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Re: Morse Code Article



> It's a good article, 


   Not really.  It gets several material facts incorrect, like when
the coast guard stopped CW watchkeeping on 500KHz, and makes 
patently ridiculous statements like "Morse Code gets the message through
under conditions that defeat modern digital modes", when digital 
modes like QBPSK are still cranking along when a human operator can't 
even *hear* a CW signal buried deep in the noise.  Even a cheezy
digital mode like 2-ary FSK RTTY blows away CW when coupled with
an ancient IBM XT and a multimode controller, by several dB.

> but it misses to point out that Morse is an
> international *language*, making conversations possible between people
> who otherwise couldn't understand each other. 

   Again, incorrect.  There are some well established prosigns that
are used ( "599 HR OM TNX FER QSO" ), that allow two operators
to exchange an extremely small amount of information, but that's no
different from a non-English speaking SSB operator who can
say "599 OM QSL?" in English, and nothing else.   Don't mistake
the mechanism with what it encodes.  Could you use CW to ask a 
non-English speaking op to tell you about his job?  How would he
respond to you using prosigns and contest exchanges?  Morse can
be used to encode English, German, or Latin, but it certainly
isn't a "language" that magically allows people to hold meaningful
conversations with someone who speaks another tongue.

 - Rich

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