Morse Code Practice
Use Harry Pyle's MorseMail program for morse code practice over the internet. Right now, it's the best thing going. You can use American Morse, International Morse, or Dot Code. If you use Internet Explorer 5.0 or above, you can connect to Harry Pyle's MorseMail server here: brasspounder.com. Or you can connect to the USMT MorseMail server here: dot.unitedstatesmilitarytelegraph.org
Using Internet Explorer 5.0 or above, can see what stations are connected, messages that are being sent and code charts. If you use MorseMail, you can click on the messages link, then choose which channel you want to see and copy messages into your clipboard so you can paste them into MorseMail. (Click here to download MorseMail)
The second table below has the three versions of Morse Code listed. Under each column is a link to a text file containing the "recordings" of each version of morse that you can copy and paste into MorseMail and listen. Please refer to our Morse Code Programs page for ways to learn American Morse or to go to other sites to download programs. Each "sample" in the table below increases in difficulty as you go down the list.
|MorseMailby Harry Pyle
|USMT MorseMail Server
|American Morse||DOT Code||International Morse|
Using Harry Pyle's program, you should be able to listen to the code at the bottom of the screen or you can connect to the US Military Telegraph server. All you need to do is open the text files and copy the recording of the code and paste it into the right-hand pane in the MorseMail program. For those of you who may not be familiar with the keyboard shortcuts on a PC, highlight the desired text and press and hold the CTRL key and C on your keyboard. This copies the highlighted text. To "paste" the text into the MorseMail program, start by erasing any text in the right hand pane by highlighting the text and pressing the delete or backspace key. Then, press and hold the CTRL key and V on your keyboard. This will "paste" the text you copied previously. Or, after copying the text, go to MorseMail and click the "Load From Clipboard" button. Then, click the "Play" button to hear the code.
If you cannot "copy" what is being sent, slow down the speed of the playback by moving the slider bar for the sounder speed in the lower left-hand box in the MorseMail program.
Using the example below, Ted Wagner's amateur radio callsign, copy and paste the entire text below including the begin and end tags <MorseMail> and </MorseMail>
How Dot Code Works
DOT code is very simple and takes virtually no experience. The DOT code is easily transferable from signal flags to the telegraph. Just a cheat sheet and an understanding of how it works. DOT code is made of all "dots" or "dits" instead of both dashes and dots. Each "element" is a set of dots or dits. Click HERE for a cheat sheet made with Microsoft Word 97 or click HERE for a cheat sheet that you can read/print using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Examples of How DOT Code Works
Let's use the word "AT" as an example. If you look at the cheat sheets provided above, you'll notice the letter "A" is represented as "11" and "T" is just "1". Using a telegraph key, you would key in one dit followed by another dit, pause and key in the last dit for the T. The first two "dits" do have a slight pause between them. It would "sound" like:
dit dit dit
But, how do we know when the word ends and a new one begins? Ah, that's easy. Look at your cheat sheet. The number "3", ditditdit (three dits rapidly sent) is appended to the end of the word:
dit dit dit ditditdit
Let's look at another simple example and use the word "ON". "O" is "12" and "N" is "22". What makes a 1 different than a 2? A one is keyed using 1 dit. A 2 is keyed in using TWO dits with no pause. A single 2 would be: ditdit Using our example word "ON", it would "sound" like:
dit ditdit ditdit ditdit ditditdit
(don't forget to signify the end of word by using "3")
When you send DOT code, your timing is very important. Because you are only sending "dits" and no "dahs", it's important to lengthen your pauses so it is easier to distinguish between a 1 and a 2. If we put "AT" and "ON" together, it would "sound" something like this:
dit dit dit ditditdit dit ditdit ditdit ditdit ditditdit
In this example, there was one "silent" dit between the first two dits ("A"), three silent dits between the A and the T. The reference to a "silent" dit is how you measure your silence. Instead of keying in the dit, you key it in your head so it's silent. And, as you've learned before, a "2" is then two dits crammed together with no silence, and a "3" is three dits crammed together with no silence what-so-ever.
Now, here's the trick to keeping it simple. All you need is a copy of the cheat sheet. As you hear the code, write down the numbers on a blank piece of paper. As you hear: "dit dit dit", write down on your paper "11 1". To indicate where the spaces are between characters, you can use a period or a slash to make it quick and easy. So, using our "AT ON" example, you'd write down: "22.214.171.124.22.3" (don't forget your 3's!)
Now that you have it written down, go to your cheat sheet, and decode each set of numbers!
What do we do about identifying the difference between words and when sentences ends? And, how do you know when the message ends? Well, that's all on your cheat sheet! Remember our "3" from above that signifies the end of a word? Using two 3's together is an end of sentence. Using our "AT ON" example, let's use it as a sentence. It would "look" like: "126.96.36.199.22.3.33" Technically, you would signal a 3 to end a word and then 33 to signify the end of sentence.
When a message is finished, you'd signal 333. Now, that gets a bit redundant. At the end of your message, you wouldn't want to always signal 3.33.333. Just signal 333 to keep it simple and short. So, if our message was a secret message, we'd signal via telegraph: