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Re: Passing on the Ransome Legacy-now MORSE CODE

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Posted by Ed Kiser on October 21, 2019 at 08:37:04 user Kisered.

In Reply to: Re: Passing on the Ransome Legacy posted by Peter Wagner on October 21, 2019 at 02:30:17:

On the Internet, I have seen descriptions of TAPPING that use the SPACE as a part of the bang that makes it a DASH. So DOT DASH would be: BANG, BANG\PAUSE. That sounds rather ambiguous. SPACE is a separator, should not be a part of the signal. The letter "A" is DOT DASH. To bang that would be a BANG, BANG/PAUSE, PAUSE [that means the end of the character]. Or, the letter "I" is DOT DOT, so to tap it would be: BANG, BANG, PAUSE [for end of character]. This time, the PAUSE is not quite as long as the "A" version. The difference is in the timing of the PAUSE, and there we see the difficulty of ambiguity.

If you look up TAPPING IN CODE on the Internet, it is apt to describe a NON-MORSE code defining a 5x5 square, where the number of TAPs gives the ROW number then the COLUMN number. The square has the alphabet. PROBLEM: 26 letters do not fit on a FIVE BY FIVE square, as that is only 25 positions, so a letter of the alphabet is simply discarded. To send a "Z" [bottom right corner of that square] would take FIVE BANGS [row number] then FIVE BANGS [col number], then a pause, then the next pair of numbered bangs to define another letter. That is a lot of banging. The main advantage of that BANG CODE is, it is easy to create a cheat sheet by drawing that square and filling in the characters (leaving "K" out) rather than having to learn the patterns defining MORSE CODE. It is an education/training difference.

Another digital mode for MORSE: A single flag, held straight up. To send a DOT, wave it to the sender's RIGHT, and back up to vertical. The DASH is a wave to the sender's LEFT, and back up to vertical. The end of character is a wave straight DOWN in front from the vertical, and back up to the vertical. The end of a word is two of these DOWN strokes with the vertical in between, ending in the vertical position. A flag can get heavy and tiring for long messages. Learn to wave it in a figure eight pattern to avoid it getting wrapped about the pole. If the distance is not all that much, try just waving a handkerchief, in the right hand for DOT, and pass into the left hand for DASH. This RIGHT or LEFT mode can be a nod of the head, or a tilt on a fork held in the fist on the table. The Receiver knows that meaning, but the others in the table think you are nuts.

AS for memorizing MORSE code, the Internet has references to a list of definitions of a WORD or a short phrase whose beat is the long and short defining the code of that letter that is usually the first letter of the symbolic code. For example: "C" is "COKE ah COLE ah". (DAH DIT DAH DIT). An exception to that first letter is "Q" where "Q" suggests "QUEEN" which suggests the well known phrase: "GOD SAVE the QUEEN." (note the timing and emphasis, where the "the" was a DOT and the emphasized words are DASH). Hearing DAH DAH DIT DAH just sounds like "GOD SAVE the QUEEN" - which suggests the "Q" (hopefully it does anyway.)

I am grateful to DOROTHEA and DICK practicing their code at the table in the Dixon's kitchen. Their memorization I don't think used the KEY PHRASE described above, which I find easier, and avoids the need of a pocket notebook like Dick had. The memorization method reminds me of learning the multiplication table in the third grade repeated often enough until it became memorized - a lot of work. But Ransome inspired me to learn it as well as a young boy which enabled me to be a TEACHER at the BOY SCOUTS to pass on this to my fellow Scouts.


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