A Morse Of A Different Color

A Morse Of A Different Color

A Story by dw817
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Only recently have I really taken a good look at Morse code and decided that it could use some improvements to speed delivery and maintain a concise pattern besides.

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A MORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
 
© June 2017 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission


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This writing is rated: EVERYONE


It has only been of recent that I was examining Morse code when I realized that if you follow the letters sequentially, they really don't make any mathematical sense.

I had always believed that Morse code was written in binary, with DOT being zero and DASH being one - but now I see I am mistaken. There is some other reason for the unusual pattern it follows. See for yourself:



As you can see, the first letter is not just a dot nor the next a dash, but a combination of the two. No, you won't find the letter that represents a single dot until you get to letter T. Does this make any sense ? Not to me.

So, I thought about it, and while I could write a program to represent a new format of Morse code, why not write a better one ?

If we are still using Morse code today, surely it must be mechanized. So why not add a 3rd symbol to the dot and the dash ? A stagger. A stagger is a quick two-presses, faster than two dots and certainly a faster delay than the separation of letters.

If this is not possible, can you reverse polarity on an electric signal used for Morse transmission ? Then you could really have 2-more. Negative dot and negative dash. But for now, let's focus on just one addition, the stagger, and see a chart to represent characters that can be sent with it.

Here is a program I wrote to show what characters choices are possible with just 3 different kinds of "presses" instead of the usual 4 used today.



As you can see it follows a perfect binary pattern where a single dot is the SPACE, dash the period, and stagger the special mark, in this case, exclamation point. After that you have your letters. Two dots for "A," a dot and a dash for "B" and a dot and a stagger for "C" - and so on.

Using this method gives you 39-unique distinctions, in this case, space, period, exclamation mark, the letters A-Z and the digits 0-9.

Here is the source I wrote to generate this:

'    _____________________________________
'   //                                  //
'  //   DOUBLE MORSE CODE GENERATOR    //
' //   WRITTEN BY DAVID W - 06/14/17  //
'//__________________________________//

Strict

Graphics 800,600
SetScale 4,4

Local i,j,k,m,a$,n,c$

Global font:TImage=LoadAnimImage("sys/morse.png",8,8,0,96,0)
Global char$=" .!ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890"
Global trh=1,trv=16

For i=0 To 3
  For j=0 To 3
    For k=0 To 3
      If (i>0 And j>0 And k>0) Or (i=0 And j>0 And k>0) Or (i=0 And j=0 And k>0)
        a$=""
        If i>0 Then a$:+Chr$(95+i) Else a$:+"z"
        If j>0 Then a$:+Chr$(95+j) Else a$:+"z"
        If k>0 Then a$:+Chr$(95+k)
        n:+1
        c$=char$[n-1..n]
        trx a$+"z"+c$
      EndIf
    Next
  Next
Next
Flip
WaitChar

' >> TRANSMIT GRAPHIC FONT TO SCREEN
Function trx(t$)
Local i
  For i=0 To Len(t$)-1
    DrawImage font,(trh+i)*32,trv,t$[i]-32
  Next
  trv:+32
  If trv>=576
    trv=16
    trh:+9
  EndIf
EndFunction' TRX

Looking at the code you can see that you cannot just go through a binary set or you would never have the shortcut signals where there are 2 or less characters for a shortcut. Also you would have repeated patterns. Where blank would count twice for the same signal.

So it is important to have this inquiry in the code:


(i>0 And j>0 And k>0) Or (i=0 And j>0 And k>0) Or (i=0 And j=0 And k>0)


for your comparison, to ensure there is at least one valid character in the Morse set.

What are your ideas on the existing Morse code ? Do you know why letter T is favored for A for brevity ? Do you think a new"press" like stagger could be added and used today ? Or do you think is it possible to reverse the polarity on the electrical signal so a click up is possible as well as down ?




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© 2017 dw817



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dw817
dw817

Fort Worth, TX



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