SIGNALING to your friends by means of dots-and-dashes can be done in simple fashion by using either light or sound signals. Whichever method you choose offers lots of fun to you and those few carefully selected friends of yours who have taken the slight time involved to memorize and practice the code which gives complete secrecy to your messages from those who aren't in-the-know.

Light Method

Here you simply use short and long flashes of light to represent the various letters of the alphabet to spell out words, according to the Morse code.

Procure a flashlight or lantern, or an electric light bulb which you have previously enclosed in a black box. Whichever you choose, arrange the light with an easily movable slide or cover that will enable you quickly to cover and expose the light beam, which is directed to another boy located some distance away and acting as your "receiving station."

Naturally, your friend must be able to see the signals you send him, and thus this light method is somewhat limited on three scores: (1) It isn't of much use in the daytime, unless extremely strong searchlights or, possibly, sun-reflecting mirrors are used. (2) The line-of-vision must be straight, since mankind cannot see around corners. (3) The distance cannot be too great, since the flash-ons and flash-offs must be seen distinctly to be understood clearly.

Sound Method

There are two ways you can use sound to transmit messages by Morse code: (1) a steady sound, which you break up repeatedly into short and long sounds or signals or (2) sounds of even length, broken up with short and long intervals of silence.

Perhaps the simplest sound apparatus you can use, and one that is adaptable for very short distances only, is what might be called a "shoe-tree sound box."

Here you merely take a small wooden box a foot or so long, and a shoe-tree of the "spring" type, procurable in any ten-cent store. With a bent nail or large wire staple affix the tree to the top of the small wooden box, so that when you lift the toe of the tree up an inch or so, it will immediately spring back into position on the top of the box, making a small thud as it does so. In operation, the time-intervals between the thuds indicate whether you are transmitting a dot or a dash.

Somewhat similar results can be obtained with an ordinary doorbell buzzer. Best of all, however, is a regular toy telegraph keyset, with dry cells and battery, together with a proper wire running to your receiving station (which may be the house of the boy next door).

Such sets are procurable at small cost and are well worth the investment if you are seriously interested in getting real fun out of sending telegraph messages.

Whatever method you select, of either sound or light transmission, it is up to you to make the small effort to learn the Morse code. At first, of course, there is no objection whatever to your having a copy of the code itself right at hand as you send or receive messages.

However, that in itself is hardly enough; you'll never experience the real thrill of sending such massages until you acquire speed in sending and receiving. Until that time arrives, the whole thing is apt to be just a little burdensome-like trying to get fun out of skating until you have learned how to stand up on your two feet.

Spend a few hours mastering the code, however, and you'll have all the fun you hoped for-and more, too.

Morse Code

A dot should last about half a second, and the dash should be about three times as long-one and one half seconds. Practice the timing until it becomes almost automatic with you.

You'll find it helpful in memorizing the code if you learn to recognize each symbol as a whole, rather than as a series of separate dots and dashes. Also, learn to recognize as a whole such commonly used words as and, for, the, but, are, is, it, they, etc.

Being on the receiving end is also helpful, since you won't have much trouble sending -if you can receive. (The standard Navy rate for sending blinker messages is eight words a minute.)

MORSE CODE

The International Morse Code

The International Morse Code

Common Abbreviations Used In Signaling

In addition to the code itself, there are several commonly used abbreviations and signs, all of which aid considerably in the course of signaling. They save a good deal of time, and with a little practice-after you have learned the Morse code-you too can learn to send the standard abbreviations, instead of spelling out in full many words needlessly. Several of the most commonly used abbreviations are listed here.

Urgent signal..............................................XXX

Go ahead............................................................K

Space sign........................................................II

Repeat sign....................................................UD

From ..............................................................DE

Message received..............................................R

Repeat back......................................................G

Yes......................................................................C

No ......................................................................N

Thank you......................................................TU

End of all transmission.............................SK

Am busy, do not interfere........................QRL

I am closing my station..............................CL

practice sending code

This combination set enables the student to practice sending code and to hear how it sounds when sent.

Two condensers

COST: $1.50-Two condensers and a resistor mounted on a chassis make up this all-electric code practice set.