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Re: [civilwarwest] "Tapping" a telegraph wire

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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