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Author Topic: The single most vital piece of advice I can give to those wanting to learn CW  (Read 23795 times)
GILGSN
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Posts: 201




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« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2012, 07:01:19 AM »

"Bicycle CW-QRP is my goal"

Geez Brian, that's multitasking.. I wonder if you could find a way to send code hands free.. What kind of antenna are you planning on? What radio?

Gil.
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N0BLT
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2012, 10:31:50 AM »

I seem to ride no handed a LOT, anyway, so one hand on my thigh keying wouldn't be a problem.
Don't know about a radio, but I started hanging around a QRP club here in Denver and I'm sure they'll steer me right.  The Yaesu FT-817 would prob be WAY too much of a battery hog, but the HF and SSB 2 meters would be fun.  Could prob do that much more efficiently with tiny transcievers.  

As far as an antennae go I'd LOVE to have a Helically Loaded Magnetic Loop, just for the weirdness of it all! Well maybe the attention getting also.  Link...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YpyLAULKqg  I need to visit that guy, and find a way to shrink the loop even further, by making the individual culy-que copper windings a larger diameter.  As if that center pipe was a 4 inch pipe instead of that 1/2 or 3/4 in pvc he's using.  I do need a smaller profile ant of some sort also.  Dunno, maybe a big coiled Texas Bugcatcher.  You could just reach around and change your tap points, when changing bands.  80 meters would be fun once in a while too, cuz I've got friends there.  Would probably have to cast off and drag a counterpoise, perhaps.  Yes I'm talking about one dangerous machine here!  But hey you only live once.  I prob should quit trying to be such a code savant, and start building stuff and gathering the necessary radios.  For now I've only got some dusty HT's and my Kenwood TS-440 and a G5RV. 

Check that Utube guy's various videos.  He has other mag loop ideas. One thing he mentioned that sticks with me is that mag loops when run vertically is ground independant.  I guess when you run them horizontally you need to be concerned with the ground and therefore need to but them at some significant elevation.   
Brian


« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 10:41:26 AM by N0BLT » Logged
GILGSN
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Posts: 201




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« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2012, 07:29:13 PM »

Hi Brian,

You could have a dit burron on your left handlebar, and a dah button on the right!

Watch out for RF exposure with a magnetic loop, not to mention high voltages!

Gil.
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2012, 05:22:12 PM »

What a great idea, Gil!  I can picture a Logikey in the middle of the handlebars.  You could program CQ into it, but I can just picture those red buttons on both handlebars.  Get about a 12 foot length of pipe, have someone bend it in the middle and hook up a red wagon with brown rails on it so you could carry a battery and an HF rig.  The remote head could be mounted above or below the keyer.  I would consider a banana seat and some "ape hanger" handlebars.  Of course you'd have to get a small bike license plate with your call on it!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 05:23:47 PM by N5XM » Logged
N0BLT
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« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2012, 10:16:08 PM »

Keeping in line with the threads topic, "single most vital piece of advice", I say HAVE FUN WITH IT--learning code that is.  I'm getting near 20wpm head copy of 11 characters, and I use my bike a good deal for code listening time, on my mp3 player.  Not having switched to listening to complete words sent as code (and the ability to do other things now, like bicycling) I don't think I would have made it this far!  Paper and pencil, and being chained to desk with computer was driving me CRAZY and my hand was a hurtin'.  Now It's only my brain that hurts. Smiley

You could have a dit burron on your left handlebar, and a dah button on the right!
Iambic on the right and Cootie/Sideswiper on the left.  Gotta get that left hand trained too.

Quote
Watch out for RF exposure with a magnetic loop, not to mention high voltages!

Prob not that much worse than a bugcatcher. At qrp power, I wouldn't think I'd be too dangerous. What amazes me about mag loops, is the way you feed them with a small coax loop.  No direct connection to the main loop. What you have in effect is a one to one air core transformer.  

What a great idea, Gil!  I can picture a Logikey in the middle of the handlebars.  You could program CQ into it, but I can just picture those red buttons on both handlebars. And hook up a red wagon with brown rails on it so you could carry a battery and an HF rig.  The remote head could be mounted above or below the keyer.

I'd go for the memory keyer.  The Kenwood 480 control head oughta be visible in the sunlight. I'd save the wagon for some extra strange looking antenna/art contraption.  Led rope light also.
Brian
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:42:32 PM by N0BLT » Logged
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2012, 06:30:15 AM »


Iambic on the right and Cootie/Sideswiper on the left.  Gotta get that left hand trained too.

That is surely not a bad idea. Preppers are thinking about possible dangers, obviously feeling more urgent at present then in the past, when I read Gils website www.radiopreppers.com. (org should be a better domain) The only thing changing is man made/introduced reasons for the dangers. Natural hazards and disastes are pretty having the same statistical parameters.  

When the sharia ( شريعة‎ )  is there, selected in democracy by 50+ percent of votes, the democracy is void and the sharia may be there, you never can turn that back, because voting is dogs and pigs behavior from the past. That (sharia) is the law not constructed by humans but by the holy HOLY supreme, piece be with him (or her); what is the sense of being a her or him for someone supreme, with eternal existence,  but excuse , this rat that produces only dogshit can't understand.  So using the cootie left handed, is a good preparation because when you tailgate or steal two 2W 100 ohm Mil spec resistors, or even a drawer,  from government property, you lose your right hand.

Do not only plan it but perform your plans. We can erect a club of left handed cootie keyers. Will be a wise decision.
http://www.sideswipernet.org/ will be your host.

Bob
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 06:55:08 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
N0BLT
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2012, 08:27:41 PM »

We can erect a club... of cootie keyers. Will be a wise decision.

