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Author Topic: Long Live CW  (Read 13829 times)
W9KEY
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Posts: 1131




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« on: April 06, 2010, 05:29:55 PM »

The FCC may have dropped the code requirement, but CW persists for good reasons. The critics of CW say many humorous things, but most of the complaints I have heard don't stand up to critical analysis. When was the last time you heard anyone argue that a ham who keeps a log is stuck in the past?

Here is a link to an excellent article which points to the efficacy of CW in the 21st century and beyond:

http://www.k9ya.org/articles/CW&You.pdf

There are also some other great articles on CW at the above site too.  If you have links to good artilces about CW, please share. :-)

While the FCC may not mandate amateur radio operators learn code in order to obtain a license, ham radio operators who do not learn code are missing out on something about which they know not.
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K5YF
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 11:42:51 PM »

If you noticed that your refrigerator sends a BQE in morse every time it ends a compression cycle.... you might be a code freak.

If you honk di-di-dah-dah-di-dit at your children... you might be a code freak.

If every time you go through the holland tunnel you honk out a CQ... you might be a code freak.

If you think of making cw contacts while fishing... you might be a code freak.

If you say dah di-di-dah instead of thank you to your spouse..... you ARE a code freak.


----------------------
So far, I haven't done the last one  Smiley

-Brandon
-K5YF
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AJ4MJ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 10:46:33 AM »

You have nothing to worry about, it's not going away.

Every introductory amateur radio book or magazine articles mentions the propogation benefits of CW.  Any new ham who hasn't heard of this has been living under a rock or has the world's worst Elmer.  Enthusiasts of the mode have done a fine job of selling it.  Keep up the good work!

As VP of a club, I meet a lot of new hams.  Nearly all of them who are under the age of 50 have some interest in learning the code.  A number of them follow through and learn it.  I can name a dozen people (myself included) who got their licenses in the post-code-testing era and are active CW ops.  Even those who choose not to generally have respect for those who do.

Long ago, cars replaced horses as a utilitarian mode of transportation.  All of the old-time buggy drivers from those days have long since died out.  You don't have to pass a horse riding test to get your car drivers' license.  Yet millions of people ride horses today and are willing to pay significant amounts of money to do so.

73 de AJ4MJ
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W9KEY
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Posts: 1131




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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 11:28:19 AM »

The amount of DX stations operating DX is impressive too, based at least on my experience of getting back on the air after several decades.  

What i don't quite get is the suggestion by a few that code is only for old hams stuck in the past.  the type who looks down on anyone promoting CW.    Maybe it's a sour grape syndrome caught by operators who were convinced that code would die and disappear as soon as the FCC dropped the code requirement...

CW operators have the keys ;-)
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K5YF
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 11:15:17 PM »

CW will be around a while yet. I have no worries of that. It may even be around long into the future. There is just something about it I guess. Actually, I think CW will be around when Amateur Radio as we know it is gone.

I hope my previous attempt at humor wasn't seen as a hijack of the thread... but people have to wonder, myself included, why discussion of the CW mode turns some otherwise gentle people into overly forceful proctors -- although nobody has posted in that tone in this thread as of yet. There isn't a need to defend CW in the least. It is great fun, not difficult to learn and master (although it can be very time consuming to do so), and radio hobbyists will be enjoying it for a very long time yet.

73
-Brandon
-K5YF
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 04:15:29 AM »

but people have to wonder, myself included, why discussion of the CW mode turns some otherwise gentle people into overly forceful proctors -- although nobody has posted in that tone in this thread as of yet. There isn't a need to defend CW in the least. It is great fun, not difficult to learn and master (although it can be very time consuming to do so), and radio hobbyists will be enjoying it for a very long time yet.

Brandon,

I hope you're right about Morse Code use lasting for a long time to come.

But there are good reasons for folks defending/promoting/publicizing Morse Code in amateur radio.

One reason is that a lot of hams don't really know what the mode is all about. Sure, it's mentioned in books and such, but not everybody reads those books. And a description isn't the same as a real-live experience.

For several years now I've been going out on Field Day with a local group. I and a few others set up and run the CW station, and we usually make more points than all the rest of the rigs combined.

And every year there are hams at Field Day who have never really seen Morse Code in action until we show it to them. They are amazed at how easy and fast it is once you have the skills. Often one of us is explaining the action while the others operate.

I've seen a lot of things disappear because nobody defended them until it was too late. Often a thing disappears because its use is curtailed a little here and a little there, until there's not much left. Look at no-antennas restrictions, for example: when I became a ham, nobody could imagine that any homeowner would not be allowed to put an antenna on his/her house. Now, you have to be sure that there are no anti-antenna CC&Rs on any house you buy, because they're all over the place, and are so standard that they're often not even mentioned.

Another factor is that there are those who describe Morse Code only in negative terms. If those folks are not challenged, others will believe what they say.

You gave the example of horses. Yes, people still ride horses - but you don't see many on the roads and highways of the USA, except in a few areas. Having a horse can be an expensive thing.

