Morse Code vs. Texting Contest on the Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show" Videos for Engineers
On the May 13, 2005 episode of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno
held a speed contest between two Ham Radio operators using Morse code and two Millennials using their
smartphones for texting (SMS). At least one member of the audience thought
texting would win. Watch the video to see if they were right.
Mr. Chip Margelli (K7JA)
did the sending. He declares, "Let me assure you that we never saw that message before I flipped the
blue card over. Each message, in rehearsal, was different. The character count was the same as the one
during dress rehearsal, though, to account for the time slot. And they put the card on the table "upside
down" creative to how I flipped it, as you can see on the video."
Mr. Ken Miller (K6CTW) did the receiving.
The text messaging team consisted of world text-messaging champ
Ben Cook(Guinness record holder in 2004, 2005, and 2009),
of Utah, and his friend, Jason.
A detailed synopsis of the event is provided in the May 20, 2005 issue of The ARRL Newsletter.
It gives radio equipment models (Yaesu FT-817 transceivers and a
Bencher paddle) and the transmitting frequency (432.200
MHz). The Hams say the code sending rate worked out to about 29 words per minute
(WPM), which is about half their capability under ideal condition
(i.e., without a 20-million-strong TV audience).
Morse Code vs. Texting
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