Are you in the club?  Or can't the old dog learn new trix, OM


Lovin' the journey,
Brian
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 08:30:46 PM by N0BLT » Logged
STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 859




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« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2012, 11:22:26 PM »

Don't worry Blah - If you look at Europe's ( and the world's) history over the last few thousand years
you can see that despite the best laid plans of men - nature will decide our fate.
If I were to list the Empires which have come and fallen, it would take pages and pages.

Where are all these grand empires now - they can be summarized by the words of the sonnet by Shelley:

                          Ozymandias.

    I MET a Traveler from an antique land,
    Who said, "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is OZYMANDIAS, King of Kings."
    Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!
    No thing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.


     By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

The now infamous "Reset button" has been pressed many times in history.
No doubt it will be pressed again in the future - of that mother nature will make sure.

When looked at against this backdrop, I would just enjoy life, ham radio and improve my CW skills.
There are too many opportunities in this era to waste them fighting shadows.
 
73 - Rob
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 11:41:09 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2012, 03:25:45 PM »

We can erect a club... of cootie keyers. Will be a wise decision.

Are you in the club?  Or can't the old dog learn new trix, OM

No, I am not interested in double speed keys. When I am in condition, I make 30 wpm with a straight key, but 25 is normally my limit. When tired I don't pass 20. And the double speed doesn't make his name true. 30 is abt the limit people claim. Above that the fist is nearly always recognisable to be a cootie, and I prefer to keep the right pace as good as possible, because the nearly machine code like HA7AP generates is easiest to copy, not so all kind of swings.

Don't worry Blah - If you look at Europe's ( and the world's) history over the last few thousand years
you can see that despite the best laid plans of men - nature will decide our fate.
I don't worry Rob, but I noticed that GILGSN is doing that, according  to his website.
Afterall he is learning Morsecode because you can use it in distress, very good. When everything fails Morse is usable by whistling, honking, moving, wigwagging, light or what have you. However the Dutch DARES doesn't require it and are nearly 100% occupied with no code technician (novice) licenses. So, what to expect in case of distress. They are then part of the problem instead of the solution.

Bob

« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 03:36:32 PM by PA0BLAH » Logged
2E0OZI
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2012, 03:13:42 AM »

Best piece of advice? Stick to it. Rome wasn't built in a day.  Grin

I'm just plugging on trying to make one or two contacts a day as time permits, but I need to do a lot more listening as well instead of acting like a DX hound and pouncing on folks! I'll try and mix a good 30 mins/hour listening and decoding general qsos as often as I can now. Got good old CO8LY last night strong 599 very nice!!
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2012, 06:16:23 AM »

Best piece of advice? Stick to it. Rome wasn't built in a day.  Grin

I'm just plugging on trying to make one or two contacts a day as time permits, but I need to do a lot more listening as well instead of acting like a DX hound and pouncing on folks! I'll try and mix a good 30 mins/hour listening and decoding general qsos as often as I can now. Got good old CO8LY last night strong 599 very nice!!

Not so.

When you want to increase your speed, you have to exercise. Every QRQ-er can tell you that the best way is to copy a speed that you can't copy solid, is  the right way to do that effective. Never seen an athlete that improves his running time for 100 m sprint, or a marathon by just walking long distance every day for half an  hour.

Wonder how much time you spent in finding a speed you just can't copy solid, on the ham-bands, May be because the timing is far off just as the number of dits is superfluous. And above that , a rubber stamp QSO is not desired for increasing speed, because you can forecast what is coming. Rubber stamp QSO's double your copy speed instantaneous.

So just exercise with a computer generated plain text source as is available nowadays from a large number of sources.

You have it pretty much easier, then the hams that were learning the code without computers, tape recorders, money to buy records not offered for sale, and what have you.

Be lucky, because when they did it that hard way, they are right now offending monsters for  the present generation of "hams" as the multi tiny pushbutton proud owners of equipment they even can't understand the construction of, are mentioning themself  nowadays.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 06:27:15 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
KU7I
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2012, 02:13:41 PM »

The big difference now as has been said before is there is no longer a code requirement. I was licensed in 1980. If you wanted to be a ham you had to learn the code, no option. The initial learning was painful.

Lane
KU7I/JH1JCM
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GILGSN
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« Reply #57 on: August 20, 2012, 06:18:19 AM »

Hello,

I think that the removal of Morse Code from General and Extra was a bad thing to do.
Our way of life depends mostly on the power grid. To take the grid for granted is foolish.
One only has to look back at the Quebec blackout of 1989, and the solar storm of 1859.
Other man-made and natural events could take the power down for extended periods.
As I mentioned on my site, Morse Code can be used with anything, not only radio.
It is in my opinion a great mode of communication to learn for anyone, radio or not.
If, God forbids, some devastating event brought us back to the level of the 1850s,
we would be back to using wired telegraphy.

I also have read a touching story of a Ham undergoing open heart surgery. After the operation he couldn't talk but holding his wife's hand (also a Ham), he tapped morse code with his finger to let her know he was in pain and loved her. The nurse gave him a shot for the pain...
There is a long list of ways Morse Code has been used without radio to save the day.

Keeping the code requirement would also keep some people from using HF, who are better confined on 2m. I have heard conversations on 2m that made me rethink the depth of human stupidity. You don't want these people to represent the U.S. in DX blabbering all over the world. Of course they would use 1500W. Next thing you know, HF is like CB.. I liked CB in the 80s, not anymore.
This is why I am going for General right away and haven't passed the Tech exam, which I could do at any time and pass. I am however not interested in 2m. I'll pass both exams on the same day.

Unfortunately there are many life skills these days that are deemed obsolete (Like Morse code), until the shtf...

Gil.
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