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Morsecode community spirit


As one of the many STCW requirements, our students still learn Morse Code. As a mariner, they may encounter situations where those communication methods are their last resort, or the last resort of the people in need they may encounter on the open sea.

As a bonus, this knowledge will make a lot of other subject matters a lot more logical and thus easier to learn, like the sound signals described in the rules of the road, or visual navigation marks and radar beacons.

It is taught through self-study during the first year, and examined at the end of the year. Many underestimate it at first, partly because most online-training methods are focused on sound signals, not visual morse, so they had to figure out how to train themselves.

During the Corona-crisis we needed a way to send some Morse in an online-lesson. At Antwerp Maritime Academy we stumbled across the website and its translator module, which allowed to translate words and transmit flashes. Through a screenshot-movie or by forwarding a link to the site, it was possible to make exercises and exams. The students are also able to send messages to each other via the site for extra practice and entertainment.

We recommended the website to the students to practice by sending short messages to each other. When a small issue occurred, Stephen, the webmaster was very fast to fix it and enthusiastic to add the flashing function to the training modules.

Now, students have a free web-based application where they can train recognizing sequences of letters in various ways. It’s perfect, we can recommend not only to our students but to anyone who would like to train visual morse code.

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