Perhaps a better analogy is the manual transmission: used to be every car had one, now only a few do, but they still exist, aren't hard to learn, and can be used for a wide variety of things.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WX7G
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Posts: 6197




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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 05:47:29 AM »

We can all contribute to the continued health of CW by doing a few things:

1) Work CW air more often.

2) Find those slow CW CQs and answer them.

3) Participate in more CW contests.

4) Encourage a new ham to learn code.

And I thought I was the only one who sends CQ on the horn when driving thru a tunnel.  

.... . .
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K5YF
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 08:45:19 AM »

On the horn thing... I heard someone else do it and now its reflexive for me when going through a tunnel. Well, it annoys the kids in the car too which is just a bonus. Every once in a while I get an answer.

--------------------
Radio for a lot of us wouldn't be fun without cw. We just enjoy cw for what it is.



K5YF
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AJ4MJ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2010, 11:56:53 AM »

I'll add another entry to WX7G's list

5) Don't be a jerk about it!

Don't sit around talking about how SSB ops aren't real hams or are just CBers.  That's going to make new hams think that CW ops are a bunch of elitist snobs (which I have found to be quite the opposite).  Instead, sell the mode on its merits.  Mention how easy it is to work DX without waiting through a large pileup.  Talk about the fun of building a rig, or operating QRP/P.  Tell new hams about 7.050, 7.115, and other places on the band where old-timers gladly slow down to 5WPM or slower to help a newbie.

I have found the on-air CW community to be incredibly friendly and supportive.  Every night, someone more experienced than I spends about 30 minutes listening to my tediously slow code and having a nice conversation about all manner of things.  You wouldn't get that impression by looking at some of the trolls on the internet.

And whatever you do, don't attack or belittle those who have gotten their license after whatever changes were made to the testing that you don't approve of.  These people have no control over the tests that they take.  They certainly didn't make the rules - they are complete newcomers to the hobby.

73 de AJ4MJ
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KU5Q
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Posts: 90


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 06:47:56 PM »

6) Let the old tired arguments about these rifts die    (will never happen).

7) CW is one of the last technical challenges left in ham radio. One skill you can't "buy" ,you have to learn it! No shortcuts. Ain't it great! I love CW! (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic on this one, I really do!)

Cool Dave, you need to become more active in the mobile ham forums. Not enough people have let the emperor know his clothes have been missing for quite a long time (Alan, put some real clothes on, you're hurting our eyes!) (serious here too, help us out Dave)
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WX7G
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Posts: 6197




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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 07:40:20 PM »

I'm on a fun learning curve as far as mobile CW goes since I got serious about it. I'm building up quite a collection of mobile antennas. I'll have to take them out and have my own little shootout.  

Putting one on for a day or two then trying another yields no comparative data I can see. They all make contacts easily. Right now I'm using a 40 meter antenna that some people would say would not yield contacts. It's a 4' hamstick-like thing from MFJ. It doesn't look hideous and it makes contacts. What more do I need?

So far I have burned up a 20 meter Hamstick running 300 watts. That is my favorite way of learning, burning things up.
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AJ4MJ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 08:23:55 AM »

7) CW is one of the last technical challenges left in ham radio. One skill you can't "buy" ,you have to learn it! No shortcuts. Ain't it great! I love CW! (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic on this one, I really do!)

Here here!  I know that when I make a transcontinental RST 339 QSO with QRM using my Norcal (3 watts, 2 knobs) and a straight key that it's all me.  I'm not relying on the equipment to do much of anything for me.  And I'm not a very good op, so just imagine what a real one could do!

Well, OK, the Sun is actually doing most of the work, but outside of that it's me :-)
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VE3ENG
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2010, 12:28:27 PM »

Yes, Long Live Ham for that matter.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125586086

73, James
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KU5Q
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Posts: 90


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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2010, 01:25:41 PM »

RE: Long Live CW  Reply  
by AJ4MJ on April 9, 2010  Mail this to a friend!  
Quote from: KU [2010-04-08 18:47]


Here here!  I know that when I make a transcontinental RST 339 QSO with QRM using my Norcal (3 watts, 2 knobs) and a straight key that it's all me.  I'm not relying on the equipment to do much of anything for me.  And I'm not a very good op, so just imagine what a real one could do!

Well, OK, the Sun is actually doing most of the work, but outside of that it's me :-)  

==================================================

Hey good for you! I'm not very good at the present either. Pretty crummy at 10-12wpm, and I'm a lazy slob using a paddle with xcvr's internal keyer. I'm happy to have gotten this far. It's a blast for me and wish I'd started sooner. I practice everyday and hope to get better.

You know you're a CW psycho when you see a car with call letter plates and honk .... .. -.. . -.- ..- ..... --.- !!

And you know they are too when they honk back --... ...--  !!

Hope to hear you on the bands this week end.

cul 73 de ku5q
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KU5Q
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Posts: 90


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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 06:41:40 PM »

Hey, try something if you want to catch some off guard...check into a 2m repeater frequency with FM MCW. Nets or QSO.

Some listeners really dig it, and will tell you so!

Of course some won't and they will tell you about it too.

But CW is allowed on all bands except 60m.

(of course you knew that.....just sayin' dontchu know ;-))

KU5Q
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