HOW IS MORSE CODE USED TODAY?
Morse code was once
widely used World over by almost everyone needing distant communication.
Military, overseas shipping and the railroad relied on Morse code to provide
reliable messages via wires. After the invention of radio during the first years
of the 1900s, communication became more widespread and predictable.
Industries relied on it to send simple and rapid messages to their distant
clients and employees.
relies upon satellites, a complex grid and advanced technology to speed messages
rapidly World-wide. The internet has increased information flow and ease of
contact in almost unimaginable ways. However, old technology has a way of
creeping back, since it is simple, relatively inexpensive and does not depend on
the fragile grid systems of modern technology. Morse code operators stand
ready to help in dire emergencies, grid failures, or war!
At Code Quick, we have
always used an analogy to the old farm "out house." The technology might
not be up to date, but it is certainly comforting to know there is one to fall
back on if advanced plumbing fails.
Consider the following:
Amateur radio operators
use Morse code extensively for contests, during which rapid connections are
imperative. Morse code know as continuous wave transmissions or CW, requires a
small footprint and therefore is readable when pileups occur on radio bands. The
larger the amount of data to be transferred, the larger the amount of bandwidth
required. Radios can be constructed cheaply without modulation and run much less
power than with more sophisticated equipment.
Navigation beacons help
airline pilots find and maintain proper headings even today.
Flashing light Morse
even from a flashlight may be read several miles away for a lost sailor or
hunter. Countless snowstorm rescues have been recorded by stranded drivers
flashing an SOS signal on a flashing light. Mirrors accomplish the same
thing during the day. The user directs a mirrored sun reflection and then blocks
it with his other hand or piece of cardboard flashing out the Morse code signal.
Medical uses allow the
severely handicapped person to tap or blink out a message that can now be ready
by computers, giving new hope and meaning to life for sufferers.
A new method for using
Morse code involves cell phones and text messages entered from an iambic keyer
on the cell phone face. It seems that experienced Morse code operators can
enter the text much faster than a QUERTY keyboard operator and can do it without
looking at the keyboard.
Who knows how brilliant
minds will conceive of ways to use this simple technology in the future.
In the mean time, knowing code might just allow you to survive, especially in
times of catastrophe or national emergency.
By Gerald R. Wheeler
Join the hundreds of thousands Worldwide who know and use Morse code!