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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Is CW Dying?

cecil candelario (NQ3C) on February 14, 2014
View comments about this article!

I work mostly CW. I enjoy it, while I am not a "speed demon" by any means; I enjoy the mode and the satisfaction I get from a QSO.

However, I have noticed on the Spotter Portion that most activity seems to be either SSB or Digital. I can understand SSB, but the digital leaves me cold. I look at that mode as a "my keyboard will talk to your keyboard" and in my opinion, not really a "contact" but more of an Internet type facilitation/transfer of information. Just my opinion, don't start throwing things -- I don't see the challenge of watching a waterfall and picking out a signal and watching it display on the screen. And they are all grouped together in a small portion of each band (great, keep them there!) so there is no thrill, in my opinion, of a true "hunt and contact" type of QSO.

However, as I look at the Spotter listing, the CW QSO types are getting or seem to be getting fewer and fewer. I hope it is just my imagination, but it seems CW is dying a slow and painful death. I hope not and hope I am desperately wrong. Just my opinion... your mileage may vary...

73 to all
...-.-
nq3c

Member Comments:
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Is CW Dying?  
by VE3FMC on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am looking at the cluster spots on 40 meters at 10:55 UTC and the majority of the spots are in the CW portion of the band.

80 meters, all of the spots are in the CW portion.

I am not a CW op by any means, but I see a lot of spots during that day for CW.

Maybe it depends on the bands you are operating on. And yes there could be less casual rag chew CW ops now due to the no code license structure.

I operate the digital modes. You really should give it a try. Sure you are using a keyboard but you can have some great QSO's with digital.

Rick VE3FMC
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by ZENKI on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Look at the QSO statistics for FT5ZM. Who can seriously suggest CW is Dying in ham radio?

CW is good place to escape from all the LIDS and mundane CB chatter.

I also detect that many serious new hams are getting into CW more as badge of honor and respect. They doing this because many of the new hams that have come into the hobby from the CB band seem not to impress many hams.
A sure way to distinguish yourself from the so called trailer trash is to become a CW op with good skills.

 
Is CW Dying?  
by ON6AB on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What I noticed is that the quality of the sent CW is degrading rapidly.
Bad timing, no spacing between words, not even between letters. An excessive amount of dots in a 4, a 5, a V, a B and if you ask a question in CW, there's suddenly "QSB" at the other end...
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K4EQ on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
My perception of the CW activity is quite different from yours. Far from dying, I see a heathy increase of activity on the HF bands.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W3JAR on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi,
I am relatively new to CW as I have been practicing for the past year or so, while only on the air for a few months. I can not attest to what it was in the past, but there is rarely a night that goes by where I cannot contact someone.

The individuals who I do have the honor of working are the nicest, patient, most experienced, humblest and happiest group of people I have ever encountered on the bands. That is one of the biggest allures of trying to join their ranks.

As far as cw dying out, I have worked people at both ends of the age spectrum. For those of you who are interested, here is my son having fun on cw "beeping at people": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJYMF0y8dAE Hopefully he and I can eventually work the bands together on cw!

As a few people have mentioned, with the removal of cw from the testing phase, people now look at it as a badge of honor. Sure, I can study and pass all three tests in a manner of weeks, but to be comfortable at sending 15wpm and above takes skill, savvy and knowledge that takes more than just "cramming for a test".

Hope to work some of you on the bands! Happy beeping!
John
W3JAR
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4OI on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No. (Is this rediculous question designed to spur discussion group activity metrics?)

73
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W4GLM on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I was Old School Navy Radioman for 26 Years - you know my answer already...............Mac
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KK9H on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Nope.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W3DBB on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW sent by hand and received by ear is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Even experienced DXers and contesters with longtime CW proficiency far, far beyond anything I could ever hope to achieve program 'macros' for repetitive contest exchanges. But they have the ability to copy by ear so they know what's going on in the pileups.

Trouble comes when folks in the pileup can't copy CW by ear. Sometimes their decoding device won't catch a slightly off-frequency instruction to transmit "UP" and they call on the frequency the DX station is transmitting on. Chaos ensues...

Then there is the offbeat policy, evidently condoned, of using SSB modes coined 'audio frequency shift keying' (AFSK) in the RTTY-Data sub-bands. These can be fine and nice & narrow (or not) until something malfunctions or becomes over-driven. I think PSK31 has a certain elegance (low power, narrow bandwidth) but it's an audio mode and belongs, in my opinion, in the Phone-Image sub-bands or perhaps an AFSK sub-band, if we're going to continue with the sub-band(s) [foolishness?]. Canada gave up on sub-bands in their amateur radio rules.

If we're going to have mode-separated sub-bands (their continued existence is a fair subject for debate) the RTTY-Data sub-bands should be limited to carrier FSK modes only, maximum separation between mark and space of 1 kHz.

The 40 meter RTTY-Data sub-band is a mess at night. It's an example of how the existing rules/rules interpretation/amateur enforcement paradigm is coming up short. If rules changes are contemplated it seems reasonable they should improve things, not make a bad situation worse. RM-11708 will flood this swamp. We need better representation...

CW will be allowed to continue to use any frequency assigned to the Amateur Radio Service, I supposed until it becomes outlawed as some sort of cipher-mode.

I find it ironic that amateur radio, born of and thrived in earlier eras of technological transformation, is now being undone by that very same thing.

73
Doug
W3DBB

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WA2DTW on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
People have a tendency to send too fast while using automatic keyers or bugs. And the other party doesn't want to admit that it's too fast. Too bashful to say QRS. And if you do, the other party usually doesn't slow down for long.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WA2DTW on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Why not forget the "clusters" and "spots" and just listen to the radio?
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N2TU on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You aren't serious are you!?

I was the Team Leader of the recent K9W Wake Island DXpedition and from actual experience I can tell you the CW pile-ups were deep.

Why do people insist on writing this silly stuff? CW is alive and well, thank you!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W8NYK on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Since learning the code is not a requirement for any amateur license and with people passing away, it is inevitable that there are less folks that know Morse and use it. Newer hams, that are interested, learn it but perhaps are not mentored in proper sending. However, compared to recent years, I do NOT see a decrease in CW activity, but compared to activity 20 years back (and further), there is a huge decrease.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KF5ER on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Also 'old school" Radioman. Joined in 1957 retired
1977. Lots of CW until up in the sixties, then
mostly TTY. Got my speed key ticket in 1959.
Do a zbm1 to NSS and send up to 35 WPM. Loved it!
 
Is Digital Comm on the rise?  
by AI2IA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Note what NQ3C says:
"... I have noticed on the Spotter Portion that most activity seems to be either SSB or Digital. I can understand SSB, but the digital leaves me cold. I look at that mode as a "my keyboard will talk to your keyboard" and in my opinion, not really a "contact" but more of an Internet type facilitation/transfer of information."

So, you see, he is not so much commenting about CW as he is trying to put down Digital Communications. This is his true purpose.

Look, anyone and everyone can operate CW on the bands. There is plenty of space for that, and some will and some will not. So what?

If you can't handle or won't handle Digital communications, don't want to learn something new, don't want to add to your skills, okay! Don't go picking on others who are happy doing what they wish to do, and many of whom are just as skilled at CW, if and when they choose to do it.

Try Digital comm, maybe, just maybe you will like it and grow in knowledge.

Vy 73,
de ai2ia
+ + +
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K1CJS on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW is NOT dying. It is being used more and more on the ham bands. Now if you had asked if CW proficiency is dying, the answer would be 'maybe'--but not a definitive 'yes.' It could be said that more and more are using computer programs to send and receive CW, but even there you may get an argument.

I may be mistaken, but all I see here is a troll article, probably designed to try to restart the old code/no-code argument.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W1JKA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It's only dying to those who don't turn their radios on or if they do they forget to turn up the AG or volume.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8NSN on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In a word: NO.

I figured this was going to become an opportunity for many to troll the original post with the code/no-code dribble. No surprise there.

Now for my opinion:

I am finding that a great many of new comers are coming into the CW mode. Slow code, fast code, key-boarders, and all are welcome. The best part is that they are "there" because they want to be there. This is fine business. The "seasoned" CW operators are - for the most part - very accommodating toward the new comers. Even if in their infinite wisdom the FCC and the ARRL decides to squeeze the CW portions of the band to even narrower segments, the mode itself will never "die". Even to this day, though generally not practiced, CW is "allowable" throughout the band plan.

Long Live CW
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KX4TT on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No - simply turn the rig to a frequency in the bottom 50 khz of any band and you'll get your answer.

73 de Lee KX4TT SK e e
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W5TTW on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps the title of this piece should have been "Are CW spots dying?"
 
Is CW Dying?  
by NI9L on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I've been involved in Amateur Radio for less than a year and recently gained my Extra Class ticket. Love it! Just began learning Morse Code on December 13, 2013. My studies are going well but I still have a way to go before I attempt my first CW QSO. I've been amazed at the wealth of instructional resources for beginners.
Is CW dying? I don't think so. Digital modes are here to stay and will no doubt be popular with the new generation of tech savvy Radio enthusiasts. But it's obvious to me their's still a steady stream of new Hams that are serious about the hobby and embrace the challenge of learning code and becoming good CW operators.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AA4PB on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Digital Mode: The thrill is working a station solid on the other side of the world while running only a couple of watts output. The thrill is working a station with nearly solid copy that is so weak that you can hardly tell he is there by ear - you'd never be able to copy him on CW and certainly not on SSB.

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WO7R on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
<<<< Trouble comes when folks in the pileup can't copy CW by ear. Sometimes their decoding device won't catch a slightly off-frequency instruction to transmit "UP" and they call on the frequency the DX station is transmitting on. Chaos ensues
>>>>

'Cause that never happened in the good old days where everyone could copy code.

Or on SSB today where everyone can "copy" plain English.

Not a rolleyes big enough for this one. If only we could blame it on code translation machines. . .
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KF4HR on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't see much difference between selecting stations off a Spot List, or selecting stations off a digital water fall.

I doubt CW will ever die. It's an art. Plus CW (and the digital modes) offer a nice escape from the LID conversations on the low bands, especially at night.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W7KKK on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I learned basic CW as a boy scout.
I learned it for real as a radio op in the Army but after schooling rarely used it except for training and that was few and far between in my 6 years of service.
When I got discharged I got my Novice ticket and used CW for about 1 year or a little more and let the license go as I had a young family and many things going on.
When I got my ticket back some 10 years or so ago I gave CW a try again but just never considered myself a good CW op.
I meet many hams on digital modes that used to use CW and have switched over.
And I know many hams that made the 13 WPM hurdle and got their General years ago and never used CW on the air too.
I know CW has it's place but I think that for low power communications that perhaps digital modes have replace it.
CW is somewhat like our hobby in that I think it's dying out.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WO7R on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
<<<< I am finding that a great many of new comers are coming into the CW mode >>>>

Of course they are. I've said so for years, back when "no code" was a bigger deal. And I see it coming true.

