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Author Topic: CW in EMCOMM?  (Read 65361 times)
KD8GTP
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2013, 08:18:32 PM »

I don't think CW has a place in EMCOMM.  When I put on my ARES vest and jump into my old crown vic to self deploy it would be hard to use a CW key and drive at the same time wouldn't it ? 
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N4KD
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Posts: 132




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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 12:23:14 PM »

So maybe not CW. How about alternatives to FM repeaters? Maybe a digital mode on a SSB rig for VHF?

- Dave N4KD
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2013, 12:49:01 PM »

   I often wonder if the French Resistance during WW11 considered themselves EMCOMM radio operators or stealth Pirate station radio operators. Either one, CW got the job done.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2013, 11:28:30 AM »

Quote from: W1JKA
   I often wonder if the French Resistance during WW11 considered themselves EMCOMM radio operators or stealth Pirate station radio operators. Either one, CW got the job done.


If you have to build your station from scratch, CW has a big advantage because
the circuits are simpler.  Dutch resistance operators converted medical radiathermy
equipment (which was popular at the time) into transmitters, while some of the
German spies had adaptors that would use the audio output stage of a broadcast
receiver or phonograph for a transmitter.

Also CW doesn't require operators to speak the same language - anyone can copy
coded messages character-by-character and pass them on without translation,
whereas that is slower and more difficult on voice.  (Encryption was applied before
the message was handed to the radio operator.)


But those are not the situations under which most EMCOMM takes place these
days.  As much as I think CW skills (and the ability to build and/or repair your own
equip when needed) are generally good to have, you can't count on having an
operator at the other end who can copy your message unless you have planned
and practiced such a link beforehand.
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1378




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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 08:55:16 AM »

CW, perfect for EMCOMM. Attach a Coke bottle to a window shade string and balance it on the key.

Ok, probably nobody got that reference.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13029




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« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2013, 09:19:42 AM »

They may think you've gone blinkers...
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KG6AF
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Posts: 335




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« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2013, 09:24:07 AM »

CW, perfect for EMCOMM. Attach a Coke bottle to a window shade string and balance it on the key.

Ok, probably nobody got that reference.

It's the only reliable way to hail a submarine.
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N3ZJ
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2013, 01:01:35 PM »



Cw offers the advantage of simplicity - not computer, for example, is required. As for "skilled operators", why shouldn't there be operators trained in Cw (or digital, etc.) just as surely as they are trained in EMCOMM generally? Training is training.
I think what motivated my original post was the feeling that amateur EMCOMM is increasingly becoming complex, and reliant on public infrastructure - which is, in my opinion, not where we shine brightest. Our strength is simplicity, resilience, resourcefulness and that is the thing we should always keep alive.
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N0IU
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WWW

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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2013, 01:45:58 PM »

Cw offers the advantage of simplicity - not computer, for example, is required. As for "skilled operators", why shouldn't there be operators trained in Cw (or digital, etc.) just as surely as they are trained in EMCOMM generally? Training is training.

Give me a radio, a computer and a soundcard interface with the proper cabling between them and I can "train" someone to use the digital modes in less than an hour.

OTOH...

The level of "training" required to learn International Morse code and be adequately proficient enough at it to be able to use it in a true "when all else fails" scenario is nowhere near the same level of training required to use the digital modes and it is utterly ridiculous to compare them in the way.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2013, 02:17:59 PM »

     Again someones definition of EMCOMM is as different as the particular emergency itself. Not everyone especially those operating some type of mobile/portable station is going to have computer, sound card interface or proper connecting cables available. Most would consider cross training in the various modes a benefit of which knowledge of CW operation is one.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 02:20:03 PM by W1JKA » Logged
W7ASA
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2013, 02:34:51 PM »

This depends upon the type of EMCOMM scenarios you are planning for.  As previously stated:

For high/medium volume traffic passing in support of government operations, then digital modes make perfect sense.  

However, if the planned requirement is for personal (family or group) low volume radio communication outside of line of site for the purpose of personal 'messaging' between friends and family who either ARE or know your contact ham, then HF CW works very well.

