PA3CLQ's Leuke Linken Nr. 361


Curious - MorseKOB use - International or American Morse?

I'm very curious. Of everyone out there that uses MorseKOB, do folks perfer one version of Morse over another?

I wonder if I can create a poll and see who uses either or both.


Could you define "version of Morse" please?
Ed. FB


Hi Ted:

American Morse is used pretty much exclusively on the MorseKOB "wires."

There are plenty of other options for using and promoting Continental Code, not the least of which are the vast resources of Amateur Radio and the many organizations that promote CW, such as FISTS, SKCC, CWOPS, etc.

Of course, there's no prohibition against using Continental Code (international Morse), and I have switched to the International Code occasionally when chatting with former telegraphers from New Zealand or Australia.

However, one will generally encounter American Morse simply because the MTC mission is to perpetuate the history and traditions of telegraphy, the telegraph industry and the America. Morse Code,

73, JW / James Wades, International President, Morse Telegraph Club, Inc.


Makes sense.

I'm going through Les's tutor for learning to do dual.

With the MorseKOB Turnkey interface, it's possible with our cell phones to help participate with anyone else using a similar setup using cell phone wireless networks.

I am thinking from my previous hobby of Civil War reenacting.

I think there's a mix of reenacting folks guys doing telegraphy who may not be members of the MTC and use continental in their local closed loops.

I think there is a mix of folks doing various things for demos.
Ted, TW, "Ted the Chilehead"


Ahhh..I think I see what you were asking now...

Except for very occasional circumstances (such as working with Australian telegraphists), I tend to use MorseKOB pretty much exclusively with American Morse

on the wires and with real telegraph sounders.

Continental code as used on the radio uses a completely different receiving system ("make-break" or "on-off" tones) and I tend to use that exclusively on

the radio.

I don't like to mix the two any more than necessary.

I did have Les Kerr help me with a program he developed in the MorseKOB systsem that "speaks" international code.

I use it for sending bulletins on the amateur radio circuits.

The program operates off-line (not connected to the internet) and keys the MorseKOB output of the computer, which in turn operates the regular telegraph loop, where I cut in a keying relay that keys the radio transmtters.

The program is flexible. I can change the sending speed to any value within reason, WPM is independently set from Character speed so "Farnsworth" sending is possible and I can change the text content of the bulletins at will.

I also added some of the prosign signals to the character list for International code that is in the MorseKOB system, such as the "newline" signal used in message addresses (didahdidah), the "break" signal (dahdidididah), the end of message signal (didahdidahdit) and so on, that are commonly used in radiotelegraph message work.

Ed FB Lake Trump


From time to time I'm asked whether it's OK to use International Morse on the KOB system.

These inquiries typically come from Australia or New Zealand, where International Morse was used on the landline telegraph network.

I always say it's fine, and at one point I earmarked one of the KOB wires for International code.

Although MorseKOB 2.5 can be used with any code (American Morse, International code, dot code, tap code, or any other code that can be sent as on/off signals), the keyboard and code reader only work with American Morse.

However, later versions of MorseKOB allow the code sender and code reader to work with either American or International.
In general, International Morse has had very little use on the KOB system.

A notable exception is the network of Wells Fargo museums with working telegraph displays that are linked together through the KOB server.

They started off using American Morse for historical accuracy, but they found it was too difficult and frustrating for visitors to successfully send in American Morse.

They switched to International and that seems to be working much better for them.

(Another compromise for pragmatic reasons was going without a shorting lever on the telegraph keys.

In this sense, their system is more akin to an open-circuit telegraph configuration.)

The Wells Fargo museums are now using three KOB wires (202, 203, and 205).

The first two are used as message wires for communicating among the various Wells Fargo sites.

These are set up as "private wires", so they're can't be accessed by non-Wells Fargo sites.

The third wire has a feed that continuously sends Wells Fargo telegrams (in International code at 15 wpm).

You can hear what this sounds like by connecting to wire 205.
73, Les Kerr


If you haven't done CW in a while, I would stay away from the mixed tones.

Just use a sounder for Morse and tones for International.

Your brain will have an easier time keeping the two straight.
Also, I found that a sounder was gibberish at first until the character speed got above 18 wpm.

Use the Farnsworth settings in MorseKOB to add as much space between fast characters as you need.
73, Chip


Great suggestions Chip.

I have found keeping the two codes using sounders for Morse and the "make break" tones for Continental code as used on the radio separate helps a lot.
The receiving systems are so completely different
Ed. FB

Hello Gang:

Interesting discussion.

Since most of our new members of MTC come from the ranks of radio amateurs, such a topic would make an excellent article for Dots and Dashes.

There are, of course, a variety of useful recommendations for smoothing the transition from Continental Code to Morse Code. Perhaps we need to collect some of these and put them into a single article designed to encourage some of our radio amateur members to learn the "Mother Tongue."

