By Annie St. Francis – Reprinted with permission from The Repository Project
Morse code is a way to communicate using dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. It’s a universal language, and was developed by Samuel Morse, and used as an effective way to communicate via telegraph. First used in the mid-1840s, Morse telegraphy transmitted communications by making indentations on a paper tape in response to electrical signals. Clock style mechanics moved the paper tape along as the message was being received. This is a fascinating part of communications history. Still used today by amateur radio operators, Morse code is an especially useful tool for communicating during times of emergency and poor radio conditions including sunspots and CMEs. Many hobbyists understand the value of preserving this skill, and sharing it with others just discovering an interest in radio!
Ready to learn a new language? Here are a few tips to help you get started!
1) Learn the basic signals, and study the Morse code alphabet. There are many who believe that the study should be focused significantly on the training of the ear. This is understandable since Morse code communicates with the use of sound. There are also more visual learning strategies. Do read on!
2) Practice saying the “dits” and “dahs” out loud and in the correct ratio and rhythm. A “dah” should last about three times as long as a “dit” when spoken. As you practice the sounds, the length of each will come more and more naturally – and very much like the native language we use in our daily lives.