The dits and dahs of Morse code sound rhythmic, almost musical, when tapped out in quick succession to spell words or send messages. Ditditdit Dahdahdah Ditditdit, meaning SOS.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, the dits and dahs will flow from a small radio Harold D. Camlin keeps in his Winnebago.
The vehicle, which will be parked on the lot of Henkel's restaurant in Annapolis Junction, will serve as Morse code radio station for the Glen Burnie-based Bay Area Amateur Radio Society.
The ham radio operators say this will be their way of commemorating Samuel F. B. Morse's first telegraph message from Baltimore to Washington, sent via a relay station at Annapolis Junction, now known as Savage.
The historic message of May 24, 1844, was: "What hath God wrought."
Morse invented the code to carry messages on his telegraph machine, which he patented in 1840. The code went on to be used by the military, private industries and the public.
Its use has diminished with the advent of telephones, computers and other forms of modern communication. The Coast Guard shut down all of its Morse code operations in March.
But the code remains popular with ham radio operators.
"A lot of people consider Morse code to be an obsolete language, but it's used by a lot of people to communicate," said Mr. Camlin, 65, president of the Glen Burnie society.
The club, which has 18 members, started the tribute to Morse eight years ago. Members chose to broadcast this year from Annapolis Junction because of the site's importance, said Mr. Camlin, a retired manufacturing engineer. He said he learned Morse code about 50 years ago while in the Marines.
Mr. Camlin said no one is sure exactly where the old Annapolis Junction relay station was. That won't stop society members from putting antennas in the trees around Henkel's restaurant.
Amateur radio operators can reach the club through Mr. Camlin's radio call sign, W3QLP. Callers can use the 40-meter band at the frequency of 7.125MHz, the 20-meter band at the frequency of 14.125MHz, the 15-meter band at the frequency of 21.125MHz and the 10-meter band at the frequency of 28.125MHz.
The club will reply to all amateur radio operators who use Morse code to contact them.
"The whole thing is done to stimulate interest in Morse code and amateur [radio] interests. Sometimes you pick up people who are interested in this and don't know where to go," said John B. Cundiff, 45, an electrical engineer for Amtrak. He has been a member of the radio society for about six years.
Mr. Cundiff said he once made contact with someone in Panama. Another club member, Leslie T. Jamison, 61, has been interested in ham radio since 1976.
He said he has received postcards from ham operators as far away as Dakar, Senegal, in West Africa.
Mr. Jamison said people are fascinated by amateur radio for various reasons. He said he enjoys "talking to people in other countries to see how they work things and making friends."