TAP
A morse alternative mode for the HAM
,
with no need for training

article written on 19-May-2022
mode originally thought by sv3ora


Introduction

The thinking of this new mode, came to me when someone posted that he quit the HAM hobby because he did not learn morse code and he did not want to use computers to do the job for him. Some time I faced a similar situation and I believe many do one day or the other. So I thought that I had to do something about it. It is too bad people quit the hobby or missing the fun of the KEY operation, because of the obstacle of morse code. No matter what CW operators that already learnt morse might say, the fact is that morse requires patience, continuous practice and most importantly time. After all millitary had dedicated courses on it in the past, so it must be more than true. These are things not all people can, or are willing to do. An alternative that gives the same pleasure like morse and operates with the same techniques, but requires no training and time must exist. Meet the TAP mode!



Mode description


This mode has its roots to ancient Greece. You may read the article in Wikipedia for more information on the Polybius square. A form of it, was used in the previous century in was times, for in-prison communication. A modified version is presented here by me, that fits perfectly the HAM radio. This modified TAP code scheme, is dedicated to HAM radio and includes the numbers and the letter "k".

      1     2     3     4     5     6

1     a     b     c     d     e     f

2     g     h     i     j     k     l

3     m     n     o     p     q     r

4     s     t     u     v     w     x

5     y     z     0     1     2     3

6     4     5     6     7     8     9

This is all you need to know in order to send and receive TAP. It is easy to follow and easy to generate on paper. This is a 6 by 6 table, with the first six alphabet letters placed in the first line, the next six in the second and so on. After the alphabet ends, the numbers are put in the same manner. Thats it!


Sending TAP

It is better to describe the sending procedure with an example.
To send the letter "i" you send two dots ("i" is on the second row), wait a bit and then send 3 more dots ("i" is on the third column). In other words, you first count the number of rows where the letter exists, then wait a bit and then you count the number of columns where this letter exists. Before sending the next letter, leave a bit of more time, so as to distinguish that this is a separate letter and not the time between rows and columns. Thats it!

Try it now without any transceiver! Write the TAP table on a piece of paper (you do not need to write the row and column numbers), or read it from the website. Tap on your desk with your finger and send some words to the coleague near you. See how easy it is?

There are actually four spacings involved. The spacing between adjacent dots, the spacing between the row and the column, and the spacing between letters and the spacing between words. Follow the PARIS spacing, like morse code does, if you intent to write a software for it. However, in practice, manual operators would need to consider just two spacings, the spacing between rows and columns and the spacing between letters. These are the most important. Just make the one bigger than the other and communication should be achieved without problems.


Receiving TAP

It is better to describe the receiving procedure with an example.
To receive the letter "i" you listen two dots ("i" is on the second row), then a short scilence time and then listen 3 more dots ("i" is on the third column). In other words, you first listen for a number of dots (this is the row where the letter exists), then sense the scilence and then you listen for the next number of dots (this is the column where the letter exists). The scilence time between two letters is greater than the scilence between rows and columns and this can be distinguished easily. Thats it!

Try
it now without any transceiver! Write the TAP table on a piece of paper (you do not need to write the row and column numbers), or read it from the website. Put your coleague to sent you some TAP words and you should be able to decode them by counting the rows and columns in the TAP table.

A programmer that may need to implement the mode in software, should follow the PARIS spacing to distinguish the different parts of the code, as described above.


TAP advantages

Here are some advantages I can think, of TAP in comparison to morse.

TAP disadvantages

Here are some disadvantages I can think, of TAP in comparison to morse.

TAP common points to morse

There are some common points shated between TAP and morse code.


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