I know a buddy who is recently licensed and is fast becoming an excellent DXer. He didn't know code when he was licensed, but he listened to the wise heads around him and has been working on it, hard.

Sure, he uses some decoding help, but he's not relying on that alone -- he knows copying code himself gives him an edge, so he's going for that, too.

His country count speaks for itself. Doing just fine. Regularly makes CW spots.

CW will live as long as hams do. It's simple, it works, and it gets through. It's just too practical to disappear.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by M0EDY on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
ITS ABOUT TIME CW OUTDATED LONG LIVE SSB AND DIGI
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KC8Y on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW to me, IS NOT DYING!!!

In fact, I'm getting back into it, now. I work bands: 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 12, 10 & 6 meters....Also, use digital modes: Olivia, PSK, RTTY--besides CW

Ken KC8Y
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W5LZ on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, I've noticed a slight increase in the use of CW over the last 10 years or so. It isn't a required thing anymore, it's an elective type thingy. Seems like people learn to do it (or use a keyboard program) because it can certainly be interesting.
- Paul


(I'm one'a them 'Know' code extras! Very rusty though.)
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K8AG on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In my opinion CW is on the uptick. Since the FCC changed the rules so everybody can do it. Before the change CW segments were getting pretty sparse. Today there always seems to be somebody calling CQ. I think its great.

73, JP, K8AG
 
Is CW Dying?  
by NY7Q on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am a old school Navy radioman. Been cw op since 1953 and still going strong. No hearing aids, have my own teeth and a full head of silver hair, so life is good.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KB4QAA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Is CW dieing? No.

It is decreasingly common, and will continue to decline in use. It will become a small niche mode.

This is a natural consequence of the removal of CW as a licensing requirement internationally, and the rise of multitudes of other attractive modes, esp. computer digital modes.

Don't lament, don't cry.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AI2IA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
If it is dying, then it is certainly taking a very long time to go.
As long as there are at least two operators who choose to use it, it will still be hanging on.
Haven't we had enough of this childish nonsense?
Ham radio is too much fun to get stuck in this kind of rut.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KD0PBO on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As a young (college age) ham, I concur with the guys that say that CW is becoming more of a badge of honor instead of a dying art. Despite not having to learn it for my tech test, I want to learn it and will at some point. However, having the time to sit down and do any kind of operating comes few and far between, and quite frankly, I'd rather spend that time operating SSB, AM, or Digi instead of learning CW. When my busy young adult schedule opens up a little more to provide for time for such a venture, I will take the time to learn it, and use it.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AA4Q on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
this weekend is a huge CW contest, the 5 main CW bands will be absolutely full for 48 hours starting about 6 hours from now!

AA4Q
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NK2U on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"Then there is the offbeat policy, evidently condoned, of using SSB modes coined 'audio frequency shift keying' (AFSK) in the RTTY-Data sub-bands. These can be fine and nice & narrow (or not) until something malfunctions or becomes over-driven. I think PSK31 has a certain elegance (low power, narrow bandwidth) but it's an audio mode and belongs, in my opinion, in the Phone-Image sub-bands or perhaps an AFSK sub-band, if we're going to continue with the sub-band(s) [foolishness?]. Canada gave up on sub-bands in their amateur radio rules.

If we're going to have mode-separated sub-bands (their continued existence is a fair subject for debate) the RTTY-Data sub-bands should be limited to carrier FSK modes only, maximum separation between mark and space of 1 kHz.

The 40 meter RTTY-Data sub-band is a mess at night. It's an example of how the existing rules/rules interpretation/amateur enforcement paradigm is coming up short. If rules changes are contemplated it seems reasonable they should improve things, not make a bad situation worse. RM-11708 will flood this swamp. We need better representation..."

If the mode is not voice (spoken by a human) than it does not belong in the phone portion of any band. However, you are correct, the Canadians and way ahead of us in doing away with all sub bands and treating their hams like ADULTS. Apparently, the ARRL and FCC feel that american hams are just CHILDREN and need clear boundaries where they can operate-THAT'S SAD!

de NK2U
 
Is CW Dying?  
by NK2U on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The "keyboard to Keyboard" is really macro to macro. I don't do psk or rtty but I can copy them on my rig (7600.) The contacts look like an inventory of equipment: I have this, this and this. Another funny one is: "operator created on:" What??? Do you mean I was born on?

I've been a ham for 30 years now and have never used any mechanical/electronical decoding devices for copying CW. I've worked a few hams using them and after slowing down, adding space between words and even letters, their machines could not copy and neither could they... Useless!

de NK2U
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W7ARE on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No, it is actually experiencing a resurgence - perhaps in part fueled by those who believe that it is a simple mode that will be available in case of an infrastructure collapse, and in part because it is new to those who came in under no-code. In any event, the occasions when I find that it is hard to locate a cw station is when all of the space allocated to digital use is being taken up by rtty and similar data exchanges, when a cw station cannot operate without being completely QRM'ed by the machine operators. Otherwise, when conditions permit, the CW portions of the bands are flourishing. I am a cw operator, almost exclusively.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"by N4OI on February 14, 2014 No. (Is this rediculous question designed to spur discussion group activity metrics?) 73"

I think you nailed it.

 
Is CW Dying?  
by KB2DHG on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No, I don't think CW is dying... I think it is actually doing well considering that we no longer have it as a requirement. I thought that CW was going to die when they took it out of the license testing but quite to my surprise I think CW is very much alive...
I love the mode and although I too am not a speed demon About 13-18WPM, I enjoy and am on CW most every day. Not to say I don't get on SSB or even AM I just like the nostalgia of a CW QSO!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K1FPV on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree! I get on the air and often, you have trouble getting the person you are conversing with to do more that give you a report, their station setup and the WX.

What happened to the CW rag chew? When I first got into ham radio over 50 years ago, CW activity was more than 50% of all the bands' activity. Now, why copy CW when you can have your computer do it? Same thing with sending CW? --NOT-- !!

It's too bad, I still prefer my straight key and a good old fashioned CW rag chew!

Bill,
K1FPV
 
BACKWARDS  
by LEON on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
KD0PBO

As a young (college age) ham, I concur with the guys that say that CW is becoming more of a badge of honor instead of a dying art. Despite not having to learn it for my tech test, I want to learn it and will at some point. However, having the time to sit down and do any kind of operating comes few and far between, and quite frankly, I'd rather spend that time operating SSB, AM, or Digi instead of learning CW. When my busy young adult schedule opens up a little more to provide for time for such a venture, I will take the time to learn it, and use it.

----------------

LEON

A lot the new Hams I have made QSO's with say the same thing about the badge of honor. They want to learn it. As far as the mode not being used, I would say it's pretty active from my point of view.

Back in the day I would have liked to operate SSB, AM, or Digi instead of learning CW. But I couldn't, I had to learn CW first.

Back in the day it was.

You will take the time to learn CW, and when your busy young adult schedule opens a little maybe you can upgrade and work SSB.

I think CW is alive and well for now, but the phone portions of the bands sometimes sound like CB Radio.



 
Is CW Dying?  
by AF5DN on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I can honestly say that learning CW is the hardest thing I have ever tried done in my life.
Isn't there some sort of vitamin you can take to stimulate the CW part of the brain?

I see all the Ham clubs in the area giving classes on getting your license, but why don’t they have some CW classes?

I think all the internet CW training out there is okay… but it’s like trying to learn Karate from a YouTube video. It just aint the same a stepping onto the mat.

If Hams want CW to live… Then stop sobbing about it and put some effort in helping others learn it.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W8KQE on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know, but all the current General Class operators who passed the FCC test when it required 13 WPM CW, should be allowed to operate CW in the Extra Class CW portion of the bands! It makes NO sense that current Extra Class operators, that require no CW test, can operate in the Extra Class CW sub-bands, when 13 WPM Generals can't!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K2JX on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

Is CW dying ? NO, but the quality is ! I don't care if you can send and receive at 40 WPM. The rule USED to be, match your speed to the other operators. That is common courtesy. And what's with these DX stations ? They blast away at high speed and never announce thier call ! Not every OP checks the Cluster to see who the DX is, hey, slow down it's a hobby.

I don't know why everyone is in such a hurry these days. It's seems that way on the bands, on the roads, every where I go. What's the point ?

de K2JX

 
SOBBING  
by LEON on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
AF5DN

I can honestly say that learning CW is the hardest thing I have ever tried done in my life.
Isn't there some sort of vitamin you can take to stimulate the CW part of the brain?

I see all the Ham clubs in the area giving classes on getting your license, but why don’t they have some CW classes?

I think all the internet CW training out there is okay… but it’s like trying to learn Karate from a YouTube video. It just aint the same a stepping onto the mat.

If Hams want CW to live… Then stop sobbing about it and put some effort in helping others learn it.

--------------------

LEON

CW does not come easy.

The reason why Ham Clubs are giving classes on getting your License and you don't see CW taught, is because it's not a REQUIREMENT anymore. All the students want is the Ticket.

There are numerous resources out there for those who want to learn CW, more now than there ever was for me.

If you want to learn CW... then stop sobbing about how many people aren't helping you.

 
RE: SOBBING  
by AA4PB on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You think learning CW is hard now, even with all the resources available? Back in the day all you had was a 78 RPM record. It wasn't long until you had the record memorized because it played the same code over and over. Then you try some on-the-air copy and realize that you aren't as good as you thought.
 
RE: SOBBING  
by AA4PB on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
We also had to walk 5 miles to school every day - up hill both ways :-)
 
Is CW Dying? Ah, no.  
by K5TEN on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Try getting on during a CW contest weekend, Field Day, or on the low bands in North American winter time...good luck finding a spot. Even Techs on CW are growing as even they are getting on and learning -- because the BEST and JUCIEST DX is on CW...and far better yet in the Extra portion.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K1FPV on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree with that statement. Anyone who got a general when the CW test was 13 words per minute should be allowed to use the botton 25 kcs. of each band like Extras


 
RE: SOBBING  
by K5EFJ on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

And we had to get up a half hour before we went to bed too!

I had a tech license back in the late 70s when I had to pass the 5 WPM code test but due to life, let it expire. I got my license again in December 2012 and have decided that I REALLY want to know and use CW. Unfortunately, I didn't remember the code. Imagine that! It's not the easiest thing that I've ever done but I think that it's going to be worth it!

Is CW going to die anytime soon? I don't think so.
 
RE: SOBBING  
by WO7R on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Even "back in the day" there really wasn't all that much help with the code.

I remember running some code practice on the local 2 meter repeaters to support a couple of classes.

When I stopped doing it after a couple of go 'rounds, nobody else took up the slack.

I think most of us (back then) learned it from code tapes and maybe some of the ARRL CW bulletins. Today, there are no doubt much better resources available.