In addition to some of the techniques mentioned, I do know it helps if one is already proficient with Continental Code.

That is; one is able to treat CW like a spoken language by efficiently copying in one's head, transcribing only what is needed, and being able to copy messages as needed with pen or mill at reasonable speed.

This foundation allows one to more easily develop the additional skills needed to adapt to a second code, much as one skilled in one language can more easily pick up the vocabulary and structure of a related language (e.g. Germanic, Slavic, Romance, etc.).

While I strongly support and encourage hams to get involved in MTC and MorseKOB, I also often tell them to first develop a reasonable level of proficiency with CW before taking on a new code.

As to Continental Code on the sounder....I agree with Ed. It sounds really strange!

I can copy it fine, of course, and I will occasionally use it when chatting with one of our members from "Down Under," but I do like to keep Continental Code on the radio and American Morse on the sounder.

73, James Wades President Morse Telegraph Club, Inc. member of MorseKobGroup & SlowSpeedWireGroup


For what's it's worth, here's a link to a paper I wrote seven years ago:

It offers some suggestions on how to make the transition from CW to American Morse, and I think this may be the tutorial that Ted referred to at the beginning of this thread.

My original hope was that it would help ease the way for ham radio operators who might be interested in getting into landline telegraphy.

It was my best effort at the time, but it received so little positive feedback that I relegated it to an obscure corner of the KOB website.
The concept of combining a CW tone with sounder clicks was suggested by Sid Vaughn, who felt strongly that it was good way for someone who was having trouble making the transition to a sounder.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a preferred learning technique, but it's there as an option.
"Les Kerr"



If you will you can learn the Original American Morse Code via:

Download one of the MorseKop versions by Les Kerr and listen on several wires.

There is also an MorseKOB 2.5 Tutorial: A Guided Tour of the Program at:

73, Jan P. pa3clq




Long video, but I have been posting info on the MorseKOB turnkey interface on my facebook to some friends.

"Ted the Chilehead"


Apparently I am not his friend may not see it.

Jan P. pa3clq


Pulled up the link...

The Morse is unreadable, obviously the audio is not synchoronized with the action of the sounder bar...dunno what gives, but if any telegrapher hears that audio with the video clip he will wonder what the heck is going on...


Well, I'm still not 100% on my American Morse, so I just copied what was in the code reader window.

So, my guess is my phone didn't handle the video well and there was a shift in the audio.

"Ted the Chilehead"

It sure doesn't sound like Morse to me.

I would suggest at least taking the audio down, maybe re do it.
73 - Warren

REM : 


Well, my apologies.

In my excitement and haste I thought I was doing a good thing.

I still have a long way to go I guess.

"Ted the Chilehead"


Oh Boy!

73, 3clq


L.J."Lionel" Train- b. Kinmount - joined the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY IN 1911.

Mike - W0VTT

I am not an American but I do know a little about your MILESTONES IN TELEGRAPH HISTORY!

First of all,J.H.Bunnell was a civilian Telegrapher in the War Dept in Washington when Abe Lincoln was President.

Later, Jesse Bunnell opened shop in New York . In Feb 1875 , J.H. Bunnell & Co got a patent on a sounder he invented!!!

There are a lot of these sounders throughout North America with the marks on the brass base- J.H.Bunnell & Co. Ц Pat. 1875

If you want to hear a J.H.Bunnell & Co 1875 sounder Ц in an antique Mascot resonator -This is what you do!

Google Ц Mascot Resonator

An image of an old Mascot resonator will come up! Click on the resonator and get yout Уstick pencilФ ready as the operator is sending about 35 WPM.

It is a press release from afghanistan Ц Wherein the Taliban are indicating they can strike anyplace Ц anytime they want etc

You can always send out an У S-O-S У on the slow speed wire if you need a help feature ? Surely someone out there will read

the message! It is good American Morse.

Good Luck!

Gren Schrader, SlowSpeedWireGroup


The North

ItТs too bad the train doesnТt run to Churchill any more.

My late husband and I took the trip a few years ago and it was well worth while.

My brother was an operator at Churchill and sometimes the winter wind was so strong he had to crawl on his hands and knees from the bunkhouse to the station. The only thing was that the train could only go very slowly for quite a few miles over tundra.

A person could run alongside the train.

We saw a few polar bears.

During the war the Americans had a base at Churchill and often a trainload of military men stopped at Sifton where I lived in the station.

I worked one winter up north in Flin Flon as an operator and had to walk to work in 40 below weather.

The Northern Lights were spectacular, both at Sifton and Flin Flon.

