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THE MORSE CODE BEEPING BEDSIDE CLOCK.
By ZL1ERI

Sometimes I think there still is a application or so for Morse code today even when it is no longer needed for communication. City councils are good at flooding public footpaths with what I think is "Footpath cancer" (Tactile plates) these things are darn dangerous when it is raining and you have wet shoes, but they are only put there for Visual Impaired Pedestrians (VIP), I really value my ability to walk, So far I am one of the lucky ones as I only lost shoe traction, I have heard a few stories from people who lost more than that.

If the city was so sincere in their commitment wanting VIP´s to come out of their hiding place and show themselves on the streets, why dont they make buzzers at electronic pedestrians crossing sound different, possibly with the use of Morse Code buzzing. Just a few years ago while walking home passed Auckland hospital on Park Road I saw a lady begin to cross the road when she heard the buzzer for the other side of the Road, the hospital driveway buzz, fortunately it was obvious she was not a VIP or she would of got run down.

To complement this footpath cancer, another idea for our VIP´s is have "shop entry door buzzers" buzzing out Morse code, a shop called say "Corner Dairy" could buzz out "C D C D C D ......." the shop next door could buzz out some other code, Then all our town and city VIP´s will know which shop they walked into, I would love to see this project get off the ground, every town or city that has footpath cancer should have Morse code electronic pedestrians crossing and Morse code shop door buzzers.

 

The Beeping Clock
(and thumbs down with talking clocks.)

I must say anyone who knows Morse code and does not have a Morse code beeping clock could be missing something in their life. I find the talking clocks so impolite, you are having or listening to a conversation and the clock blurts out "THE TIME NOW IS THREE OCLOCK" The Morse code beeping clock is great for a bed time clock you briefly come too from your sleep and if the time is a multiple of quarter in the hour you could get the time without moving to look at your bed side clock.

About the time I put this story together I did a quick search on Internet for "Morse code clocks", The best I found was a clock that display time with dots and dashes instead of numbers, what a worry I am just glad I never wasted my money on either a talking clock or Morse display type clock for that matter. Of course they could always come up with a 21nd century responsive clock, you ask "what is the time?" someone else says in the household says "GET A WATCH, I AM GETTING SICK OF THIS!" while the clock says "I am fine, how about you?" Just like corporate telephone robot receptionist work after they say "just ask me, I can understand everything you say"

The project idea started when I wanted to try and copy a clock from what my grandmother had when I was a young lad and often spent the weekend with her who had a clock in the kitchen that chimed out the time every hour and chime out a tune at fifteen minutes intervals. It was good if you were up during the day you might have a rough idea if it was ½ past 3 and not ½ past 2 or ½ past 4, but in bed at night when you gained consciousness, apart from the chimes on the hour any other chimes was a waste of time. So what is the time, is it ¼, ½ past or ¼ to what?

Non Morse code format.
So I made a digital clock and had the time beeping out the time every quarter of a hour in non Morse code format So each quarter of a hour it gives a extra long beep, so at say 3 o´clock it gives 4 long beeps with space then 3 shorter beeps.

At first I had a beep for each of the hours, but after a week or more those more than 9 beeps every 15 minutes about the time you went to bed became a bit of a pain (to put it nicely). So then I grouped the hour beeps up, first I grouped them up in fives so at 11 o´clock for example it gave 2 groups of 5 very quick beeps followed by another beep at the end. Later I grouped them up in fours so at 12 o´clock there was 3 groups of four quick beeps, Maybe not a good idea changing the system after hearing the old system for so long.

Morse code format.
About the time I got my call-sign I thought why not put Morse code into the clock, so it beeps out the time in Morse code and then beeps out the time in non Morse code format for the benefit of people who have not yet got a grip understanding from hearing Morse code. No doubt one could have the non Morse code beeps first followed by the Morse code format time beeps.

