Question 031

morse key

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QUESTION:  Why is it that military time zones the letter Juliet is left out, and if it used, what for?

ANSWER: The letter J (“Juliet”) sometimes can be misconstrued for “I” (India).  It is used sometimes for the “Local time, designated with the letter J or Juliet. Written format for e.g. 9 A.M. is 0900J and when spoken is “Zero 900 hours Juliet time”


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14 Responses to Question 031

  1. Jim D says:

    That is not a regulation AP morse key…

  2. Tony Locke says:

    Question 031

    There is no Zone J (Juliet) time zone because it has been used to represent the observer’s current local time.

    It is also noted that Nataniel Bowditch left the letter “j” out of the system when he designed it due to there being no J in many of the languages of the time.

  3. Albie Cross says:

    In the military time zone abbreviation, NATO and letter time zones, there is no zone Juliet time zone because it has been used to represent the observers current local time.

  4. John Bullock says:

    I have seen all types used in HMNZ Ships from home-made “Bug Keys” to electronic keyers.

  5. Jim D says:

    As a one-time Chief, one would have thought that you knew better…

    • Charles Conroy says:

      Jamers I have a question , In my time in the andrew 54/69 I remember seeing on a couple of times what was called a speed key , instead of the up and own action of the key , it was the side to side action by using the thumb and the forefinger to operate. . It was very fast . I think Pete smith had one. Would you know if there were more used in your time.
      Thanks Charles Conroy ( Bunting)

      • gunther says:

        Charles. I was in from 1964-1984 and bug keys were used by a couple of guys I knew of.
        they were not that common but they were used..

      • Jim D says:

        Hi Charles,
        Speed keys, hacksaw blades, etc were not supposed to be used in the RNZN as most people who used them were not able to use them properly. The old AP key was the best one to use. The Leander Class frigates had short dumpy keys that came as fitted to each operating bay and there was even one on the RIC desk. If an operator was holding the key correctly, then someone else could tap on the operator’s wrist and carry on sending.

  6. Casper says:

    or in the case of Buntings, foot operated……….

  7. davesyn says:

    Thought so because of the similarity of the letter J to I see the source
    I see the three wise men don’t know?

  8. Albie Cross says:

    Bill (wilbur) Luscombe had his own bug key , jewel mounted and chromium plated which he used to send press reports from Bellona while we exercised in NZ waters with units of the Aussie Fleet in 1949/50. They were not used at Irirangi as the keylines to the Xmitters were not designed for such operation as one sparker found out with “shocking” results.


    The old Loch class frigates /Royalist had whatever you liked to use –be it speed keys etc and to my knowledge nothing was laid down in the 50’s early 60’s about what was supposed to be used but I stand to be corrected by some lower deck lawyer Skin.

  10. Trev Appleton says:

    = Why is it that military time zones the letter JULIET is left out, and if it used, what for ? = AR

    There are 25 military time zones identified by use of letters, with J (Juliet) omitted because it is used to represent the observer’s current local time. The method originates from Nathaniel Bowditch’s 1802 American Practical Navigator where time zones were labelled with letters. The letter “J” was skipped to avoid confusion with “I” and because some alphabets don’t have one. The letter J (“Juliet”), originally skipped, is now used to indicate the observer’s local time.

  11. Graham Cadwallader (Caddy) says:

    Would the morse key in this question be the original key supplied with the old TCS portable TX/RX?

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