Tag Archives: Morse Code

Stampfl products on eBay

This morning, I noticed that the Swiss radio and Morse key manufacturer, Stampfl, is selling some of their products on eBay.

In particular, they’ve listed the Junior 1 shortwave radio receiver kit (above) and the STM-11 Classic Morse Code straight key (below).

Stampfl was founded by Heinz Stampfl (HB9KOC)–I’ve been following his work the past few years, especially fascinated with his SDR designs which are (sadly) only experimental and have never been put into production.

I’m particularly fascinated with the MICRO SWRX:

And the EXPERIMENTAL SWRX:

I’ve written Heinz more than once encouraging him to put these on the market. Of course, it’s an easy request coming from a consumer who doesn’t have to front the production costs and inherent overhead!

Heinz, if you’re reading this, why not do a Kickstarter campaign for one of your fine SDR designs?!

The Junior 1 receiver kit

The Stampfl Junior 1 shortwave receiver kit looks like a lot of fun not only to operate, but also to build and I’m sorely tempted to purchase one!

Here’s a video of the Junior 1 in action:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to download the Junior 1 manual.

The Junior 1 is listed as an auction on eBay with a starting bid of $50 with $25 Economy Shipping to the US. The BuyItNow price is $70.

I think $95 US shipped is a fair price for what looks like a fascinating little receiver kit designed by an (obviously) talented engineer.

Click here to view on eBay.

Post readers: Have any of you built the Junior 1 or purchased any of Stampfl’s Morse Code keys? Please comment!

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Morse Code: A staple in the Navy Information Warfare toolkit

SX-99-Dial-NarMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, John George, who shares the following story from DVIDShub.net:

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The cryptologic technician (collection) (CTR) student cohort in the first revised Basic Manual Morse Trainer (BMMT) course wrapped up, Jan. 28, at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Unit Corry Station.

The update included the latest Manual Morse software used by the Department of Defense and was tested out in a nine-week pilot course that concluded in September. The self-paced course provides basic instruction and practical application in the interception of Morse-type communications.

“Morse code continues to be an inexpensive and efficient means of communication for many states throughout the globe,” said Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (IDW/NAC/SW/AW) Tony Gonzales, CTR rate training manager for CID headquarters. “Manual Morse operators here at Corry Station are learning a skill set that has stood the test of time. Many of our most senior CTRs began their careers as Manual Morse operators.”

[…]“There is something special about learning a skill that Sailors have been performing since World War II,” said Gonzales. “The connection between the past, present and future cryptologic technician (collection) is rarely seen in our line of work as technologies are forever changing.”

Continue reading at DVIDShub.net…

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Morse code training in the Air Force

 (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Pete Carron (W3DKV) who writes:

“Thought you might be interested in the following article from Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, posted May 20, 2015. Apparently Morse Code still isn’t dead, not even in the military!”


Morse code training moving to Goodfellow

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Morse code training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, will transfer to the 316th Training Squadron at Goodfellow, allowing the Air Force to take the reins for future training.

The move stems from the Army’s redirection of training requirements, leaving the Air Force as the sole remaining branch attending the course taught at Fort Huachuca.

In the last 10 years, the Army renovated the course to cater as a secondary skill set and serve as a support function, rather than being a single source of intelligence gathering. As this happened, the Navy began teaching their own course at Pensacola, Florida.

The Goodfellow course will train 10 students annually starting July 1. Tech. Sgt. Ryan N. Kilcrease and Senior Airman James M. Gosnell, 316th Training Squadron Morse code instructors, will be the first to teach the course here.

“Morse will never fully go away as long as it remains the cheapest, most reliable way to communicate,” said Kilcrease. “Our adversaries will continue to use it, so we still need to be able to understand them if we want to be able to continue our mission successfully.”

Gosnell believes that the course still holds benefits for the Air Force.

The military recognized the benefits of Morse code for communication after Samuel F. B. Morse completed the first coded message in history by transmitting, “What hath God wrought?” from the U.S. Capitol to a railroad station in Baltimore, Maryland, May 24, 1844.

President Abraham Lincoln relied on it during the Civil War to gather intelligence and communicate directly with his generals.

The Department of Defense embedded it heavily into all armed forces as a communication device with the Army-lead training in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In 1993, the training moved to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where Operating Location B, 316th TRS, is located.


Thanks for sharing this article, Pete!

I like Tech. Sgt. Ryan N. Kilcrease’s quote:

“Morse will never fully go away as long as it remains the cheapest, most reliable way to communicate”

If you listen to the CW (a.k.a. Morse code) portions of the ham radio bands, you’ll hear that CW is still very much alive and well. It is an incredibly reliable and robust communications medium.  As we CW operators say: “CW always gets through!”

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Aircraft Communications in 1915

A French communication system for use by airplane pilots in 1915: black powder could be puffed out into a Morse code message. Image: Scientific American, September 25, 1915

A French communication system for use by airplane pilots in 1915: black powder could be puffed out into a Morse code message.
(Image: Scientific American, September 25, 1915)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Robert Gulley, who notes the following on his blog:

I found this interesting post from Scientific American concerning the lack of reliable wireless communication in aircraft in 1915 – just one of those fascinating historical tidbits.

You can read the full post on Robert’s website or Scientific American.

It is fascinating to see “old school” innovations that made long distance communications possible in 1915; before wireless technology became as practical and accessible as it was even only a decade later.

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The Juno Earth Flyby QSL card

Happiness is receiving the Juno Earth Flyby QSL card in the mail:

JunoQSLFront-Med

JunoQSLBack-Med

Many thanks to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for making the Juno Flyby such a fun experiment. To read more about the flyby, check out our post from last year.

Were any readers able to “work” the Juno spacecraft?

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