Morse codes for Latin letters are sequences of between one and four symbols, where each symbol is a dot or a dash. There are 2 possible sequences with one symbol, 4 with two symbols, 8 with three symbols, and 16 with four symbols. This makes a total of 30 sequences with up to four symbols. There are 26 letters, so what are the four missing codes?
Here they are:
.-.- ..-- ---. ----
There are various uses for these codes, such as variants of Latin letters.
The first sequence on the list,
.-.- is similar to two A’s
.- .- and is used for variations on A, such as ä or æ.
..-- is like a U (
..-) with an extra dash on the end, and is used for variations on U, like ü.
---. is like O (
---) with an extra dot on the end, and is used for variations on O, like ö.
The last sequence
---- is used for letters like Ch or Š. Go figure.
Sequences of length 5
Sequences of five or six symbols are used for numbers, punctuation, and a few miscellaneous tasks, but there are a few unused combinations. (“Unused” is fuzzy here. Maybe some people do or did use these sequences.)
Here are the five-symbol sequences that do not appear in the Wikipedia article on Morse code:
..-.- .-.-- -..-- -.-.- -.--- ---.-
So our of 32 possibilities, people have found uses for 26 of them.
Sequences of length 6
Out of 64 possible sequences of six symbols, 13 have found a use.
It’s harder to distinguish longer sequences by ear, and so it’s not surprising that most sequences of six symbols are unused; the ones that are used have special patterns that are easier to hear. Here are the ones that are used.
..--.. ..--.- .-..-. .-.-.- .--.-. .----. -....- -.-.-. -.-.-- -.--.- --..-. --..-- ---...