My Most Recent QSO's

Saturday, December 6, 2008

International Morse Code Book

We had a nice trip to New York City last week. (I took the rig but was so busy I didn't get any "radio time"). But, on the positive side, I found this little neat little item while looking through some "very old" books!

It's dated 1918, and I assume, a written guide for some old 78 LP records used to train "Morse Code" operators. It was produced by the "Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America".

Something that puzzles me is the Morse Code abbreviations at the end of the booklet.

I was a signalman in the Navy and we had our own "special" characters. We used "INT" for a question mark and a whole series of different "Q" and "Z" signals for military ships.

I once challenged a very large unidentified ship, on a dark, rainy and foggy morning to "halt, identify yourself, or be fired upon"

(And we would have too.....if the wrong call sign was returned with an incorrect "password").

In essence, I used just a few choice "characters" to communicate the entire exchange. Fortunately, they replied, and with the correct password, (I'm condensing here) "This is the USS New at will! )

(I'm probably the only West Virginian to have ever done this and lived to tell about it!)

Those small "variations" between military and civilian ship procedures can be a BIG difference in different situations.....

While looking towards the end of this booklet by the "Victor Talking Machine Co." I couldn't help but notice these (to me) unusual characters used to highlight CW conversations.

See anything unusual about them?


Unknown said...

I'm curious which abbreviations are unusual to you and why. I understand every discipline had their own unique code, so I'm curious how this varies from what you used and what makes it odd.

Thanks in advance.

Jspiker said...

If you look at the abbreviations on the right side, they're quite different from what we use today.