper....
(Amazon) item price £0.41p    postage  £3.85p  total cost £4.26    Smiley
With Maplin charging £12.99 PLUS £2.99 postage total cost £15.98  Shocked
No contest !  Cheesy
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: How can I.....

they did have one for a penny skinflint
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: How can I.....

any one bein watching this series on bbc http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00nq9ss/b00nq9js/The_Scots_Who_Made_the_Modern_World_Brains/
this episode has the old telegraph system in it and how one man worked out how to detect the signal over the new atlantic wire