KOB stands for “key on board” or “key on base”. A KOB includes a key and sounder and is typically used by students for practicing Morse code—to get used to the feel of the key and the sound of the sounder. A KOB can also serve as a portable instrument, since it’s not permanently fastened to a desk.
I developed the MorseKOB program for much the same purpose as the traditional KOB. It served me well as a Morse practice set while I was learning the code, and I use it regularly to communicate with other operators over the internet.
MorseKOB 2.5 includes the following features:
Simulates a sounder using the computer’s speakers
Can drive a sounder via a serial port (requires a separate interface circuit)
Simulates a straight key or bug using the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard
Accepts a straight key or bug connected directly to the serial port
Has a built-in keyer (automatic dots and manual dashes) for use with paddles
Sends American Morse from text typed on the keyboard or from a file
Reads American Morse and displays the decoded text
MorseKOB 2.5 works with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, and Windows 10. With Windows 98, use the legacy version MorseKOB 2.1.2 instead. You may need to install Microsoft's .NET Framework if it's not already on your computer.
Download and install the program
Download and uncompress MorseKOB 2.5 Application.zip.
Copy the folder named MorseKOB onto your hard drive. (The usual location for this folder is My Documents, but you can put it anywhere you want.)
The MorseKOB folder on your hard drive contains a subfolder called Text Files and four other files. One of these files is a 410 KB application file named MorseKOB.
Right click on the MorseKOB application file and select Send To > Desktop to create a MorseKOB shortcut on your computer's desktop.
Copy the Text Files folder to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\MorseKOB\MorseKOB\22.214.171.124, where <username> is your user name on your computer. This step is only necessary if you want to use MorseKOB's File > Lesson feature. Note: AppData is a hidden folder, so you may have to take action to make it visible (exactly how to do this varies with different versions of Windows). You will probably have to run the MorseKOB program once for the target file path to be created.
You can uninstall the application by deleting the MorseKOB folder and the MorseKOB shortcut.
Run the program
Launch the program by double-clicking on the MorseKOB shortcut.
Go through the MorseKOB 2.5 Tutorial step-by-step. It provides a quick and structured introduction to the most important features of the program. For answers to questions that aren't covered in the tutorial, be sure to check the FAQ.
Sign up for the MorseKOB mailing list
The MorseKOB group on Groups.io is our primary vehicle for sharing information about the KOB program and its operation. By signing up, you’ll receive e-mail notifications of program updates and other news of interest to KOB users.