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Author Topic: CQ Wheel  (Read 3126 times)
N3QE
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Posts: 5026




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« on: December 24, 2017, 03:29:05 AM »

Perhaps there is a more standard name than "CQ Wheel" which may be just local vernacular.

This was a (usually home-made) disk that had notches cut in the edge of it, in the pattern for a CQ loop. It was rotated under a mechanical switch that rode the edge and produced a CQ message.

Locally I've seen variants using metal disks, vinyl records with notches cut in edge, and even one of a plastic disk with metallic conductive strips instead of notches.

Any pics of these on the interweb? Anybody still using one?
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KE6EE
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Posts: 1901




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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 08:37:29 AM »

Rather than automating the sending of long series of CQs, some hams might simply put up a better antenna. Huh
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K8AXW
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Posts: 6493




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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 09:20:32 AM »

Even before the CQ wheel was the CQ board.  It was a stip of wood with different widths of brass attached. A "pen" like a nail connected by wire was dragged along the strips of brass keying the transmitter.  It was very easy to control your speed!  Roll Eyes
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DL8OV
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 04:44:56 AM »

These days I think we let the electronic keyer take the strain. You have however given me an idea for my next project.

Peter DL8OV
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K8AXW
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2017, 09:16:09 PM »

Peter, instead of spending Euros on a keyboard, visualize a board with whatever your exchange will consist of laid out on the board with two widths of brass (narrow=dit, wide=dah.....Just swipe the nail and your transmission is made!   Grin
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HB9FXW
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 01:48:57 AM »

If you're not afraid of weird spacing: https://youtu.be/ZAxUb6EPPtY
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Seiuchy, free morse QSO quiz and simulator
K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 09:39:29 AM »

Good point!  Gotta give that more thought.  Let's see....drag the probe fast....crosses the no-contact area the same speed....... Undecided
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N9AOP
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 12:30:04 PM »

Have a stick for each of your brag files.  Hang all of them from hooks and then your shack would look like a TTY shack from yesteryear with all the tape ribbons hanging there.
Art
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K8AXW
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 09:45:27 AM »

Somebody (mathematically inclined) help me with this.  Wide/narrow strips and fixed spaces between each "element" and character....drag a probe across this combination at various speeds.

Would all work out and sound correct? 

I've developed a mind lock on this and just one step from building the damn thing to find out!
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ZL1BBW
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 11:30:26 AM »

Somebody (mathematically inclined) help me with this.  Wide/narrow strips and fixed spaces between each "element" and character....drag a probe across this combination at various speeds.

Would all work out and sound correct? 

I've developed a mind lock on this and just one step from building the damn thing to find out!

Should sound OK, as the ratio between the elements (dot/dash/space) would always be constant, the thing that would screw it up is if you went slow slow quick quick slow along the strip.

MX from a very sunny ZL today.  Gavin
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
KC0MYW
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 01:43:34 PM »

Somebody (mathematically inclined) help me with this.  Wide/narrow strips and fixed spaces between each "element" and character....drag a probe across this combination at various speeds.

Would all work out and sound correct? 

I've developed a mind lock on this and just one step from building the damn thing to find out!

From a mathematical/theoretical perspective, I would say that it would work well. In practice, there is a fair amount of room for error (but then this is the case with any hand-sent CW)

It's an interesting idea and a "gee whiz that's neat" type of project that, thanks to this thread, I'm now considering doing. Although, I don't know that it would be particularly useful or beneficial. The video linked to by HB9FXW was a good example.

Let's explore some math:

First, to review the CW spacing and put it here for quick reference:
dit = 1x
dah = 3x
space between dits/dahs = 1x
space between letters = 3x
space between words = 7x

'CQ' = 27x
'DE' = 11x
'CQ CQ DE' = 79x

Also, we need to determine a measurement for 'x' our element length. The smaller the number, the more precise we have to be when cutting/building/layout because any error will be a larger percentage of the element and consequently be more noticeable in the finish product. The larger the number, the larger and more cumbersome the finished product will be. For example, if a dit is supposed to be 1 inch wide but is instead 1 1/8 inches wide, it will be much less noticeable than if it is supposed to be 1/8 inch wide and is instead 2/8 (or 1/4) inch wide in which case it will be twice as long as a normal dit. Also, the larger the physical width of an element the faster you will have to move the probe for a given speed.

If the width of a dit (or x) is 1 inch then 'CQ' would be 27 inches long 'DE' would be 11 inches long and 'CQ CQ DE' would be 79 inches long with proper spacing.
If the width of a dit (or x) is 1/8 inch then 'CQ' would be 3.375 (3 3/8) inches long 'DE' would be 1.375 (1 3/8) inches long and 'CQ CQ DE' would be 9.875 (9 7/8) inches long with proper spacing.

The next thing to consider would be 'rate' and 'rate control' - in effect, the sending speed. Using to the 'PARIS ' standard, 5WPM is equivalent to 240 milliseconds per dit and 13WPM is equivalent to 92.31 milliseconds per dit.

Using the 1 inch dit board above then would require you to traverse with the probe at a rate of 1 inch every 240 milliseconds (or roughly 4.166 inches per second) to transmit 5WPM. For 13WPM on that same board would require you to move the probe at a rate of 1 inch every 92.31 milliseconds (or roughly 10.833 inches per second).

Using the 1/8 inch dit board above for the same speeds would be 1/8 inch every 240 milliseconds (or roughly 0.5208 inches per second or 1.04 inches every 2 seconds) for 5WPM and 1/8 inch every 92.31 milliseconds per dit (or roughly 1.354 inches per second) for 13WPM.

Maintaining the rate at a constant pace and dragging the probe in a straight line would likely be the main challenges during use. Although, given how perfect or not most of us send as it is, I would imagine that the operator should be able to listen to the keying sidetone on the rig and adjust well enough for communication to occur.

Note: My apologies to the OP as this thread has drifted away from the wheel concept to that of a straight board. In an effort to bring it back, a circle with diameter of roughly 3.1449 inches with the elements around the edge would yield the same result as the 'CQ CQ DE' board above with the 1/8 inch dit size. In that case, 5WPM would equate to roughly 3.1645 RPM (about 18.9603 seconds per revolution) and 13WPM would be roughly 8.2276 RPM (about 7.2925 seconds per revolution)

Additional length would need to be added/calculated to include callsign or other information, this would also change the diameter of the wheel for that design and while the speed/rate on a straight board would remain the same, the RPM of a wheel would also need to be adjusted.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 10:47:19 PM »

I've concluded by simple logic that if the correct spacing on each element and correct character spacing it would send perfect code as long as the probe was dragged across at a steady speed.

Furthermore, the speed RANGE could be set by the element and spacing widths.

The device could easily....well, fairly easily, be made using an etched PCB. If the probe has a smooth tip the PCB should last a long time.
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NA6O
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 07:48:10 PM »

You might try emailing Richard Dillman, W6AWO, chief op at KPH.

Gary NA6O
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K8AXW
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 08:18:47 PM »

6O:  Why?  Whoozat?
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 08:24:28 PM »

Early FM repeaters used mechanical code wheels for the MCW ID.     
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