While many kinds of messaging systems have been developed recently, the Morse Code has been one of the oldest forms of such systems. From wars to natural disasters, the code has saved the lives of thousands of people across the planet through the last couple of centuries.
Learning this code is one of the first things people should do if they are interested in making a career in any life-saving profession or training to be a spy!
If you have questions like “how does Morse code work?,” here are some interesting facts about it that you should know before you start learning it.
History of the Maker
The Morse code is named after Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872). Morse was not just an inventor but also a painter. He became interested in the idea after overhearing a conversation about electromagnetism during his travel from Europe to America.
He imagined how it would be if it were used to create some messaging system that one could send across long distances. When one just had to rely on horses and private messengers to send confidential messages, this was a crucial thought.
Role of the Telegraph
The telegraph system played a massive role in taking the Morse Code forward. This system was developed in 1837 by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone. This system involved sending electrical signals lining up with compass needles on a grid that contained alphabets. Morse and his assistant, Alfred Vail, used punctuation marks and pauses to transmit the message.
Working of Morse Code
So, how does morse code work? The code uses short signals like dits, represented by dots, and dahs, represented by dashes. The code is then converted into electrical impulses and sent through telegraph wires.
On the other side, the code is delivered to a telegraph receiver, which converts the impulses back into dots and dashes, and then decodes the message.
Units of Time
Although the modern Morse code has transformed, it still uses dits and dahs like they were used initially. One of the earliest versions of the Morse code was established at a conference in Berlin in 1851. The accuracy of the message depends on the time between the dits and dahs.
For example, one dit takes 1 unit of time. One dah takes three units of time. The pause between one dit and dah is 1 unit of time. A pause between letters takes three units of time, while a pause between words takes seven units of time.
Speed of Morse Code
The speed of the morse code depends on how many words can be sent per minute. An experienced operator could send 20 to 30 words per minute. However, it is ideal for keeping the codes as short as possible, sending only the most important message in the briefest possible way.
The most familiar letters have the shortest code, which Morse figured out by visiting a printer who helped him figure out the most expected letters used in the English language.
You can practice Morse code by using the Code Practice Oscillator or CPO. You could also receive messages over a radio receiver. Now that the basics are straightforward, you can start learning the code and discover a whole new messaging world.