I programmed my computer to send me "random" groups that focused in the more troublesome letters for me.

That got me to 20. You can probably figure out a way to do that today with Notepad and feeding the result to some program or other out there.
 
RE: SOBBING  
by N6AJR on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
don't try to find a spot to transmit on CW on a cw contest weekend, solid calls from bottom to way up top in the bands.
 
RE: SOBBING  
by G3RZP on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
To start with, I prefer CW. I don't why, I just do.

I find plenty of QSOs on cw - just go up to about 14045 at around 15 wpm and call CQ. Regrettably, very few want to chat - and on 20m, with 400 watts into a 4ele Steppir up at 62 feet, I do put a reasonable signal into the US.

But there are few who want to ragchew.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KT4EP on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
from my short 3 years back on the air after 15 off, I'm seeing plenty of CW in the middle of the so-called Psk31 areas. Especially during contests. Someone is happy with CW ! As for keyboard talking to keyboard, I don't see that: a bug or a keyboard, a ham is operating the station. cu on the waterfall
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W0AAA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW is not dying...it is alive and growing!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AB9TA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world, it isn't used for much of anything outside the ham bands, just for niche applications.
Time to let it go folks, after all, CW is a 19th century mode, and we're in the 21st century. We keep touting ham radio as an advanced service, but we keep clinging to CW.
It's as silly as hooking your shinny new 2014 high-performance sports car to a team of horses - And calling that high-tech.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by RSHIRE22 on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I work JT65 95% of the time because I have just become lazy and like to do hamming while watching tv or listening to the radio. When I want adventure, work new countries, have fun I work cw. It's my go wild, outside the box, let my hair down mode. If I did it too often it wouldn't be so much fun.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WY4J on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Don't think cw is dying but rag chewing definitely is. These days hams seem to prefer the 599 and 73, see ya.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KI3R on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As Mr. Youngman once said .... How't the wife ...compared to what ??? Compared to the novice bands 50 years ago ....well it is dying but ... how about the phone bands? Used to be one couldn't find an opening to call CQ but now even the phone sections are rather "open". I don't think of it as a dying off but rather just reflective of the technology of the day. Young people today get on the net .... no license, no radio and no need for the metal out in the back yard. The ops are out there but when do they operate CW. Look at a band on a non contest day then compare to one which is "contested" I get a kick seeing the band on the Flex during a contest. Real modern art. Take care all ...spring is coming.

KI3R Belle Vernon PA
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K8QV on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world, it isn't used for much of anything outside the ham bands, just for niche applications.
Time to let it go folks, after all, CW is a 19th century mode, and we're in the 21st century. We keep touting ham radio as an advanced service, but we keep clinging to CW.
It's as silly as hooking your shinny new 2014 high-performance sports car to a team of horses - And calling that high-tech."

Really? It's a HOBBY. People didn't give up oil painting when the camera was invented. Ham radio is about communication between stations, not "high tech." Good thing, too, because anyone with a smart phone can "high tech" the hell out of any ham radio - even a 2014 model with all the digital modes and software. Worshiping the latest and greatest technology to come along this week? Why?
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K1FPV on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
by K8QV on February 14, 2014
"It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world,"
_____________________________________

CW is obsolete? You wait! Did you ever see the movie "Independence Day"? Yeah...CW was the world's savior! ;-)
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N8NSN on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
AB9TA said:
It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world, it isn't used for much of anything outside the ham bands, just for niche applications.
Time to let it go folks, after all, CW is a 19th century mode, and we're in the 21st century. We keep touting ham radio as an advanced service, but we keep clinging to CW.
It's as silly as hooking your shinny new 2014 high-performance sports car to a team of horses - And calling that high-tech.


I say :
PLEASE do not learn Morse code. Stay in your mindset and flock with the rest of the "incapables".
Your response is borderline savant.

Why do I tear up the tires with my 1964 C-10?
Because I built it to be a tire shredder.
Why do I have countless hours of fun running CW, making friends around the globe with 250 mW to FLL power?
Because I built it to be a station that can do that.
Why do I use bug keys that are twice my age, proficiently and feel good about it? Because I can.

Why did I learn the radio arts, and continue to learn the "hardware" from long before my time, into the current time, and hopefully into the future? Because I just love radio itself.

In fin:
Just because "you have no desire to know about radio throughout its life-time" doesn't mean you should pop off with non-sense as if you feel the antiquity of the CW mode renders it "useless".

Like bugs Bunny said, "Eh, what a marroon!"

See y'all in the comic books.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NU4B on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder if there are any other inventions made in the 19th century or before that we still use? Can anyone think of any?

Lets see, CW isn't used except in ham radio and other niche applications. So it is still in use.

There is one reason why CW is still used. It works. A look at the FT5ZM stats would tell you that. As the stats of most any large expedition. In fact to the tune of 32000 more QSOs than phone for the FT5Z expedition. Take out 30 meters and there is still a 23000 QSO edge. Most glaring are the numbers on 40 meters and below. Gee, I wonder why?

I find that most hams who have something against the use of CW don't actually know code. And if they do, what does it matter? For instance, I can operate phone and CW. But I choose CW. Does that mean I have something against phone ops. No, they can jabber their heads off for all I care. Certainly it must be something else eating at them.

I also find that in most endeavors in life "I can't" results in failure. Most likely the same holds true for code also.
I went through the "I can't" stage. Then I decided I could. I got a practice key and started with my first name and practiced it until I knew it. Then I did the same with my last name, then address, then city, then state, and country. That got me to about 18 letters. I guess I was lucky a "c" and a "q" wasn't among them. Those were 2 additional easy ones to get to 20. After that there wasn't much left.
It wasn't all easy. I started out mixing up "f" and "l" and "y" and "q", but with practice it worked. Now I can send left handed or right handed and even while off the air for 7 years, it came right back as if I knew it all the time. So desire to succeed was a major factor.

As I look at expedition logs, contest logs, and just listening on the band it would be hard to claim CW is dying. When I started in ham radio there were always a bunch of DX calling CQ, but they weren't real ragchews, they were exchanges of basic info: name, QTH, RST, rig, ant, and wx. Now its shortened to report exchanges, which actually is fine by me in lieu of the standard QSO exchange of 2 or 3 decades ago. Ragchews seemed rare to me back then, but I've always been a DXer so probably I'm not the best person to say one way or the other on ragchews. But I will say when I want I can call CQ and get an interesting answer especially from the QRP guys around the QRP freqs.

Well its 0043 - anybody hear any CW on the bands? :)
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W7AIT on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NO WAY!

QUIT THE CHICKEN LITTLE THE SKY IS FALLING! NO WAY! CW ACTUALLY INCREASING!

CW ACTUALLY INCREASING!

50 YEARS A HAM THIS YEAR, 90% CW. IF ANYTHING, **INCREASED CW ACTIVITY NOW!** MY OBSERVATION IS THERE IS **MUCH MORE CW**, MORE, CW ACTIVITY NOW THAN IN 1964!

EXAMPLE IS/ WAS, PRIMARILY 40 CW BUT GENERALLY HOLDS FOR 80 CW TOO.

EXAMPLE 40 METERS: AFTER DINNER HOUR NOW USUALLY A BUNCH ON CW RAG CHEWING VS OLD DAYS COULDN'T EVEN FIND A CLEAR SPOT ON 40 AT ALL BECAUSE OF ALL THE FOREIGN BROADCAST! NOW ITS GONE AND LOTS OF OPEN SPACE FOR CW QSO'S! PEOPLE NOW USE IT FOR CW!

EXAMPLE: NOW, LOTS OF CW DX CHASING AT 11 PM TO 3 AM LOCAL TIME, WHEREAS, OLD DAYS COULDN'T DO THAT AS AGAIN FIGHTING FOREIGN BROADCASTING.

EXAMPLE: NOW, LOTS OF CW RAG CHEWING EAST COASTERS AT 4 AM TO 8 AM LOCAL TIME, WHEREAS, OLD DAYS COULDN'T DO THAT AS AGAIN FIGHTING FOREIGN BROADCASTING. HERE IN WEST COAST, AFTER 3 AM LOCAL, REGULARLY HEAR EAST COASTERS FIRE UP CW BEFORE GOING TO WORK; **CW FOR BREAKFAST!**

EXAMPLE: NOW, TODAY'S CW CONTEST WEEKENDS JAMMED WALL TO WALL, VS HALF AS MUCH OR LESS IN OLD DAYS.
EXAMPLE: NOW, TODAY'S TEN METER TECHNICIAN ON CW WANTING TO LEARN CW. WAS: MOST NOVICE AND TECH'S OLD DAYS HATED CW, NOW THEY WANT TO LEARN!

I WILL GIVE YOU THAT NOW, 80, 40 CW TRAFFIC HANDLING AND CODE PRACTICE IS **NOW ZERO**, BUT THEN NOW GIVES PLENTY OF ROOM RAG CHEWING. ALSO, LISTEN CLOSELY OVER AN HOUR AND YOU WILL HEAR DISTANT CW QSO'S AND DX ON 80 CW.

THERE IS MORE CW ACTIVITY NOW! MUCH, MUCH MORE CW IN MY OBSERVATION AND OPINION.

NO CW IS ALIVE AND WELL, AND GROWING!

THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by VE4DLA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think so. When I'm scanning around the 80 and 40 m bands I hear a lot more code than voice, possibly because it's audible through noise better.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KE4JOY on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't get it.. because the number of cw 'spots' has declined the mode has declined?

It seems to me that 'spotting' by its nature lends itself to other modes...

Just a hunch.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N7DMA on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I've used CW since the mid 1970's, both as a ham and a Navy Signalman. A few months ago I put away the paddle, and went back to a straight key. CW is the most relaxing thing I do! I still do head copy.

I just wish the RTTY crowd would have some respect on 40 meters, though.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4KC on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Cecil NQ3C:

Of course CW is not dying! And not only do digital modes have their place, they can be a lot of fun to work, too. You do know you don't have to choose just one mode, right?

I've been active off and on for 53 years now and I believe I see a nice uptick in CW activity. I am on record as predicting that once the code was no longer a requirement for licensing, it would actually become more popular. I stand by that prediction.

But even if some might perceive slightly less CW activity, they should remember that there are now four more bands (including one that is CW and digital ONLY) than there were when many of us old-timers came into the hobby. We are simply spread out more than we once were.

I could give many reasons for learning and using Morse code (and did, in fact, in an article here on eHam: http://www.eham.net/articles/19366 ) but the best one is because it is simply a lot of fun. But if you don't want to use it, don't! Just enjoy whatever mode, band, or activity in the hobby you prefer.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)


 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8TI on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As the Baby Boomers retire and have more time to spend on hobbies, they will be more active on the radio, including CW. As a result, I believe there will more CW activity over the 20 years or so. It seems to me that CW activity has picked up in the last few years.
 
