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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | SCCW VS MorseCat Help


Reviews Summary for SCCW VS MorseCat
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
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You can write your own review of the SCCW VS MorseCat.

WA5BDU Rating: 3/5 Apr 14, 2000 08:06 Send this review to a friend
MorseCat works well for me  Time owned: unknown months
Haven't tried SCCW--I'll have to hunt it down and give it a try. I've used MorseCat to make code contest tapes for hamfests the past couple of years. I really like it. Very simple to use and it's nice to have a lot of control over the character of the sound.

I haven't seen any glitches. But Windows is the enemy of software that requires precise timing. So maybe some networking stuff the other fellow had going caused the problems.

CW guys--if you want a real workout, get RUFZ. It's freeware and it will definitely drive you over the edge as it finds your maximum speed and then goes faster. And there's a web page where you can list your score. Gives you an incentive to improve.

73 es CU on the bands,

Nick, WA5BDU
 
KC3GV Rating: 3/5 Apr 14, 2000 06:02 Send this review to a friend
Needed to make practice tapes, tried both programs  Time owned: unknown months
My situation was different than most, I wanted to make code tapes to listen and prepare for the 20 wpm code test. I knew I had to constantly change the tapes or I would just memorize the individual qso texts on the tapes. I also wanted to listen at a higher rate than the 20 wpm. I needed to fill a 90 minute cassette tape.

I had an excellant cw program for linux/unix called CW, I could pipe any text to it and it would convert the text to cw. Unfortunately it used the pc speaker which made it more difficult to amke a copy on cassette. There was another program that would read text called SCCW and it played through the soundblaster, but missed a few characters. I was desperite, wanted to get these tapes made fast so I downloaded MorseCat and had my son install it on his Pentium III, 450 MHZ windows machine. It took a few minutes to learn how to use the program, then we plugged in the large text file started the recorder and walked away. My son had classes and I had other things to do as well, the windows system running morsecat at about 25 wpm seemed fine, the tape player happily recording everything. I returned about an hour later, turned the tape and started the recorder again. Everything seemed fine.

However, the next day at work as I listened to the
tape I found that various times throughout the
tape the system apparently bogged down and would
change the code, made it terrible to copy, I mean
the dash would last a second or two, not good at
all. It was extremely annoying to listen to and happend quite often, every time the windows system was doing something else - note : my son did not
have anything else running other than the required
programs for networking as we run a peer to peer TCPIP network - the morse characters would change.

I then asked my son to change the SCCW program, which contained the source code, to accept a few more characters when reading a text file, not sure all that was added, but think it may have been the "= / . " It took my son a couple of minutes to read the source and figure out where to add the needed characters that were missing.

I then ran the SCCW program on my 486 based AMD 586 133 linux system and set it up to read the same large text file at 25 wpm, making the recording. However, I had other things to do so I needed to use the computer at the same time. SCCW did slow down enough to make a difference in sound when Netscape intitially started up, but after that there was no change in pitch or duration and this was while the computer was on-line and I was accessing mail servers, news and web servers.

I used the SCCW program many times, created many different cassette tapes and eventuall passed the 20 wpm cw test in February of this year.

SCCW is text based and doesn't look as nice as MorseCat ( I think MorseCat was version 1, not sure what version sccw was at). It doesn't have the pretty graphic of a key moving, but did perform better under my conditions.

All the programs are free, so you can try them yourself. However, if you do have trouble with
large text files being interpreted at speeds of 25 wpm and up, you may want to switch to one of the "open source" alternatives, either sccw for the soundblaster or cw for the pc speaker - oh, cw did
interpret all the characters without any modification.

Of course now that 20 wpm CW is no longer a requirement, many will not be interested in listens to cw at speeds higher than 5 wpm, and I am sure MorseCat will do fine at that slow speed.
 


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