Morse Codes trumps SMS in head to head combat

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KF6KDA, May 7, 2005.

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  1. KF6KDA

    KF6KDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, the world title for fastest text messaging is still raging in the streets. The victor in the most recent contest was a bit of a dark horse — 93-year-old telegraph operator Gordon Hill delivered a resounding whoopin’ to his rival, 13-year-old Brittany Devlin, using Morse Code. Of course, Mr. Hill does have nigh on 80 years of practice under his belt, which was enough to help him triumph even despite Brittany’s liberal use of texting slang (Mr. Hill transmitted the chosen phrase verbatim). The showdown was sponsored by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia, and the rivals had to transmit the following message: “Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing.”
  2. N1MLF

    N1MLF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dug back thru the links & heres the original article. ..JW..

    Submitted by Mike Grenville on Thu, 05 May 2005 23:01

    It seems that morse code is still faster at sending text messages than using txt speak. Even when the morse code sender is 93 years old and the SMS challengers were teenagers!

    According to The Times , an Australian museum staged a contest that pitted the oldest type of electronic text messages with the newest.

    morse code Devised by Samuel Morse in 1832, the simple combination of dots and dashes was the mainstay of maritime communication up until 1997.

    Not only was the technology a battle of ages, but so were the contestants. Tapping out the winning morse code message was 93-year-old telegraph operator Gordon Hill, who learnt to use the technique in 1927 when he joined the Australian Post Office.

    He easily defeated his 13-year-old rival, Brittany Devlin, who was armed with a mobile phone and a rich vocabulary of text message shorthand. Mr Hill, whose messages were transcribed by another telegraph veteran, Jack Gibson, 82, then repeated the feat against three other children and teenagers with mobile phones.

    In the competition, at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Mr Hill and his rivals were asked to transmit a line selected at random from an advertisement in a teenage magazine.

    It read: “Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing.”

    While the telegraphist tapped out the line in full, to be deciphered by Mr Gibson, Miss Devlin employed text slang to save time. She keyed: “hey gf u can txt ur best pals 2 tel them wot u r doing, where ur going and wot u r wearing.”

    Just 90 seconds after Mr Hill began transmitting, Mr Gibson announced that he had the message received and written down correctly. It took another 18 seconds for Miss Devlin’s message to reach the mobile phone belonging to her friend. Mr Hill said that he was impressed by modern technology, even though his clunky telegraph machine emerged on top in three further contests.

    Want to brush up your Morse Code skills? This site claims to be able to teach you in just a minute!:
  3. KC0W

    KC0W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have heard people referring to their radio as a:

    1. Transmitter
    2. Rig
    3. Rice box
    4. Buckets of bolts
    5. Boat anchor

    I guess that I will have to add "clunky telegraph machine" to the list!!

    Keep on a clunking,

    Tom kcØw
  4. KD7ATV

    KD7ATV Ham Member QRZ Page

    How fast was Mr. Hill sending the code at? I didn't see where the article mentioned that.

    Best of Luck and 73!

    Eric Stewart
  5. KC0NYK

    KC0NYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I counted up the characters, using straight count, not the way they count in a Morse test and divided by 1.5 minutes [90 seconds] which came out to 77.33 wpm.

    Heck, I can't even type that fast!!!!

    Jim Tuggle
  6. K7JAZ

    K7JAZ Guest

    Unless it's been broken, the world speed record for copying morse is supposed to be still held by Theodore McElroy, who copied a message at the speed of 75.2 WPM on July 2, 1939.

    If the guy at the other end of this contest copied it at 77.33, that would be a new record.
  7. VK2QQ

    VK2QQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Huh? 21 words in 90 seconds is roughly 14wpm, plus punctuation. Isn't it?
  8. AB2RC

    AB2RC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Testing count of 90 characters (1 for letters, 2 for punctuation) = 1 cps

    assuming 5 characters/word = 90 chars/5 = 18 words
    18 words / 1.5 minutes = 12 wpm
  9. K0WVM

    K0WVM Ham Member QRZ Page

    And to think many countries have either gotten rid of the requirement, or are considering it.

    I may not be big on morse, but it still holds a place in communication. Based on reading this, I think we know what the ultimate answer is.
  10. W3HF

    W3HF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Counting characters, then dividing by minutes, gives you characters per minute, not words per minute.

    Using the nominal 5 characters per word, 77.33 cpm gives just over 15 wpm. This is about the same as what the others have calculated.
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