SILLY  
by LEON on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
AB9TA

It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world, it isn't used for much of anything outside the ham bands, just for niche applications.
Time to let it go folks, after all, CW is a 19th century mode, and we're in the 21st century. We keep touting ham radio as an advanced service, but we keep clinging to CW.
It's as silly as hooking your shinny new 2014 high-performance sports car to a team of horses - And calling that high-tech.

---------------

LEON

Sir, REALLY?

If I have to explain it to you, you don't understand.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AB7Q on February 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely not! I hear lots of people just starting out with the mode, and it's the best way to work DX with limited antennas. I agree with you about digital, I can do it, but it leaves me cold. Long live CW!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by F8WBD on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Sure not dying on this side of the pond. My only mode. QRP CW. Others have said, SSB seems down. I agree.

Hook a MFJ Cub or OHR, etc. to your antenna and experience the thrill of early amateur radio. When a 2x was not guaranteed.

Want 2X communication guarantees? Send e-mails to guys holding your IOUs.

72
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"by N4KC on February 14, 2014 ......But if you don't want to use it, don't! Just enjoy whatever mode, band, or activity in the hobby you prefer.
73,
Don N4KC"


IMHO, that's the best advice on this thread.

Personally, CW doesn't blow my skirt up (13 WPM licensed here), but I do get encouraged when I tune down there and hear (and see on the bandscope) CW getting cranked out up and down the allocation. Good group, too....courteous and bound by a common interest.

To AB9TA's remark, he's just guilty of being a little more direct than what was needed to get his point across; no biggie. Think of all of the zealots who for years told folks that were losers if they "didn't know dit". Some pushback is understandable.

But Don nailed it down best.....utilization, utilization, utilization!

 
Is CW Dying?  
by WY4J on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The question is, is cw dying?

Why are there so many grouchy and anti-socials, ignorant haters around? If for whatever reason; whether physical or motivational you elected or were unable to master cw, don't put it down or trash it. Be happy and respect the fact that others get pleasure out of using this form of communication.

I enjoy cw and get on phone once in a while but do not go around bashing sstv, eme, rtty, Oscar, Dstar, packet, or the many digital modes that so many enjoy using. This is a social hobby so go find a rock and crawl under it or better yet, do everyone a favor and smack yourself with a rock until you pass.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WY4J on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The question is, is cw dying?

Why are there so many grouchy and anti-socials, ignorant haters around? If for whatever reason; whether physical or motivational you elected or were unable to master cw, don't put it down or trash it. Be happy and respect the fact that others get pleasure out of using this form of communication.

I enjoy cw and get on phone once in a while but do not go around bashing sstv, eme, rtty, Oscar, Dstar, packet, or the many digital modes that so many enjoy using. This is a social hobby so go find a rock and crawl under it or better yet, do everyone a favor and smack yourself with a rock until you pass out.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Anytime a question is asked in a headline, the answer is "no".

eHam editors, you need to read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KD8MJR on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Of course CW is dying!
Ask 10 new hams if they know CW and see what they say.
What is happening as others have said is full on digital to digital CW QSO's and of course the older hams are on the air so it gives the appearance that everything is ok.

Don't shoot the messenger, it's just pretty obvious that if CW is no longer part of the world wide license requirements that it's certainly not going to be as popular and will shrink in usage as time goes by.

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K2GWK on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
WY4J, to be fair, I think both sides are guilty of that. How many times have I seen posts that claim that those who choose not to use or learn CW are not real hams. There are two sides to every coin and to claim that it is a one way street is just ignorance.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KA2DDX on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hard to say it's dying - listen to a contest weekend - or a pileup - or 80 or 40 meters at night when folks are rag chewing - then, read all the ads from companies that make morse code keys - many more of those now than 50 years ago - so much more to choose from - somebody is buying and using this stuff - including me - cw isn't close to being dead - it's just a lot of fun to use -

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by K2GWK on February 15, 2014 WY4J, to be fair, I think both sides are guilty of that. How many times have I seen posts that claim that those who choose not to use or learn CW are not real hams. There are two sides to every coin<<<<<


Most definitely. And what a weird deal to get so excited about either way. If someone started a thread "Is PSK-31 Dead?", there might be a post or two that would say: "ho-hum, maybe so, I guess I'll try JT65 now". But not CW.....

The OP knew what he was doing when he started this topic....kind of predatory troll if you ask me. I hope he's enjoying the show.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K2TL on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with ON6AB. The quality of sent CW has become so poor that it is nearly impossible to copy. Characters run together and poor spacing...was that "EM" or E T T"? Oh, you meant "W"? I had to pass a sending test to get my ticket, as well as copy. Now you don't need CW at all to get a ticket. But the funny thing is the bad fist are from Hams who were licensed years back when CW was a requirement. I don't normally answer a bad fist, but sometimes I give it a try. But usually say 73 pretty quick.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K3FHP on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Just because you don't see 'Spots' does not mean there is no activity. Stations rarely spot stations in their own country so all the domestic activity would not be visible. Most QRP activity is domestic so the LARGE qrp following would only show up(maybe) if they were DX hunting. The bands are packed during CW contests so as to make filtering necessary. On the other hand, I think the ARRL(I am a life member of over 40 years) has not given proper consideration to CW segments, particularly 40 meters, where their band plan allows psk foreign and domestic to break up the 'non-extra' portion. With the broadcast shift, I believe this is not necessary. In fact, I believe the exclusive EXTRA segment is obsolete. Non-code-three-months-in-ham-radio EXTRA class operators most of whom are not operating CW(listen to the utilization THERE) while General and Advanced class operators who passed a 13WPM exam are banned. This makes no sense. All those who passed a CW test should have access to the CW frequencies, period. ARRL should immediately petition the FCC to reconsider this senseless regulation.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KA8BMA on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
At first I was offended by your comments, then I thought, perhaps the responses were what you intended.
I was personally offended by your "real contact" statement. Why is a PSK31 contact any different than a CW contact. You exchange information and put it in the log. Why is an FM repeater contact any different. Or, EME, tropo, aurora, ...?
The hobby supports many interests, including CW.
I found that many hams(including myself) are atracted to PSK because of hearing loss.
But, in response to the original question, no, I don't think CW is dying. Looking at the bandscope, when tuned to the PSK calling frequencies, I see hundreds of CW contacts in progress.

Rick KA8BMA
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
While there are two sides to every coin, there is hardly equality between the two camps. For every one ham who says CW is dead, dying, or should die, I can count at least 10 or 15 who espouse the "real hams know CW" mantra. The attitude is so mainstream, there are several companies selling tee shirts with that saying on it. I have yet to see a "CW is dead" tee shirt. Either there's a vast pro-CW tee shirt conspiracy, or the "free market" (which most American hams hold near and dear to their hearts) is giving us some empirical evidence.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"The OP knew what he was doing when he started this topic....kind of predatory troll if you ask me. I hope he's enjoying the show."

I don't blame the OP as much as the editors who approved the article. Articles that ask a question in the title like this are comment troll articles. They get people in an uproar, and increase web hits.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"Non-code-three-months-in-ham-radio EXTRA class operators most of whom are not operating CW(listen to the utilization THERE) while General and Advanced class operators who passed a 13WPM exam are banned. This makes no sense. All those who passed a CW test should have access to the CW frequencies, period. ARRL should immediately petition the FCC to reconsider this senseless regulation."

Your thinking on this is flawed. What about Novices and Techs who passed the 5 WPM CW test? Should they also get access to all CW subbands? We don't grant more phone operating subbands when people pass a "phone" test. Access to additional frequencies in incentive licensing wasn't and still isn't based on demonstrating competency in a mode. There's also written tests.
 
CW = AWESOME  
by W8KQE on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW is music to my ears! It's akin to a fine symphony!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WS4E on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I believe what is really missing "novice" activity. The regular CW activity is robust but I do find fewer places for slow cw and new cw ops to congregate.

That might be a pre-cursor to eventual decline and is something to
maybe consider.
 
RE: CW = AWESOME  
by AA4PB on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, the concept is that you get access to additional frequencies as an incentive to upgrade, not because you demonstrate proficiency in any particular mode. It came about because in years past upgrading to Extra gained you nothing except the feeling of accomplishment. The result was that very few ever upgraded to Extra.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AF7EC on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
(I'm now AF7EC)

Just fired up the rig and I hear a great deal of overlapping CW on 10 meters...doesn't sound dead to me! :-)
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K3NRX on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
OMG another this is dying that is dying we're all dying thread. For crying out loud, we have enough gloom and doom with this horrid winter from hell we are dealing with in the east. CW is NOT dying....CW is as abundant as it's ever been....Why? Because people are learning it because they are NOT FORCED to, but because they want to learn it......Listen to this weekend's contest on the CW bands.....you can find a clear spot anywhere.....Seriously, if the whole hobby isn't dying, then a certain portion of it is.....Nothing is dying....maybe things take a breather occasionally, but they aren't dying....

V
K3NRX
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K7LA on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
A quick check of Clublog.org website statistical database shows CW as strongly used as it has ever been, with the logs posted of verified QSOs worldwide. I don't take stock in this author's anecdotal reasoning, but I thank him for the article.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K2FOX on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
not at my qth...
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"Articles that ask a question in the title like this are comment troll articles. They get people in an uproar, and increase web hits."

Definitely.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't used CW in years. Suddenly I'm in the mood....I hope I can find a clear frequency.

 
Is CW Dying?  
by W9BKR on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Nope, actually, I see more than in the voice portion. Not sure why anyone would think that...look at expeditions and the Q's in CW vs SSB.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NA9R,

I have no idea what you wrote, or to whom. If you're replying to me, ummmm.... that was one of those writing prose deals that's for effect with a twinge of tic humor.

Sheesh, how strange.


 
Is CW Dying?  
by K2PI on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think the death of CW has been prematurely reported far too many times. I like to imagine that CW, Baudot RTTY, printed paper, and 2D TV all get together in a room somewhere on Saturday evenings and chuckle over their obituaries.

I have been operating CW on the ham bands for over 35 years, and in that time I've seen activity pretty consistently and I don't think that the ending of the CW testing requirement has changed that. I do think that a fair amount of those active are using CW readers of one sort or another, and some of the sent CW lacks even the rudimentary understanding of rhythm and spacing. Still, there seems to be plenty of it.

Anecdotally, that's fine to say, but seeing in this case can help to drive it home, and the new SDR technology can help there. I captured the activity on the main 5 CW bands during the contest today, and as you can see at this link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/potvyz035g4hfbc/HM4_fWtLTK

it appears as if CW is alive and well.

