Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: So what is it about CW?  (Read 2487 times)
WZ7I
Member

Posts: 22




Ignore
« on: October 26, 2002, 04:32:53 PM »

The other evening on 40 meters I heard a strong, clear CQ from a fellow I had worked once before who had seemed interesting so I gave him a call.  I punched in the 250 Hz filter and the QSK button, and repositioned the headphones a little more comfortably.  

It had been a tough day at work but almost instantly all the other concerns dropped away.  Soon after the name, QTH, and signal report, it rapidly moved past a mere contact and became a real conversation.  There was a sense of privacy that I have found on some of the digital modes but never on SSB.  And unlike the digital modes, QSK allowed a more conversational intercourse.

We talked about how hard it was to lose a job after 31 years with the same company, what it was like uproot your wife and move to a strange town to go to school, how hard it was to learn to study again and to compete with young people just out of high school.  We talked about preparing to fly to a new city for a job interview and how, after we have done everything we can, sometimes we have to leave the future in God’s hands

I can’t recall ever having this kind of QSO on sideband.  It seemed like I was having a private conversation with a longtime friend over a cup of coffee.  What is it about CW that gives this feeling of intimacy that we don’t find elsewhere?

My wire antenna up in the trees doesn’t buy any bragging rights on the air, and my fist won’t win any A-1 operator awards.  But the other night, I wouldn’t have traded that conversation for 350 confirmed countries or first in the CQ CW contest.  

But enough of this drivel!  I am going to limber up my new GHD key and see if I can find another new friend on 40 tonight.
Logged
KC0IOX
Member

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2002, 12:31:36 AM »

Nice post.  That's the same thing that appeals to me about this wonderful mode.  I think it's the sense of commaraderie that CW ops have, or perhaps the idea that CW ops for the most part are hams in the truest sense of the word, friendly, inviting, and genuine.  This isn't to say that other modes don't offer this.  Perhaps it's the lack of any voice inflections, and the idea that one has to think before they move that key as to what they might say.  At any rate, the better I become at CW, the more of these conversations I seem to have, and also the more of these conversations I want to have.  Nice post there and 73.
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20666




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2002, 05:47:37 PM »

CW, besides being the second-most used and popular mode of amateur communications, is also the most relaxing....ahhhhh.

I can work a CW contest for 24 hours straight without any breaks except bathroom and food/drink, but phone?  No way...too hard on the ears!

Even my XYL wonders why I look half asleep when I'm chatting on CW...I'm not really sleepy, just adrift with satisfaction and enjoying the sound of real conversation uninterrupted by interference and noise.

For those who don't use it, it's hard to explain.

Logged
KB9BVN
Member

Posts: 116




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2002, 01:33:26 PM »

WOW!!  I thought I was the only one that had QSO's with my eyes shut.  If I get in a QSO with a good fist and my speed, I just kind of lean back in my chair (a rocker) and shut my eyes.  I have never gone to sleep during a QSO though.  I think shutting the eyes helps to keep your mind from getting distracted.  I can head copy MUCH better when I am in this mode.

Logged
W5HTW
Member

Posts: 729


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2002, 08:21:09 PM »

I haven't yet quite fallen asleep while in a CW QSO but as I get older I wonder about the possibility.  

I, too, tend to close my eyes and 'get lost.'  Perhaps there is a bit of an opiate to this?  

One of the unique things I have noticed is the ability of CW ops to 'tune out' their surroundings.  Often tht includes, to her chagrin, the XYL, but maybe that is our way of getting back at the women who tend to tune us out as we talk radio and they are talking beauty salon or the fashion sale.  

I've noticed, when that really weak signal is there, I have tended to turn the AF gain up higher and higher, using my own mental DSP to filter out those 'bad boys' that are so close.  And suddenly I awaken and hear the blaring speaker, (or learn my headphones can be heard in the next room!)and realize that those loud signals are being heard throughout the house, perhaps through the neighborhood, (I have no neighbors but coyotes, and they don't seem to care) but I didn't hear them at all.  No wonder the wife turns off the TV - she can't hear it!  And all I hear is that one guy, way in the background, telling me about the military surplus transmitter he is running, to a dipole in the trees.  

I can't do that on phone.  

CW is a skill, practiced by many of us, at varying levels of expertise, and as such, it is a source of pride.  The code-free ham is missing what ham radio really was all about for a good many years.  And the keyboard ham is missing the personal touch that made hams, even those with keyers, recognizable on the air by their own sound.  I had friends down on 80 meters CW years ago that could send simply "vvv" and before they gave the call sign, I knew who they were.  And they knew me.  It is your "voice."  It isn't the speed - I've never been a hot shot CW op.  

It is just the flavor.  Muy sabroso.

73
Ed
Logged
N5JOB
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2002, 04:58:55 AM »

You have to understand one thing about CW operators and the rest of the Amateurs.  They are two entirely different types of people.

When I was a young man, I got into radio for many reasons.  Radio allowed me to communicate with others at a safe distance.  I didn't have to use my voice which I did NOT want to do as I didn't like it.  So I communicated with a key and pencil/paper.

Now, 25 years later, I still like CW because I HATE complicated, modern day electronics.  I think of radio in terms of "electro-mechanical radio" and "fully electronic radio."  And now, it's gotten even more complicated with "microprocessor based radio."  I prefer "electro-mechanical radio" over it all.

What can be better than a man at one station, opening and closing a key with his hand, and another man at another distant station, hearing each letter and pressing a key on a typewriter, placing the sent letter on the paper?  This is a perfect blend of a man's skill and the machinery.  It also takes PATIENCE.  Yes, PATIENCE is a determining factor between a good operator and a poor one.  Today, that is mostly GONE and I don't like it.

