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Mobile Phones

What is meaning of SOS?

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March 17, 2014 9:07AM

It refers to the international distress signal in continuous wave (CW) radio.

The Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony , 1918 states, "This signal [SOS] was adopted simply on account of its easy radiation and its unmistakable character. There is no special signification in the letter themselves, and it is entirely incorrect to put full stops between them [the letters]."

All the popular interpretations of "SOS" -- "Save Our Ship," "Save Our Souls," or "Send Out Succor" -- are simply not accurate, although they may provide a useful mnemonic for recalling the code during times of stress.

Stations hearing this distress call were to immediately cease handling traffic until the emergency was over and were likewise bound to answer the distress signal.

Another thing to note is that when sent correctly SOS is not the three letters "S O S", but only one character consisting of 9 pulses.