Morse Code

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Morse code is a communication protocol for transmitting textual over any number of electronic or other mediums. Its simple composition of these five elements:

  1. short mark - vocalized as 'dit' and often called dot, visually represented as (·) — one unit long
  2. longer mark - vocalized as 'dah' and often called dash, visually represented as (-) — 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

makes it clear over even low power transmissions, making it popular among hams who enjoy low power transmission. Morse code can be transmitted via many different ways, such as audio tones, electronic pulses, flashing lights, and more.

Contents

Modern Use

Today Morse code has been largely superceded by other communication protocols, but it is still enjoyed by amateur radio operators as a hobby. It is also used for identification of navigational beacons and some military communications. Most importantly Morse code survives as a form of emergency communications that can be applied to many different improvised mediums, particularly in the form of the well known ... --- ... (SOS).

Timing and Spacing

Morse code has an oft overlooked factor of timing, which will vary between operators depending upon their skill(speed). The length of the "dit" that an operators uses becomes the reference for all other timing, a dit becomes one time "unit".

  1. dit(.) = one unit longe pulse, tone, flash, etc...
  2. dah (-) = three continuous units long pulse, tone, flash, etc...
  3. intra-character gap (between the dots and dashes within a "letter") = one unit of silence
  4. short gap (between letters) = three units of silence
  5. medium gap (between words) = seven units of silence

Morse Code Guide

Character Code Character Code Character Code Character Code Character Code Character Code
A · — J · — — — S · · · 1 · — — — — . · — · — · —  : — — — · · ·
B — · · · K — · — T 2 · · — — — , — — · · — —  ; — · — · — ·
C — · — · L · — · · U · · — 3 · · · — —  ? · · — — · · = — · · · —
D — · · M — — V · · · — 4 · · · · — ' · — — — — · + · — · — ·
E · N — · W · — — 5 · · · · ·  ! — · — · — — - — · · · · —
F · · — · O — — — X — · · — 6 — · · · · / — · · — · _ · · — — · —
G — — · P · — — · Y — · — — 7 — — · · · ( — · — — · " · — · · — ·
H · · · · Q — — · — Z — — · · 8 — — — · · ) — · — — · — $ · · · — · · —
I · · R · — · 0 — — — — — 9 — — — — · &, Wait · — · · · @ · — — · — ·

Prosigns

Wait ·-···

Invitation to transmit -·-

Error ········

End of work ···-·-

Understood ···-·

Starting Signal -·-·-

Morse Q codes

These are abbreviations used in morse code. These are international in nature, and are quite common to see. If you are monitoring CW transmissions you may see them, if you are sending CW you should use these.

See Also

References

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