Category: Using Morse Code

Mac Learning Morse Code

Mac is an 8 year old attending regular classes and has Cerebral Palsy.  He is quite the character and has a great sense of humor, and is using Morse Code to communicate!

Mac learned Morse Code through an Excel spreadsheet his mother created. It is a very nifty tool for learning Morse Code.

Here’s a video of him using two buttons to work with Morse Code, and here’s a link to Gina’s Excel spreadsheet she creating to help him learn Morse Code!

Learn Morse Code With Gina’s Excel Spreadsheet

Speak Morse Code – Language for the Handicapped

Speak Morse Code is a web based application designed to give you the ability to both learn Morse Code as well as interact with others. Based off of an idea by Bryan Campbell and Andrew Hallinan, this tool will be available to the public soon.

What really motivated use to create this tool was a heartfelt letter from Esther Medina concerning her son, who was the victim of a gunshot wound to the head which made him unable to speak and almost completely paralyzed. Here is Esther’s letter:

Hi,

After searching everywhere for some way for my son, Phillip, to communicate I would like to explore the possibility of using Morse code. Phillip was a victim of a gunshot wound to the left side of head. He is very aware of his surroundings, basically it is the motor skills that he lost. He cannot speak and his only usable hand (left-he was right handed) is very awkward and hard to pinpoint his finger on a key or small button. His eyes do not track together well so visual inputs are out. I tried sign language alphabet which he learned and knows very well but his hand is unable to correctly form a quickly recognizable letter for many but the simplest letter signs. He can only stretch the index and thumb.

He can hit an ipad screen button if it is large (such as 2 – 3 on a screen.) So I am imagining him hit one button for a dit and another for a dah and one for end of word… 3 buttons in all.

The problem is how can it be translated since the hospital staff at the subacute where he lives will probably not learn Morse code. Is there an app/program that can interpret? He has been without a voice for 6 years now and am so afraid that when I go (I am 65 yrs and he is 42) he will be left without a voice and no one really taking the time to see what his pointings and gestures mean.

I will google these questions myself but perhaps you can offer suggestions on learning (he has a good memory) and interpreting his messages.

Thank you so much for reading this,

Esther Medina

Esther, Bryan and I can’t wait to provide you with a solution!

Why Learn Morse Code in Our Modern Age?

Morse code was first used to communicate more than 160 years ago when it was created and adapted to use as a simple, quick, and straightforward way of communicating over the telegraph.  All this for the purpose of being able to communicate (though limited) over long distances, practically instantly.  Also known as CW, is the language of the telegraph, which relays communications through the combination of electronic sound.  In the case of Morse code, two sounds (known as dits and dahs) are used in different combinations to represent each letter of the roman alphabet.  When written, the dits and dahs, short and long sounds, are signified by dots and dashes.  One huge advantage to CW is that it can be used to communicate and interpreted through many different mediums by using sound, touch, and light, enabling long-distance or even silent communication.  The only requirement: the pattern of dits and dahs is kept constant, over the years, distances, and mediums used.

While many people think dits and dahs are practically an ancient way of communicating, in reality there are still many people in this modern time who learn and know CW.  And some of those people have brought up the idea of incorporating Morse code into the modern and heavily used technology of cell phones.

  • Ringtones

One of the first ideas that comes to mind, that would be the most universal in usage for those who both learn and know Morse code, is by turning the audio use of dits and dahs into a ringtone.  There are currently websites available that have mp3 format audio files of individualized dits and dahs with thousands of common names and other everyday contact list entries (such as “home”, “work”, “school”, etc).  Or, combine any three characters to make up an “audio monogram”, as it were.  This “audio monogram” would be most effect for those who learn Morse code who have multiple friends with the same name.  Learn Morse code to use a very sophisticated from of caller id.

  • Other Cell Phone Alerts

Other reasons to learn Morse code and then apply that knowledge to your cell phone can extend to the other various alerts phones give off besides incoming call ringtones.  Audio dits and dahs could also be used to let an cell phone owner know they have a new voicemail, text message, or something on their calendar.

  • Silent Vibrations

As mentioned before, because Morse code can also be communicated through touch, all the afore-mentioned uses of audio dits and dahs on a cell phone can also be extended to the vibrating ringtone phone profile.  Where a normal cell phone is much more limited on the vibrating setting than on the normal ringtone setting, by using Morse code, the vibrating profile setting would not limit what is trying to be communicated to the owner.

What better way to learn Morse code than through a medium most people use multiple times a day.  As the old saying goes “practice, practice, practice”, and turning a cell phone, something that is so heavily used and relied upon by many people, into a means of practice is a brilliant idea.