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Author Topic: Cw activity will die after 2037  (Read 10366 times)

Posts: 854

« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 01:41:08 PM »

There is a strange paradox in the way humans view technology.
Something which is mass produced, perfect, and machine made is generally viewed as common and not particularly desirable.
Yet something which takes a SKILLED artisan months to produce and which is not perfect, can be viewed as expensive and desirable.

In the same way, PSK31 and the other digital modes are machine made, very efficient but do not require much skill to produce.
C.W. on the other hand, requires years to master, is slow, inefficient, subject to poor sending and receiving, but is viewed as a skill.

In many cases rarity goes along with value.
A stamp of which only two are thought to exist will be more valuable than one which has 100 million brothers.
Another example is aluminium.
Although common as an oxide, it is rare in metallic form in nature, which is why it was used for Napoleons' childrens' rattles and the cap of the Washington monument.
Once a technique was discovered for producing aluminium by industrial process, it's price and prestige dropped to common status.

Rarity in skill generally goes with training and intrinsic ability.
So, we value athletes who are exceedingly good at their sport, knowing that apart from natural ability, they need to put huge amounts of time into developing those skills.

Another interesting human trait is the concept of uselessness.

The old nobles of history displayed their wealth and power by employing many people doing essentially useless things.
They also liked to collect works of art which took a great deal of someones time to produce.
Art, although beautiful, is essentially useless in the area of survival.
Another example is the learning of complex manners and dead languages.
All of these activities were to show that they did not need to learn real world skills for basic survival.

Once CW was no longer necessary for commercial and safety use, it went from utility to art.
It was now a "useless" mode, which required skill and time to master.
It's machine mode cousins were quicker, more efficient and robust - but they did not rely on human skill and had no "soul".
A master at CW would have spent much time in obtaining this level of skill.
To copy CW by machine would demote it to the level of PSK31, and so remove its primary appeal - that of human skill.

So CW after 1999 joined the ranks of other "useless" activities which became art.
Fencing, sailing, celestial navigation by sextant, playing musical instruments, singing, archery, CW - all useless.

And by being useless, they have become exalted to the level of prestigious and desirable skills.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 01:45:16 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged

Posts: 31


« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 09:07:13 PM »

There is not much sense sending and receiving Morse code by computer.

If you're going to use a computer, why not use RTTY, or better yet a more efficient new technology like PSK-31 or one of the many higher speed/error correcting modes.

Posts: 10

« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 11:36:25 PM »

maybe we should wait utill the day after 21DEC2012 HI HI

hopefully will be 83 in 2037
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:41:54 PM by N0BLM » Logged

Posts: 684

« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 07:31:11 AM »

When manufacturers stop making a "cw" mode selection in transceivers. I think there will always be an interest in it.

Posts: 3323

« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2012, 09:46:29 AM »

2A: If manufacturers ever stop including the CW mode in their gear, hams will build their own CW transmitters.  There are millions of sets out there with CW capability and millions more will be built so don't think the Big Three will be a factor.

STAYVERTICAL:  That was a well thought out and well written opinion.  It was right on the money..... even though I damn near got a mental hernia digesting it all.   Wink

Al - K8AXW

Posts: 59

« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 12:07:09 PM »

I hope and believe that CW (without help of machines) will stay in our hobby like unique activity, where people still needed  their own brains and  skills. Like sailing. Why do people still enjoy sailing (even more and more)? Instead, why they don't take motor boats with sophisticated autopilots…? Aren't they much faster and easier to controll then older sailing methods?

A motor boat is basically a sailboat, minus sails, assisted by a motor.  A motorcycle is a bicycle assisted by a motor.

The motorboat racers and sailboat racers, as well as the cyclists and the motorcyclists, have figured out that they need to keep their contests separate. Sailboats and speedboats do not race on the same course at the same time. Same for the bicycles -- you don't have a motorcycle grand prix racing on the tour de france course.

Radio contests continue to have human CW and computer CW racing together at the same time on the same course. It's a tolerable situation now I suppose. But it is only a matter of time until a better CW decoder is written that will pull weak signals out of the noise better than human ears can. When that happens there will be pressure to have separate competitions.

So my prediction is by 2037 CW will still be alive but there will be separate radio contests -- DX contests where only the art of human sending and decoding of CW are allowed, and DX contests where only machine sending and decoding are allowed. Just like the sailboats, speedboats, bicycles and motorcycles do now.    73 Jim K6OK

Posts: 854

« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2012, 02:52:49 PM »

You may be right, but I think there is a difference between tools and the artisan.

For example, a skilled carpenter can make a beautiful piece of furniture with simple hand tools, probably decades old.
If you gave me a fully equipped machine shop with power tools, I would be hard pressed to make a decent spice rack.

The human need to face and overcome challenges is a very strong one.
People climb mountains for no particular purpose except to see if they can do it.
I can't talk for others, but if CW were all done by machine what would be it's point?

In the same way, we use unreliable H.F. propagation to talk to others around the world.
Why not just pick up the phone?

