Dit-Dit-Dit Dah-Dah-Dah Dit-Dit-Dit
December 24, 2009 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Just because those amateur radio operators on the Jay Leno show can out-text Ben Cook, former world SMS champion (160 chars in 57 seconds or about 33 wpm), doesn't mean that you can't try to beat them by joining them: iDitDahText lets you input Morse code on your iPhone with a software iambic keyer at up to 50 words per minute, no sleeve garters or green-visor required.
posted by autopilot (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
On your jailbroken iPhone, to be precise. Doesn't work on non-jailbroken phones. Interesting, though.
posted by lore at 1:01 PM on December 24, 2009

Ha, that's too funny. Sending it to my HAM radio operator dad.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:02 PM on December 24, 2009

Hmm. Now I gotta find a Bluetooth Vibroplex.....
posted by drhydro at 1:11 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Now if only Leno's comedy writers could only stop writing their jokes via Morse code, his ratings would improve.
posted by Catblack at 1:14 PM on December 24, 2009

I jail-broke my 3GS just to install it and am now working on learning Morse via the Typing Sebastian game that has been modified to recognize the iDitDahText keyboard. I figure that I'll need to learn to copy CW at least 15 wpm to be able to take advantage of my new Extra ticket.

A Bluetooth Vibroplex would be great, although even a wired one would be a neat accessory. It should be pretty simple to implement on the serial port using the dock connector and a small bit of hardware to implement the keyer. The author of the software keyer mentions that a straight key would be much, much harder since it would need to estimate the code speed.
posted by autopilot at 1:23 PM on December 24, 2009

I loved it when the 93 year old Australian post-office guy easily beat a 13 year old texter back in 2005.
posted by eye of newt at 3:13 PM on December 24, 2009

Although (and I'll come right out and say that I have never keyed), while a Vibroplex seems slightly complicated for this, wouldn't reducing a Vibroplex to a two key system work for pocket/blind typing? Left for dit, right for dah, morse to your heart's content? Admittedly, you lose the single contact closure serial simplicity. Or would that be a significant enough difference for experienced keyers that it wouldn't be very useful?
posted by Kyol at 4:12 PM on December 24, 2009

I've thought about the Morse code pocket typing thing too. I'm not sure, for pocket use, that having two keys would really improve the situation much. Most people I've seen using iambic keyers are fast because they're sort of twitching their whole hand one way or another. Pressing down on one of two keys wouldn't be that much better than just pressing one and altering the amount of time it's down. (It might, however, be better from a perspective of decoding what you mean, mechanically, since it would make dots and dashes absolutely distinct.)

The problem with it is really the learning curve involve in Morse code. The number of Morse operators isn't large enough to justify building a feature into a cellphone, and most other people wouldn't learn Morse in order to text with their phone in their pocket.

I do think you could design something with a chording "keyboard" on the back of the phone; something you'd hold with two hands, thumbs on front, fingers on back, and simulate a full keyboard. That would be an easier learning curve than Morse (although still not trivial) and would be a big step up from today's miniature keyboards, I think.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:49 PM on December 24, 2009

DE 6175550201
This message was sent on my iPhone.
posted by Spatch at 9:32 AM on December 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

There's something to be learned from the hams. Forgetting about speed for a second, I would actually quite like the ability to tap out a morse code message on a phone without looking at the screen.

Incidentally, hams had the original "cell phones". Thanks to 2 meters and a repeater I used to call home from the front seat of a friend's car, long before Mr. Drummond had his "portable" car phone. (Whatchoo talkin' about?)

73s all!
posted by readyfreddy at 4:29 AM on December 27, 2009

« Older Tweeting Home Alone   |   Immortal Defense Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments