Morse Contest Trainer Version 3

Introduction

A few months ago I was approached by Michael, KE8AQW, on behalf of the Long Island CW Club to see if I was prepared to add new contests to my Version 2 trainer - details of which you can find here.

I was staggered to discover that it had been over fifteen years since I last looked at the software but, apart from the authorisation code, it still compiled and built on my much upgraded development platform so I set about adding the new contests, updated the GUI to give it new life too and here are the resuls...



What does it do?

Using the same basic software modules as my Koch Method trainer, this software throws you into the thick of an imaginary contest. Callsigns are sent to you through the PC sound card and you are expected to copy them down, then take the report and finally, log the QSO.

A running list of the logged QSO's is maintained in the top half of the screen, including any errors that you have made -indicated by an * after the sequence number.

At the top of the screen there is an indication of your QSO rate.

In the bottom segment of the screen, you enter the callsign and report for the station calling you. A simple, one line, context sensitive help is provided to help you through the process.

The callsigns used used in the QSO's are those of genuine contesters derived from the master database files, and not just ficticious callsigns generated by the software. Where applicable, the zones and IOTA references are derived from Country files, rather than being randomly generated, to add as much realism as possible to the contest simulation.

A number of different contests are currently supported and I intend to expand the list of supported contests from user feedback and I will possibly offer a way of defining your own contest in a later version.

The cooks tour



First select the 'Configure Contest' tab at the top of the main window.

On the 'Contest Style' tab, you choose the contest you wish to train for. The choices are:

As mentioned above, each contest makes use of real databases of members or contesters and it is possible to update the databases by downloading a new version.

For club contests, such as CW Ops or SKCC, if you are a member of the club them your membership details will be automatically determined by the software and used in the trainer QSO's.





Next, move to the My Station tab.

Here you are able to enter the station callsign you will be operating, the speed at which you want your CW to be sent, your preferred pitch, the IF bandwidth of your receiver which determines the pitch range of stations calling you and your receiver background noise level.

It is possible to turn off the Rx Noise Level altogether, but this is recommended as it makes it more difficult to know whether the trainer is sending or receiving.




Finally, on the Incoming Signals tab can configure how stations call you during the contest.

Incoming Morse allows you to set the average speed and the variation that stations will use to call you.

Calling Stations (Maximum) sets the maximum number of stations that will answer your CQ - you may not get any stations, in which caste you must call CQ again, or any number of stations upto and including the maximum set.

Signal Artefacts alows you to add distortion to the incoming Morse signals to more realistically reflect what you hear during a contest.

Checking the QRM box will start another contest station adjacent to you as can occur in a contest with lots of activity.




The 'Visual Style' tab allows you to chhose from a number of visual styles depending on your mood!

Once you have completed the configuration, click on the 'Run Contest' and your should hear the Rx backgound noise if you have not turned it off - then follow the context sensitive help. I have chosen to emulate the CT keystrokes with this version, but user pressure could convince me to offer a selection of contest software emulations in future releases.

Alternately, you can click on the 'Run Just Callsigns' tab and enter callsigns as they are sent to you. The Morse speed will increase with every correct callsign and decrease if you make a mistake, so it is a challenge!

What's new in the latest version

Click here to find out more details.

Registration

Unlike my Morse trainer, this software is shareware, with a registration fee of UK£25 or US$30. The main differences between the shareware and registered version is that in the shareware version the training lesson is restricted to 20 QSO's, you cannot set your station callsign or the contest type and the configuration settings are not remembered each time the software is closed down.

COVID-19 special - to help you make it through the lock down that has beset the world at the moment, you can register the sofware at the special price of UK£15 or US$20.

Registering the software is easy, once I have received your payment, I will email you a registration file which you then load into the software to complete the registration!

Once the software is registered, you are guaranteed free updates for life. The only exception to this that I will pass on the costs of any third party licenses that I may one day decide to use in the software - although frankly this is extremely unlikely.

You can send me a cheque or money order to register the software, or I accept PayPal. Please be sure to include your Callsign and email address when you register the software.

For those of you who have registered Version 2, the old authourisation file is out-of-date, but I have a database of registered users and will happily email you a new authorisation file if you send me an email with your callsign included.

Buy using UK Pounds

Callsign

Buy using US Dollars

Callsign

System Requirements

The software has been extensively tested on Windows 7 through to Windows 10. Since it is based on my Koch Method trainer, I do not anticipate problems with other versions of Windows, but download a copy and try it out - if you have any problems, drop me an email and I will do my best to assist.

Downloading the software

The latest version is always available for download here. Once you have registered the software, you do not have to enter the registation details each time you download an update.

The download is a full installer, simply right click on the downloaded file and select 'Run as Administrator' from the popup menu to install the software.

Download the latest Version 3 release!

Please enter your callsign or name here:


Revision History

Version 3.1.5 released 14 May 2020

Version 3.1.6 released 14 May 2020

Version 3.1.7 released 19 May 2020

Version 3.2.1 released 5 June 2020

Version 3.2.2 released 9 June 2020

Version 3.2.3 released 14 June 2020

Version 3.2.4 released 20 June 2020

Version 3.2.5 released 21 June 2020

Version 3.2.6 released 29 June 2020

Version 3.2.8 released 23 July 2020

Version 3.3.1 released 26 July 2020

Version 3.3.2 released 28 July 2020

Version 3.3.6 released 31 July 2020


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Last Updated: 31 July 2020