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Single Needle Telegraph

A telegraph system in which the code is transmitted by the movements of a needle shaped index which oscillates to right and left, the left hand deflection corresponding to dots, the right hand deflection to dashes. The instruments for sending and receiving are combined into one. The needles are virtually the indexes of vertical galvanometers. In one form by a tapper key (see Tapper), in another form by a key worked by a drop-handle (the drop handle instrument), currents of opposite directions are sent down the line. These pass through both instruments, affecting both needles and causing them to swing to right or left, as the operator moves his key.

As galvanometer needle or actuating needle a soft iron needle is employed, which is polarized by the proximity of two permanent magnets. This avoids danger of reversal of polarity from lightning, a trouble incident to the old system.

The cut, Fig. 322, shows a single needle telegraph instrument of the tapper form. The action of the tapper can be understood from the next cut.



C and Z are two strips of metal to which the positive and negative poles of the battery are respectively connected. E and L are two metallic springs; E is connected to earth, L is connected to the line; at rest both press against Z. If L is depressed so as to touch C, the current from the battery goes to the line by the key L, goes through the coils of the distant instrument and deflects the needle to one side, and then goes to the earth. If the key E is depressed, L retaining its normal position, the direction of the current is reversed, for the other pole of the battery is connected to the earth and the reverse current going through the coils of the distant instrument deflects the galvanometer needle to the other side.

In the drop-handle type an analogous form of commutator worked by a single handle produces the same effects.