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Author Topic: Low CW activity on the bands, how bad is it?  (Read 5788 times)
W9IQ
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Posts: 1530




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« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2017, 04:20:32 PM »

Ken,

Good for you!  That is the great thing about this hobby - there is always a way to find enjoyment. Even if that doesn't line up with the next ham's perspective.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
VK5EEE
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2017, 02:14:29 AM »

Hopefully there will always be a few real CW enthusiasts around but it’s apparent to me with the passing of time the trend is downward.     
Excellent analysis, and all you say is likely to be true. Except hopefully that very last part, but, it is only a hope. I'm hoping that the CW clubs CWops, FISTS, SKCC etc will be able to reverse that trend. I think, I hope, we may have already reached bottom and now on the rise -- not as a percentage of national population but as a percentage of the overall declining amateur radio population. There just is no "wow factor" in a simplex microphone compared to full duplex app rich mobile phone. CW on the other hand, talking with fingers, the only way to talk with a mouth full of food, burp, fart, without being rude. The most efficient means of human communication with simple means. The therapeutic qualities and joy of Morse Code over the radio will hopefully be enough to propel more toward it, but we do need exclusive bands, even if they become smaller, that absolutely exclude Digital CW, except for medical exceptions:

I must use, both a keyboard and a computer for CW, because of my rare handicap.

I use my keyboard (for input) to my external keyer AND my computer for deciphering morse code signals.
I have never had a problem with that when it is done correctly, e.g. at less than 30WPM proper abbreviations not typing "the handle this way is Jim" (which I've really had sent to me on DCW and at slow speed), and decoder is making sense of my transmission relative to SNR. And no doubt Ken that is you, and anyone who used to be a manual CW OP but has had to use technology for medical reasons, those are excellent OPs and we want you to be on air not QRT! Those who are able to use human CW but don't make the effort, fine, use DCW but that should be in the digital bands:

Well then it is no longer a CW contest is it? No CW skills measured or required. Just good computer equipment.
Exactly and that is where the problem is: it is unfair to CW OPs who are in the CW section of the contest, who use their real skills, and are slowed down by those who cannot read the number due to decoder being not as good as the human ear, and who can go off watching TV and shopping while their fully automated DCW station runs millions of points. They absolutely should have a Digital CW category, that should leave the bottom end of the CW band empty.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
OZ8AGB
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Posts: 295




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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2017, 02:39:01 AM »

Yup.

I have several times wanted to join CW contests just to get my skills up but when I turn on the radio and hear all the Computer generated QRQ I turn it off again or change to 17/30 meters.
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2017, 05:22:06 AM »

Talking of which, I think 12m has to be the least popular of all bands. I estimate the bottom three least used HF bands are 10m, 160m, 12m last? Surely will change if we had sunspot maximum. I gather there are even Chinese illegal CB radios that cover 12m  Angry
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
K1HMS
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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2017, 01:19:08 PM »

Field Day 2016 I was assigned to 80m CW and given a decoder and keyer. I logged 36 painfull QSOs. After Field  Day I tried most hardware and software CW decoders made. They work on strong signals if it is sent by keyer, they can not handle slow code or ANY QRM. They all need a power cycle now and again when they lose sync. (CW Skimmer is the best, unreliable decode but you can see the dits and dahs in a pinch).

I vowed to learn Code  and did.

For Field Day 2017 and 13 Colonies I logged 500+ QSOs on non-prime bands as the noobe, copying with my ears around 20 wpm and logging 44 States and 19 DX.

Many QSOs were 15 seconds max without a second lost in high QRM pile ups. These guys were not using encoders niether were the noise floor west coast QSOs.. A lot of QSOs were 5 wpm of shaky code and I had to slow way down so they could copy on the 3rd or 4th try so no encoders here.

Sorry, but all this noise about no code Hams with encoders crowding the band is QRM on this thread.

CW is like SSB where you mostly hear 59 QRZ. I suggest many avoid rag chewing because it will get around to a technical discussion and all they have to offer in the brand of rig they are driving.

Also contest = crowd,  and no contest = a dead band. That does not sound like propagation to me and it isn't a computer problem as suggested above.

Hamilton K1HMS
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N9KX
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Posts: 2036




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« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2017, 10:27:03 PM »

So, so you think I can tell
your F from an L,
fast fives from H  Huh -> https://youtu.be/EonmImwBmtc
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ZENKI
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Posts: 1397




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« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2017, 04:03:50 AM »

I was driven off 40 meter CW by the Indonesian Pirates and Ham radio LIDS in Indonesia.

