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"Tapping" a telegraph wire

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  • Tony Gunter
    Chickasaw talks about tapping a telegraph wire near Grenada during a raid by Grierson in winter 1864. I suppose this would entail cutting the wire,
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 7, 2005
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      "Chickasaw" talks about "tapping" a telegraph wire near Grenada during
      a raid by Grierson in winter 1864. I suppose this would entail cutting
      the wire, hooking up two telegraph sets, and relaying any telegraphs
      that came over one set to the next. Is that correct?
    • John Beatty
      You shouldn t have to cut the wire. It was not insulated. All that was needed was a key. Figuring out the code in pre-standard morse days may have been
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 8, 2005
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        You shouldn't have to cut the wire. It was not
        insulated. All that was needed was a key. Figuring
        out the code in pre-standard morse days may have been
        tricky, though. But apparently it was done often
        enough.

        --- Tony Gunter <tony_gunter@...> wrote:

        >
        > "Chickasaw" talks about "tapping" a telegraph wire
        > near Grenada during
        > a raid by Grierson in winter 1864. I suppose this
        > would entail cutting
        > the wire, hooking up two telegraph sets, and
        > relaying any telegraphs
        > that came over one set to the next. Is that
        > correct?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >


        _________________________________
        John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
        AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
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      • Tony Gunter
        ... But the dashes and dots were generated by opening and closing the loop current, which means to listen to the message, you have to physically cut the wire
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 8, 2005
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, John Beatty <jdbeatty.geo@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          > You shouldn't have to cut the wire. It was not
          > insulated.

          But the dashes and dots were generated by opening and closing the loop
          current, which means to listen to the message, you have to physically
          cut the wire and hook a listening device to it in series, right? I
          thought telegraph was a point-to-point communication, and that for
          messages spanning several telegraph stations, each station would have
          to receive the message and then retransmit it on down the line until it
          reached its destination. Is that not correct?

          I have no idea, that's just how I have always imagined it worked.
        • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
          In a message dated 12/8/2005 12:09:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, ... But the dashes and dots were generated by opening and closing the loop current, which
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 8, 2005
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            In a message dated 12/8/2005 12:09:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, tony_gunter@... writes:
            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, John Beatty <jdbeatty.geo@y...>
            wrote:
            >
            > You shouldn't have to cut the wire.  It was not
            > insulated.

            But the dashes and dots were generated by opening and closing the loop
            current, which means to listen to the message, you have to physically
            cut the wire and hook a listening device to it in series, right?  I
            thought telegraph was a point-to-point communication, and that for
            messages spanning several telegraph stations, each station would have
            to receive the message and then retransmit it on down the line until it
            reached its destination.  Is that not correct?

            I have no idea, that's just how I have always imagined it worked.
            There is no need to cut the wire.  Being a single strand, what they most likely used was a loop coil.  The same procedure is used today to measure current. Since code was sending variances of current according if it was a dah or a dit, the coil using the princiles of induction,  would send the sent code to the snoopers key machine.  Voila, you receive the enemy's transmission.
             
            JEJ      DiDiDaDahDiDit
             
             
          • Tony Gunter
            ... they most ... measure ... it was a dah or a ... Are you sure about that? I thought they simply closed the loop for a variable period of time (a short
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 8, 2005
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              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, GnrlJEJohnston@a... wrote:
              > There is no need to cut the wire. Being a single strand, what
              they most
              > likely used was a loop coil. The same procedure is used today to
              measure
              > current. Since code was sending variances of current according if
              it was a dah or a
              > dit,

              Are you sure about that? I thought they simply closed the loop for a
              variable period of time (a short tap on the button for dot, and a
              hold it down for 250 milliseconds or so for dash), and that the loop
              state was either on-hook or off-hook, just like old telephones.

              To do what you're saying, you'd actually have to coil a wire around
              the telegraph lines several hundred times to be able to pick up
              enough induction to read what was going over the line. Call me
              sceptical.
            • John Beatty
              ... saying, you d actually have to coil a wire around the telegraph lines several hundred times to be able to pick up enough induction to read what was going
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 11, 2005
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                >Are you sure about that? ...To do what you're
                saying, you'd actually have to coil a wire around the
                telegraph lines several hundred times to be able to
                pick up enough induction to read what was going over
                the line. Call me sceptical.

                Me, too, but all you'd really need was a loop of wire
                over the conductor and a key just like the one doing
                the recieving. It would have to work that way.


                _________________________________
                John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
                AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
                "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"

                __________________________________________________
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              • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                In a message dated 12/11/2005 12:50:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jdbeatty.geo@yahoo.com writes: Me, too, but all you d really need was a loop of wire over
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 11, 2005
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                  In a message dated 12/11/2005 12:50:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jdbeatty.geo@... writes:
                  Me, too, but all you'd really need was a loop of wire
                  over the conductor and a key just like the one doing
                  the recieving.  It would have to work that way.
                  All circuitry must have a complete "loop" or return path.  Since the signal is sent on a single wire, the loop would go from ground to the sending power source, to the sending key, through the wire, to the receiving key, through the receiving key power source, back to ground again.  Either by "tapping" (connecting physically to the wire) or by induction (method described above) to the receiving key, to the receiving power source, to ground, would make a complete circuit in parallel with the sending source.
                   
                  JEJ
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