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Old 16th Feb 2018, 2:46 pm   #1
unrealdave's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Romford, London, UK.
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Default Morse Code

Hi All.

This year Havering museum are holding a Titanic exhibition which will be launching on Saturday 7 April. It will run until Saturday, 1 September.

As part of the exhibition we are holding some talks on Marconi and the Titanic.

We would also like to have a robust Morse code machine so that school children can try it out. Any idea where I could get one?

Thanks, Dave
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Old 16th Feb 2018, 3:25 pm   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia Water, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 1,322
Default Re: Morse Code

Perhaps look out for a Datong Morse Tutor at a radio rally (but now starting to be collectors' item!) or run something like this: on a PC?
If you just want a practice device, rig up a key and a buzzer?
The exhibition sounds a good one.
all best Jeremy
Jeremy, G8MLK, BVWS Member, BVWTVM Friend.

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Old 16th Feb 2018, 4:21 pm   #3
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Location: Southeast Norfolk, UK.
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Default Re: Morse Code


I bought a K42 Morse keyboard kit off the web and that is quite good for facilities. It can read reasonably well-sent Morse as well putting up a display of what you are sending. You can interface a standard key to it as well. You're talking $109 plus shipping but of course if it's a club purchase you can add it to the club station and maybe encourage some members into CW? Unless the design has been upgraded since I bought my keyer, you'll need a keyboard with a PS/2 plug, although mine works fine with a PS2/USB adaptor.

A simpler and cheaper alternative might be a laptop with the G4FON CW training program, that has loads of features, including chirp, fading and interference.

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Old 18th Feb 2018, 1:27 am   #4
Mr Moose
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.
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Default Re: Morse Code

This looks quite robust.
Then connect it in the primary of an induction coil to produce a spark.
Yours, Richard

Last edited by Mr Moose; 18th Feb 2018 at 1:38 am.
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 4:54 am   #5
Radio Wrangler
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Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
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Default Re: Morse Code

'Morse code machine' is a little ambiguous. What do you want it to do?

The simplest would be a Morse key and an audio oscillator or buzzer. Someone can have a go at sending Morse, following a printed sheet with the sound of each letter and numeral symbolised on it.

A Morse Tutor used to be a small battery powered box which would send random characters in Morse code for people to practice decoding in their head as they learned the code and practiced to get their speed up. I'm not aware of any still made, but people now use apps for computers, tablets or (ironically...) smartphones.

A Morse reader is the opposite of a tutor. They used to be hardware boxes with an LCD screen. You fed them audio and they tried to decode it. Today these things are available as apps for computers etc. Decoding Morse is a difficult task for software unless the Morse is sent by a machine with almost perfect timing. These things have a rather high error rate with hand-sent Morse. It's a serious challenge for even an experienced telegraphist to send Mose to a reader.

One way to produce the sounds of real Morse in actual use is to tune a receiver to the lower end of a shortwave amateur band. Somewhere between 7.000 and 7.040 MHz is reliable around the year. The receiver will need to have a BFO. The speed will be too fast for visitors to read, but it gives the true sound, and it is possible to pick out the occasional letter and use a paper look-up table to decode it. This also gives a good impression of the skill and amount of practice involved.

Every year, the scouts hold a radio event "Jamboree on the air" and our local amateur radio club put on an event for them. A special event licence allows us to let the scouts and cubs speak on the air. Contacting someone anywhere in the world still seems magical, doing it directly without the internet, submarine cables or satellites. The kids turn out to be quite microphone-shy... with a few exceptions of course.

We include some Morse-based games. A number of keys with ausio oscillators allows them to work as pairs, one coding and sending a message, and the other trying to decode it. For fun, the messages are about ESPIONAGE!

If you contact your local amateur radio club, you ought to be able to recruit some help. There will already be people with equipment. They can arrange a special event licence which will let visitors have a go at speech on-air. The Science Museum at South Kensington still holds a permanent special event licence, GB2SM.

Local clubs can be found via the Radio Society of Great Britain,

Hope this helps

Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 9:18 am   #6
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Default Re: Morse Code

Thanks everyone for your input - I am going to recommend this
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 7:21 am   #7
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Default Re: Morse Code

Years ago enthusiasts would connect a carbon mic in series with an earpiece and a battery to make a very effective oscillator. Adjusting the relative positions of the two units would strengthen or weaken the tone and interrupting the connection with a key would enable Morse to be sent.

It was a very cheap way to make a Morse oscillator when there were so many GPO or BT phones about and still would be no doubt.

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Old 21st Feb 2018, 9:42 am   #8
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Default Re: Morse Code

Originally Posted by unrealdave View Post
Thanks everyone for your input - I am going to recommend this
Good recommendation. I'll second that. That's the only "all in one" jobby that does it.
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