Utilizing an inexpensive handheld radio as a Morse transceiver

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Both ham and potential future amateur radio operators are well served by the market these days. Powerful and capable UHF and VHF handheld transceivers are now available for well under $ 100, which was unimaginable 20 years ago. Of course, much of the amateur radio scene was Morse code. Don’t worry, you can do this with a handheld too!

The setup is simple but effective. A Morse code training session generates tones in response to input from a Morse keyer. This audio is forwarded to the headset connection of a Baofeng handheld transmitter. A toggle switch is connected to the Baofeng’s push-to-transmit circuit to trigger the transmission when needed.

It’s a little different from the typical constant wave transmission methods so rarely used these days, but it gets the job done. Morse code has always been valued in situations where voice transmission is difficult due to low bandwidth or interference, and now it’s easy for new hams to try it out.

Morse code can be an attempt, but save yourself a thought for the people who had to pick it up in 1939. Video after the break.

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