Morse Code

Morse Code is probably one of the more famous coding systems. It was demonstrated in 1836 by Samuel Morse for use initially on telegraphs. It is still used today by radio operators, and will often get through when a voice communication would be incomprehensible.

It is a system made of dots and dashes. A dash is three times the length of a dot, three 'units'. The space between characters is three units, and that between words is seven units. There is one unit between components of a character.

It is essentially a binary system, a signal is 'on' or 'off', and information is transmitted by varying the length of the signals.

Letter Morse Letter Morse Digit Morse
A .- N -. 0 -----
B -... O --- 1 .----
C -.-. P .--. 2 ..---
D -.. Q --.- 3 ...--
E . R .-. 4 ....-
F ..-. S ... 5 .....
G --. T - 6 -....
H .... U ..- 7 --...
I .. V ...- 8 ---..
J .--- W .-- 9 ----.
K -.- X -..-
L .-.. Y -.--
M -- Z --..
Letter Morse Punctuation Mark Morse
Ä .-.- Full-stop (period) .-.-.-
Á .--.- Comma --..--
Ã… .--.- Colon ---...
Ch ---- Question mark (query) ..--..
É ..-.. Apostrophe .----.
Ñ --.-- Hyphen -....-
Ö ---. Fraction bar -..-.
Ü ..-- Brackets (parentheses) -.--.-
Quotation marks .-..-.
At sign @ .--.-.
Equals sign -...-

Note that American Morse is slightly different (as might be expected from the US!), particularly the full stop (period), comma and question mark (query).

It should be noted that Morse Code uses patterns of varying length. The most common English letter, 'E', is given the shortest symbol, 'dit'. The next most common, 'T', has the next shortest, 'dah'. 'A' is 'didah' and 'I' is 'didit'. This is not coincidence!