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The Use of Morse Code in Camping

Aug 17, 2007
When you are camping out it is necessary to have knowledge about Morse signaling because it is very helpful during an emergency. In this article you will find more about Morse Code.

Morse code
The one signaling method in use throughout the world is the Morse code. Even though other faster methods of transmitting messages exist today, the system of dots and dashes has not outlived its usefulness. You and your friends can have fun communicating this way and perhaps some day the Morse code will prove truly useful for getting help in an emergency. With this signal system you can send any sort of message over long distances in a very short time. When intermediate posts are set up, the distances covered can be stretched as far as you like.

The principle of the Morse code is that every letter is made up of dots and dashes, which can be translated into long and short sounds, or long and short light flashes. The only way to master the Morse code is to learn the signals by heart. Once you have memorized them, practice sending and receiving messages until it too becomes automatic. You will quickly discover how to impress the numbers on your memory, since they all have five dots or dashes.

When you are camping out, a convenient way to transmit Morse code is with semaphore flags, swinging the flag to the right for a dot, to the left for a dash. Now you need to know a few details, and you will be ready to send your first dispatch.

To make connections, that is, when you want to send a message, get the receiver's attention by signaling AAAA, sent as one letter. When he is ready to receive your message, he signals the letter K.

To signal the end of a word, bring the flag down in front of you until it almost touches the ground, and then bring it back to the upright position. If, as can happen, you have sent an incorrect signal by error, send a quick series of eight dots.

If the receiver has understood a word, he notes the fact by sending back a dot, the letter E. If he has not understood it, he sends back the letters IM, in which case you repeat the last word.

When you have finished your message, signal the fact by sending AR. If the receiver has understood it, he signs off with the letter R.

International Morse Code
For a well-functioning signaling post, you need three people: a signaler, an observer and a writer. The signaler has to be easily visible to the receiver; the other two can lie flat on the ground near him. When the background is dark, use a bright semaphore. When the background is light, use a dark semaphore signaling over Great Distances

When the weather is clear and the countryside is open you can send signals over great distances if your semaphores are large. Since handling very large flags is awkward, you will need to build an apparatus to rig them up on. The accompanying illustration shows a model for this, consisting of a double scaffold made of sticks. Fasten a pair of pulleys on each horizontal bar for the draw cords to run through. Hang a small signaling cloth on one set of pullies to make the "dot", a large one on the other set to represent the "dash". Fasten the cloths to the ground so that they can be drawn taut when pulled up. Practice to develop your signaling skill. Some boys who used this system were able to send messages over a stretch of 20 miles when the weather was clear.

You and your friends can have fun communicating this way and perhaps some day the Morse code will prove truly useful for getting help in an emergency especially when you are out in camp.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.1-scuba-diving-gear.com/ , http://www.campfuntips.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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