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Learn about sending Morse code signals with your own telegraph

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <1 Week

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

With regards to communicating with each other instantly, things have really changed a lot in the last 150-200 years. Today we use cell phones, TV and radio to always be up to date with the latest news and happenings, but only about 200 years ago the quickest way to send someone a message was by horse rider! Luckily someone by the name of Samuel Morse invented something called the electric ‘Telegraph’ in the 1830’s.

With this device messages could be sent over a far distance instantly and this was only the starting block for the modern communication devices we use today! In this science experiment we will be re-creating that means of communicating via Morse code with your own telegraph:

Topics covered

Morse Code, Electromagnet, SOS Signal, Samuel Morse

What will I need?

  • 9-VOLT BATTERY
  • INSULATED COPPER WIRE
  • NAIL
  • PIECES OF WOOD
  • THIN COPPER PLATE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

When the ‘sender’ switch is pressed down, the strip makes contact with the screw underneath and the electrical circuit is complete. Current then flows trough the coil turning it into an ‘electromagnet’ and pulls or ‘attracts’ the copper plate above to it making a ‘clicking’ sound. When the ‘sender’ switch is released the current does not flow through the coil anymore and the magnetism is lost and the copper plate is released. These ‘clicks’ are used to sending messages in Morse code, clicking quickly for dots and slowly for dashes.

Like the sound of it?

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This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

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