73
K2PI

 
Is CW Dying?  
by W6SDW on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What I see is an ever increasing portion of the more "active" bands being used by digital modes. "CW" on these bands are being pushed / compressed further downward towards the Extra CW portion of these bands. As it "only" requires 5 WPM for an Extra class license, why not just do away with Extra CW subands? - or at least limit it to the first 10 KHz? That would allow some downward shifting (15 to 25 KHz) for a little "breathing room" - Both CW -and- Digital Ops could get a little added space... (I know, that makes too much sense to implement).
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KC3JV on February 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
According to an article in QST PSK31 can go twice as far as CW. I have an NUE-PSK unit for PSK31 and have a great time with it.

Let's face it CW is a SKILL and NOT everyone will be good at it. I learned to copy 13 WPM to get my first License. I could never learn to copy behind despite a lot of practice. When they finally dropped the CW requirement to 13 WPM for the Extra Class I took it and have had it for a while.

To those good at CW please enjoy it and continue to do so. Some of us will never be really good so please understand that and understand why we don't enjoy it.

Mark KC3JV
 
Is CW Dying?  
by OE5AKM on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Yes.

73 de OE5AKM
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W1JKA on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The only part of CW that is dying are the 87 year old and older hams that are still using it.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N4API on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
When I became a ham in 1979, I was told that the CW people "were much more polite" than others. After being away from ham radio for years, I listened to 14.313 and realized that CW is still "much more polite". So I joined SKCC and got a new straight key.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K3RKU on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Got my novice in 1962 with 5 WPM. General in 1963 with 13 WPM. Advanced in 1970, still 13 WPM. Never got over the 18 WPM wall. I'd like to get back into CW but feel intimidated by the speeds and poor fists I hear. I'm practicing and hope to make QSO's soon. I do see some attitude from "real extras". I see their point though with the elimination of code. That's why I didn't upgrade. Advanced all had to copy 13 WPM. Guess that's my attitude. LOL. All CW ops should be congratulated regardless of speed.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by NG2O on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know if it is dying. I have been licensed for almost 57 years, and mostly operated CW. There is a lot less every day activity now than there was 20 or 40 years ago. I have no doubt that some of that activity has moved to digital modes. However, for DXing and contests, CW has well known weak signal/crowded band advantages, and it clearly is alive and well!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AB1UP on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CW is alive and well. I let my license lapse in 2005 and realized I really needed my hobby. I went through all the exams and I'm just getting my ears and fist back on CW. I'm not as fast as I was in my 30's, but I prefer pounding brass.

I may get into the newer modes, but in my engineering years, the last thing I wanted to do was stare at another computer screen. That may change now Hi Hi.

I used to teach dead reckoning and basic navigation in the 70's and if you've got a compass and a chart. Your batteries can go bad, or have a lightening strike take our your GPS and you can still find a safe harbor.

One thing about cw is you can make a transmitter out of some very basic components and still communicate. Computer chips, keyboards, and remote systems can be a great convenience, but cw is my fall back.

73's AB1UP
 
Is CW Dying?  
by NO5J on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Ham's are Dying. New Ham's are still being licensed but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn it anyway. I've stopped wondering why Ham's do what they do. It's less stressfull to just mind my own business. I wonder if its stress that's killing Ham's. It probably contributes to the reduction in the number of New Ham's getting started. Especially those taking the time to learn CW.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8TI on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
A lot of people have complained about poor sending of Morse heard on the air. While the new guys are not perfect, I have not heard all the poor keying that has been mentioned here.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4OI on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
by N8TI on February 16, 2014
"A lot of people have complained about poor sending of Morse heard on the air. While the new guys are not perfect, I have not heard all the poor keying that has been mentioned here."

Nor have I. I wonder if the "poor sending" is being defined as not able to be decoded cleanly by a computer? In my experience, those rarely work... the best decoder is one that God designed -- connected to my ears...

73
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W8AAZ on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well you can look at "My keyboard talking to your keyboard" and point to RTTY, which has been used by hams since after WW2. With huge surplus RTTY gear. But some hams are making an effort to be on CW even though there is no requirement. I hear slow ops getting on 40M in the old novice segment and banging out QSO's that show interest. THey are not the guys that have been doing it for 40 years and 40 WPM that you hear at the low end. Maybe it is part of the interest in old gear that motivates them too. Ya gotta do CW to use alot of that stuff. Building a CW rig is alot easier than a SSB rig, from scratch. So motivation to learn it the old fashioned way, on the air.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"Ham's are Dying. New Ham's are still being licensed but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn it anyway."

They don't have to learn proper grammar to get licensed, but they should learn that, too.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"A lot of people have complained about poor sending of Morse heard on the air."

A lot of people complain about stuff that rarely happens on the air.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NO5J on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hams are Dying. New Hams are still being licensed, but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn CW anyway. I've stopped wondering why Hams do the things they do. It's less stressful to just mind my own business. I wonder, is stress making hams die? Stress probably does contribute to a reduction in the number of New Hams getting started. Especially those that take the time to learn CW.

Was that any better?
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NO5J on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hams are Dying. New Hams are still being licensed, but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn CW anyway. I've stopped wondering why Hams do the things they do. It's less stressful to just mind my own business. I wonder, is stress making hams die? Stress probably does contribute to a reduction in the number of new hams getting started. Especially those that take the time to learn CW.

No, This is even better still.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NO5J on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hams are dying. New hams are still being licensed, but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn CW anyway. I've stopped wondering why Hams do the things they do. It's less stressful to just mind my own business. I wonder, is stress making hams die? Stress probably does contribute to a reduction in the number of new hams getting started. Especially those that take the time to learn CW.

This is better too.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NO5J on February 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hams are Dying. New Hams are still being licensed, but they don't have to learn CW in order to get licensed. They ought to learn CW anyway. I've stopped wondering why hams do the things they do. It's less stressful to just mind my own business. I wonder, is stress making hams die? Stress probably does contribute to a reduction in the number of new hams getting started. Especially those that take the time to learn CW.

I don't pretend to have mastered English or CW.

I'm sure by now you have been able to grasp my meaning.

Perhaps, you have more time in need of wasting.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Whew....well, we all knew this thread would go big. Kind of like those marriage counselors who say that occasional fair fights are cleansing and good for a marriage.

OK, what's next.....a super-duper compact antenna and tuner that "gets me 5/9 into Zimbabwe every time?"

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by VE3TKB on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well for myself I can only state that the digital modes are pretty much all I can work these days. I used to really enjoy CW but with my hearing issues it's nearly impossible. This is really the old CW vs (Insert anything) discussion that's has been beaten to death.

CW was fun in the day but I outgrew it and moved on.

Just my opinion.

 
Is CW Dying?  
by WB4YAL on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NO
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N1LWK on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Far from dying out. Shame on me from not getting on CW as much as I use to, but far from dying out. Just check out Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) and look at all the awards that being issued daily by ham using nothing but straight keys, coodie keys and bugs. There are 11,000 plus members and growing.

I have done a lot of psk31 also. I must admit that I have had some great QSO's but mostly the hams that come back to my CQ's are 100% macro and move on. Funny how some will give me 599 then at the end of the same transmission will say my signal is weak and will sign off. Go figure.

And YES I too had a tough time learning CW. I had some good mentors that kept after me and now glad that they did.

73....Ken, N1LWK (SKCC #158)
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KD4Y on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Did you Listen to this past weekends Contes!

All bands Packed. I enjoyed

73

Herb/KD4Y
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4KC on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, the bands were hopping. I picked up 22 new countries on 80 meters in just a couple of hours Saturday night...from all those dead CW ops!

BTW, I just listened on four different bands and there were plenty of CW QSOs going on...at 9:30 AM local on a weekday. More or less than 1961? Who can tell? We had four fewer HF bands then so we are definitely more diffused.

Oh, and I'm with those guys who are wondering where some of you are listening that you are hearing so many ops sending bad CW. I rarely hear anything I would consider "bad."

Uh oh. Maybe it's ME they are hearing!

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8TI on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
A person could argue, except for emergency communications, the internet made all sorts of voice and digital communications over the radio obsolete. If we just wanted to talk to each other, we would simply communicate by email, telephone or other internet supported means 99.9% of the time. However, just because a new way of doing things is "better" doesn't mean the "old" way is abandoned by people. For example, my two horses are among the 9.2 million horses currently now in the U.S. This is so, even though in 1960, there were only 3 million horses in the U.S. (see http://www.americanequestrian.com/pdf/US-Equine-Demographics.pdf).

According to the logic that we should "move on" when "something better comes along," horses should be extinct in this day of tractors and superhighways. So should CW. However, both seem to be thriving.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WB5JWI on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting responses. There are antidotal indications that that while there may be less activity from new hams, after a while they start looking at CW. The SKCC has almost 12,000 members worldwide. I've worked WAS, WAC, and 25 countries all with SKCC members. FISTS is also doing well.
I rarely pick up that black square thing on a coiled cord that is connected to my rig; the call of bugs and vintage keys is too strong. As for quality, the SKCC Elmers are glad to work you at any speed; QRS or QRO (yes you need on air practice with a bug too). I have been several first CW QSOs and one, glorious, first ever "QSO" with a young girl on her granddad's rig and ticket. We were at a blistering 3 WPM and I loved it. She is a ham now and loves CW. Yes rag chews can be hard to find but this weekend I had 3 40 minute plus chats with both members and non-members. A big problem is knowing when someone wants the "5NN TU" QSO and when they want to chat. Unless I know they want the short exchange, I usually send rig data and if they respond with that or more, I keep going. I rarely have heard someone refuse to QRS. Is it more work? Can be; I have gone through the "E" no "A" no "W" no "J" routine but so what. While I can head copy above about 15, below 10 it must be written down for this reason.
As far as of no use, you should read the story of the ms Prinsendam http://www.qsl.net/n1ea/ and then consider if CW is needed. Listen to the recordings to see why everything else, including digital and satellite failed. Or the story last year of the British sailors who sent SOS to a passing helicopter because all radio on their boat was out or the messages to the earthquake areas or …..
I have worked stations in Canada from Texas, both of us at 5 watts and we pulled each other out of the noise. I've also had low power stations come in loud and clear on CW when nothing on voice could be heard. It is viable communications and will always be so. Whether or not humanity ultimately loses the skill remains to be seen. As a history buff I am enthralled by the history of radio and how it has changed the world. As an amateur I love the feel of a bug and the thrill of working Diego Garcia on CW.
I think the removal of ship operators was been short sighted but that may just be me. As to the future on the ham bands, I got my extra BECAUSE of those frequency limits. Now I rarely go into the extra portions because many of the hams I work are 'no-code' techs getting into CW to gain access to the HF bands.
As to contests, I have had a couple of really nice, QRM free CW QSOs in the extra potion of 40 in the SSB region. No SSB there and NO contest QRM either. Also the WARC bands are contest free if your rig goes there. I love boat anchors so not always an option. I stay in the sub-bands because that is where most other ops are but I have no qualms about moving up into Phone bands if I don't cause QRM. I even worked a Canadian SSB station while I was CW. Cross mode is not illegal and he was in the US CW band.
Dying? Well, entropy is increasing and the entire universe is heading toward its ultimate heat death, so yeah, I guess so. Just not anytime soon.
Just my not so humble opinion, of course.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W0CBF on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What a way to get everybody's hackles all in a uproar!

