How to Build a Simple Morse Code Transmitter With Common Household Items

Building a simple Morse code transmitter with common household items is an enjoyable electronics project that can be done in an afternoon. With just a few basic components, you can build your own transmitter to practice sending Morse code messages.

Gather the Required Components

To build the transmitter, you will need:

These components can be salvaged from old electronics or purchased quite cheaply at an electronics store or online retailer.

Construct the Circuit

Constructing the circuit is straightforward:

  1. Insert the 9V battery snap connector onto the breadboard. Connect the red lead to the positive bus strip and the black lead to the negative bus strip.

  2. Insert the LED onto the breadboard, noting which leg is positive (longer) and which is negative (shorter).

  3. Connect one leg of the LED to the positive bus strip through a 470 ohm resistor. This resistor protects the LED.

  4. Connect the other LED leg to any row on the breadboard. This leg will connect to the push button switch.

  5. Connect one leg of the push button switch to the same row as the LED's second leg.

  6. Connect the other leg of the push button switch to the negative bus strip.

When complete, closing the push button switch will allow current to flow through the LED, lighting it up. Releasing the button will turn the LED off again.

Use the Transmitter

To use your Morse code transmitter:

  1. Hold down the push button switch to send a dah (a long signal).

  2. Quickly tap the switch to send a dit (a short signal).

  3. Spell out letters and words using Morse code, lighting up the LED in sequences.

  4. Add pauses between letters and longer pauses between words to transmit a message.

With practice, you can quickly learn to tap out letters, words, and phrases using the simple handheld transmitter you built. Try responding to Morse code messages from a friend who builds their own receiver. This simple project is a great introduction to amateur radio and electronics!

Tips and Variations

So with just a handful of basic electronics components, you can build your own Morse code practice transmitter! It's a fun way to learn about circuits, electricity, and communications technology.