I dont know what is going on in Indonesia in the ham fraternity.  YB hams are operating  with excessively wide ESSB audio splattering with  excessive splatter that sounds like they using cheap solid state CB class C amplifiers its so bad.

Then there is never end band of pirates being driven off by YB hams with a continuous screaming match and music being played. Its a total mess and its just about impossible to work into Asia  and the Pacific because of this bad YB ham behavior and  from behavior of pirates. I really never understood why YB hams can respect the band plans since they can operate like everyone else right  to the top of 7200 with 1kw, why destroy the CW sub band?

They even now starting to   do the same stupid things on 30 meter CW. Its a total mess.

Then the same is now occurring on 20 meter CW with the Vietnamese fishing companies who love operating on the CW sub band. They seem to be running very high power with fixed station antennas. I am hearing this fishing company activity on the long path into the pacific.
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2017, 09:03:05 AM »

ZENKI exactly so. I don't think those in other parts of the world have any idea of the level of QRM we put up with in Oceania. Those are not usually hams, and many I think use some home brew equipment, but the big problem in YB is you can buy anything without a license. The shining example in S E Asia is Thailand. A grand total of ZERO pirates on HF, though there are a few on VHF. You need 3 licenses: 1) equipment license -- you will land in jail if you try to smuggle in ANY radio gear without military approval of the radio.  2) operating license -- this is what we are accustomed to. 3) QTH license. You can only operate at specified QTH with specified Antenna(s) and the equipment of the equipment license. It WORKS.

The current head of IARU-MS (formely Intruder Watch) is from Indonesia. The last IARU Region 3 meeting was held in Bali so that the Aussies and others could enjoy a nice holiday. It should have been boycotted. No real protest was made and complaints and large petitions to IARU 3 about what you mention, were all ignored except for an embarrassing response from 9M society. Instead YB was elected for the job of cleaning up, and indeed the Coordinator has really been active and we're told many stations were closed down. More information and transparency would be good. I did notice a drop, so I think it had an effect, but it is still way too high. It renders much of our bands useless in this region when DX is open.

On 30m during the day time in VK you will hear Korean fishing vessels (not 100% sure, but I think it is Korean language) off the coast of VK perhaps just outside territorial waters. But although I blame the authorities for not taking action, or other nations for not making a worthwhile military coup d'etat as they did in Thailand, I blame too CW operators. There is insufficient QTT (non 5NN TU) activity on the CW bands, contests and "DX" (5NN TU button pushing) is sporadic. Consistent CW activity is lacking but even so, if CW Ops would spend at least SOME of their time making QRM to the Pirates, it would pay off.

When a pirate is strong to you, you are likely strong to them. So why not QRM the pirate? No one seems to do that any more. Just call CQ on top of them. Or test. Or send a message urging others to QSV too and INTRUDERS QSY. In Europe this used to be done by CW ops back in the day, to great effect. Down under no one apart from that EEE does it. No one wants to do anything but whinge about it. Only one ham in VK sends in reports to IARU-MS. But those reports have zero effect in my opinion especially as the YB authorities will then think only ONE person in VK is unhappy. Yet take ACTION by calling CQ on top of pirates? Again only ONE ham in VK does that, a different one from the one sending the reports.

Instead, VK hams just switch off and watch the Tell-lie Vision or QSY to a quiet frequency. The national society, the Wimps Institute of Australia, also does nothing -- they don't even publish the huge efforts and data gathered by that one reporting ham, who we call "Australia's NSA" -- nothing is not heard by him. His efforts are not even rewarded by publication in Amateur Radio magazine, nor are the readers of that urged and encouraged to report. We had an idea to set up beacons on 40m in S E Asia to ensure non-stop QRM to the intruders, while still leaving plenty of space to CW. But it's a hard thing to organise without any official support. So that too died.

Since Digital hams leave their gear on 24/7 why don't CW ops do the same with their memory keyers in beacon mode? We're complaining the bands are not used enough. So why on 40m at least, when watching TV don't VK hams leave their keyers in beacon mode at 100W on YB, with VVV DE CALLSIGN? Again, that requires some thought and action, and the default action is inaction -- do not upset anyone, just give way. So I very much blame us hams for this situation. Why haven't we befriended more hams in YB in solidarity? They too, especially CW Ops over there are very unhappy with the SSB pirates. I have one CW friend there I often heard him sending in Bahasa: get lost you monkey before I shoot you -- or some such combinations. Of course the pirates just say "I can hear the birds tweeting again".

