Morse Code


Modern Morse Code


Morse code is a kind of symbol encoding that sends telegraphic news using rhythm. Morse code uses a standardized series of short and long segments to describe the letters, numerals, punctuation, and special characters of a conveyed message. 

The short and long segments can be created by sounds, marks, or pulses, in on-off keying and are typically known as "dots" and "dashes" or "dits" and "dahs". The speed of Morse code is calculated in words per minute (WPM) or characters per minute, while fixed-length data structures of telecommunication transmission are usually calculated in baud or bps.

Developed for Samuel F. B. Morse's electric telegraph in the earlier 1840s, the Morse code was also broadly used before radio communication started in the 1890s. For the foremost half of the twentieth century, the majority of high-speed international communication was performed in Morse code, using telegraph lines, undersea cables, and radio circuits.  

However, the irregular length of the Morse characters made it difficult to adjust to automatic circuits, so for most electronic communication, it has been substituted by machine-readable forms, such as Baudot code and ASCII.

The most famous recent usage of Morse code is by amateur radio operators, although it is no longer a necessity for amateur permitting in multiple countries. In the professional domain, pilots and air traffic controllers are usually friendly with Morse code and demand a basic understanding. 

Marine aids in the field of aviation, such as VORs and NDBs, continuously convey their uniqueness in Morse code. Morse code is prepared to be read by humans without a decoding machine, creating it reasonable for transmitting automatic digital data in voice channels. 


VORs and NDBs


For emergency signaling, Morse code can be transmitted in form of spontaneous sources that can be smoothly "keyed" on and off, creating Morse code one of the most universal methods of telecommunication in existence.


Evolution and History of Morse Code


 Evolution and History of Morse Code


A standard "straight key." This U.S. model, known as the J-38, was manufactured in tremendous portions during World War II and stays in general use today. In a straight key, the signal is "on" when the knob is pressed, and "off" when it is terminated. The length and timing of the dots and dashes are completely maintained by the operator.

Starting in 1836, Samuel F. B. Morse and Alfred Vail invented an electric telegraph, which transmitted pulses of electrical current to maintain an electromagnet that was discovered at the receiving end of the telegraph wire. The technology available at the time made it unbelievable to print characters in a readable format, so the developers had to create an alternate means of communication. 

In 1837, William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone started utilizing electric telegraphs in England that even had electromagnets in the receivers; however, their techniques used needle pointers that turned to display the alphabetic characters being sent.


Modern International Morse Code


Modern International Morse Code


Morse code has been in use for more than 160 years — longer than any different electronic encoding technique. What is called Morse code today is even relatively different from what was initially developed by Vail and Morse. 

The Modern International Morse code, or continental code, was developed by Friedrich Clemens Gerke in 1848 and was originally operated for telegraphy between Hamburg and Cuxhaven in Germany. After some minor changes, in 1865 it was standardized at the International Telegraphy Congress in Paris (1865) and after made the norm by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the International Morse code. 

Morse's initial code specification, mostly defined to use in the United States, became known as the American Morse code or "railroad code." American Morse is currently extremely infrequently utilized excluding in historical re-enactments.


In aviation, device pilots utilize radio navigation aids. To confirm the stations they are employing are serviceable they all articulate a short collection of identification letters (usually a 2–5 letter version of the station name) in Morse code. Station identification notes are shown on air navigation charts. 

For example, the Manchester VOR based at Manchester Airport is shortened down to MCT, and Morse code MCT is published on the radio frequency. If a station is unusable then it reveals TST (for TEST) and informs pilots that the station is irresponsible.

Amateur Radio

Vibroplex semiautomatic key (also called a "bug"). The paddle, when pressed to the right by the thumb, causes a sequence of dits, the length, and timing of which are maintained by sliding importance toward the rear of the unit. 

When pressed to the left by the knuckle of the index finger, the paddle causes dah, the length of which is maintained by the operator. Numerous dahs need multiple presses. Left-handed operators utilize a key created as a mirror image of this one.

Speed Records

A commercially manufactured iambic paddle is operated in an intersection with an electronic keyer to develop high-speed Morse code, the timing of which is maintained by the electronic keyer. 

Manipulation of dual-lever paddles is equivalent to the Vibroplex while pressing the right paddle develops a sequence of dahs, and pressing the paddles produces a dit-dah-dit-dah sequence. The efforts are changed for left-handed operators.

Other Uses

A U.S. Navy seaman transmits Morse code signals in 2005.

As of 2009 commercial radiotelegraph rights are still being published in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission. 

Developed for shipboard and coast station operators, they are rewarded to applicants who pass written examinations on progressive radio theory and show 20 WPM code command [this condition is waived for "old" (20 WPM) Amateur Extra Class licensees]. Yet, since 1999 the usage of satellite and very high-frequency marine communications systems (GMDSS) has made them outdated.

Radio navigation aids such as VORs and NDBs for aeronautical use broadcast identifying details in the form of Morse Code, though multiple VOR stations now even deliver voice identification.

Military ships, including those of the U.S. Navy, have extended used signal lights to exchange messages in Morse code. Modern use restarts, in part, as a method to convey while maintaining radio silence.

 Applications for the general public


Representation of SOS - Morse code.

An essential application is signaling for service through SOS, "· · · — — — · · ·". This can be transmitted in multiple ways: keying a radio on and off, flashing a mirror, toggling a flashlight, and identical techniques.

 Morse Code as an Assistive Technology


 Morse Code as an Assistive Technology


Morse code has been operated as assistive technology, permitting people with a combination of disabilities to communicate. Morse can be sent by someone with intense movement disabilities, as long as they have some minimal motor control.

In some circumstances, this indicates alternately blowing into and sucking on a plastic tube ("puff and sip" interface). People with severe motion disabilities in extra to sensory disabilities (e.g. people who are also deaf or blind) can accept Morse via a skin buzzer.

In one case noted in the radio amateur magazine QST, an old shipboard radio operator who had a stroke and failed the capacity to talk or write was capable to speak with his physician (a radio amateur) by blinking his eyes in Morse. 

Another example happened in 1966 when a criminal of war Jeremiah Denton, brought on television by his North Vietnamese captors, Morse-blinked the word TORTURE.


Representation and timing


International Morse code is formed of five elements:

  1. short mark, dot, or 'dit' (·) — one unit long
  2. longer mark, dash, or 'dah' (–) — three units long
  3. intra-character gap (between the dots and dashes within a character) — one unit long
  4. short gap (between letters) — three units long
  5. medium gap (between words) — seven units long 

Morse code can be sent in a numeral of methods: initially as electrical pulses along a telegraph wire, but even as an audio tone, a radio signal with short and extended tones, or as an automatic or visual signal (e.g. a flashing light) operating machines like an Aldis lamp or a heliograph.

Morse code is transferred using just two states (on and off) so it was an earlier condition of a digital code. Exactly speaking, it is not binary, as there are five basic elements (see quinary). Yet, this does not mean Morse code cannot be defined as a binary code. 

In a conceptual sense, this is the procedure that telegraph operators act when sending messages. Operating from the above purposes and also defining a 'unit' as a bit, we can imagine any Morse code series as a mixture of the following five elements:

  1. short mark, dot, or 'dit' (·) — 1
  2. longer mark, dash, or 'dah' (–) — 111
  3. intra-character gap (between the dots and dashes within a character) — 0
  4. short gap (between letters) — 000
  5. medium gap (between words) — 0000000

Remember that this technique only works if dits and dahs are always separated by gaps and gaps are always separated by dits and dahs.