Morse code operator identification

Discussion in 'General' started by Cliff Corderoy, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Cliff Corderoy

    Cliff Corderoy New Member

    Hello, just found this forum.
    And apologies for this rather long and obscure question for 1942 information.
    Reading "I only joined for the hat" by Christina Lamb and "The spies at Gilnahirk" by George Busby I understand morse code signals received on a radio, were inked onto paper tape using an undulator. From this, two WRENS would take measurement and plot them onto squared graph paper to reveal the distinctive signature of the key operator. So, how are the measurements taken and how to draw the graph. Apologies again. Cliff (a radio 'ham)
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Well-Known Member

    Clive - you are becoming very geeky :wacko::pipe: you OK?

  4. timuk

    timuk Active Member

    This isn't my area but apparently every morse code operator has a unique style, known as his 'fist' and this can be recognised by other operators. I remember seeing a programme on the sinking of the ferry Princess Victoria during the severe gale of 1953. The ship sent out an SOS by morse code as she did not have a radio telephone and the operator at Portpatrick, the receiving station, said he could tell which radio officer was transmitting. The radio officer was David Broadfoot who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for remaining at his post till the end.
  5. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit Patron

    This piece of kit was not used on Morse,but Tunny, but the principle of getting a printout is the same. Since this system is mechanical there is no detectable difference in rhythm, which you would get in a human Morse operator.
    Tunny used a radio signal modulated to represent the 5 bit teleprinter codes. Each bit (1 or 0) was represented by audio tones which modulate the radio signal. These tones had to be filtered out to determine if each bit was 1 or 0. There had to be no errors in regard to lost characters, else the code breaking would not succeed.

    Enigma was sent by Morse and I believe an experienced intercept operator 'got to know' the style of the operator. I believe it was also used to check if agents had been substituted, which may be the reason for the OP.

    For 'Fingerprinting', see here:

    Special Operations Executive methods to uniquely identify a W/T Operator -
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  6. Cliff Corderoy

    Cliff Corderoy New Member

    Many thanks to Clive, Tim and Geoff for the replies. I've been doing a lot of catchup reading in this forum on, Y service, hut 6, Leo Marks ; my domestic's are getting behind with it all. Thank you again. Cliff.

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