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Author Topic: CW decoder recommendation  (Read 1031 times)
WB6DNL
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Posts: 40




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« on: July 01, 2017, 08:48:42 AM »

I can copy CW in the 11 to 15 wpm range and send with a straight key. I find that most folks are sending way faster than I can copy.  Can I get a recommendation for CW decoder software that can help me when my copying can't keep up?  I've tried CwGet, but can't make heads or tails of the setting instructions, and haven't found its decoding accuracy all that great (except perhaps when copying a very strong station like W1AW). Also, my technical skills are limited, and I'd like to avoid software that requires complicated transceiver-computer setups or additional hardware.  Thanks.

Dave (WB6DNL)
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PA0WV
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 11:09:53 AM »

I did design and construct a set of decoders that you can find on my website together with signals in the noise examples that could and could not be decoded by them.

They are speed independent, but the beauty of CW is that people can decode CW much better in noise and in QRM. so my advice is to train yourself in copying faster CW. Nowadays a lot of opportunities to do that are available.

Look at lcwo.net on line and off line find on google "Just learn morse code" and G4FON.
Also find on http://www.arrl.org/40-wpm-code-archive on the left of that screen lower speeds for exercising plain text with MP3 files and the transmitted text files.

73
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WB6DNL
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 01:26:28 PM »

PA0WV - I am working on my CW speed, which I know is the long term answer.  This morning I downloaded to my iPhone an app called "Ham Morse" that looks pretty good.

Dave
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K1HMS
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Posts: 466




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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 08:38:00 PM »

The best decoder are your ears.  Here are a several Decoders that almost work;

CWGET is great for sending practice. Look at it only after sending, spacing errors will be obvious. It is one of the better decoders once it is set up right.

The K1EL K42 does a good job until you get near the noise. The tone has to be near 690 Hz, set your radio for this and use RIT to comp for those slightly off frequency. Note you will need a PS2 key board to put it into decode mode. Cycle the power when it loses sync.

My favorite is CW Skimmer, the first 30 days are free, then there is a one time charge. It decodes closer to the noise than the rest and has very few adjustments. You can see every QSO including call signs within the bandwidth of your radio. Take a look at the web page to see what I mean.

What I like best is you can see the dits and dahs stream by. My copying skills are fairly good after a year of steady practice and QSOs but when the signal is at noise level, 3 signals are on top of each other, or the OM has a spacing problem, you can see and group the dits and dahs together to quickly copy what is sent.  A decoder would be gibberish.
-. -..--- - .- decodes as N* TA  but with a little practice you will see K2K.

Unlike other decoders you visually see and hear the code and decode it into characters in your head.

Last, LCWO worked for me after trying several for months.
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