27 Sep '12, 12am

Morse code on Earth: via @ednmagazine

Morse code being laid down on Mars by the Curiosity Rover’s tire treads. I got a couple of messages on the theme of “Morse code? People still use that?” Many commercial and military services have abandoned Morse in favor of any one of hundreds of digital modes, delivered via HF, VHF, UHF, or satellite. Even amateur radio licensing no longer requires a test in Morse code. So why is it that on certain weekends of the year, the HF amateur bands are jam-packed with tens of thousands of hams blasting their CW signals around the world? (see notes below ) I suppose there are a few reasons. First, any active ham can tell you that CW, being a narrow-band mode, can “get through” in marginal conditions when wider-bandwidth modes (like voice) cannot. There are certainly newer digital modes using various flavors of FSK and PSK, some with error-correction built in, but these require som...

Full article: http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/a-ham-s-eye-view/439...

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