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A Guide To Morse Code

November 22, 2017

A Guide To Morse Code

We're passionate about providing the essentials. From minimalist wallets to battery-charged backpacks, The Ridge is meant to help you carry what you need to do every day. The essentials for communication? Well, that can be as simple as a few dots and dashes. We've mocked up a general outline of how Morse Code works, helping you communicate in one of the most minimalist ways possible. 

The first telegraph message was sent using morse code in 1844 by Samuel F.B. Morse to Congress. It read “What God Hath Wrought.”

As “antiquated” as morse code may seem, there are plenty of practical uses - mostly emergency situations that involve signaling with a flashlight or ham radio. Bottom line: it pays to know how to use the code that’s still used by the military and understood by radio operators today.

Learning The Code

Morse code has a strange alphabet. Remember, it was originally intended for the telegraph system, which originally printed out paper with indentions. Those indentions were either short “dots” or long “dashes.” But, remember, Morse can be used visually with flashing lights, or audibly, too.

Like any language, you’re going to have to practice to get a handle on the alphabet. Here’s a chart you can use to study. Print it out, bookmark this page, or save it to you phone to study it frequently.

Start listening to Morse. You’re going to have to get familiar with the way Morse Code is used audibly in order to fully learn it. You can go here to practice audibly following the “dits” (the dots/short sounds) and the “dahs” (the dashes/long sounds).

This chart can help you memorize the audible version of Morse pretty quickly. Every time a sequence starts (a letter), you start moving down the chart. When you hear a “dit,” you move down and to the right. When you hear a “dah,” move down and to the left. When the sequence stops, whatever letter you’ve arrived at is the right code.

Ultimately, it just comes down to a lot of practice. This is a language. Practice speaking it daily. At the least, you’ll be a more well-rounded man. At the worst, you could end up using it to save your life.