Thursday, January 29, 2015

Morse code and Macbeth

Morse code

So now that we've poisoned enough people, we can finally admit that oil dispersants are bad for us?

What young people need to know about porn.

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Ian McKellen does Macbeth's soliloquy .


Marcellina said...

I love your links, it gives me motivation to do my own featured links sometimes.

Steve Bates said...

Here's another Morse Code chart that has a couple of other things you need: the digits 0 thru 9[, and three essential punctuations: period, comma and question mark.

The next thing you need is a key, the simplest kind, a small circular rubber (OK, plastic) paddle riding on a simple brass lever mechanism with two places to attach wires. You have a couple of options: get an electric buzzer and a large dry cell battery (this sounds like a CW [continuous wave] radio signal), or just learn to hear the clicks themselves as characters (this sounds something like a telegraph station).

As you memorize the alphabet, you'll begin to develop a "fist" ... your own tiny quirks in timing that make your transmission sound slightly different from everyone else's; in a small community of operators, your fist is your signature. Note that you want a sound that is extremely regular, almost musical; using the syllables "di[t]" and "DAH" (rather than "dot" and "dash") when you speak a word, each character should have a clear internal pattern, so that a period is "diDAH,diDAH,diDAH" and a 7 is "DAH,DAH,dididit".

Finally, find a short-wave radio station, probably an amateur operator sending a very clear, regular, relaxed stream, not too fast... when you find one with that relaxed sound, IMITATE HIM/HER!


ellroon said...

Thank you Marcellina! (I love your blog for the wonderful history and photos of beautiful places!)

During WWII the Bletchley code breakers apparently were able to detect the personal touches of certain telegraphers(?). Probably similar to the 'accents' that exist in sign language as well. Don't think I'll study Morse code anytime soon though.... dot dot dot....

Steve Bates said...

Ha... it WOULD be appropriate if the Morse code for "ellipsis" were indeed "dot-dot-dot" :-) But I don't believe there is a single Morse Code symbol for ellipsis.

Here is a Morse Code chart that has a lot of things I knew and more than a few I didn't know.,,

There are literally a hundred or more Q-codes used for standard terms and phrases that every operator uses; I knew perhaps ten of them. Even radio operators using voice instead of Morse actually speak the Q-codes aloud into the microphone. And amateur operators sometimes exchange "QSL cards" by postal mail to acknowledge a successful radio contact... I have a QSL card from the US Navy base in Japan from around 1961, when I was a newly licensed 13-year-old radio amateur in Houston.

The prosigns contain a few common single-word symbols; they may be written as two letters but they contain no extra spaces between the dots and dashes... e.g., AS (.-...) for "wait" and BT (-...-) for "paragraph" are the most commonly used. AS is the equivalent of the computer chat usage "brb".

Finally, there are a couple of numeric codes used for farewells since time out of mind: 73 is "best regards"; 88 is "love and kisses".

You've got the second level of basics now!