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Author Topic: How to tell an Op to use proper inter-character spacing  (Read 2233 times)
AA4OO
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« on: November 06, 2017, 06:48:05 AM »

I had an operator answer my call this weekend but he was running all the letters of his callsign together to the point that it was one long prosign. 

I sent back "pse put space between your characters bk".  He asked me if I wanted him to QRS to which I said "no ur speed is ok but your are running everything together".  He then said "gud ops copy me fine".  To which I said "tnx guess im not gud enuf to wrk u 73 de aa4oo" and I called CQ again.  He then sent his call with copyable spacing and I answered with his report and my info but he never responded after that. It turns out I had previously worked him, and in my log comments I'd written "terrible fist, best to avoid".

The thing is, I could copy 75% of what he was sending in a normal exchange except for his call, which he ran all together.  I didn't want to send QSD to him.  How else do I ask someone to not run letters together?  Is there a Q-code for intercharacter spacing? 

Richard, AA4OO
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Lower your Power and Raise your expectations
KD8IIC
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 08:39:35 AM »

  Hello Again Rich, Worked you Sunday on 40m....
  I sure wish there was but there aint, hi. and it's a shame. I have a good friend and close by neighbor
  that does exactly this. He starts out really fine but apparently gets over-excited
  andsooneverythingisallonebigmessofcharacters that I cannot decipher.. It's a shame too because
  I want to carry on a meaningful ragchew. I joke about it and tell him he's slurring and to give some
  spacing but soon it's right back...  73 lane  de n8aft
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K8AXW
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 10:03:39 AM »

Richard:  You did it all exactly right!  The fact that he refused to continue the QSO is his loss, not yours.  I'd also make another notation in the log, this time in bold letters to help you remember to avoid this guy.

Matter of fact, because of his bad manners, I wouldn't respond to him even if he straightened up his act.  Life is too short to waste it on idiots!
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W3TTT
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 01:13:51 PM »

When I leave a telephone message with my phone number (at work) I say my number twice - long and clear. 
I am at a loss when someone is leaving on my answering machine an "important" message and leaves his number, but begins to breathe in on the ninth or tenth digit.  Of course, when breathing in, the number does not come out.  Sometimes the cell phone just drops a packet just then during the phone number. 

In a similar vein, someone who disdains his own call as to not sent it read-ably is frustrating.  But to display it here in the thread like this "andsooneverythingisallonebigmessofcharacters..." is misleading.  I can still easily read that. It is more like

.--.-.....------.-....-..-.-.---.------.-..------.- (which is totally unreadable)

in stead of 

.-  -.  -..    ... --- --- -.   .  ...-  .  .-.  -.--     

Also badly weighted characters.  I heard an op last night on 80 who sent dahs at 7 WPM and dits at 27 WPM.   Also totally unreadable.  Also the dahs were separated from the dits so it sounded like two letters, for example V is ..._  and he would send V ...  ____

Please please send nicely.  Here is the trick - send into a code reader and see what it does.  Or even, call CQ a few times and see if anyone on the Reverse Beacon Network can pick it up. 

www.reversebeacon.net/dxsd1/dxsd1.php?f=0&t=dx&c=W3TTT

just replace your call for mine. 
Good luck
W3TTT
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K8AXW
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 09:50:25 PM »

TTT: In a similar vein.....I HATE those messages left on my answering machine, especially from a doctor's office receptionist or nurse, that sounds like an air traffic controller! 

Older folks, like myself, simply cannot understand this "auctioneer" message! 

I know they're busy but this is like the saying we had at our plant, "We never have time to do a job right but we always have time to do it over!"
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WA7PRC
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 02:05:21 AM »

Though I can set it to anything, my K1EL WinKeyer USB is setup with the default parameters. WinKeyer generates all Morse (the PC only dumps ASCII to the keyer). So, when sending during a Morse contest, the CQ, exchange, and other common messages are sent w/ 'PREFECT' element, character, and word timing/spacing. The only time I reach for the keyer paddle is when the other station asks/prompts for anything else. MOST stations also sent excellent Morse.  Smiley

The only op I had a lot of trouble copying was sending horridly (and obviously) by hand. I sent him "QSD om, pse agn"... several times 'til I copied his exchange. The good thing about S&P is, you can pick the stations you want to work. However, when you're running a frequency as I was doing, you get everyone (including the bad senders).

vy 73 es gl,
Bryan WA7PRC
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N4OI
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 04:48:09 AM »

Wow -- guess I'm in the minority here...  I would never presume to correct someone else's sending habits during a QSO!  Of course, some of us are easier to copy than others, but I believe it is an essential part of learning CW to be able to deal with the "real" CW world...  If you don't, then you are missing out on some great CW chats with everyone from WW2 radio ops to German military code breakers...  (They are still out there.)