So I listen to CW all the time.  CW is still a very real experience.  I feel sorry for the saps who missed out.
Logged
KC0IOX
Member

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2002, 12:30:44 AM »

Some really nice responses here, and I fully agree.  One thing I've also noticed is the ease of operation over phone.  This past month, I did the CW and phone sweepstakes.  I actually operated more time on the CW weekend, but it seemed much more effort-less than on phone.  Before I became proficient in CW, this wasn't the case, but since I now run more CW, sweepstakes and Field day were much more easy than phone.  Perhaps it's the narrow bandwidth, or the not hearing the other operators voice.  At any rate, I only ran about 6 hours on the CW sweeps due to time limitations, and it was like gravy, but after about 4 hours on the phone one, I gave it up.  My voice started to give out, and I couldn't deal with the shouting I heard in the phone pile-up the same way I do on a CW one.  I wonder if anyone else has had this experience.  At any rate, some nice responses, and CW is the way to go.
Logged
N2JZ
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2002, 08:49:29 PM »

 Great posts on CW! CW Forever!

73s de N2JZ
Logged
N2JZ
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2002, 08:49:31 PM »

 Great posts on CW! CW Forever!

73s de N2JZ
Logged
CURMUDGEON
Member

Posts: 69




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2002, 07:08:49 PM »

Yes indeed! CW Forever.
Logged
JA1NUT
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2002, 10:07:51 PM »

I always look forward the same kind of QSO on 40m CW as W7ZI described above. Very few would do that. Most oprs send a report/name/QTH and say 73 to me. I don't know why. They may not have enough time for this lengthy QSOs. Or CW is a cluster of jargons or symbols for them, which is itself meaningless to them. In so called rubber stamped QSOs, I sometimes can't help feeling sleepy and really fall asleep at the oerating desk. With intrests to the other people, we ask them about them and answer their inquiries in the QSOs. That will be a great fun for me.  
Logged
WD8MGO
Member

Posts: 24




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2002, 05:46:50 PM »

     I have to agree with many other writers in regard to CW.  The first thing I do in the morning after listeng to the BBC, VOA and Radio Australia is tune into CW.  A very relaxing way to begin the day.
I have also found that enjoying CW has opened up my listening skills when I tune into the world around me.
Closing my eyes while listening in also aids my creative art side(I am an artist).  I imagine elimating QRM visually(and in color).  
     As with art CW and listening  are learned skills.
Just as an art student must learn drawing and how to see.  The listener must learn how to "listen".  
Logged
KA9TOT
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2002, 11:15:11 PM »

  I would like to express that after reading these posts that I am DRIVEN even more now than ever to learn CW. I am 40yrs old and am just starting. I have been listening the past few days to the 10 and 13 wpm tapes. CW has ALWAYS attracted me to learn/master.... Everyday life of raising children, starting, running and maintaining small company, paying bills, and all other of our distractions, has prohibited me somewhat until now. With the recent (March 2002) passing of MY GRANDFATHER former "KA9TOT" and him bequething some of His equip to me, and me wanting/needing to LEARN CW, I WILL FOLLOW THROUGH with this MAJOR goal of mine!!!

CW needs NOT be a "dieing skill"  Skill I know a little bit about!  For I am a PLASTERING contractor... I was VERY forntunate enough to learn the trade by a few journymen the "old ways" of creating finished walls  or cielings.

I can overcome my fear of not being good enough. I WILL do my best to support Ham and its many facets with the BEST of my ability as a man of premium standards and high morals to my fellow man.

I WILL someday make my Grandpa Walter VERY proud of me as He looks down upon me as I am working with another CW with the profiecency that He expected from me while He was here before.

73 and my BEST REGARDS to all those in the past, in the now, and in the future!

Dan  Smiley
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20666




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2002, 05:05:11 PM »

There's no time to learn, and use, CW like the present.  If one honestly believes this will be a chore, and time-consuming, he is already predisposed to never learn it, because it's not an absolute necessity to do so.

If one honestly believes that CW is a fun thing, like playing golf or watching a ballgame on TV, or whatever...then, it's not only *not* a chore, but it's also not time-consuming.  And even if it were time-consuming, that wouldn't matter, since it's a fun and relaxing activity.

The reason kids learn CW so much more easily (and trust me, they do!) is mostly because nobody ever told them it was difficult, or stupid.  It's just another thing to learn, like tying your shoes or riding a bicycle, or long division.  If kids think this is something "everyone" does, they're predisposed to do it quickly and well.

The secret to learning anything new, CW included, is to really believe it's good for you.  Since CW is still the second most popular mode of amateur communications (some would say it's still first -- and if you listen during a CW contest weekend, you'd swear it is), hundreds of thousands of hams obviously agree it is good for them.

When I arrive home from the office and get on the air to relax a while before dinner and evening activities, I often start out on SSB and make a few contacts there.  But, if I want to really unwind...I find myself on CW, where relaxation takes on a whole new meaning.

JA1NUT, if you check your records I'm sure we've worked, and you know I'm not the type to do a "name/QTH/WX/rig" type of QSO....I always ask questions, and really enjoy the answers.  Many Americans don't understand how important ham radio really is to so many Japanese operators.  When I look at the 10,000 or so JA QSL cards I have on file, I can tell...most JA cards have photographs of the station, antennas, families, automobiles with ham-related license plates...and JA's QSL more vigorously than stations from anywhere else.  If I ever receive "green stamps" in the mail with a QSL request, it's almost always from a JA operator who needs my county, or prefix, or grid square, or something special.

WB2WIK/6
Logged
W3DCG
Member

Posts: 22


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2002, 02:03:31 PM »

...CW Forever,
The Jedi will never die.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!