In the modern age, communicating has never been easier. If you wish to communicate with someone using a computer or cell phone, you are more than able to do so.
Prior to the creation of cell phones or landlines, your only option was to use a semaphore, or to carry a message by horse. Another form of communication that was used was Morse code.
Not everyone had access to a horse or signal flags, but everyone was able to learn and utilize Morse code.
The code was invented by Samuel F.B. Morse in the 1830s. Samuel started working on the electric telegraph, leading to the creation of a patent in 1837.
The telegraph ultimately revolutionized the ability to communicate with one another in the 19th century.
While this form of communication is not commonly used today, it is still a recognized form of communication. The Coast Guard and U.S. Navy still send signals using Morse Code.
This form of communication is also used in aviation and via amateur radio.
Beacons, Very High Frequency, Non-Directional, and Omnidirectional Range radios still utilize Morse Code as a form of communication.
It is also a highly useful alternative means of communicating for those who aren’t able to speak. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to learn Morse Code, it is undoubtedly fun to do so.
Is There Only One Form Of Morse Code?
No, there is more than one single code. There are actually at least two forms of this language that are still used in the present day.
Previously, Morse Code transmitted long and short signals that took the form of numbers that were representative of certain words.
The ‘dashes’ and ‘dots’ of morse code referred to the specific indentations that were made on paper in order to record these signals.
As using numbers for the coding process required the use of a dictionary, the code began to evolve and begin to incorporate punctuation and letters.
Over a period of time, paper tape was soon to be replaced by specific operators that could easily decipher and interpret the code by simply listening to it.
The code wasn’t always universal. Americans used specifically American morse code, whilst Europeans used a continental form of morse code.
The International Morse Code was only developed in 1912 in order for countries to be able to properly interpret one another’s signals.
Learning The Language
Learning this language is similar to learning any other form of language. A strong starting point is to print a chart of numbers and their correlating letters.
These numbers are incredibly easy to interpret, so you should start using these if you find the alphabet more confusing.
You should note that each symbol is composed of various dashes and dots. There are also ‘dits’ and ‘dahs’. These last three times the time period that a dot or dit lasts.
There is a short period of silence to separate the numbers and letters contained in a message. The length of this interval will vary according to the following aspects:
- The gap contained between dots and dashes within a character in one unit may vary.
- The gap between letters may be three units long.
- The gap between units may be seven units long.
You should start by listening to the code in order to obtain a feel for its specific sounds. Then, carefully follow it along with the alphabet, before practicing sending messages.
Listen to these messages at a realistic pace, a good way to do this is to write your own coded messages, and listen back to them.
You will also be able to download the sound recordings and send them to your loved ones. Ask a friend to send you messages in return.
You can use an online morse code translator in order to double check whether your translation is correct or not, if you do not want to send a message to a friend or loved one.
As you become more confident using morse code, you should ensure that you also learn the appropriate coding for special characters and forms of punctuation.
Similarly to most languages, you will need to practice morse code to fully grasp it!
Key Tips For Success
If you are struggling learning morse code then you should try to memorize the code by learning the letters and remembering their specific properties.
You should also consider the fact that some of the letters will be the reverse of one another, for instance A is the reverse of N.
The letters E and T also contain codes that are merely one symbol long.
If you discover that you are unable to master the entirety of morse code, then you should begin by learning important phrases contained within morse code.
SOS is the first of these and uses three dots, three dashes, and three dots, that have become standardized practice world-wide.
This signal can be signaled during times of emergency, and has been used as a distress signal for many years.
Morse Code Distress Signal Facts
The SOS signal is internationally recognized and does not stand for any specific words.
The letters are specifically chosen because they are notably easy to transmit using this method of communication.
The ’S’ is three dots, and ‘O’ is three dashes, making it very easy to send.
What Are The Rules For Morse Code?
The rules that are used for morse code signaling are as follows:
- A dash lasts for three seconds.
- A dot lasts for one second.
- The space between dashes and dots that are a part of the same letter will last for one second.
- The space between different words is seven seconds long.
- The space between different letters is three seconds long.
Is Morse Code A Universal Language?
Yes, morse code represents a universal language as there is only one form of international morse code for the entire world to use and send signals with.
When Is It Useful To Use Morse Code?
Morse Code is especially useful for forms of emergency communication.
This is because morse code is a highly effective means of communicating about emergency scenarios as you will be able to send emergency messages with ham radio transmitters that contain little power and far less bandwidth than standard communicative tools.
Is Morse Code Effective In The Modern Age?
Modern code is still widely used and recognized as a useful language.
It may not be as widely used as it used to be, however, it is still a popular communication tool amongst navy members, radio users, and those who use morse code are no longer required to obtain a radio an amateur radio license in order to do so.
Can Morse Code Use Lights?
Yes, instead of using dahs and dits, a flashlight can easily transmit morse code. The U.S. Navy actually does just this when sending signals between its ships.
In order to send morse code using a flashlight, you only need to translate the dits into one second, and the dahs into two seconds.
How Was Morse Code Created?
Telegraph machines would originally use mark sheets of tape in order to translate a message using morse code.
However, operators evolved into translating the dots and dashes via audible means, making this paper unnecessary.
This also resulted in morse code being taught as an audible form of language, as opposed to merely consisting of written symbols.
Is Morse Code Hard To Learn?
While learning this specific form of language is not as difficult as learning other languages, it does require commitment and dedication in order to fully master it.
Once you have properly learnt the meaning of these signals, you will easily be able to translate and write messages using morse code without any confusion.
How Frequently Is Morse Code Used Today?
American morse code is virtually extinct in the modern age, a handful of amateur radio users will still incorporate this form of morse code.
However, international morse code is still used in a variety of scenarios. Morse Code has become incredibly useful in shipping and aviation activities.
Pilots were obligated to learn how to communicate using Morse Code until recent years.
Can Morse Code Save Lives?
Morse Code can undoubtedly save lives. Especially when using the internationally renowned SOS signal.
It is important to note that it is morse code that saved the lives of over 700 passengers when the Titanic was sinking.
To conclude, it is relatively easy to learn morse code and communicate using this method.
Whilst it is not as commonly or widely used as it once was, it is still an effective tool that is used by the U.S. Navy in order to communicate between ships.
When learning morse code, you should begin by listening to it audibly and following the alphabet accordingly in order to translate the code.
It is also important to note that there are specific spaces between the ‘dahs’ and ‘dits’ in order to communicate words more efficiently and effectively.
Thus, you should ensure that you have thoroughly grasped these prior to attempting to make your own communication.
Knowing how to space your communication is essential when sending a signal using morse code.
Learning Morse Code is similar to learning any other form of language, the more that you practice your skills, the more confident you will be in sending messages using this method of communication.
There are also numerous online morse code translators that will be able to assist you in your learning process.