Morse Code teaching aid -Reply
Roger Crossland (RCROSSLAND@hospice.com)
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 11:18:31 -0500
My apologies for a garbled reply transmission. Don't paste WordPerfect
I'm not sure that making Morse Code only an elective was so good an
idea. I always hear "the Coast Guard no longer requires knowledge of
Morse Code." Well, the Coast Guard is a fairly small service and like
other governmental organizations, economics guides its actions against
its better judgment. In any event I'm not sure dispensing with Morse
Code is universal, even within the CG. It is probably required of Coast
Guard aviators. If your planes radio goes out, all you can signal with is
your lights. I know USN aviators must still know Morse Code.
As for Sea Scouts, how are you going to communicate at night if your
radio goes on the fritz? Then too our mast with your antenna always
goes just as you realize that you're in trouble and its going to be a long
day. Most of our Ships learn semaphore and Morse.
Learning the alphabet a to z cold is a bit dry. A faster mnemonic method
is learning the "EISHTMOAN" method first pioneered by Eskimos who
wished to communicate with Samoans by blinking light (maybe that
wasn't the exact origin). I learned it as a Boy Scout using this method
(back when it was tough to make Eagle...you had to know code and get
Lifesaving merit badge), relearned it as a Sea Scout, a midshipman, and
then in my warfare specialty training as a naval officer...all using
Eishtmoan. So I can hardly claim credit for the technique.
Note the progressions. These are in order of the most frequently used
letters of the alphabet and I believe that that was how the letters in the
progressions were determined.
e = dih
I = di dih
s = di di dih
h = di di di dih
t = dah
m = da dah
o = da da dah
a = di dah
n = da dih
These letter can be memorized in an hour and you've learned on third of
the alphabet and enough vowels and consonants to send simple words.
the rest you learn by opposites or mirror images, e.g. "r" and "k" are
opposites, "p" and "x" are opposites, "d" and "u" are mirror images. A
couple have very memorable mnemonics for example "v" is di di di dah or
the opening notes of Beethoven's Victory symphony (v for victory). "q"
is da da di dah or the opening notes of the wedding march.
There are several computer programs that teach code by sound and
have adjustable transmission rates. The programs have self testing
sections. Converting code learned by sound to code using blinker is an
easy transition for Sea Scouts I have found. Coyne Company of Mission
Viejo, Calif. offers one program called MacHam. Coyne may be reached
at CoyneR@eWorld.com or (714) 855-4689. Amateur Electronic Supply
(800) 558-0411 also sells IBM compatible Morse programs. These
programs run about $40.The Amateur Radio Relay League of Newington,
Connecticut offers cassette tapes. I think the computer program is
superior because it is interactive and transmission speed adjustable.
SES Viking, Stratford, Connecticut