Apologies, this may be off topic. Ham radio operators are the probably the only community that might have used Handicode. Back in 2002, a company "Microsystems Software" made a DOS program that allowed a morse code keyer to be used as an input device for a computer. They appear to be long out of business, as their website is down, and the internet wayback archive only contains references to Cyber Patrol.

I'm trying to create a similar device for a blind user that used to own one. The first step is to track down a copy of the documentation so I can reproduce the extended morse code characters, such as ALT, CTRL, and SHIFT.

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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about radio. $\endgroup$ Jul 24 '14 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ My goal is to obtain a fuller list of morse code sequences. I'd love to use the same ones that have already been used in the past, but I'm open to other implementations. The standard morse code charts stop at A-Z, 0-9, and a few punctuation characters. $\endgroup$
    – scottwed
    Jul 25 '14 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ That's an inherently unanswerable question. Morse code is, by definition, only those characters. Then you might ask for similar dit-dah code systems which encode "more", but the question is then "how much more?" Unicode has been at the "one code for all characters" problem for a while, and they've come up with about 110,000 codes so far. Would a Morse-like code, intended to be copied humans, include so many characters? Somehow I doubt it... $\endgroup$ Jul 25 '14 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Related: International characters in Morse Code? $\endgroup$ Jul 25 '14 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed, I don't believe there's any well recognized standard for this problem set. However, by mimicking an existing character set that's actually be used in the past, I can hopefully avoid some awkward sequences that are more likely to produce human error. For example, I could make the Shift key be a sequence of 10 dashes, but that wouldn't be pleasant to use. $\endgroup$
    – scottwed
    Jul 25 '14 at 17:04

You did find this page, and this page didn't you? It seems an awfully costly solution. Isn't the blind person able to use a normal keyboard?

That said, there are a few programs that take code, even from tapping one key, which produce ASCII output. At least in Linux, it would not be difficult to redirect the commands to the shell to be executed.

Edit: I'd suggest that using a USB mouse and connect to one of the buttons would be an interesting solution. Depending on the dexterity, one could even imagine a sidesweeper with two buttons. As I mentioned before, there are a few open-source programs available on the 'net, which should be adaptable to that. And directing the output to a sound generator or even speech synth, and use the text for commands should not be too difficult.

Here are some promising links:

http://morse-rss-news.sourceforge.net/ (uses mouse as keyer, source code is available on Sourceforge)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/morsecodees/ (seems promising, should investigate more)

This page has lots of morse decoders:


  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I did find those pages. And yes it was expensive, but such is the nature of accessibility devices. Only a tiny portion of the market needs them. Usually the only way to turn a profit is to sell them to a government entity. $\endgroup$
    – scottwed
    Jul 25 '14 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ My goal is to recreate the device using USB to emulate a HID keyboard. That way, it can be used on any platform. I'm anticipating I can use an Arduino Leo and a morse code two-paddle keyer, so the parts costs will be trivial. The user (a 40 year ham radio operator) already owned the product, but lost the documentation due to hard drive failure. $\endgroup$
    – scottwed
    Jul 25 '14 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ The user is also missing both hands (plastic surgery provided two very large fingers on each arm), so he is currently limited to speech input, which is very inaccurate for some activities. On his prior computers, Morse code input provided a much higher level of accuracy, and speed (especially when he was writing basic code). $\endgroup$
    – scottwed
    Jul 25 '14 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited my reply with some more info. It's just too difficult to do it in these small boxes... Hope it's useful. I'm more of a mind to make the PC do the processing, but that's me... it seems the most economic solution. $\endgroup$
    – jcoppens
    Jul 26 '14 at 0:40

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