I mean, do y'all correct others' diction when having verbal conversations?  I grew up in the accent-free midwest and would have had to resort to sign language here in the south if I weren't able to adapt!  IMHO, correcting someone's sending habits during a QSO (other than perhaps QRS) is akin to blatant disrespect.  Every QSO should be treated as a privilege and an opportunity to engage and learn a little about a fellow operator...  all while sharing this great CW mode.  Just sayin'

73   Roll Eyes

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VK5EEE
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 05:07:48 AM »

I have to agree with N4OI. It is very difficult, I'd say impossible, to politely criticize someone's on air CW even if the criticism IS warranted. The few occasions where I have done it, offering help, I've done via Email and broached the subject very politely and carefully.

To me however, there isn't much that is really bad sending because in truth I can decode almost anything. However, I agree that electronic keyers should be used with correct spacing and the aim be to send "perfect" CW because then it has the best rhythm and legibility. Joining character on a keyer makes copying exceedingly difficult: 9 for ON, C for KE or TR (which one?! was that KEY or TRY?).

Hand sent Morse, there is much more flexibility, because the nuances and style will tell you more often than not, and can actually INCREASE legibility, e.g. if a D and an L is always sent consistently with a slightly longer Dah, that is no problem at all. If the dits on a bug are fast giving a different ratio, again no real problem. If a cooties has shorter internal character spacing, again no real problem.

I actually see it as a challenge, and enjoy hearing different fists and styles, but yes, joining everything together on a keyer, is for the only really unpleasant CW, and there is no code for it, QSD if anything, but like I said I'd not try to do that over air, but in a careful email.

I remember an instance where I was using a bug. The operator, a nice Old Man, on the other end, was using an electronic keyer. Being military trained, he only knew perfect keyer CW. He told me, on air, that my dit to dah ratio was five to one. I replied, that yes, I know that. But my heart started pounding, this nice fellow had really upset me. If he had said QRS, I could have slowed down.

I think a lot of folks with even thinner skin than I have would feel uncomfortable and could even be put off sending CW, and that is NOT something we want to happen. I have actually had conversations with several folks who were put off CW for many years, or forever, because of a bad experience with a CW Op who belittled them, criticised them on air, or ignored them.

It's a very good question don't get me wrong and AA4OO made a very reasonable request which is NOT offensive "please put character space between your characters BK" and that was not an on-air criticism, but a valid unoffensive request. Beyond that, perhaps Email.

I myself have regretted in my younger years, criticising a few CW Ops. I later learned one had committed suicide. I sure hope it had nothing to do with me, but that lady was a very active CW operator and I cannot help but feel that my criticism along with a great many others, all added up together to make her unhappy. I think many of us can regret things and behave different if we go back in time.

Let's set an example, treating fellow CW Ops with respect, not insulting on air at least, and assisting one another. If you do feel the need to insult someone on air, the acceptable use is "LID" or "99" (Get Lost), or, "," dah-dah-dit-dit-dah-dah (at least, among ship R/O). But I think unsolicited constructive criticism of CW is nigh impossible to do on air, without being asked, and is best done in private.

Requests to QRS or what AA4OO did in the situation are however surely perfectly acceptable.

By the way, today I was called by a W station in answer to my CQ, and with just the call sign. I tried the advice of a few days back from another thread, and said "W... are you calling me?" he replied YES. And then we had a nice QSO.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
KD8IIC
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 06:28:44 AM »

 Why Correct Someone?Huh   Because we would like to know what they are saying! Not because we are mean people.
If I ever hurt your feelings I will quickly mail you an official Hurt Feelings Report for you to fill out and send bk.
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 06:33:41 AM »

The problem with it is it is more often than not subjective and incorrect. If experienced OPs don't do it (correct someone on air), no should the less experienced. It's called CW etiquette. CW Ops have always had high standards. Until the button pushing 5NN became fashionable.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
KD8IIC
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 06:36:02 AM »

 THANK YOU Lou!
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WA7PRC
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 06:37:30 AM »

Why Correct Someone?Huh   Because we would like to know what they are saying! Not because we are mean people.
Exactly. Otherwise, the bad Morse may perpetuate.
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N3QE
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 06:41:43 AM »

QLF is the Q-code I use to describe this :-)

Really, these guys don't know they're sending incomprehensible gibberish, because they know what they meant to send and they don't need the inter-character space.

Maybe make a recording and E-mail it to the guy if you can find his E-mail somehow. If you can't copy his call then it's gonna be even harder to find his E-mail.
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WA7PRC
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 06:56:19 AM »

Maybe make a recording and E-mail it to the guy if you can find his E-mail somehow.
I had no time for that in SS.

I see sending QSD as the same as telling a fone op that his audio is not intelligible. There should be no need to send it off the air. BTW, the problem existed decades before the Internet existed.

vy 73 es gl,
Bryan WA7PRC
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K0UA
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 06:56:33 AM »

Best thing to do is just spin the VFO.  Leave him wondering where you went.  If enough people do that, he will get the message loud and clear that he is unpleasant to communicate with.

 When you are face to face with a person that is unpleasant to communicate with, you say excuse me and look across the room to pretend someone else hailed you and you need to go check it out.

You can do the same here, just spin the dial. Anyone that doesn't monitor their own sending and are not conscious of how they sound to others is an idiot, and you don't have to waste your time talking to idiots unless you want to.

When you call CQ and you are sending like an idiot on your CQ call, you can bet I am sure not going to answer you.
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