Foggy's Law says:
 "No go-go juice = no go-go."

Powering a sophisticated transceiver (2 Amps on receive or more PLUS transmit current) and a computer, along with the associated cables and etc. is certainly more difficult to set-up & maintain than a simple CW rig, especially, if part of the emergency is having no commercial electrical power. Being able to keep a computer powered along with a ham station designed for digital communication can be a significant challenge, which during a grid down emergency is usually handled (if at all) by personal generators.  In an extended grid down situation, as fuel for the personal generator begins to dwindle, you will have to consider whether it's worth hitting the streets with a gas can, looking for those long/angry gas lines and the personal security problem this often entails. If you're required to relocate the sophisticated station equipment, computer, cables and support devices might be a real problem. If you have power and a stable place to operate from: no problem.

On-the-other-hand: Maintaining my skeds using my KX1 ( or a wonderful KX3! ) is very simple, as is the wire antenna that goes with it.  A pack of AA batteries will provide 2 weeks of my skeds with the KX1, a car battery will likely run it until my two year old grand son hits pre-school and the built in solar (my add-on) recharging system will likely keep it running until his first dance.  

For personal communications, sending out a message like:

 "THE WIFE, KIDS AND I ARE FINE AND SHELTERING AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE."

- is simple and effective.  CW at it's most basic level is easily written, making accurate messaging much more likely. Voice is rapid for conversation, but slow for written messages containing unusual words:

" I SAY AGAIN, WE NEED OREOS. I SPELL: OSCAR, ROMEO, ECHO, OSCAR, SIERRA. OREOS AND COFFEE. HOW COPY, OVER"

This highly portable CW system is quite easy to use, maintain and take with me.  Listening on it's general coverage receiver to gather information only draws roughly 35 mA.  

-...-

You are quite correct in that, CW requires skill - that is true.  For high volume traffic, such as supporting government people in a disaster, using their electrical power and from their stable location, I also support the use of digital modes. However, as for me personally and my personal planning, I go with CW for reliable skeds and do not plan to change if the lights go out and I need to have a quick note sent to family and friends advising them of our situation.

YMMV,


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 02:42:58 PM by W7ASA » Logged
N3ZJ
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2013, 04:57:42 PM »


W7ASA - you speak a lot of truth and make a lot of sense. There is great value in simplicity, something to be exploited in tough times.

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W9FIB
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2013, 06:29:39 PM »

With all that said,  depending on conditions, equipment, etc, it can be a convenient way to contact a traffic handling net and get some messages out of the effected area by utilizing the NTS.
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N0IU
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2013, 02:41:41 AM »

Our strength is simplicity, resilience, resourcefulness and that is the thing we should always keep alive.

Most would consider cross training in the various modes a benefit of which knowledge of CW operation is one.

CW at it's most basic level is easily written, making accurate messaging much more likely.

There is great value in simplicity, something to be exploited in tough times.

With all that said,  depending on conditions, equipment, etc, it can be a convenient way to contact a traffic handling net and get some messages out of the effected area by utilizing the NTS.

I get a big kick out of comments like these. Where were you guys in the late 80s and through the 90s when merely suggesting that CW had any value whatsoever in amateur radio was like asking someone to worship the devil? If someone made comments like these 25 years ago when CW was still a requirement for the Novice, General and Extra Class licenses, they would run out of town on a rail! Don't you guys know that CW is an antiquated mode of communication. All branches of the military have abandoned it as a mode of communication. CW is just an unfair barrier keeping otherwise well meaning people out of amateur radio. And the list goes on and on...

Maybe, just maybe people are starting to realize, that despite the efforts of all of those who said CW is a total waste of time, it does indeed have some value to amateur radio. So it looks like we were right all along!

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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2013, 03:23:56 AM »

Re: N0IU reply #28

   I can't help but notice that you contradicted yourself two times in your post and you should do a little more research before stating the military has completely abandoned CW. In answer to your first question "where were you guys" I was QRT. You aren't alone in getting a big kick out of posted comments. Wink
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