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Author Topic: CW-to-email gateway  (Read 6243 times)
VE2BXJ
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Posts: 6




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« on: October 05, 2011, 03:44:02 PM »

Does anyone know of software that will act as a gateway server allowing remote hams to send and receive short emails via morse code? I'd love to be able to do this with my QRP rig when I'm out in the woods to communicate with my wife.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2357




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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 08:16:25 PM »

It's not a practical idea.

To make it work, you'd need a reliable "Morse-to-ASCII" software code reader.  There aren't any -- especially for the weak signals you'd generate as a QRP station.

If you're serious about this, and you're willing to pack a computer, take a look at WINMOR:

http://www.winlink.org/webfm_send/29

and

http://www.winlink.org/WINMOR

It's up and running pretty reliably.

         Charles
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VE2BXJ
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 02:53:10 PM »

Thanks Charles. I use Winlink with the WINMOR mode, and it works fine, except that you have to pack a laptop computer and a SSB transceiver.

I don't know what you mean about there not being a reliable software morse code reader. When I receive CW signals using Fldigi, they're decoded just fine, even the weaker ones. Fldigi can even be used as a back-end modem (as in pskmail), so if there's a programmer reading, it's just a matter of creating a front-end that will listen to keywords and message text, then interface with a POP/SMTP server.

I was just wondering if such software already existed.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 05:04:41 PM »

Oops -- I forgot that you need an SSB rig, not a CW rig, for WINMOR.  The weight starts to build up . . .

I'll have to try the fldigi CW decoder -- it sounds pretty good.  I've used "CW Get" a fair bit -- better than nothing, but not good enough for reliable communications.

Other issues:

. . . There's no standard for error-correction in CW -- no checksums, etc, to ensure that what the sender sent is what the
. . . receiver received.  Somebody would have to design and write that.

. . . Somebody would have to write all the "wrapper" software -- the grammar that distinguishes "To:", "From:", "Message:", . . . . etc.

. . . The need for an error-checking and error-correcting code (with retries) would mean that the CW would have to be machine-generated.   Humans are really bad at that kind of work.

It's an interesting idea, though . . . using the earliest digital mode as a coding scheme for a WINMOR clone !

..     Charles
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VE2BXJ
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 05:31:13 PM »

As for error correction, the software would just play back the message and assuming it's controlling a full QSK rig, you could break-in and correct mistakes as you hear them.

I think a careful op with an electronic keyer can generate good enough code to be understood by a computer. After all, the code that I've seen Fldigi correctly displaying was generated by humans. I also remember fooling around with "cw communicator" for morse code over internet, and it was pretty easy to have the computer correctly recognize my code even when sent with a straight key when you get the rhythm right.

Even if I'm too optimistic and there are mistakes in the message, either because of inadequate error correction or sloppy sending, chances are the recipient will understand the general idea of the email.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 05:58:53 AM »

What happens when the e-mail address is decoded with an "E E" when it should have been an "I"? The e-mail bounces and is never delivered. I haven't used fldigi, but unless it is way head and shoulders above any other CW decoder software I think you are being over optimistic. The decoders I've tried over the years do a great job of copying machine sent code from the W1AW broadcasts but hand generated code takes a lot of interpretation. Computers generally aren't too good at interpreting the context of the message. Try connecting the output of a keyer to your sound card and see how it does when you hand send code. If you are like me you'll be surprised at how bad your spacing looks to a computer. That's a best case scenario too because there is no atmospheric noise or QRM.

At a minimum you should have some sort of error checking for the e-mail address. Perhaps send it twice and have the computer keep asking for a repeat until it agrees both times.

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WX7G
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 07:32:29 AM »

You have an interesting idea.

When backpacking with QRP CW I have found that hams are quite willing to telephone (or email) a message for me. They serve as a CW to email gateway.
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VE2BXJ
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 04:31:03 AM »

What happens when the e-mail address is decoded with an "E E" when it should have been an "I"? The e-mail bounces and is never delivered.
Quote
At a minimum you should have some sort of error checking for the e-mail address. Perhaps send it twice and have the computer keep asking for a repeat until it agrees both times.


