It is no exaggeration to say that the invention of Morse Code has changed the world. When Samuel Morse invented Morse Code in 1837 he could not have foreseen that inventions such as the telegraph would set the standard for fast and efficient communication – that the telephone, fax and even the Internet would grow from the appetite that the world developed for near-instantaneous communication.
Morse Code Today
Many people today are under the impression that Morse Code is a relic of bygone times – however, that is not the entire truth. Morse Code is still in use today.
For instance, the aviation industry cannot use Morse code for pilot to pilot or pilot to ground communication – it is simply too slow to cope with the sheer amount of air traffic that is part of the modern world – and the sheer speed of both private and commercial airliners.
However, it is still used to identify ground-based systems. For example, it is used to identify ground-based navigation aids. A real-world example would be the VOR navigation aid at Denver International Airport. This transmits a series of dots and dashes (in this case spelling ‘DEN’) that help pilots to identify the airport that they are either flying over or landing at.
Morse code for radio communication
However, perhaps the most avid users of Morse code are mature radio enthusiasts – Ham radio users. Although these enthusiasts are regarded as hobbyists, they have at times provided vital information that has saved people’s lives in emergency situations. And when other communication avenues fail – Ham radio can become indispensable.
Morse code and military
The U.S. military also uses Morse Code. It is especially prevalent in the Navy, where signal lamps are flashed to convey information when ships have a line of sight.
It is not as popular as it once was for instance during the Second World War as it is by nature not as secure as the current highly encrypted forms of communication that are part and parcel of the modern military.
However, it is still taught enlisted men (and women) as part of their basic training – and in certain emergency situations has saved lives. Think about a downed pilot who wishes to send a message to searchers by using a reflective surface such as a mirror or torch during the night.
It may not be a use that immediately springs to mind, but Morse code can be invaluable to those who have a physical impairment – or who have suffered from stroke or paralysis.
For instance, a husband and wife team developed a system using head paddles that served as dots and dashes when flashed (the invention was due to the wife being partially paralyzed by cerebral palsy). These signals were then picked up by computer and translated into speech.
Morse code nowadays
The beauty of Morse Code, even in this fast-paced modern world is that it is incredibly versatile. It can employ light flashes, taps on a surface, and can even be written down.
For those with physical challenges even blinking in Morse code can convey a huge amount of information.
The fact that when transmitted Morse Code uses very little bandwidth and power makes it also very attractive for some specialized uses. This is one of the reasons that Ham radio enthusiasts like Morse Code, even the smallest of sets can transmit Morse code for amazing distances.
Although we tend to think that Morse Code has gone the way of the dinosaurs, the truth is that, although it is not as prevalent as it was those many decades ago it is still around.
learning Morse code can be useful and fun.
It has a variety advantages, and the sheer usefulness and versatility of Morse Code has ensured that it will remain part of the communication mix for may years to come.
Learning Morse is useful today for hobby or for emergency needs. It is no secret that we relay on digital communication so much, that people feel stressed when they don’t have their phones near by.
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Many fear the surveillance agencies are monitoring their phone communications. Morse code can be a unique way to send messages either via direct land lines or as flashes which can not be monitored in the regular ways.
Learn Morse as a survival skill to communicate in emergency.