73, Lavina Shaw Past IntТl. President MTC SlowSpeedWireGroup


Bug Debounce / Descratcher using LMC555 Continued discussion of PLL Nr. 360

Hello guys and gals,
I have found that when I really don't know much about a subject, typographical errors can really confuse me.
I have also found that I make such errors myself, because my brain works faster than my fingers, because - and this is unfortunately quite common - I assume that everyone knows already what I'm talking about (ever read a Linux Manual page which tells you much except how to read the manual page and what the conventions are).
To help the new comers.
Joe (JP) said: "The early Deluxe bugs did not have the ground braid and it did solve the problem"
He made an error.

He meant to say that the early Deluxe bugs DID have the ground braid and it did solve the problem.
The problem is that the Jeweled Movement which was introduced in 1940 was non-conducting.

The standard movement - cup and point type bearing - conducts because it is conducting metal against conducting metal.

The jeweled movement is a cup and round elbow shaped on the trunnion - the jewel being either commercial garnet or ruby does not conduct.
John Oppenheimer gave us a link to show us the ground braid in an early Vibroplex Deluxe bug.

i would get very confused if I didn't know better.
The problem is that the bug in question isn't a deluxe bug, it's a standard bug (unless someone went to the trouble of changing out the red finger pieces for black ones).

Also the grounding braid is on the wrong side.
The grounding braid runs from the Yoke - which is the upside-down U that supports the vibrator or main lever.

There is a #4 machine screw (very short in length) that is located at the foot of the Yoke on the side facing the operator.

At the base of the Yoke, there is a widening of the cast metal Yoke on both sides like a shoulder and underneath on the surface that contacts the base there are two flat head screws that secure the Yoke to the base.

On the side of the bug that the Vibrator makes contact with the fixed dot contact which is on the dot contact post there is another #4 machine screw either drilled into the dash lever bent dog eared pivot or if memory serves sometimes elsewhere on the lever that is not on the dash lever.

(I am looking at the only Original I have at my desk and it's a LEFTY - so the pig tail of copper braid is on the "other" side from a right handed bug.
Curiously, the Deluxe Lightning Bug which is an assembled - not cast - frame and has NO such yoke with a widening (shoulder) so there is no good place to attach a ground wire.

So there is NO such wire.

The ground return on the Deluxe Lightening Bug is totally dependant on the circuit consisting of the physical contact between the main lever of the key and the dot lever tension spring and the dot tension spring adjusting screw to the frame.
As you can imagine it is only spring tension that provides the return circuit (ground) of the Deluxe Lightening Bug - or for the modern post 1980-ish Deluxe versions of Vibroplex keys.
For years I did not know why these keys produced problems that other keys did not.

Also the Vibroplex Deluxe VibroKeyer - at least in the single lever variety has the same problem - there is no conduction through the jeweled bearing of the key.
I hope I have not made more problems for those looking for help - I want to make sure this information is available because it was difficult for myself and others to figure out what the problem was with our bugs - the contact wasn't consistant.

Sometimes the dots were solid, sometimes they were not.
The problem was that the ground return from the vibrating lever was "iffy" - sometimes it was good sometimes it was not good and it was intermittant.
It was even worse figuring out why a VibroKeyer made errors at 60 wpm - it was the same "iffy" ground contact. When a piece of braid from the main lever to the yoke was connected, the errors stopped.
I don't know these things because I'm smarter than anyone, I just tried to solve this frustrating problem for about fifty years and finally figured it out and I want to share the information before I start pushing up flowers or weeds.
As long as I'm on the top side of the grass, things can't be that bad.

The earthworms will just have to wait.
73, David N1EA


Thanks, David, for spotting my BIG GOOF!

I was doing a monthly News Sheet and I typed exactly the reverse of what my mind was thinking.
Not good for an editor!

And Dave pointed out a short coming of many tech writers.

I used three proofers for my manuals and, sometimes, four!

One would be someone not knowledgeable on the subject, if available.

Thank you for the warning on Linux.

A future endeavour.
I have found quite a few bugs with poor grounding of the dot bar causing some really weird problems.

Recently with a relatively new bug, also.

Tightening one screw a little bit solved the problem

Joe V31JP


Another popular & simple approach is shown here with before and after waveforms:

73, Mike ab3ap


I decided to go with the kit from Jackson Harbor Press.

The trouble with bugs is that if you get them to stop bouncing at ONE speed, they will tend to bounce at other speeds.

I like to set mine for about 16 - 18 wpm, and I am happy to QRS for the guys who run down around 10 - 13 wpm any time, but that is when I run into more bounce
and it requres more skillful use of the bug to keep it from bouncing. If you slap too hard, or try to go too fast for the setting it will tend to generate more bounce.
Fun nevertheless!
73 - Bry AF4K

My simple website about Gigantic DF-Antennas

Part 1 "DF-Antenna Wullenweber Array"

Part 2 "DF-Antenna USSR Variants"

Part 3 "DF-Antenna USA Variants"

Next Part 4 "USSR OTHRA DUGA 1,2 & 3" at: