DAHDAH DAHDAHDAH DITDAHDIT DITDITDIT DIT

The other day I quipped that, as I acquire the use of Morse Code, I was augmenting my study by watching episodes of Inspector Morse.  One person caught was I was talking about.  Apart from the name, the show’s musical theme is founded on Morse Code for the name “M-O-R-S-E”.  Furthermore, the show’s composer at times puts clues for the episode into the music using Morse Code, including at times the name of the perp.

A reader alerted me to a story that the Boy Scouts now have a language interpreter “strip” for Morse Code.

A blast from the past—in code
4 May 2012

Get ready to dot-dot your I’s and dash your T’s.

Today, the Boy Scouts of America released the Morse Code Interpreter Strip, an official patch for Scouts and Scouters who can demonstrate their ability to “speak” this special language.

Morse Code joins languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Sign Language, and several others as interpreter strips available for wear on Scout uniforms (above the right pocket).   [I think there is also one in Klingon.]

To get a typical interpreter strip, you must carry on a five-minute conversation, translate a two-minute speech, write a letter in the language, and translate 200 words from the written word.

But Morse Code, a vital communications tool during World War II, doesn’t really work with those requirements. So Jim Wilson and the BSA team crafted new ones:

Morse Code Interpreter Strip requirements

Carry on a five-minute conversation in Morse Code at a speed of at least five words per minute.

The patch design spells the message M-O-R-S-E

Copy correctly a two-minute message sent in Morse Code at a minimum of five words per minute. Copying means writing the message down as it is received.

Send a 25-word written document in Morse Code at a minimum of five words per minute.

If you want to hear the Inspector Morse theme – poignant and suited to the tragic protagonist – try this!

[wp_youtube]PD9Yvd7pFus[/wp_youtube]

Anyway… catch up with the hams HERE.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Ham Radio, Just Too Cool, Lighter fare and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to DAHDAH DAHDAHDAH DITDAHDIT DITDITDIT DIT

  1. The patch for Klingon, not to mention HTML and Pig Latin, are not official issue, but are parodies made by independent sources. Sort of a joke in Scouting circles. Didn’t realize they were still teaching Morse code, even as an elective. They dropped the requirement to learn semaphore years ago.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    Nobody had the flags! :-)

    _ _… / …_ _,

    _ . / …._ / _ _ / _ _ /_ _ .

  3. rcg says:

    Har! You heard it. Well done…

  4. Sid says:

    Inspector Morse Fan here — despite the show’s occasional commendation of socialism and opposition to religion (though I can’t recall an anti-Catholic reference). Perhaps the last show that I saw on the boobtube that obliged the viewer to use his brain.

    And a former Boy Scout with Morse Code memories. I’m glad to read that Scouts can now win merit though a scholastic pursuit such as foreign languages. In my day Scouts was a paramilitary organization led by G.I. vets eager to instill in their children their boot camp discipline.

    I’ve read that facility in Morse Code has helped patients in trauma who can’t speak yet can tap out code.

    The historian in me says that the telegraph was the first time humans communicated faster than the eye and the foot. If the United States will be remembered for anything, it will be in technological achievement, not political or academic or artistic. The greatest Americans were — in ascending order — Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton, Edison, Richard March Hoe (look him up, the father of cheap print), Jonas Salk, Morse, and in first place: Cyrus McCormick — the man who revolutionized the world. Before McCormick, most folks lived on the farm; after him, in cities.

  5. EXCHIEF says:

    Sounds like it is based pretty much on the old FCC Morse Code requirements for 5WPM….back in the day when the code was a licensing requirement

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    Husband is an Assistant Scoutmaster for our local troop.
    I see code practice in the scouts’ immediate future . . . . :-D

    _ _… / …_ _
    __../ .

    _ . / …._ / _ _ / _ _ /_ _ .

  7. Bryan Boyle says:

    — ..-. -.-. — ..- .-. … . -.– — ..- … …. — ..- .-.. -.. .-.. . .- .-. -. — — .-. … . -.-. — -.. . .-.-.- …. — .– . .-.. … . .– .. .-.. .-.. -.– — ..- -… . .- -… .-.. . – — –. . – – …. . — . … … .- –. . — ..- – .– …. . -. – …. . .- .–. — -.-. — .-.. -.– .–. … . …. .- .–. .–. . -. … ..–.. .— ..- … – … .- -.– .. -. –. .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.-

    –… …– -.. . .– -… —– -.– .-.. .

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    Bryan,
    . . . / . _ ./ .. – .._ / _ . / ._ / _ … / . _ .. / . / . ._ _ _ / _ . _ . / _ _ _ / . _ _ . / _ . _ _

    Can’t tell where the spaces are! >-<

  9. JonPatrick says:

    Interesting. Did not realize that about the Inspector Morse theme. That was always one of my favorite detective shows, because he was not perfect like Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot but sometimes made mistakes, seemed human (e.g. the show about the driving school instructor / serial killer, where he insists on going after the car dealer).

    Was really into Ham Radio in high school, only problem was I was not a citizen so could not get a license. By the time I got around to getting my citizenship, I had moved on to model railroading. Still remember some of the Morse though, and used to be an avid short wave listener until the Internet made that obsolete.

  10. albinus1 says:

    Morse Code joins languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Sign Language, and several others as interpreter strips available for wear on Scout uniforms (above the right pocket). [I think there is also one in Klingon.]

    There’s also one for Latin, or at least there was some years ago when I last checked.

  11. Andy Lucy says:

    @ Sid… “The historian in me says that the telegraph was the first time humans communicated faster than the eye and the foot.”

    Depends on your definition. The semaphore stations in the late 18th-early 19th century allowed a message to reach London from Portsmouth in as little as 60 seconds, depending on the length of the message.

  12. rcg says:

    Sid, I didn’t view Morse or Colin Dexter as anti religion, but overly pedantic and worried about hypocrisy, which is the central failing of ‘educated’ people. This was actually highlighted in the books. I always viewed Morse as an inquirer/agnostic. In fact Lewis is carrying that forward in his own programme by expressing hostility toward even the mention of God after the death of his wife. He rails on his assistant, Sergeant Hathaway, who is entertaining returning to seminary, I believe he is Catholic, so is the target of social bigotries. Again, I think this is Dexter’s brilliance by playing out the prejudices of the English in an uncomfortable way. The socialism thing was likely both Thaw’s artifact of his own world view as he developed the character and the comfortable stupor that has seized the heart of a once great nation.

  13. spock says:

    Yes. Morse code. The language of the Ham radio operators. Or, as an old friend used to say, “The Hamsters.” That was a cooler hobby to be into prior to the internet. It was cool because people were trying to make things themselves as opposed to getting something off the shelf. Doing cool things like going to the local hardware store and buying copper tubing and plumbing caps and turning them into microwave filters. Or aiming a lot of power at the moon with a high gain antenna, and receiving the returning signal (aka EME (Earth Moon Earth) or MoonBounce); the cool stuff.

    Father Z, 73 et Q’apla !

    Spock