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Author Topic: Why do we use "K"?  (Read 1924 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2546




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« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2009, 07:58:04 PM »

The first hams I heard CQing without DE were contesters maybe 30 years ago.


I never could figure out some of the power levels exchanged in the ARRL tests. KH6IJ, long ago, always sent TTT for KW or 1,000 watts. But that's another subject.

The Titanic ops should have signed off with SK
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2009, 08:10:39 AM »

I'm new to contesting, but it seems the "DE" is almost superfluous in the first part of the exchange.

However, it is absolutely necessary at other times during the contest exchange.

From what I have seen, a "DE" in contesting usually means, either

"here is the rest of my call sign, you only got part of it, and here is the rest of it"

or,

"hey, you got my call sign wrong. it is:__"

That is the way it seems to this noob, but I would welcome correction from veteran contesters if I misunderstand the semantics in that context.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2009, 11:48:24 AM »

DE prosign is indeed from the French, for "from".  

Once upon a time, French was considered to be the "international language".  

That's why phone ops call "MayDay" -which is actually a transliteration from the french, "m'aidez" (help me).

Yet more uncited lore from my uncle.  

But if Uncle Ernie were alive today, he'd simply say to the doubters, "Hell, I was there."  


--KE3WD
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KE5MMT
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2009, 10:06:35 AM »

N2EY:

As a phone only op who's also learning the code I found your post to be tremendously informative.

I do however have a question (in parentheses):

<snip>

"K" means "go ahead anybody"

"KN" means "go ahead, but only the station I'm working"


For example:


N2EY DE K5END R TU BT UR 599 599 PODUNK TX PODUNK TX HW? N2EY DE K5END K

K5END DE N2EY R TU BT UR 599 599 WAYNE PA WAYNE PA OP JIM JIM HW? K5END DE N2EY K

(Since contact has been established, why is KN not used instead of K for the two examples above?)

Thanks.

Everett
KE5MMT
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WA9UAA
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Posts: 313




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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2009, 10:45:06 AM »

Everett,
Technically KN could have been used, If one wants to invite others into the QSO the "K" by itself is an invitation of sorts; or, perhaps a non-exclusion.
73,
Rob WA9UAA
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2009, 01:58:38 PM »

To KE5MMT:

Thanks for the kind words.

What WA9UAA says is spot-on correct.

In most CW QSOs there's no objection to others joining, so K is used.

KN is used when a station doesn't want others to join the QSO. An example is when a rare-DX station is working a specific station and doesn't want to start a pileup.  

---

A lot of CW procedure, and amateur procedure in general, used to be required by the regs. For example, the use of DE and sending your own call last were once written into FCC rules, and violations were handed out for not following them. Many were based on commercial practice.

But whether the rules require them or not, following standard operating practices is a good idea because it makes your intentions clear.

Four resources for the ham who wants to be a CW op:

1) "The Art and Skill of Radiotelegraphy" by N0HFF. Available free for download from several websites, just google for it.

2) "Learning the Radiotelegraph Code" by ARRL back in the 1940s to 1960s or so. "Old-school", but has some interesting info such as how to block-print with a minimum of strokes and errors and how to adjust a key.

3) "Operating an Amateur Radio Station" by ARRL back in the 1960s. This was a 25 cent pamphlet that contained lots of info on practical CW operating.

4) The "Operating a Station" chapter of old ARRL Handbooks (1950s-60s) had lots of good info as well.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KC0W
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2009, 02:49:08 PM »

North Americans like sending "K". Rarely will you hear Europeans or Japanese sending "K"...........If it's good enough for the EU's & JA's not to do, it's good enough for me not to do.



Tom KC├śW
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2009, 03:17:09 PM »

quote> "For example:
N2EY DE K5END R TU BT UR 599 599 PODUNK TX"


Sir,


I'll have you know I do NOT live in Podunk.


But we do keep a cabin there for weekend getaways.



Smiley
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2009, 06:18:22 PM »

I hope everyone realizes that the K stands for "Key".

As in, "Key your xmtr".

SK stands for Silent Key, right?  

KN means, "Key Named"



--Mac
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WA3KVN
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2009, 11:39:27 AM »

Consider the station of yesteryear.  When it came time for an op to send, he/she would have to do several things, often taking 15-30 seconds or more to start the reply.  The receiving op had similar work to do. Often the reply came on a frequency far removed from the one used originally.  It would seem to me that having a clear prosign that says something like, "I'm done, and we both can start switching our stations to send/receive," whichever is appropriate, would facilitate efficient communications.  If there were no clear signal such as this one, the likelihood of significant missed traffic would be high.  In those days, as I understand it, very little ragchewing went on; most traffic was real third party traffic.

I'm no expert here and I certainly wasn't there to report from a position of authority.  Nobody ever gave me this explanation; I'm just sort of thinking hypothetically (translate that, making it up).  However, the above sounds at least plausible to this op.  Is there an old timer out there who could verify this sort of thing, or at least contribute an opinion authoritatively???

This is an interesting topic (to me at least).

Charlie, WA3KVN
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KE3WD
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« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2009, 05:52:08 PM »

You are on the right track, Charlie, only I doubt if the switchover took as long as 15-30 seconds.  

More likely around 5 seconds or so.  


For the slow and deliberate op.  


Someone who knew their setup or perhaps a maritime op could surely switchover rather quickly without fear of a mistake.  Maybe even down to around the 1 sec mark.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2009, 02:24:01 AM »

WA3KVN:

"Old time" stations didn't take 15-30 seconds to go from transmit to receive or the opposite.

Worst case scenario:

1) operate antenna switch

2) start transmitter MG set or tip rectifier

3) turn down receiver gain

4) start sending

Maybe 5 seconds, tops. There were stations in the 1930s who had full break-in, and others with single-toggle-switch control, so TR time isn't the issue.

"K" is really used for the opposite reason. It means "I'm done sending, you go ahead", same as "over" or "go" on voice. The receiving op doesn't have to guess whether the station is going to send more, and can just start sending right away to answer. This avoids delays and unintentionally sending on top of each other.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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