[Fwd: PARA E-mail members]

David V. Rogers dvrogers@bellatlantic.net
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 06:48:57 -0400

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Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 21:19:14 -0400
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The following thanks to Piero N3FVG:

This article I extracted from Broadcast Engineering, Sept. 98 edition,
   Before television, and there really was a time before television
there was radio. Radio distinguished itself, in its early days, as being
the lifeline between ships at sea and the remainder of the world.
Incidents that live in the annals of radio history are many, but one
particular comes to mind; when a young Russian immigrant, David Sarnoff,
copied the dots and dashes of the distress message from the ill-fated SS
Titanic. As most of us know, Sarnoff went off to become the head of RCA
and probably did more to bring television into the homes of Americans
than any other industry leader, but that is how he got his start.
   As of March 1, 1999, the dots and dashes from the ships at sea will
be silenced, as morse code will dissapear from the high seas. This is
the date when all passenger ships and cargo ships over 300 gross tons
will no longer be permitted to use morse code for distress calls.
   It is interesting to note that the International Maritime
Organization {IMO} ends this phase of telegraphy only 22 days short of
the 155th anniversary of of Samuel F.B. Morse first message "What hath
God Wrought?"
   The IMO says, "Morse code is being phased out because of its many
drawbacks. These include the need for years of training and practice for
operators to use it." The truth hurts, but the IMO says that if
something happened to the radio operator, it is unlikely that anyone
else onboard a ship would be able to use the telegraphy equipment.
I found this a good article, sad, but good...hope you did too.
                   WM5M  David Aldridge