You could do the same thing with these topics:
Is CW dying?
Is CW more active?
Is PSK-31 dying?
Is PSK-31 more active?
Is RTTY dying?
Is RTTY more active?
Is SSB dying?
Is SSB more active?

Or more importantly:

Is ham radio dying?
Is ham radio more active?

Flame on ---->>>>>>> That will keep the servers busy!
73's

 
Is CW Dying?  
by N4DSP on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NQ3C,
you cannot judge if cw is dying by looking at a Spotter!

Turn your receiver on.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N6AJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
go to G4FON.net and use his cw learning program, a really slick way to learn cw and easy too and free
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KD8MJR on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to settle this once and for all then do a eHam survey of people by Age who use CW weekly. I would bet my whole shack that the vast majority of people are going to be older, like at least 70 and above. That pretty much will put this argument to rest.


RTTY is also dying, it's been replaced by PSK31 which is much better. Time marches on, progress is made and you either join in or get left behind.

Just go and look at the 4DTV forum and see the hand full of guys who are still holding on to those Big C-Band satellite dishes, all they do is complain about the loss of channels. I have watched their numbers dwindle from several thousand members 15 years ago to just about a dozen die hards that are left today. I figure that's how CW will end up in the next 15 years.
 
The opportunity is there. Your move next.  
by AI2IA on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is what you make it for yourself.
The FCC license gives you many opportunities.
You use them or don't use them.
You cannot force others to use them or quit using them.
Just do your thing in ham radio and forget all this childish rubbish.
If you can control yourself, you are controlling more than ham radio.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WB9GKZ on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I just had a CW QSO on 40 meters at 8 words per minute using my World Radio Laboratories METEOR transmitter.

It was a lot of fun. The station I worked was using a Globe Scout. We were using straight keys. Communication was slow and easy. Fun.

If CW is "dying"...that's OK. We are enjoying the lack of QRM when using our ancient boatanchors. We need all the help we can get.

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K8QV on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As long as chasing DX is popular, CW will be in use. As long as QRP remains popular, CW will be widely used. I venture to say that not many folks who are able to mount a DXpedition to remote areas of the world, and backpackers who hike for miles into the woods and up the mountains with their 1 watt ham radios are over 80 years old and anti progress - yet they use CW as the primary mode. Where CW is NOT in use is emergency communications (ironically), VHF/UHF and 75m ragchews.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
This thread topic reminds me of those posted in the past concerning Kenwood: "Is Kenwood dying? Kenwood is on their last leg. Don't buy anything from Kenwood because they won't be around much longer." Yep, some experts and guys with inside info had it all figured out.

Nutballs.

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K8QV on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What! Kenwood is dying? And I thought it was Hallicrafters. Whatever happens, let's blame Obama!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KE4KE on February 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi, I don't think it's dying, but it has changed. In 1976 no one got on 20 meters unless you could do 20 wpm or better. Now there is fast and slow code on all bands. There was maybe a slow down after the code requirement was dropped, but contesting and the language barrier are major factors in keeping CW alive. I'm a member of SKCC and it's been a great way to get back into the mode!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K3FHP on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In responsemto the anonymous 'STRAIGHKEY', yes, the Novice and Tech licensee who has passed a code test should have full CW access. I was never in favor of incentive licensing, but if you must, testing in a mode should yield acess to that mode. As has been noted, the lower 25kc (yes, it was kc when they stole the frequencies from us) are vacant compared to the next 25. We must 'use it or loose it'.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K2WH on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well, yes CW is dying.

Now, where's the complementary and b-montly "Is Ham Radio Dying" posting?

K2WH
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by G3SEA on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

LOL !

Not if you happened to witness 10m during the ARRL
CW Contest last weekend :)

KH6/G3SEA
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AF4RK on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I always find it surprising that in this day and age of satellite communication and fiber optical cable spanning continents that we are still using the unreliable ionosphere to communicate. It doesn't matter if you use SSB, CW or Digital, HF is obsolete. That's why ham radio is getting additional bands. The commercial concerns are only interested in VHF/UHF and above. So, no matter what side of this argument you are on, you are wrong! Having said that, I can copy CW at 30 WPM in my head. I rarely use a microphone although I have a very nice one. Anyone listening to HF this weekend heard the ARRL DX CW contest. I had 487 Q's due to the limitation of using a 43' vertical. The big guns totally own this contest. And, although I have a nice Vibroplex, I only use it for fills. All the sending is done through N1MM. CW dying? Turn on your radios, folks. Not by a long shot!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K3ZL on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"I concur with the guys that say that CW is becoming more of a badge of honor". I don't see any badge of honor. I work CW because I prefer it.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4DSP on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Turned my Spotter on and did not HEAR anything.
Go buy that microphone. What kind of paddle do you have?
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
K3FHP, I'm not anonymous. I'm STRAIGHTKEY.

Why should we allow people on PSK31 if they don't pass a test to show they know how to run PSK?

People who have tested for the CW mode have access to that mode in the subbands they have access to. There's plenty of activity in the lower 25 kc. You can find me there. If you feel strongly about giving everyone who passed a CW test access to all of the CW subbands, please petition the FCC.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K6TBR on February 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Shame on me for not working CW like I used to! Used to work at least twice a week for a while, but now I'm "too busy" (lazy) except to check into the "Noontime Net" in the west here. Dad-gum it! I think I'll get back into it (again) and log some 3-digit RSTs! Thanks for the inspiration!
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KC9UNL on February 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think so. I notice a lack of activity in SSB also. Go to 40 meters and see how much stuff you can find. I don't think the new hams know how to call CQ.
I operate CW over 50% of the time and digital quite a bit because of the low power requirements.
However, just look at the increase in members to SKCC. It is growing and so is the FISTS.
If I call CQ on the SKCC frequencies, I usually will find someone after several CQ's.
There is nothing better than a CW QSO!
73's
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WB8NUT on February 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Actually programs like FLDigi and HRD/DM-780 and the like have excellent CW decode capability making it easy for anyone to get on and use CW. It can even help you learn the code because you don't have he anxiety of trying to decode and afraid of missing something. You always have the back-up of the computer. Get way for a new ham to get introduced to CW.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by IZ4KBS on February 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I've only been a Ham for a few years, but to me it looks like the use of CW is increasing rather than the opposite. In fact I got my ticket in 2004 precisely because I wanted to learn CW. Regarding the digital modes, I don't really see the point. The best digital modes I know of are e-mail, instant messaging, GSM cell phones, and stuff like that, so arguing that the digi are better than CW is pointless. If having fun is your goal, then both modes are fine, while if you want to carry out a useful communication they are both pathetic and useless. The same goes for computer generated/decoded CW. The point of doing that instead of sending an e-mail with that same keyboard and argue that that has any technical advantages rather than simply admitting that it's all about having fun with doing a useless thing (which is perfectly OK) is beyond me. I like homebrewing old-style vacuum tube rigs just for the fun of it, not because I'm convinced that they are superior to even the cheapest rice box, which of course they are not. Please note that I'm a long time computer engineer, still far from retirement, which should tell something.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9COX on February 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
-. ---
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KL7SB on February 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
N2TU a bit off topic ..but just wanted to give you a tip of the hat for a GREAT operation. Your ops were all top notch CW, Phone, and RTTY :)

73
Steve KL7SB

p.s. in terms of "is cw dying" ..nope ..not as long as hams want to dx or contest. There is less ragchewing than there once was.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WA1UFO on February 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
for AA4PB. You aren't working that DX but your computer is. Just kidding!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AF6NI on February 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I guess if you define a QSO as two or three canned responses (name, sig rpt, qth, how long you've been a ham, how old) then you could say ham radio in general and CW specifically is not dying.

But even the signal report is a bunch of baloney as we all know. "5NN" no matter how weak or lousy the other signal is common PARTICULARLY with contestors and DXpeditions. Of course this is caused by two factors: 1. the macros they are using to race through the contacts, and 2. they know if they send anything else the chance of the station at the other end getting it correct is close to nil. In a contest that would mean that the contact would not count. I'd love to see the ARRL, or CQ change one of the big contests so that any entry where more than 20% of the signal reports were 5NN would be thrown out!

I got back into ham radio in 2008 after being away for 40 years (original call KN1AWO) and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately I have found it extremely boring to have a QSO, especially on CW. As others have said, normally if you try to extend the conversation beyond the normal reponses mentioned above, all of a sudden there's "extreme QSB, QRM or QRN on the signal."
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AF6NI on February 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I guess if you define a QSO as two or three canned responses (name, sig rpt, qth, how long you've been a ham, how old) then you could say ham radio in general and CW specifically is not dying.

But even the signal report is a bunch of baloney as we all know. "5NN" no matter how weak or lousy the other signal is common PARTICULARLY with contestors and DXpeditions. Of course this is caused by two factors: 1. the macros they are using to race through the contacts, and 2. they know if they send anything else the chance of the station at the other end getting it correct is close to nil. In a contest that would mean that the contact would not count. I'd love to see the ARRL, or CQ change one of the big contests so that any entry where more than 20% of the signal reports were 5NN would be thrown out!

I got back into ham radio in 2008 after being away for 40 years (original call KN1AWO) and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately I have found it extremely boring to have a QSO, especially on CW. As others have said, normally if you try to extend the conversation beyond the normal reponses mentioned above, all of a sudden there's "extreme QSB, QRM or QRN on the signal."
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AF6NI on February 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I guess if you define a QSO as two or three canned responses (name, sig rpt, qth, how long you've been a ham, how old) then you could say ham radio in general and CW specifically is not dying.

But even the signal report is a bunch of baloney as we all know. "5NN" no matter how weak or lousy the other signal is common PARTICULARLY with contestors and DXpeditions. Of course this is caused by two factors: 1. the macros they are using to race through the contacts, and 2. they know if they send anything else the chance of the station at the other end getting it correct is close to nil. In a contest that would mean that the contact would not count. I'd love to see the ARRL, or CQ change one of the big contests so that any entry where more than 20% of the signal reports were 5NN would be thrown out!

I got back into ham radio in 2008 after being away for 40 years (original call KN1AWO) and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately I have found it extremely boring to have a QSO, especially on CW. As others have said, normally if you try to extend the conversation beyond the normal reponses mentioned above, all of a sudden there's "extreme QSB, QRM or QRN on the signal."
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KJ4MPT on February 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Dying? I surely doubt it. Have you priced new or used keys lately?
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KJ4MPT on February 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Dying? I surely doubt it. Have you priced new or used keys lately?
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N6KB on February 22, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Definitely! CW has died many times. This has been reported so many times in both the popular press and in Amateur Radio forums, so it must be true. It just keeps dying, yet it keeps getting more popular and never goes away.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by V73NS on February 22, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
67,302 CW QSO's (and growing) in my logbook.
Answer: No, its not going anywhere and is healthy.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W9SZ on February 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You really can't judge activity by packet spots. But it does seem to ebb and flow. Sometimes I don't hear much on CW OR SSB tuning around the bands. Sometimes there's a lot of activity.

