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Author Topic: Morse Code  (Read 2571 times)

Randy Conrad

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Morse Code
« on: August 26, 2018, 01:00:31 AM »

Several nights ago I lay in bed wandering how pilots used Morse Code to communicate with other ships and stations. As I thought about that, I wandered about how much knowledge Amelia and Fred actually had with Morse Code. With Amelia, most of you like me would figure the answer to be no...while on the other hands a big definate yes for Mr. Fred. I'm not yet quite sure how the plane morse code actually worked on an Electra, but if any of you could walk me through the steps I'd be more than tickled. Anyway, I ran across this video this evening and i hope it is very useful down the road.

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Morse Code
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 02:22:07 AM »

A short comment on Morse Code in the Ameliapedia.

"Morse code key questions

"Abandonment of CW (Morse Code)":

Earhart and Noonan were ahead of their time in asking that the Itasca communicate with them solely via voice transmissions. That is now the worldwide norm for aircraft. In 1937, the worldwide norm was Morse code transmitted on continuous wave (CW) or modified continuous wave (MCW). The Itasca could not transmit voice on all frequencies (e.g., 7500 kHz).

"As the result of a talk with Mr. E. Chater and Mr. Balfour the Lae radio operator it is very apparent that the weak link in the combination was the crew’s lack of expert knowledge of radio. Their morse was very slow and they preferred to use telephony as much as possible" ("Collopy Letter").

"On enquiry Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan advised that they entirely depended on radio telephone reception as neither of them were able to read morse at any speed but could recognise an individual letter sent several times. This point was again mentioned by both of them later when two different sets at Lae were used for listening in for time signals"  ("Chater Report").

"Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan spent a considerable time in the radio office and as previously mentioned it was learned that neither of them could read morse at any speed but could only distinguish letters made individually slowly and repeated often; in that case their direction finding apparatus would be useless or misleading unless they were taking a bearing on a station using radiophone which could give the station position on voice. We understand the Itasca was to do this but if the plane was unable to pick up the Itasca it is doubtful if the direction finder would be any use to her" ("Chater Report").

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