Since I wrote this story, it was intended to complement a article written in a amateur radio magazine, after spending many hours getting something good together. Then they told me they did not want it, it seems I am not good enough for them. so I thought why not put it up anyway, I have found the NZ amateur radio organization is just one big insult, the new editor passed off a insult, very strange how he has used two of my stories in a club newsletter almost word for word, and just for him, this page is how I put it together I did not get anybody else to recompose this web page or any other web page on this web site. So to reclaim some of my wasted time I decided to put it up any way, with a bit more unwanted information.

Also I have taken the non Morse code beeps off the clock it is just so much better now it is just one lot of Morse code at just one speed. Round about 15 WPM.

There is still a need for another Morse code program apart from what in on Internet listed at the bottom of the page.

I wrote my own very basic no thrills DOS type Morse code trainer with beep DIT time of 60 Milliseconds (about 15 WPM) it picks out a random word out of about 1400 words from a text file and beeps out the characters with a three second gap between each character so one has time to write it down, and in short it is almost like learning some of the Morse code all over again, as when you are using program like TEACH-4 and you hear a letter you learn to know to press a keyboard button "over there" instead of learning the "beep code" by the letter. (I had a strange feeling this might happen) Letters B & D was one for example, as I learned these two characters at the same time. (if that has something to do with it) But thanks to my program I got to learn when I hear and write down a word like " AHEA " I know the next sound is most likely going to be DAH DIT DIT for D. Then F & L is another strange pair as when I hear one of the two, at the moment I still have to look at the keypad to work out which one out of the two it is and by the time I have missed the next character, but F & L on TEACH-4 no problem. When I got to the stage of not writing down strange words, I wonder where to go. Maybe beep out a word with no extra time character gap and have multiple choice answers.

Since this web page before 2017.
I made a introduction before the time otherwise you miss half the time, so now just before the time it peeps out TIME in Morse code so to grab your attention.
I am also thinking of peeping out the first 24 letters of the alphabet for each hour, so at ½ past 12 in the morning it beeps out ‘A’ twice, at ¾ past 3 it peeps ‘C’ 3 times. No doubt you will soon get used to each letter to the hour, and if someone ask what is the 16th letter of the alphabet you can quickly answer without thinking too much, ¼ past 5 might get a bit boring been just one dit.

Example table of the current beeping clock.
  Morse code Sound
Time. Morse Code. Hours Minutes
¼ past 12 am. 0 3 DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH   DIT DIT DIT DAH DAH
¼ past 3 3 3 DIT DIT DIT DAH DAH   DIT DIT DIT DAH DAH
½ past 4 4 6 DIT DIT DIT DIT DAH   DAH DIT DIT DIT DIT
¾ past 9 9 9 DAH DAH DAH DAH DIT   DAH DAH DAH DAH DIT
10 am. or pm. 1 0 0 DIT DAH DAH DAH DAH, DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH   DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH
12 pm. 1 2 0 DIT DAH DAH DAH DAH, DIT DIT DAH DAH DAH   DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH 
¼ past 12 pm. 1 2 3 DIT DAH DAH DAH DAH, DIT DIT DAH DAH DAH   DIT DIT DIT DAH DAH

As I said about at one stage I had the clock beeping out the time in Morse code and non Morse code, In all honesty, it is better to have either one system or the other. I think it is better to drop the non Morse code altogether and repeat the Morse code about 3 or 4 times, the only problem now is, it gets a bit of a drag between 9:45 pm to 11:45 pm and worse still from 9:45 am to 1:00 pm as you get three numbers instead of two.

Some Morse code programs I have used,

Teach-4

Just Learn Morse Code by Sigurd Stenersen LB3KB

http://justlearnmorsecode.com or http://utvikling.com

CW Player 4.2.4 By Gibriel Rivat F6DQM

http://www.f6dqm.fi

Koch method Trainer (version 9.2.4) by G4FON

http://www.qsl.net/n1irz/finley.morse.html

Do not ever get involved in Amateur radio!

They may behave like gentlemen when they are on the radio, but off the air they can be anything but.