We do have CWOPS "Mini Tests" on the second and fourth Wednesdays each month. There are three one-hour CWT's on each of these days. They are not really contests per se, although some people treat them as such. I think of them more as activity days. They take place at 1300, 1900 and 0300Z, usually around 25-35 kHz up from the band bottoms on all bands but the WARC bands. Anyone who can work CW is welcome to participate. If you're not a member, send your name and state (or country) as exchange.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KG9H on February 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hardly, it seems like almost any time nigh or day here in Northern Illinois, I can call CQ on 7.040 always get a response. Also... AM is on the rise as well.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by RADIOPATEL on February 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Friends

Perhaps we have created a false fear in our minds about CW and many of us do not learn code. We should discuss about how to master and operate CW rather than checking whether it is dying or not. CW is real radio waves. Other modes need modulation. From futuristic angle I feel that CW is an art to be mastered rather than only a mode.

73
Dinesh Patel
VU2DCI
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K9CTB on February 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think it's dying. I do think that there are a lot of ops using computer generated and decoded cw at impossible speeds and then trying to pass it off as if they're copying manually. Laughable actually. Just be honest, kids. It's not like somebody is keeping score!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W4KVU on February 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"I do think that there are a lot of ops using computer generated and decoded cw at impossible speeds and then trying to pass it off as if they're copying manually."

Bingo------
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8TI on February 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I always wondered why some Hams are so anti-CW. It is old fashioned, but a lot of fun. Who can be against fun?
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on February 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Why are some (many) hams anti-new ham, anti-hygiene, anti-logic, anti-fit, anti-minority, anti-young person, and / or antisocial? We may never know, though I have a theory that it has something to do with being old, bitter, and crotchety.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WB3T on February 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Statistics published by the NAQCC prove that CW is a GROWING mode. Is it dead? No, it is less dead than phone or digi.

Can you design and build your own PSK transceiver? I can design and build my own CW TX, RX, or transceiver in fact I have on many occasions. It's NOT high-tech, it's basic communications technology and it's FUN!

If I want to type to you on a keyboard, I'll do it via Internet. Hey wait, I'm doing that now! If you want to talk to me on the ham bands, you'd better know code. That's all I operate.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K2MMO on February 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Not here
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KE7TMA on February 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"It can't die fast enough - and hams are keeping it on life support way too long.
CW is obsolete in the real world, it isn't used for much of anything outside the ham bands, just for niche applications.
Time to let it go folks, after all, CW is a 19th century mode, and we're in the 21st century. We keep touting ham radio as an advanced service, but we keep clinging to CW.
It's as silly as hooking your shinny new 2014 high-performance sports car to a team of horses - And calling that high-tech."

It's the only high-efficency mode that can be copied by ear and sent with simple equipment. This much will keep it alive as long as there are radios.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N8WXQ on February 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I work about the same amount of SSB, CW and RTTY contacts. All the modes are fun and I usually find plenty of contacts. I must say for DXing that I enjoy CW and RTTY the best. Its just easier to get through.

I believe the ham statistics show CW is up a bit. Folks use it because it is fun and works well.

With regard to some comments regarding LIDS in pile ups, quite a bit of the blame goes to the DX stations. With a big pile up it is simple to conclude EACH QSO with TU N8WXQ UP 1-3. If QSOs are not ended clearly , chaos results. Band police can confuse more than help.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KG4MMY on February 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree with N7DMA. I, too, find CW relaxing. I guess most of the newer ops would say I'm stuck in a time warp, because when I sit down to see what's doing on the bands, it's in front of a Hammarlund HQ-140X and a WRL Globe Scout 65. I also use a J-38 straight key given to me by a Navy Radioman who used it in the battle of the Coral sea. That's one of the big thrills of Ham radio for me, using vintage equipment and a piece of wire strung up between two trees to talk around the world; sending by hand and receiving by ear, it's magic...
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KG4MMY on February 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well, doofuss me, I forgot to answer the topic question "Is CW dying?" in my previous post.
To me, no, absolutely not. I find the bands to be alive with CW. But I will reiterate what others have said in their comments, CW is not dying, but it is suffering from bad technique. More attention should be paid to timing and structure. Learn your Q codes and common abbreviations and always remember, "slow code sent correctly is FAR superior to fast code that no one can copy." I would also urge new and old ops alike to take time to drag out their straight keys, turn off their code readers and try operating the "old fashioned way!" I swear you'll like it. Sit down and really chew the rag with your next contact. Make it a point to have at least a 30 minute conversation with the fellow. Try it, and see what you have been missing.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4KC on February 28, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
KG4MMY:

Agreed. Wholeheartedly. I do my CW on a modern solid state rig, using the internal keyer, and with a K8RA paddle. But sometimes I still plug in the Lionel J-38 key that my late dad also used. Of course, my arm gets tired quickly and I go back to the paddle!

Also, I wonder if the former Navy radio op you got your key from is still alive. My next book is set in the Battle of the Coral Sea and I'd love to talk with the gentleman about some radio-oriented specifics. I'd appreciate a holler off line at n4kc (at) arrl.net.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)


 
Is CW Dying?  
by KO7I on March 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Yesterday (and the evening prior) I operated as a host station for ARRL Centennial QSO Party, W1AW/7 WA on 40M CW.

Based upon the swarming pile-ups and being forced to go QSX up 1-2 in order to maintain control of the pile-ups, I would say CW is alive and well.

The JA run yesterday morning was insane. Had to run split for them too. It was a hoot.

One of the pleasing things I observed was the large numbers of new US hams with 2x3 calls who were running Low Power into small antennas. Many were excellent ops. I held my speed to 24 wpm and they were keeping up, whether it was with "digital assistance" or not I do not know (or care).

Tip of the hat to them for getting into the pile-ups and going for it!

Vy 73, Don KO7i
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KB6QXM on March 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Is CW dying. No, not really. True CW with people using bugs, straight keys and paddles is in my opinion taking a nose dive. Why?.....too much work. Another culture change. In my opinion, today's culture does not embrace hard work. Learning CW to send and receive (without a computer) takes hard work. Remember, instant gratification culture now.

When our lovely ARRL helped push the FCC to drop the CW element from testing, hams no longer had to rise to the challenge of CW. The politically correct crowd of inclusion helped push this situation. The whiners dominated by the "CW challenged" because of some type of shortcoming were successful. Now many CW ops send CW by pushing F1 on their keyboard, followed by F3 etc.The computer does all of the encoding and decoding.

What happened to the traditional brass pounding? Oh I know....too hard, huh?

If it wasn't for the ARRL-backed contests du jour, then I would not believe we would have a lot of CW activity.

I know that the "code-less" crowd will jump all over my post. Taking my statements out of context. Very typical of a political party that I know of.

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4KC on March 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Whoa! I know this thread is finally dying--especially since the consensus is that CW ain't--but I simply had to counter some of KB6QXM's comments.

>>True CW with people using bugs, straight keys and paddles is in my opinion taking a nose dive.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I'd love to see data to back it up. Yes, more people likely use computer-generated code in contests, but I'd wager most of them still copy by ear. Even the best software has trouble copying in the midst of all that contest noise. And though I have no data either, I would be surprised if there has been a nosedive in key usage for most casual-to-avid CW ops. I'm also of the opinion...with no data, but based on my own listening over the last 53 years...that there are more of those types on the air today than ever before in the history of the hobby.

>>In my opinion, today's culture does not embrace hard work. Learning CW to send and receive (without a computer) takes hard work. Remember, instant gratification culture now.

Again, an opinion with no data to back it up. Which is fine, but if we want to declare a mode "dead" and give a reason for its demise, we really should have data to make the argument valid. Fact is, every generation is different. Marketers and demographers spend millions researching those differences. I've seen a lot of that data. I don't know which generation you think is too lazy to send Morse with a key, but I've seen nothing that declares any recent bunch (Baby-boomers, Gen X, Gen Y) to be any lazier or less motivated than the previous ones. I also disagree that copying and sending Morse is "hard work." If you are operating at a speed that is comfortable for you, it is a pleasure, and actually no more work than speaking into a microphone or typing on a keyboard and reading a screen in a RTTY QSO.

>>When our lovely ARRL helped push the FCC to drop the CW element from testing, hams no longer had to rise to the challenge of CW. The politically correct crowd of inclusion helped push this situation.

Your first statement is simply wrong. The ARRL petitioned to keep code as part of the test for some license classes...all the way to the end. Not for all classes because they saw the handwriting on the wall. The rest of the world was dropping the requirement and many in the US had filed convincing comments in response to the FCC's proposed rule-making. Anyone who wishes to "rise to the challenge of CW" has the right to do so on any frequency for which he or she is licensed. I don't understand your comment about a "politically correct crowd of inclusion." The FCC exams have changed over the years as we moved beyond just CW and AM voice. Heck, they even ask about satellites and digital communications now! Should you have to show up for the test with a way to copy PSK31 or RTTY and show you know how? Show how to track a satellite in a descending orbit or program a D-Star radio? Or show you can carry on a conversation in Chinese, English, Spanish or all the other of the top ten most-spoken languages on the planet. That would be just as silly as testing for competence in a single mode.

>>If it wasn't for the ARRL-backed contests du jour, then I would not believe we would have a lot of CW activity.

Are you listening to the same bands I am, at times when there are no "contests du jour?" I hear plenty of CW, and have no trouble finding someone to talk with. Oh, and there are scores of other entities besides the League that sponsor contests, bless 'em all! Have you heard of CQ, QRP ARCI, FISTS...?

>>I know that the "code-less" crowd will jump all over my post. Taking my statements out of context. Very typical of a political party that I know of.

I hope I took none of your comments out of context, nor do I mean to jump all over your post. You are entitled to your opinions, and thank you for stating them. They gave me the opportunity to state mine in response.

I'm not sure which of the political parties you are referring to. Both the bigger ones seem pretty good at taking comments out of context. I'm a devoted independent politically, and tend to vote for the man/woman or how I feel on individual issues, not for a party platform.

Oh, and I'm also CW certified at 35 WPM, do about 75% of my operating on code, and still believe removing the arbitrary CW requirements from the ham radio exam was the right thing to do. I predicted it would lead to even more activity and I believe data would prove my prediction accurate.

73 y CU on CW...PSK, SSB, RTTY, FM...

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)



 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KB6QXM on March 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Don,

Thank you for trying to take my post apart line by line. If you would like to discuss my post offline and have me explain and clarify "in-detail" my post, I am willing to do that. Feel free to send me an e-mail and we can chat.

