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Re: Morse Code

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Posted by Ed Kiser on October 27, 2017 at 06:13:31 user Kisered.

In Reply to: Re: Morse Code posted by Mike Jones on October 27, 2017 at 05:22:39:

In learning Morse Code, there are certain memory gimmicks that can help, such as, for "Q", which suggests "QUEEN" - and that reminds me of: "GOD SAVE the QUEEN" - note which words receive emphasis and take more time, whereas the "the" is quick and short, so the code that is suggested is "DASH, DASH, DOT, DASH", the code for "Q".

There is a "secret" that almost everyone knows, and that is the little line that goes: "SHAVE AND A HAIR CUT, TWO BITS". When this is spoken the "AND A" part is a pair of words but spoken rather quickly together, whereas the other words are held longer. If one is knocking at the door of a friend, one might want to use this "secret" code to indicate that "Hey, it's ME out here..." The knocking of this phrase sounds like: "tap, taptap, tap tap - pause - tap tap". If this tapping was interpreted to be Morse Code, the double taptap done quickly together is the DASH, whereas the others are just single taps. As for timing, the time to do a "TAP" is the SAME as the "TAPTAP" - reminds me of the DOUBLE CLICK on a computer MOUSE. So when tapping in Morse, the distinguishing feature is NOT the "DASH takes 3 times longer" as that is the rule for sending Morse using a flashlight, or a whistle. There is a certain beat the sender uses such that a unit of time is spent in sending the TAP as is spend in sending the TAPTAP, with two units of time for the "PAUSE" which indicates the end of that CHARACTER, or five units of time to indicate the end of a WORD.

So the SHAVE and a HAIR CUT, TWO BITS, when tapped, is MORSE for: "DOT, DASH, DOT, DOT - pause - DOT DOT" which is the code for "L" and "I".

One cannot TAP a Short tap for DOT, and a LONG TAP for DASH. Length of time cannot be used to distinguish the tapped DOT from the tapped DASH. To try to distinguish by a different timing, one gets ambiguous meanings, as one might try to pause a moment to tap for a DASH, but what is then the difference between a DASH, and a DOT at the end of the character? The PAUSE is a separator, not a part of the letter.

A long TAP? Doesn't work. A BANG is a BANG is a BANG.

At least, this is the way that was taught to me as a kid, and we made use of it, using the steam pipes and a system of radiators to communicate to anywhere in the building - that tapping sound really carries through those pipes.

Years ago, I saw this same explanation in a SEA SCOUTS handbook.

If the OFFICIAL SCOUT concept has dropped Morse code, that may not be in there any more, unless one finds an OLD copy somewhere.

Hope this helps understand the how.

The problem with learning Morse is trying to find someone else likewise interested to practice with.

A note of warning: do not try to tap using the knuckles, as that skin won't last more than a few words, but use the butt end of a pocket knife for example instead, or some other tool.

Ed Kiser, Kentucky USA [ ]

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