Understanding Morse Code

What is Morse Code

Morse code is a method used in telecommunication to encode text characters as standardized sequences of two different signal durations, called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. Morse code is named for Samuel Morse, an inventor of the telegraph.

The International Morse Code encodes the 26 English letters A through Z, some  small set of punctuation and procedural signals (prosigns). There is no distinction between upper and lower case letters. Each Morse code symbol is formed by a sequence of dots and dashes. The dot duration is the basic unit of time measurement in Morse code transmission. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot. Each dot or dash within a character is followed by period of signal absence, called a space, equal to the dot duration. The letters of a word are separated by a space of duration equal to three dots, and the words are separated by a space equal to seven dots. To increase the efficiency of encoding, Morse code was designed so that the length of each symbol is approximately inverse to the frequency of occurrence in text of the English language character that it represents. Thus the most common letter in English, the letter “E”, has the shortest code: a single dot. Because the Morse code elements are specified by proportion rather than specific time durations, the code is usually transmitted at the highest rate that the receiver is capable of decoding. The Morse code transmission rate (speed) is specified in groups per minute, commonly referred to as words per minute.

Morse code is usually transmitted by on-off keying of an information-carrying medium such as electric current, radio waves, visible light, or sound waves. The current or wave is present during the time period of the dot or dash and absent during the time between dots and dashes.

Morse code can be memorized, and Morse code signalling in a form perceptible to the human senses, such as sound waves or visible light, can be directly interpreted by persons trained in the skill.

Morse Code are Combination of  “dot” and “Dash” representing the  26 english Letters and 0 t 9 Numeric digit  see the Chart below .

  • The Length of a dot is one unit and the Length of a Dash is three unit or thrice time than a dot 
  • The Space between each charecter or letter is one unit 
  • The Space between letters is three unit
  • The Space between words is seven unit  
  • For example :  if I want to express the Word “HAM” in morse code  then    need to write         …. .- —  dot (space one unit )dot(space one unit )dot(space one unit )dot (space three unit(space one unit ) dash(space one unit(space three unit)dash(space one unit )dash(space one unit )
  • In sound when wepressing key it wil hear like below sound (please press Play button)

How to make this dit Dah Sound?

a code pracktice Oscillator or tone generator Circuit and A morse key will help you 

Below is the Picture of a Oscillator 

You can arrange this circuit to make the device for morse code pracktice, assemble the all parts following the above Circuit diagram , it will help to make the device

Parts List:

  • NE555 IC 
  • Some resistors Mentioned the Value in circuit
  • Some Capacitors Mentioned the Value in circuit
  • Volume Controller (POT)
  • Speaker
  • Battery and PVC Box Enclosure and some connectors



Morse Key

The Contacting switch is called the Morse Key

normally there are two type of Morse key is Used

  1. Straight Key:  when we press this key knob it wil complete the circuit closed as per the above circuit diagram and it will make sound  for example if we press this knob for the timing of 1 micro second it will generate “Dot” and if we press continiously for the timing of 3 micro second it will generate “Dash”   thus we can generatye dot and dash . called dit dah as per morse code popularity. thus a straight key works
  2. Twinkey or Paddle Key: it has  dedicated two knob one for dit sound and another for dah sound so its easy to generate those two sound but need so much pracktice .

See the video below to learn morse code

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