The software would play back the email address before sending. If you hear an error, you correct the email address and have it repeat again, and correct errors, repeat again... as many times as necessary until perfect. Then you instruct the software to hit the send button. You could also have the software remember your call sign and use an address book, remember custom user settings, etc.

Quote
I haven't used fldigi, but unless it is way head and shoulders above any other CW decoder software I think you are being over optimistic. The decoders I've tried over the years do a great job of copying machine sent code from the W1AW broadcasts but hand generated code takes a lot of interpretation. Computers generally aren't too good at interpreting the context of the message. Try connecting the output of a keyer to your sound card and see how it does when you hand send code. If you are like me you'll be surprised at how bad your spacing looks to a computer. That's a best case scenario too because there is no atmospheric noise or QRM.

Fldigi isn't particularly impressive, but you understand what the ops in a QSO are saying, which is the main concern. You're right about the bad spacing, but that shouldn't make an email unintelligible.

As for noise and interference, that could be a serious problem. Users will just need to make sure propagation conditions are adequate for the station they're trying to contact. Same as with Winlink.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 04:33:59 AM by VE2BXJ » Logged
W4DLZ
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 01:53:17 AM »

All you have to do is arrange skeds (rendevouzs ) with a CW station and fill him in with what you want to do..

Another way is to check into a NTS CW Net and send a radiogram message for
your wife and include your email address..the return message if any will go
back to the CW Net for you...

Frank W4DLZ RN5/4 NTS CW Net Mgr..

w4dlz@arrl.net
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AE6ZW
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 03:55:52 PM »

very interesting thought,  there is a used to be a Russian satellite communicated automatically with CW, and send back the report, in 1980's   I think with today's technology it is possible,  very interesting, hope somebody write software for it.
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WA8JXM
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 07:09:18 AM »

Unless the cw is computer generated, fldigi does a poor job of copying CW.    It's not fldigi's problem, it's the poor sending and static bursts.   I usually have fldigi copying along with me and it's closer to 50% in copying most traffic.    Now when I hear the guys running 40-50 wpm, it does a good job.  I assume they are using keyboards for their sending.

Ken
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VE2BXJ
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2012, 04:58:25 AM »

Unless the cw is computer generated, fldigi does a poor job of copying CW.  

That's because the people sending the code aren't aiming at being understood by Fldigi. Try setting up Fldigi to hear your own code and do your best to adjust your code so it is understood. You'll see that it's possible to get decent results.

Also, the algorithm used in Fldigi can probably be improved, and there could be techniques like predictive copying based on probabilities (for example, the chances that a vowel follows a consonant are greater than another consonant, so for instance the program will prefer A (.-) to M (--) when in doubt, or some letters never follow other letters, so they get a low probabily rating), and spell checkers. I'm sure there are ingenious programmers that would be able to work wonders in this respect.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 05:02:52 AM by VE2BXJ » Logged
9V1VV
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 05:16:31 AM »

"That's because the people sending the code aren't aiming at being understood by Fldigi. Try setting up Fldigi to hear your own code and do your best to adjust your code so it is understood. You'll see that it's possible to get decent results."

Oh no ! Now we have to adjust our hand -sent code so that it is perfect and the machines can understand us !

RIP Amateur radio
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WA8JXM
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 08:41:18 AM »

I agree that the best approach is to check into a traffic net, or see if someone on Midcars, Eastcars, etc. (or the Maritime net on 14.300 ?) will pick up your cw traffic.

Ken
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W7ASA
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2012, 02:08:39 PM »

Back when I used to do a lot of long range back packing, I'd bring a QRP CW rig.  To maintain contact with friends, I'd generally set-up a sked with a friend.  If this did not work out (as it failed twice - with the same guy...) I'd ask if a ham I would meet at random on the air would pass a one-way , shot note to a specific e-mail address for me.  Far from ideal, but at least they would know that I was safe and have a basic travel plan.  The best though is having a station who would pass real traffic both ways for you. 

>>>=====>  I wonder whether the NTS would be useful for this?  They have some excellent CW ops who know how to pass traffic withing their system.  Perhaps there some way to become part of this already existing system.  I know nothing about them, other than having monitored their operations for fun a few times.


72 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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