73 de kb6qxm
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by STRAIGHTKEY on March 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>The ARRL petitioned to keep code as part of the test for some license classes...all the way to the end.

This is correct. ARRL petitioned to keep 5 WPM for the Extra test. But people still keep beating the drum that ARRL wanted to kill CW, despite this inconvenient fact and their five days a week code practice and code bulletins.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WO7R on March 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Anyone who thought the League wasn't fighting to keep code requirements for as long as possible, wasn't paying attention.

It's membership, on the whole, were in favor of keeping it and, to the extent _reality_ allowed, the League followed suit.

But, the League could also see that while CW's value was still there, selling it _ahead of time_ to new licensees was losing ground. That's why it changed, and world-wide, too.

The US, with strenous help from the ARRL, was among the _last_ to change. Yet, all the actual measurable numbers I can find says CW is just fine, as healthy as ever.

Meanwhile, I've met and helped persuade many "no code" hams in my DX club to put in the trouble to learn. Sure, they start with computer-generated code, but they all know it only gets them so far. It's not an up-front thing, but we're creating a new generation of "know code". Just after the fact.

And, given that a lot of older hams back in the day happily discarded their keys after passing the test, I doubt if the numbers _on the air_ turn out much different.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WB8VMW on March 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well I hope cw will never die because if it does I think it's time for me sell my eqt. and get another hobby. I know the new Hams coming into the mix are a lot more savoy on all the new do dad's and thing-a-ma-bobs but they just don't know the felling of a QRP contact to someone on a camping trip sitting around a camp fire. I guess you can tell I'm one of those old farts that love cw and hope it will never die.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WO7R on March 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Eventually, many of them will learn that thrill. Judging from my small scale elmering, it's a slam dunk.

Others will learn the thrill of JT65 and still others will learn the joys of CW on moonbounce and never even get on HF.

There's a lot to get interested in, some needing CW, some not, that goes beyond HF QRP CW.

But, HF QRP CW had hardly vanished. I still hear plenty breaking through even some pretty large pileups!

CW will be there because it is fun. And, above all, because it is _needed_.

Not everything can be done even with JT65.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W1SFR on March 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Recent surveys show an increase in CW ops as a percentage of new licensees.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K9MHZ on March 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by KB6QXM on March 2, 2014
Don,
Thank you for trying to take my post apart line by line. If you would like to discuss my post offline and have me explain and clarify "in-detail" my post, I am willing to do that. Feel free to send me an e-mail and we can chat.
73 de kb6qxm<<<<



QXM,

I thought Don's reply to your post was very thoughtful and respectful. He certainly doesn't seem like a person with a particular axe to grind, so I don't think your "let's take this outside" reply was warranted, either. The League didn't kill the CW requirement, and what do you know....CW is still alive and well. Just ordered my 100 year commemorative Vibroplex....hope to catch you on the bands with it.

Best,
Brad, K9MHZ

 
Is CW Dying?  
by K7NM on March 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am primarily a CW op. CW is not dying. There is more work to a CW QSO than pushing buttons on Digital or flapping gums on SSB. So perhaps the "quiet" on the bands is do to "conservation of energy"..... But when a rare one shows up, the pile-ups demonstate there is still a great number of CW ops out there. I have been excited to work a number of upcoming CW ops who have been licensed for a while and are just learning - because they are interested in the mode. This is great! Finally, I really enjoy the mode because of the gentlemen I meet there...I don't think I have ever copied a swear word in nearly 50 yrs on this mode! It is a nice place to be with good compsny... 73!
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by N4KC on March 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Brad, I'd love to work you with you using that key! Just wish I still had my old Vibroplex bug to use right back at you.

I did agree to discuss offline our differing viewpoints with the OM but have not heard from him. I hope it is because he is busy taking advantage of all the great CW DX QSOs available for the taking, especially the last few days on 10 and 12.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com


 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by KG9H on March 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am KG9H, located in Antioch, IL. My setup is very modest, 30-100 watts to a 120' long wire. Each time I call CQ on 7.030 or 7.040, I almost always get a response. I even try QRP from time to time with an 817 and a 4020. Again, almost every time I call CQ, I get a response. My typical times to get on the air is about 4-6pm or 6-7am.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by AE4TO on March 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have to disagree! I see a lot of activity on CW and people having a lot of fun on the cw bands. The SKCC CW club has lots of new members.
The CW radios can be cheap, small, portable and powered by batteries.
I think we should promote more CW as it teaches discipline, survival with a simple radio, friend ship. CW contacts are very friendly.
Try CW and you will experience the fun.
CW FOR EVER!
SERGIO AE4TO
 
Is CW Dying?  
by KE6ASO on March 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I've been off the air for the last few years but the first thing I went back to was....CW. My code speed is slow but me and my 5yro son drive around and dit-dah out the highway signs here in San Diego.

I do CW...why? purely for the art of it...nothing more. It seems to be a lost art and I want to keep it alive. I read recently that some one of the "code talkers" died in New Mexico and the first thought I had was about morse code.

I got the opportunity during my time in the Navy to travel to many of the small islands in the South Pacific and I could imagine the coast watchers sending morse code reports from these islands as I stood above old crashed planes (Zero's,etc..)

Dead? ...nope there are enough people that will always keep it alive and impart it to the younger generation and teach them...it's an "art" form ...process over product....nothing more.

When I take the kids camping...the Ft-100d with a leg key from my military time comes out with a good old fashioned dipole, that they help cut to length prior to the trip, and we tune around the band around the camp fire. We almost always have very kid in the camp ground with us before the nights over.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WN2A on March 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You should check your receiver antenna connection,please! It may vary, day to day, but the CW activity is, if anything, on a gradual increase.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by W4DLE on March 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I am new to the hobby. I always add that for context.

While I don't think any aspect of ham is "dying" per say, I think some are becoming less common. Hams (old and new) are finding their niches. And the niche bands/modes are becoming more crowded while those areas less in vogue are seeing less traffic. For example, I went to Charlotte last week (Sunday through Tuesday). I only had my little mobile rig with me. I tried off and on the whole time we were there to get someone on 2 meters/ 70cm. Not a soul. Nobody. I tried during the day and at night. Nothing. But that doesn't mean those bands are "dying". That only means that in Charlotte, hams have moved on to other things.

(Back on topic.)

As for CW, the guy who got me into ham goes in stages. He was big into CW as a teen and in his early adulthood. Then he got away from it. And now he is going back to it (now that his kids are more grown and he has the time to practice). I got my Tech and General ticket without it. But he is encouraging me to go ahead and practice up on it. (As are the guys in my local club.) As stated in another post, I am a dad with young kids. Time will determine when I get around to it. I get anxious to get on the air and talk to people so when I get a few minutes I usually do that rather than practice CW.

KC3X lives not far from me. I think is is on something like his TENTH lap county hunting on CW. That man is a machine. He can carry on a conversation with you while keying and listening at the same time. Amazing.

Short version: There's a lot to do in the hobby these days. People are trying other stuff. But the older guys always seem to come back, and the new guys seem to be getting into CW as well. I think it will stick around (in one form or another) for some time to come.

No need to jump down each others' throats over the subject though, troll or not. I feel like we can have a conversation about a subject without anyone taking it so personally.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by K7FD on March 17, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No, but the art of sending CW is definitely dying. How many op's do you hear sending period after period during a QSO? The prosign BT is the acceptable form of a break in text not a period. Yet I hear the use of boring periods over and over during a CW QSO. Is the ARRL code practice the cause of this novice accent continuing on the airwaves?? Nothing kills a QSO faster than listening to didahdidahdidahdidah over and over. Leave periods to keyboard ops on the digital modes like PSK-31. Let's preserve CW and the prosign BT!

 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by K4KYV on March 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
AF6NI wrote:
"... I'd love to see the ARRL, or CQ change one of the big contests so that any entry where more than 20% of the signal reports were 5NN would be thrown out!"

The best suggestion regarding contests I have seen in a long time!

Except, I would take it a step further and make it applicable to ALL contests, including "five-nine" on phone.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WB9JOX on March 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NO cw is alive and well.I work both SSB and CW.73 WB9JOX
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N5WLZ on March 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Bum right hand. Retired this year and I am going to learn CW with my other hand, going down to my local ham club and take my General, then eventually Amateur Extra. I feel having a pronounced CW fist the greatest accomplishment of my time in amateur radio before I become a silent key. Their just is something magi-call about completing a late night contact. Like during a wartime mission, being a Vietnam Vet I know how valuable code can be. If ever God forbid we are ever reduced to long periods of living without normal power generation, With CW Communications and generator-battery power, we can communicate with the outside world. For an active person it can be a lifesaver. A light battery powered CW rig and small antenna has save countless lives. Give it a try. Their are many easy ways to learn.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by NU1O on March 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Does that mean you'd answer no even if you knew the answer was yes?
 
Is CW Dying?  
by W7WQ on March 21, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
No
 
Is CW Dying?  
by N4DSP on March 22, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
This is typical for today. People don't listen. DXer's don't listen. Listen on a dxpedition or a cw contest weekend and you then ask if cw is dying out.
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by AF4K on March 22, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Bit of a wild question... but hey there are actually still MORE CW contats made on HF than phone ones, so think again. I like both but I find CW a lot easier for getting a QSO started with someone I don't know. Especially if they don't speak my language. A lot of new hams are discovering the joys of morse code, and the CW clubs are growing. Ove rthe past 3months, I got more active in the SKCC Group and in that short time, their membership has grown from 11,000 to over 12,000.

Many new and younger radio amateurs are jumping in to CW.

Dying? More like Resurrecting!

YMMV - 73 de AF4K, Bry
 
RE: Is CW Dying?  
by WO7R on March 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>> How many op's do you hear sending period after period during a QSO? The prosign BT is the acceptable form of a break in text not a period. Yet I hear the use of boring periods over and over during a CW QSO

This kind of thinking is the _only_ way to kill off CW.

Let those who haven't learned the code try out the decoders. Some are now quite good.

But, let them run into the limits of it, too.

If we don't scare them off with all this "you must use a straight key or the hell with you" kind of talk, we can, are, and will recruit "no code" hams to CW.

So what if they use a period? It's not the end of the world. All technologies adapt -- at least those that survive do so.

I'm cajoling all the "no code" hams I know to learn the code. Some are doing so. Many find it suits their interests (weak signal work of any kind, limited stations).

It will come out just fine as long as the thinking of a self-appointed elite doesn't discourage people.

And, it's not like the rest of us, those who have mastered the art of keying, never use a keyboard anyway. Check out any advanced contester's shack. There are keys there, but 90 per cent plus is done with the keyboard there, too.
 
Is CW Dying?  
by WW2PT on March 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I started working CW last summer. In 8 months I've worked over 150 DXCC entities using a screwdriver vertical. Doesn't seem very dead to me. :-)
 
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