Learn To Translate Morse Code?

Before we check out how to learn morse code and translate the sign language into useful information for human beings, let us first begin with a brief history of the morse code.

Brief History

In the year 1836, Smauel F.B. Morse and Alfred Vail developed a unique code for communicating over long distances. An electric telegraph was developed to transmit electrical current which controlled an electromagnet at the receiving end.

Indentations were made on a paper tape which was pushed with the help of a stylus. An interruption in the current resulted in a retraction of the stylus and the tape was left unmarked.

Morse Code, is the term that is used to describe the code that was developed to translate the indentations that are marked on the paper tape. The technology that is used today is very different from what was in the initial days as there were no means to print the characters that were being transmitted. The code has essentially remained the same. It was a result of Alfred Vail’s efforts that letters and special characters were included in the code.

How To Learn & Translate Morse Code

The Morse Code is a combination of dots (also known dit’s) and dashes (also known as dah’s) just like the binary code used in computers. Alphabets A to Z , numbers 0 to 9 and certain punctuation marks have been designated  a unique combination of dots and dashes. A period is used to represent a dot and an underscore to represent a dash. For example, the alphabet ‘A’ is represented as ‘·–‘ , number 1 is represented as ‘·– – – –‘ and a question mark as ‘··– –··’

The Uses of Morse Code

The Morse Code was initially used for telegraph communications. The version as created by Vail and Morse was completely overhauled by Friedrich Clemens Gerke and began to be known as Continetal Code or Modern International Morse Code. This version of the code is much closer to the code that is used today.

The code has been used in aviation, navigation, amateur radios, in assistive technology and other communications. In aviation the code in used by pilots to check the communication link with station. Every station has been cut to a two to five letters and a Morse Code representing the shorter version of the station name is broadcast on radio frequency. If the station is not servicing, a message again in the Morse Code is transmitted back.

In Navigation, the use of satellite and high frequency communication systems (GMDSS) has decreased the dependence on Morse Code. In spite of the same, the Radiotelegraph License are expected for shipboard and coast station operators. The licenses are awarded to applicants who not clear a written exam on radio theory but in addition show a proficiency of 20 WPM.  The code is widely used by amateur radio operators.

The code has always been put to some innovative use for transmitting secret messages. The U.S. Navy has often used signal lamps to exchange messages in Morse Code, while maintaining radio silence. Prisoners of war have used their eyes to communicate messages to their governments and the world. It has been used as an assistive technology to help people with disabilities communicate. A modified technique of puffs and sips (blowing into and sucking a plastic tube) is used by them for sending the messages across.

Representation of SOS Morse Code

‘SOS’ or ‘Save our Souls’ is considered to be one of the easiest messages to transmit and remember using the Morse Code. The message is represented as

· · · — — — · · ·

It is accepted as the distress signal the world over. Though additional signals have been added with time, SOS still remains the visual distress signal. Radio signals or flashlights in this particular pattern may be transmitted to convey an emergency.

This figure shows the entire morse  code list readable at a single glance. You can just learn at a glance as to how to translate morse code using this chart.

Learn Morse Code

Learn Morse Code

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