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Learn your name in Morse Code…

11 January 2019

Today is a national day for learning your name in Morse Code. So we decided to have a go and in the meantime learn more about this signalling process on our Historic Ship, HMS Cavalier.

What is Morse Code?

Transmitted by radio waves, morse code began being used as radiotelegraphy between ships and ships to shore. The first radios could not transmit a voice, thereby morse code which used different lengths of a signal became the way of communication.

An operator would tap out a message on a telegraph key. A short (dot) or and long (dash) pulse of the radio waves would create a letter or symbol. Piece all these together and you have your messages. The receiver would hear these signals as beeps in the earphones and then translate them in to their relevant letter or symbol.

How did HMS Cavalier use this?

On board HMS Cavalier you can discover the Bridge Wireless Telegraphy Office. Here all incoming signals reached the ship. We went further behind the scenes with some of our ship volunteers to find out more.

Morse code was used many years ago and you can still see some of these on board as above. Communication then continued using wireless teleprinters where a message would be sent wireless (see picture above).

Some of the ship’s volunteers use the Wireless Telegraphy Office to transmit their own radio signals with their licensed call names. They usually go 40m on their waveband and have had communication with people from Scotland and Ireland too where they will have a chat with them. On event days such as Salute to the ‘40s you’ll find them using the radio to do this – most of them are also in on Wednesdays so make sure to ask them about it too!

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