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Morse code is not dead!

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by oldbee1966, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. oldbee1966

    oldbee1966 Monkey++

    arleigh, Meat, stg58 and 3 others like this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I went to the local HAM field days and a gentleman there was doing Morse code. It was interesting to watch. It really is a skill IMO. The beeps were coming in fast, he was writing and responding.
    Meat, stg58 and Thunder5Ranch like this.
  3. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    EU zone code 'Champ' - yes, they hold contests.

    Video of 'DA', also known as Denice Stoops, the first female telegrapher who worked at KPH until the end of commercial Morse operations and closure of the station in 1998.
    If you look at the rack mounted equipment just behind the operator, you will see a R-388/URR as the station backup Receiver (black faced radio).

    Code operations isn't dead, it is just hiding out on the low end of 40 meters....
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    chelloveck, BTPost and Dunerunner like this.
  4. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    And, one can reach locations and nasty environments with morse (CW) that one cannot reach with voice.
    chelloveck likes this.
  5. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Morse and PSK31 provide levels of security mainly because many are not setup for them..
    Anyone can see them but many would not know what is illustrated below and if they did they are not setup to use it.

    I love PSK:)

    A waterfall display depicting several PSK31 transmissions at around 14,070 kHz. The green lines indicate a station that is transmitting.

    PSK31 Spec

    PSK31 - Wikipedia

    chelloveck, AD1 and DarkLight like this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Then there is the NUE-PSK modem for those that don't want to lug their laptops out in the field

    Just the thing to use when out of town at the local glacier....

    All runs from AA or 9V batteries. Great fun.
    Bandit99 and Tevin like this.
  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Morse is not dead, but it's not really relevant either. Back when I started in ham radio in the 1980s, the CW bands were jammed with dots and dashes. You could barely find a space to send CQ, and when you did, you would get numerous replies. There was always someone out there.

    If you spin your dial across the CW bands today, you will find plenty of empty space and not many takers for a CQ. Hardly anyone sends code, and of those who do, many don't really "know code;" they are using software-driven keyers.

    Knowing code is like knowing steam engine repair: It's interesting and cool, but it's a niche skill with very limited real world usefulness. I would suggest to a newbie that their effort would be better spent on the data modes.

    That the Navy is teaching Morse is a nice anecdote, but it does not indicate a Renaissance for code. I'm going to be a cynic and speculate that the Navy does not care about Morse code one way or the other, but they got a pile of grant money and they have to spend it, and/or some well connected civilian contractor set himself up with a cream puff deal to develop the curriculum for the class.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Your cyncism may be correctly placed, but I'd hazard a guess that some of our putative enemies or their clients are not as likely to abandon Morse in favor of an expensive alternate. With the CTs taking the courses and not RM or SM, it points that way.

    But yeah, newbs should be thinking digi, not morse.
    chelloveck likes this.
  9. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    Plenty of CW on the bands, but I've about given up because of the rudeness. If you don't send at a speed whoever can copy, or you ask someone to slow down, you get a ration of sh$t. The "gentlemans hobby" gets really nasty on CW and 160 meters.
    chelloveck and Homer Simpson like this.
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    A SONY General Coverage RX and a cheap ($20) Ramsey transmitter. Wire for the antenna.

    Ham radio on the cheap...using CW

    NG9D has a ton of fun you toob videos.

    Or make your own from bits and pieces
    chelloveck likes this.
  11. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Monkey++

    I did always think that it would be great for a "group" to develop their own "Morse" type code. Something using dots and dashes, but completely different from Morse. Should they be able to keep the code and code books within their own group, it would probably be quite hard to crack.
    Meat likes this.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Actually, NO... If the messages were in English, using a standard English Lettering System... it is entirely solvable using a Super Computer, by the Brute Force Method, by using common Letter distributions, and Vowel Distributions, in the standard English Language. Not near enough variables, to beat Brute Force, and once it is cracked the whole system fails... and then all the Operator Training is wasted... much better to use a One Time PAD System with variable Row/Column KeySets, like we using in MonkeyNet... Especialy when used in a Phrase PAD System, rather than a Alpha/Numeric PAD....
    Idahoser and chelloveck like this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Good thing kids aren't into radio, and learning code.
    If it were me ( as a kid) I'd build a key pad in my shoe and do code with my toes, then build receivers that look like hearing aids.
    The electronics for sending and receiving code are especially simple.
    Most young people are too lazy to earn electronics.
    It would take texting to a whole nother level.
  14. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

  15. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    But CW is faster than texting- at least on the Jay Leno show,...
    Guiness world record texting dudes and a couple of hot shot CW operators.

  16. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Blast from the past! I learned code at Corry Station in Pensacola, FL back in 1990. Be damned if I rem even a few of the standard terms. I'm pretty much reduced to good ole SOS these days. That one's pretty hard to forget. I do still have my hand written notes in a box after my last move. Last time I looked through them I realized how much I've forgotten of the things I once knew.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  17. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    Trying to learn it now, it might even help keep the old brain from rotting. Also useful for QRP as that's all I have at the moment.
  18. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    Look at the benefits: judging from your thumbnail, I assume you're a pilot, so you'll be able to ident VOR's without looking at the sectionals!
  19. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    Well, any "Caesar cipher" can be broken quickly, as has been pointed out. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did a Sherlock Holmes story called "The Mystery Of The Dancing Men" that illustrates the process.

    However, any code provides some security, especially if employed for tactical movement orders when there isn't time to decode it.

    You could learn and use American Morse to give you that "Magic Minute" edge, where the orders are carried out too quickly for translation are countermeasures to be effective.

    William Warren
  20. apache235

    apache235 Monkey+++

    The little bit that I do know came from VOR's. When I first started flying in '59 that was the only way to be sure. Don't fly anymore but I did like that Apache 235. Listened to some code today (I finally got an antenna up and my KX3 hooked up to it, even with the decoder on, it was gibberish. Did hear a guy K3FF in northern California but I was only putting out 5 watts outside and he couldn't hear me. Oh well, there will be another day :)
    techsar and William Warren like this.
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