The YB SSB hams have no QRM from pirates. You will find on 40m, the pirates all use 7030 LSB and lower. 7030 and above is SSB ham band. The strong YB you hear above 7030 are all licensed and using callsigns. On 30m as there is no SSB in YB, so the pirates think it is fine to use as only some birds are tweeting now and then. For those in USA, please understand that these pirates are over S9 here often covering the ENTIRE CW band on 40m, as they use 7000 LSB and USB, 7005 LSB and USB, 7010 LSB and USB, 7015 LSB and USB, 7020 LSB and USB, 7025 LSB and USB, 7030 LSB and USB. That completely covers the band.

They have a competition called Radio Lomba which is where they shout some word repeatedly into the microphone to see who can do it longest and loudest or something like that. They play music. They play religious sermons or whatever. Possibly they also connect loved ones on land with those at sea, or across islands where the communication infrastructure may not be too good. Possibly they use very high power. Maybe even stations that are used at other times for commercial ship shore communications, maybe those are tuned and used at night. John 9V1VV will know more about this.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
KE4KY
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« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2017, 03:07:47 PM »

Lots of CW activity during the contest over the USA weekend. Even 10m and 15m were a joy to see signals across the band.
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Glenn KE4KY - Ham since 1975
VK5EEE
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« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2017, 08:08:21 PM »

Well yes, I do not think there is a ham that does not know that, least of all CW ops. Contests are in exponential growth. This is what it looks like, and this video is from an SKCC member, who states that he loves CW pile ups. Like I suspected, the joy for many is creating a huge pile up, from the sense of power and control it gives!

In a typical 5NN-TU activity... and yet, I do not see any CW key in use at all. Everyone sitting around doing nothing, and one guy pushing buttons now and then on a keyboard. So what I'm not talking about it this exponential robot stuff, but real QSO.

https://youtu.be/RrtNQT9jb6c

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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
KF7DS
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« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2017, 10:43:20 PM »

Guess it's whatever floats your boat.

I like contesting a bit and like the short exchange. However, to me, the challenge is to head copy the 40+wpm call signs and respond using my bug. Using a laptop for this would seem to get boring.
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OZ8AGB
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« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2017, 04:57:24 AM »

VK5EEE:
First weekend in September we have region 1 SSB Field Day but I always bring my key as we also can count CW QSOs (at least here in Denmark).
So I will be up all night that Saturday. Will try to see if there are openings on 30 and 40 to VK-land.
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2017, 06:55:12 AM »

There are indeed on 30m daily LP openings from around 0500-0700 but best is around 0530-0600 I think.

Edit: of course also many SP openings daily your evening time, even right now is wide open to Europe on 30m (14z) but I'm personally more active on 30m during LP opening, and at this QTH do well via LP due to water pretty much all the way.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 07:02:04 AM by VK5EEE » Logged

Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
W3TTT
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« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2017, 10:01:23 AM »

"....When a pirate is strong to you, you are likely strong to them. So why not QRM the pirate?...."

In the USA, the rules say that a non-licensed station (the pie-rat) must accept interference from a licensed station (the ham).  So there is no legal problem to QRMing the pie-rat.

If a good rig with good CW filters is used, then most of the pie-rat's signal is suppressed and your CW signal (narrow band, 250 Hz) is rather clear.  On the other hand, your CW signal will be loud and clear to the listeners to the pie-rat.  Of course, if the pirate is just broadcasting, then he will not be aware of any interference. 

I would just use the pirate's signal as a beacon, to say - listen here for CW signals. 

This is assuming that the frequency in question is in the CW bands.  However, here in the US, our CW band in 40 meters goes to 7.125, while other nearby countries hams are legally able to use SSB down to 7.075 I believe, so our CW band overlaps their SSB band.  Then it's bad form to QRM them.  I would say. 

QTT is a "rag-chew"?  I never heard that one.  I am a bit discussed with the term "rag-chew" too, and rather use "nice chat".  Where does rag-chew come from?  But I do prefer a nice CW chat.  Do you call CQ TT for a nice chat?

 Roll Eyes
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2017, 01:25:18 PM »

QTT = any non-5NN-tu activity
Better call CQTTT  Grin
SSB can easily notch out CW if one station
CW cannot eliminate SSB no matter how narrow filter
Hence CW allowed across whole band
SSB not allowed in CW band
Yes in many Asian countries with small 40m allocation CW exclusive stops at 7030
In YB pirates stay below 7030 as above 7030 they will be hounded by strong SSB hams
No strong CW outside of major contests to drive them below 7000
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
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