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Author Topic: Commercial use of Morse  (Read 603 times)
AC0DU
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Posts: 3




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« on: February 03, 2006, 07:35:29 AM »

Is there any commercial or maritime use of CW anymore?

I know the US Coast Guard and US Navy as well as Canadian and British counterparts no longer guard 500Khz, but do other nations still provide commercial morse?

It looks like the FCC still issues commerical radiotelegraph licenses:
http://wireless.fcc.gov/commoperators/exam.html

So is there still some commercial use for CW?

Thanks!
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KA2JIZ
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2006, 09:05:22 PM »

Sorry to say most marine radio traffic is now satellite, hf/vhf ssb, and other digital modes. I think there are still some cw signals coming from ships of small nations, but infrequently and difficult to capture. I enjoyed copying the cw marine traffic from WCC out on the Cape...now silent like all the rest.
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W3LK
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 01:01:02 PM »

There is quite a bit of what sounds like commercial CW on 30m, the so-called "number stations" transmitting five-character code groups.

Other than that, I think most commercial CW is pretty much gone.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
W5HTW
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006, 01:13:32 PM »

Commercial/maritime CW??  YES!  It's kinda hard to find but it is still there.  Not all nations have gone to other methods.

I hear occasionally, not often, HLA and HLO (Korean) maritime CW stations doing call-ups for ships at sea.  This is manual Morse, and may continue with weather and position reports.

Every night, though, on 3700 KHZ, I hear Mexican Pemex (Petroleum) maritime station ZFF2,  (Cozumel, Mexico) sending WX and position reports at about 25 wpm CW, and frequently other stations may answer, on CW, and ask for repeats, or may acknowledge receipt.  Investigation shows this station is communicating with Pemex tankers at sea.  IT is best heard around 0240Z where I am, but is often on the air an hour earlier, just far too weak for me to hear more than an occasional character.   Yes, it IS in a ham band, sorry.  But it is commercial CW, and though the WX and positions are sent by machine, quite a bit of it is manual CW.  

Maritime CW stations are also heard around 16 mhz, but not very often.  These, too, are primarily Korean.  

Numbers stations are heard throughout the HF bands.  They are not very good for code practice as they use letter substitution for numbers, resulting in the use of only ten letters.  Cuban numbers stations are easily heard throughout North America.  

Once in a great while I also hear a Navy CW station around 11 mhz.  Haven't heard it in about a year, and I think it may have been special operations for a short time only.  It was five letter groups (but not numbers substitutions) in a rebroadcast.  

Several nations in Africa and in Southeast Asia still use CW regularly, but catching them is not easy.  

ZFF2, though, is on the air every night.  Give it a listen.

Ed
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K4IA
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006, 02:51:29 PM »

I saw a posting on the QRP mail list that said there is an ad in the back of QEX magazine for CW ops.  $120,000 for six months work.  Wonder what that is all about?
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W5HTW
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006, 05:12:34 PM »

Shipboard operator on the next manned mission to Saturn?

Sounds like the kind of money that would be made in a fishing fleet, but I don't know of any that use CW these days.  (Except the Koreans.)  

Either that or it is Hong Kong dollars!?

Ed
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