Code Key

Avalable During Exhibit Hours

Our Large 2' x 3' CW Key is used by attendees to see how accurately and speedily they could send using their foot (standing) or their 'fanny' (squatting down). 

Pacificon first did this in 1992 - 1995The Long Island CW Club will be hosting and running this activity. It is good for a lot of laughs and prompts good natured competitions for new hams as well as competitive contest old timers.

The 2' by 3' code key is a very large version of standard code key (about 3" x 5") used by hams for continuous wave (CW) transmissions using morse code dits, dahs and spaces. Morse code was originated by Samuel Morse in New Jersey in 1838 for wired telegraph communications. It was used for wireless telegraph communication (radio) and later for transatlantic telegraph communications before AM transmissions became common in the 1920s.

One of the most famous CW signals sent by radio was SOS sent by the SS Slavonia in 1909 (the first use of SOS). Operators employed by Guglielmo Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company also made the SOS distress call famous when sent from the RMS Titanic in 1912.

Since 2007 morse code is no longer a requirement for amateur licenses, but hams continue using CW today as a main form of ham radio communication around the world (and beyond) because it is the most likely form of communications to get through in bad communications propagation conditions.

Hams around the world still use CW for day to day communications, on-the-air contests and activating parks and summits (POTA and SOTA) on the air.