Morse code is a telecommunication method, named after telegraphist Samuel Morse, that encodes text characters, including letters, numerals and punctuation, into signals. With Morse code, the user can translate these characters into dots, dashes and spaces. You can then communicate the message's meaning through light or sound signals of varying lengths.
Originally, telegraph operators used Morse code to transmit messages using electrical pulses that they then translated into text messages. Later, radio communicators adapted the code and began to use it as an auditory language that comprises signals as easily translatable dots and dashes. With this, Morse code is perceptible through various human senses—including sound and sight—and those who are fluent in the code can interpret messages they receive through these different methods.
While Morse code is essentially now obsolete because of innovations in technology that streamlined communication methods, employees in certain industries still employ it as a part of their roles. Those who work in aviation, such as pilots and navigators, may use Morse code to transmit identification letters for station names. In addition, amateur radio enthusiasts sometimes apply the code to initiate data transmissions and send messages across broadcasts. Over time, Morse code has also become an important assistive tool that helps those with mobility or speech concerns communicate effectively.
While Morse code has become somewhat less popular over the past few decades, you can still enjoy the following advantages when learning it:
Emergency communication: Morse code is an efficient way to communicate about emergency situations since you can send such messages via ham radio transmitters with little power and less bandwidth than other standard voice communication tools. Since these messages are only intelligible to people who are fluent in the code, it serves as a helpful tool for confidential communications.
Intellectual enrichment: While Morse code doesn't have as many professional applications as it once did, learning it can offer you a significant amount of enrichment intellectually. Challenging yourself to learn the code can allow you to engage in a mental activity that may strengthen your capacity to learn other useful skills.
Personal accomplishment: Learning new things, regardless of their relevance, can give you a sense of personal accomplishment and boost your confidence in your own abilities. With this, learning Morse code can help you find more self-assurance overall, which may benefit you in other areas of your life.
Are there standard ways to connect a hand key (straight or paddle) to a contemporary computing device (PC laptop with no parallel port, Mac, Android, iOS device, etc.) for developing or improving ones Morse code sending skills?
A really easy way to do this is to take an old USB mouse (or even a new cheap one) and solder the key across the left mouse button. You can then use key directly as mouse button input on most computers and Android phones (with an OTG cable) and use with Morse software or websites expecting mouse input e.g.
For hours of fun and practice.