Option Selections

Options:  R. Reset ALL parameters to default P. Prosign cues in Morse: Off S. Select character sequence E. Edit character sequence C. Color selections T. Tone generator selection A. Adjustment for PC clock Character sequence 0: Student's Personal Set
Select options or press ESC to return to main menu

Figure 11. Option Selection Menu

The (O)ptions session allows the student or instructor to tailor parameters to make the sessions more effective. The default options supplied with Morse Academy are thought to be best for a new student so it is not necessary to use this session. But as students progress they may wish to learn about the options available, so they can adjust the program to their needs.

The (R)eset key causes Morse Academy to set all parameters to their default values for a new student. Prior to execution, confirmation is requested.

The (P)rosign Cues option allows the generation or suppression of Morse Prosigns automatically generated by Morse Academy to cue operation of the program.

By setting this option "On", the student can be introduced to the use of Morse prosign cues in a context that helps learning. For example MA will send K (go ahead) whenever the main menu is entered, BK (break) and BT (pause) during display of the HELP menus, and AR (end of transmission) or SK (final transmission) at the end of testing sessions. To allow easy identification the Prosigns are sent with a note 100 Hz higher than the code transmission. If it causes confusion to newer students, it may be preferable to suppress all Prosign usage. This can be done by setting the option to "Off".

The context options are:

 - returning to the main menu causes sending the Morse letter "K" (Go ahead).
 - entering  HELP using the  F1  function  key or exiting it  is cued  by the
   Prosign "BK" (Break).
 - Help continuation cued by the Prosign "=" (double dash, meaning pause).
 - the  suspension of  sending  of text during  the Keyboard session (toggled
   with F2) is cued by the Prosign AS (wait).
 - the completion of the Receiving game,  Endurance and Proficiency sessions,
   and the Morse Keyboard tutor sessions are marked by the Prosign AR (End of
 - incorrect input or an input requiring confirmation causes "?" to be sent.

The (S)elect Character Sequence key allows the character set to be selected from those provided with the program. Repeatedly pressing this key will select from four different sets. The set number currently selected is displayed just above the box containing the sequence. The sequences are:

   - Sequence "0" is your personal sequence that can be edited as you desire.  
   - Sequence "1" is the ARRL recommended sequence.
   - Sequence "2" is the Morse Academy recommended sequence.
   - Sequence "3" is the complete Morse Academy code set, including the
     special European characters rarely heard on the U.S. amateur bands.

When ESC is pressed, the character set being displayed will be copied to set "0" (your personal set). Be careful to select the set you want before ending this sub-session or you may have to reedit your personal set.

The (E)dit Character Sequence menu allows you to change the character sequence.

The active edit keys are:

    HOME    - sets the cursor to the beginning of the character string
    END     - sets the cursor to the end of the character string
    LEFT    - the cursor LEFT  arrow key moves left  one position
    RIGHT   - the cursor RIGHT arrow key moves right one position

If any character (contained in the string) is typed, it will first be sent in Morse to confirm the selection, and then inserted into the string at the position of the cursor with the remaining characters being re-sequenced as required. This allows the character string to be set in any desired order.

When you are finished editing and the sequence of the string is acceptable, press ESC to return to the sub-session menu and again to return to the main menu. The edited sequence will then be permanently stored in your Personal Sequence "0".

The (C)olor option allows setting colors for displaying Morse Academy's menus. Depending on your PC's display controller, up to any of 16 colors can be assigned to the characters, background, or the prompt line (bottom on the screen). The program will not allow the same value for characters and background since the text would not be visible.

The (A)djust option allows compensation for any inaccuracy in the PC's internal clock, which controls the code speed accuracy. It provides a means to increase or decrease an adjustment factor for the code speed. For the best results, use of a highly accurate external timepiece is recommended. The word PARIS sent 5, 10 or more times, can be timed to determine the accuracy of your PC corrected by the clock adjustment factor. Sub-menu options to adjust the clock are:

  (up arrow)   Increase sending speed        (S)   Sending speed input
  (dn arrow)   Decrease sending speed        (C)   Character speed input
  (T)          Transmit PARIS five times

At completion of sending the PARIS message with the (T)ransmit key, a short high pitch (1800 Hz) note is sounded. This can be used to signal completion when doing timing with an external timepiece.

The (T)one generator option supports seven sound/signaling generators: the PC's internal sound generator, Morse Academy's external tone generator, an ADLIB compatible music synthesizer card (which includes the SoundBlaster series), the Disney Sound Source adapter (can be connected to either LPT1 or LPT2), the Tandy PC sound generator, and a visual signaling generator (screen blinking). Others may be added upon request from users. One of these is selected by typing the letter A through G shown in front of the description of the supported sound generator.

Selecting one of the generator's displays a sub-menu with options to control the tones generated. The active keys are:

  (+)   Increase the tone 10 Hz       (V)   Selects session initiated
  (-)   Decrease the tone 10 Hz              random variable tones
  (D)   Reset tone to 730 Hz                 (ranges ± two 10 Hz deviations)
  (S)   Sounds the current tone       (F)   Frequency differentiation

(V)ariable tone selection can be used to have each session to start with a randomly selected tone, only slightly different from the current setting. Either 1, 3, or 5 different tones are chosen depending on the selected range of 0, plus or minus 10 or 20 Hz. Each time the (V) key is depressed the range advances. It is a good idea to use this option to get experience copying code with different frequency tones. Remember when you take your examination you may not have total control over the tone used by the examiner.

(F)requency differentiation causes dashes to be sent at a frequency 20 Hz lower than dots. This mode can help beginning students learn the difference between characters, but we don't recommend using it too long. Your amateur radio examination will not use this mode, so don't become dependent on it. Frequency differentiation applies only the Learning menu, Receiving game, and the Endurance session. For all other menus it is set off. Even if it is selected in the Receiving game or Endurance session, the differentiation is reduced by 2 Hz for every 5 correct answers, allowing the student a slow way to adjust to normal Morse code transmission.

If you have selected use of the Morse Academy external tone generator the options to change the tone are not available (+, or -). For details on how to construct an external tone generator for use with Morse Academy see Appendix C, "Construction Notes for an External Tone Generator". For information related to support of ADLIB compatible music synthesizer cards, see Appendix D, "ADLIB Compatible Music Synthesizer Card Support". For details on use of port keying, see Appendix E, "RS232/Parallel Port Keying Interface".

The port addresses, and the function codes to select the different tones used by the Morse Academy external tone generator are defined in the element PORT on the program diskette. The values in this file are important to the correct operation of these tone generators. Care should be taken to understand the meaning of each value before changes are made.

By Joe Speroni