CQD the precursor to SOS

What what came before SOS was a question on Eggheads Quiz BBC tonight, the answer CQD.

Although three years earlier "SOS" had been adopted as the international standard for distress calls, Marconi operators in 1909 were generally still using "CQD", the distress call they had adopted in 1904. But the rescue of the passengers of the Republic was the first major sea rescue where radio played an important role, and it captured the imagination of the world.

Looked it up on Google and found this interest

CQDing story

I believe CQD was changed to SOS because it was an easy morse signal for an untrained operator to send in an emergency. Apparrently SOS was used for the first time when Titanic sank.

CQD was used amongst many other distress signals, including HELP and the International Code of Signals signal NC. It was in 1905 that the German government adopted for Radio Telegraphy three new codes, one of them being SOS, and it became worldwide standard in 1906. Indeed the Titanic did send out the SOS, but in the main she used the signal CQD.

Regards, Chris

Further to my above, I am afraid to say Titanic was not the first to send out an SOS. In 1910 a ship foundered off the Scilly Isles and sent out an SOS that was received at the Lizard Telegraphy Station. This is where Marconi first established morse code via a wireless link. The buildings are still there today.

Regards, Chris


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