Morse Code Crash Course for preppers

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Morse Code
Morse Code ~ a crash course for preppers

Morse code crash course for preppers:
Can you crack the code? Morse code is a language to
communicate distress signals by transmitting short and long
signals called "dots" and "dashes." Developed by Samuel Morse in
1844, this code was useful in broadcasting messages over
telegraph wires, and it's still in use today!

Uses of Morse Code include aviation, amateur radio, military,
prepping and survival, and also for people with disabilities. This
survival skill is relatively easy and fun to learn and it's a great
way for preppers to get started in Amateur Radio. Like any new
language, it just takes practice and memorization.

Below are some pointers to inspire you and get started in Morse

Crash Course for Preppers on Morse Code
Learning Morse code is relatively easy ~ it's basic enough that
you can teach Morse code to your home-school students after you
learn the basics. You just need to learn a series of dashes and
dots that represent each letter of the alphabet and each number.

Preppers have every reason to get started in Morse code!The
fundamentals of Morse code are something you must master for
the "5-wpm Element 1 code" that's required for a General Class
amateur radio license. Many survival courses will have a brief
overview of Morse code.

Here's a crash course on Morse code:

Morse code lesson #1: Get a printout.
Duh! Get yourself a copy of the International Morse Code. A
Morse code chart is among the most basic of survival gear. It's
even included in some
survival cards. The Morse Code Canvas Art,
pictured right, is a fun way to express your new hobby, but to
learn Morse code you can just print off something you find on the

  • Pocket-sized survival cards. Printed on 30 mil plastic credit
    card stock. Four white cards with survival tips, signaling tips,
    Morse code, trap and snare diagrams, fire building tips,
    navigation tips, Escape and Evasion tips and much more.
    Made in the USA.

Morse code lesson #2: Recognize the brilliance!
Once you have a print out you'll realize that you don't need any
electricity to do Morse code (and Morse code has so many
methods of expression)! The Morse code alphabet is the
expression of the minimum of one character and a maximum of
four characters. Morse code uses a simple series of dots and
dashes that can be expressed in many ways.

Preppers love Morse code because you can express your
communication on paper, through sound, visual clues, body
language, flashlights and much more.

You can use Morse code in any number of ways:
  1. Pen and paper or texting
  2. Tapping a table, door, window ~ whatever
  3. Through a HAM radio (only once you've mastered it)
  4. Blinking your eyes
  5. Signaling through flashing lights
  6. Using touch or pressure (tugs of a rope, touching someone)
  7. Whistling ~ you could even do Morse code on a flute!

Because Morse code can be expressed in such a variety of ways,
it's a useful tool for people with disabilities. Braille is a system
of raised dots that's based on a concept similar to Morse code.

If you don't have a hearing or visual impairment, get started
learning Morse code by listening to recordings. Many people say
that this is the easiest way to get started with Morse code.

Morse code lesson #3: Get an overview.
Get an overview about Morse code to know if you're really
interested. Start with this old, albeit very effective overview on
Morse Code..
What is information warfare?
Morse code jacket
Above is a visual idea for helping you memorize the Morse Code chart.

    #3: Get an oscillator. The Morse Code Practice Oscillator,
    pictured at the top of the page features a Morse Code straight
    key on a non-skid heavy steel base, so it stays put on table
    and doesn't move around while you're sending. With it you
    can practice sending code at home, work ~ practically
    anywhere.  You can practice without bothering anyone.
    Volume control adjusts from barely audible to blaring full
    sound. Tone control gives you a wide adjustment from high
    "squeaky" to low "booming" tones. You even get an earphone
    jack for private listening.

    #4: Install a Morse Code app. Try this Morse code app.
    While there are several free versions, this one is highly rated
    and costs about $1.99. This Morse Code app does all of the
  • Trains you to copy and send Morse code at 20 Words Per
  • Straight Key transmit practice oscillator allows you to tap
    out characters
  • Copy Pad feature allows you to write characters on
    screen as you hear them
  • Numbers only, Prosigns only, and CW abbreviations RX &
    TX modes
  • Good for amateur ham radio operators, CW and telegraph
  • Better than starting at 5WPM and slowly building speed
  • Of interest to QRP operators and Shortwave SWL
    listeners who wish to copy CW Morse code QSOs.

Morse code lesson #5: Study Morse code phrases.
A fun part of learning Morse code is to get a handle on some
phrases. It's a little like what's evolved in texting, but it has a
language of it's own. For example:

  • R = Roger
  • UR = You're
  • CUL = See you later
  • K = Over
  • 1 = Wait a minute
  • 25 = Busy on another circuit
  • 73 = the most common greeting, it just means "best regards"
  • 88 = Love and kisses (it used to be "22"), do not add an "s."

What's SOS in Morse code all about?
SOS means "Save our Souls." Commonly also "Save Our Ship."
Used when loss of life or catastrophic loss of property is imminent,
SOS is the International Morse code distress signal. It's the
continuous sequence of three dots, three dashes and three dots,
(with no spaces).

Written in the Alphabet, you can see the distress letters in both
directions, unlike the number 9, which could be interpreted as the
number 6.

Morse Code Lesson #6: Watch online tutorials.
You could spend $9.95 on to get a Morse Code
tutorial, but why spend the money when you can get them for free
on YouTube? It's sometimes included in course discussions on HAM
Radio, though Morse code is no longer required for getting your
HAM radio licensed, it's still a very important skill to have.

Knowledge is power, so get started in Morse code!
Morse code is an invaluable prepper skill. If you're an auditory
person, you'll love Morse code, but incredibly you can be deaf or
even blind to use Morse code! Someone who knows American Sign
Language or Braille will love to learn Morse code, too.
Above is an old military video that's very effective in explaining the basic
method of sending messages using a telegraph machine by transmitting
short and long signals called "dots" and "dashes".

Morse code lesson #4: Start practicing!
Now that you  have your printout and you've studied the Morse
code overview in the video above, you'll want to begin practicing.
One of the best ways to practice is to write out the alphabet
yourself. Use the printout you got in lesson #1 to create your own

Here are some fun ways to start...

    #1: Write out a children's book. Grab "Good Night Moon" or
    your favorite kids book and translate into Morse Code.

    #2: Write out the Morse Code alphabet. There's no better
    way to learn than to see your own handwriting. Your brain
    makes the connection more easily than through a generic
    chart. One way to write the Morse code alphabet in a visual
    representation is to create bubble letters and then fill in the
    dots and dashes.
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Above is the Morse Code alphabet in a chart form. Use it as a decoder to get
you started, but memorize it.

Want to cheat?
Try this Morse Code Translator. The site says, "Just type letters,
numbers and punctuation into the top box and the Morse code will
appear in the bottom box with a "#" if the character cannot be
translated. If you want to translate prosigns, enter them as
"<CT>" for instance and tick the "Use prosigns" checkbox in the
advanced controls." Further they admit that "This is not a great
tool for learning Morse code as looking at the dots and dashes
does not help."

Happy endings...
Now you have some skills for sending a SOS by Morse code. Why is
learning Morse code so popular with preppers? Using Morse code
would be invaluable in a hostage situation or when you need to be
quiet to avoid detection. Morse code is also extremely useful for
HAM radio.

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Above, Pete Hadley of K6BFA talks about how to get started with learning
Morse code. What's more, he introduces free software that helps in the matter!
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