Morse code before the First World War was called "Morzian". It is a special way of encoding alphabetic letters, punctuation marks, numbers, and other symbols arranged in a specific sequence. Long signals indicate dashes, short - points. Conventionally, the duration of a single point is taken as a time unit. The longitude of the dash is equal to three points. A pause between the symbols of one character is one dot, three dots — the pause between the signs in a word, 7 dots symbolize the gap between words. In the post-Soviet countries, experts use Morse code in Russian.
Who came up with ciphers?
It is generally accepted that Morse code, like the telegraph, was invented by Samuel Finley Breeze Morse. Some sources claim that this is not the case. Morse was a humanist, and in life he was fascinated only by painting.
Two engineers - A. Weil and D. Henry - told about the European development - a distance copper coil, which is capable of transmitting the resulting electrical pulses. Morse asked them to develop this idea, and in 1837 the first telegraph apparatus appeared. The device could receive and transmit messages. Weil later proposed an encryption system using dashes and dots. Thus, Morse had no direct relation to the creation of the alphabet and telegraph.
According to the official version, Semuel Morse was fascinated by the miracle of the time, namely the receipt of a spark from magnets. Solving the phenomenon, he suggested that using such sparks through wires can transmit encrypted messages. Morse was very interested in this idea, although he had no idea even about the basic principles of the work of electricity. During the voyage, Samuel developed several ideas and sketched out some blueprints of his ideas. For another three years with his brother in the attic, he unsuccessfully tried to build a device that could transmit signals. With all his problems in the knowledge of electricity, he simply had no time to study him, because his wife died suddenly, and he had three young children left.
Until the middle of the XIX century, the exchange of information between long distances occurred exclusively through mail. News of events and incidents, people could find out only after weeks or for months. The appearance of the device gave impetus to the victory over distance and time. The work of the telegraph in practice proved that with the help of an electric current, messages can be transmitted.
Since 1838, the first line of telegraph began to operate, the length of which was 20 km. After several decades, the transmission lines in England alone reached a length of 25,000 km 2. Already in 1866, the telegraph line connected the continents of the globe: a cable was laid along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Morse code has become an integral part of the work of the telegraph. The cipher got its name from the name of the creator. The letters here are combinations of long and short signals. All codes are made up of the simplest code elements. The basis of the code is the number of values that the elementary message is gaining in the process of transmission. So, codes are divided into binary (binary), ternary and uniform (5-element, 6-element, etc.).
Morse code is an uneven telegraph code, where signs are marked by combinations of current sending of different lengths. This method was the first digital transmission of information. Initially, wireless telegrams used this alphabet, but later Bordeaux and ASCII codes were used, since they were more automated. Russian Morse code is similar to Latin letters, over the years, this correspondence was transferred to MTK-2, later to KOI-7, then to KOI-8. There are only insignificant differences: the letter Q is “u”, and KOI and MTC are “me”.
The advantages of the alphabet
- High protection against interference during reception by ear.
- The possibility of encoding manually.
- The ability to record and play back signals with the most simple devices.
Disadvantages of the alphabet
- Very low speed.
- Ineconomicity: to transfer a single character, on average, you need to make about 10 elementary parcels.
- The device is unsuitable for typing letters.
To decipher messages, Morse code is not always memorized by heart, learning involves memorizing mnemonic verbal forms, or, as they are also called, melodies. Each sign in the alphabet corresponds to a specific chant. In turn, these verbal forms may differ from each other. Depending on the school of study or country of use, some marks may be modified or simplified. Morse code in Russian is also different. The syllables of tunes containing vowels "a", "o" and "s" are indicated with one dash, the rest - with a dot.
At sea, the method of transmitting encrypted messages came later. In 1865, the principle of the alphabet was taken as a basis in the semaphore alphabet. During the day, people reported what was needed with the help of flags, and at night, with a blinking flashlight. After the invention in 1905, some codes from the alphabet began to sound on the air.
Soon, people came up with the well-known signal of saving SOS. Although initially it was not a distress signal. The first, proposed in 1904, the signal consisted of 2 letters CQ and was decoded as “come quickly”. Later added another letter D, and it turned out "come quickly, danger." And only in 1908 such a signal was replaced by the SOS, which has been preserved and is today. The message was translated not “save our souls,” as is commonly believed, and not “save our ship.” This signal has no decoding. The international radio telephone convention chose these letters as the most simple and easy to remember: “... - ...”.
Today, Morse code is used mainly by hams. She was almost completely superseded by direct printing telegraph devices. Echoes of the application can be found in the most remote corners of the globe, for example at the North Pole or far in the depths of the ocean. On the Internet there is a special program "Morse Code", with which you can translate information into an encrypted form.