Nietzche the German philosopher put this concept in words:

"The discipline of suffering, of great suffering - do you not know that it is this discipline alone that has produced all the elevations of humanity so far? "
- Friedrich Nietzsche

When societies lose the ability to accept adversity and transcend challenges, they inevitably wither and die.
It happened to Rome, and just about every other great civilization - and it can happen to individual people too.

While people have difficulties to overcome, and refuse to let themselves be turned into drones, they will be mentally alive.
We must never let machines have all our fun, while we simply oil and tend them.

73 - Rob

Posts: 581

« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2012, 05:03:53 PM »

Hand-sent CW however has very loose timing which makes it quite difficult for a machine to decode.

Now computers do a lot better job of decoding CW when a computer is used to generate the CW keying. Still, the simple on/off modulation of CW will never keep up with more modern encoding techniques like some of the newer modes with PSK and error correction, in terms of low-error copy in a noisy environment like HF.

I'm constantly amazed at how well Google  recognizes my voice when I'm looking up something on the road in my very noisy truck. Right now there's no incentive for a big push like there is/was with voice recognition. But just through evolution of software and steady improvements it will get to that level. I'd say a few programs do a very good job now if you can get a narrow enough filter.

Posts: 204

« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2012, 10:21:13 AM »

While there probably will be such ‘progress’ in computer power that machines might someday be more ‘efficient’ than humans at reading weak, hand-sent Morse down in the noise, my question would be why?  I really have no use for automated CW contest stations working other automated contest stations so that we can sit in our cubicle at work late into the night and monitor our computer's 'progress' via automatic e-mail to our work address as it's very expensive software racks-up a big score in some contrived 'contest'. Thats great - right?  Only the numbers matter - rght?  That way, we'd never have to leave work, thus producing more tax revinue for bloated politicians - that's 'efficient' - right?    Noooooo -

Much of what we call 'progress' with machines doing for us, what we should actually be doing as human beings might not be 'progress' at all.

For example: the math shows that artificial insemination is more ‘efficient’ and controllable for producing offspring than standard biological reproduction methods, which is why it’s so wide spread among certain specialized livestock operations.  For me personally, efficient or not - I don’t want it to replace sex .    ;^)    or human Morse - though, if I were forced to choose one . . .   Roll Eyes

73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 10:46:25 AM by W7ASA » Logged

Posts: 126

« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2012, 05:05:14 PM »

I'll only be about 60 and I will be on the air using my sideswiper and still trying to make a contact whenever time permits.  Which will hopefully be a lot more than now.

Posts: 861

« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2012, 06:57:00 PM »

In 2037, if still alive I will be 75.  As of today, I have 171 LoTW confirmed entities, 155 of which are CW.  Those CW confirmations are all using a Brown Bros. straight key, and I suspect I will still be using it in 2037.  Perhaps by then I will have switched to the Brown Bros. paddle I have, but I kind of doubt it. 

CW is something that really resonates in some of us; and despite the no-code era it still is alive and well. After almost 30 years of being QRT, I remembered code like only a day had passed and can easily send my call and 599 at DXpedition speed...  At some point using technology to read and send squeezes out all the fun.  It is like losing your 'key' to the car and letting an auto pilot drive.

Seriously though, I still have hand tools and a manual can opener despite more 'advanced' technological alternatives.  I still have a bicycle although it is for fun and not my main mode of travel.  Probably bicycles and even horses will still be around in 2037. 

CW op.s hold all the keys; if you don't know CW you don't know dit. 

Posts: 861

« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2012, 07:05:40 PM »

Dear CW friends!

CW activity will die near 2037. That opinion came from our two "big" local radioamateurs.

How big are we talking?  125 kilos?  Lips sealed 150?  Shocked


Posts: 854

« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2012, 12:00:19 AM »

"BIG" may be an acronym - I leave it to your own creativity to think of what it may represent  Smiley

73 - Rob

Posts: 33

« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2012, 01:33:05 AM »

So in 2037 when I am 80 years old and I find myself half-naked stranded on a South Seas Island with only a flashlight..... what should I use the flashlight for?
Making shadows on the sand of animals with my hands and fingers?

I doubt if I will have my computer or tablet with me or a cell phone for that matter.
If a ship passes nearby, even though they have no clue at first what the light flashes mean, they can "Google" it with their computer.

There will always be a need for NO TECH, human brain decoding, whether it is for Morse Code or speech, no matter how it is generated.

Unless of course if in 25 years, the average educated person gets even worse in that they can't make change for a dollar unless they are behind a cash register or use a calculator, can't spell a five letter word without a computer or other device,
and have no knowledge of history more than 50% of their age.

"Knowledge is Power, lack of knowledge is Control".
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 01:45:54 AM by KA1BIN » Logged

Posts: 271

« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2012, 09:35:02 AM »

So in 2037 when I am 80 years old and I find myself half-naked stranded on a South Seas Island with only a flashlight..... what should I use the flashlight for?

Unless of course if in 25 years...

...sea level rise puts that island awash.
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