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Author Topic: CW Signal Width, Beginner Question  (Read 10437 times)
AE4RV
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2011, 12:01:06 PM »

Yes, set your pitch to whatever sounds good to you and tune the other station to match it.

A good distance to keep from other signals on a non-crowded band is 2KHz. On a crowded band 1KHz is sufficient. On an extremely crowded band (major contest) 500Hz should do it.
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W9OY
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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2011, 12:34:37 PM »

If you want to experience narrow filters go to websdr.org and fire up one of the receivers.  Some receivets allow you to go from very wide to very narrow.  You adjust by dragging the high cutoff and low cutoff with the mouse

73 W9OY
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K9ZMD
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2011, 02:27:44 PM »

This is a good thread, primed by excellent questions from OP, and there have been many thoughtful responses.  Here are some added - seemingly harsh - thoughts that reflect reality:

Anyone who has only a 2.4KHz (or even a 1.2KHz) IF filter is either (1) going to develop an "ear" that filters out extraneous signals, or (2) will soon consider a narrower IF filter to be well worth the cost.  Those who do neither will likely abandon CW operation.

Regardless of band crowding, anyone who never takes a frequency closer than 2KHz from another station will (1) never find a frequency, or (2) will have a neighbor just 1KHz from his own frequency before completing one QSO.  1KHz spacing is the norm.

Under busy band conditions, courtesy dictates staying 500Hz from another station.  That is adequate to avoid interfering with anyone who has a filter installed.  For those who don't have a filter installed, please understand that is not a limitation imposed by state of the art - it is a personal choice. Refer back to my first comment & choose a solution.

Under major contest conditions, signals can be spaced 250Hz apart without causing problems for those who have 250Hz filters (or 300Hz filters and a trained ear).  Problems inevitably arise, however, when stations replying to your neighbor zero beat very poorly (or not at all) before they reply. There is a special place in hell for such lids, and I invite them to go straightaway to take it.

Under competing contest conditions (aka: combat), any hole wider than 150Hz is going to be filled by a booming "CQ Test".  Fact of life.  By that time, non-contesters will have either moved to the WARC bands or fled to eHam & the Zed to complain. 

Softening the message: The fact that so many of us have fun with CW, even under crowded band conditions, reflects the prevailing cooperative attitude that most of us share.  We don't want to deliberately interfere with others and consciously adjust our procedures to avoid it. We also disabuse ourselves of any unrealistic expectation of interference-free communication.  Instead, we develop some tolerance, sharpen our operating skills, and upgrade our equipment as re$ources permit. 

War Story: I still remember a time long ago when my only receiver was so poor that it "listened" to the entire 40 meter novice segment all at once. It was free, so I got what I paid for.  Bad as it was, that receiver was handy for developing a discriminating "ear", as well as for hearing rock-bound replies (the only kind, then) from hundreds of Hz off my own crystal frequency.  Not appreciating how special Wink that receiver was, I soon paid for a receiver that could better discriminate between signals. That set the pattern of equipment upgrades over my next 50 years in this fine hobby . . . and I guarantee that my next transceiver will likewise be chosen to "do it better" than the one I own now. 

Gary, K9ZMD
Battle Ground, WA
 
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W3HKK
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2011, 03:12:40 PM »

You will get upset by guys who drop right down near your frequency to call CQ  if your rig has a 2.3 or even a 1.2 khz bandpass.

Newer rigs  are  often .5 khz or less on cw.  Switching to .5 makes most of those louts disappear, and since they dont hear you, by choice or circumstance, you dont exist.

So it's frustrating at times  to work cw with a wide bandwidth. But its nothing personal.
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2011, 05:03:17 PM »

Actually, there have been rigs that have the CW filtering as standard equipment - my Icom 746Pro has integral DSP, and band width is automatically selected for each mode, and you can step through two narrower settings in each mode, and you can visually adjust the upper and lower edges of the bandpass. There are no optional filters for the 746Pro - and I hope the same goes for the new 7410.  I also have an IC-703, and like other commenters, did spring for a W4RT filter to make it better for CW.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2011, 06:03:39 PM »

Actually, there have been rigs that have the CW filtering as standard equipment - my Icom 746Pro has integral DSP, and band width is automatically selected for each mode, and you can step through two narrower settings in each mode, and you can visually adjust the upper and lower edges of the bandpass. There are no optional filters for the 746Pro - and I hope the same goes for the new 7410.  I also have an IC-703, and like other commenters, did spring for a W4RT filter to make it better for CW.

As far as I know, the _only_ rigs that don't need "optional filters" for CW are the IF DSP rigs.

                       Charles
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KB4MB
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2011, 08:02:51 AM »

Quote
Go to idiompress.com - http://www.idiompress.com/scaf-1.html - and look at the SCAF-1.  It is an adjustable audio filter.  Looking through the information you will find several .wav files for you to listen to.  They will show what this filter will do.  It seems a great deal cheaper than buying a fixed filter for your rig.


I agree with this statement - and if you are handy enough at soldering, it is fun.  I used the nescaf kit which costs $20 or so and it went together quickly.  I also added a CW keyer kit and put it all in the same box.  The nice thing about the filter is that you can "dial down" the interference, but still keep it wide - the bad part of not having a proper IF filter is that if someone comes in next to the station you are working, they can pump the AGC and you can effectively lose the station you are working - but for casual non-contest operation I haven't had this happen once.  The other nice thing is you can use this filter rig to rig in the future.

And yes, 40m is where you want to be.  You can sling a 33' insulated wire up a nearby tree vertically, and throw down some 33' wires on the ground and you will have a dirt cheap vertical antenna.  33' high isn't usually hard for most people (unless you don't have trees or are in a condo/renting kind of situation).
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2011, 08:22:03 AM »

And yes, 40m is where you want to be.  You can sling a 33' insulated wire up a nearby tree vertically, and throw down some 33' wires on the ground and you will have a dirt cheap vertical antenna.  33' high isn't usually hard for most people (unless you don't have trees or are in a condo/renting kind of situation).
Amen! I have since been evaluating my property, laying out dimensions for either a classic dipole or OCF as the weather starts to moderate up in 'da Nortwoods' - but I've been operating this way from the jump, rather than wait for perfection. I have the little Elecraft T1, and literally threw the radiator of Craig's "Dollar Store Special" into the maple out in the front yard, with counterpoises of the project along the ground. (Up here I've found it's helpful in the morning to make sure they're looking at the sky and not the night's snowfall.)
Improvements continue and this setup will go in the ruck, but it absolutely works and much better for me than being newly licensed & waiting for opportunity to throw something up a bit better. An old buddy told me awhile back that first requirement for catching fish is to get your line in the water.
 Grin
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 08:23:52 AM by KC9TNH » Logged

73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
KB4MB
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Posts: 295




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« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2011, 08:44:43 AM »

Quote
An old buddy told me awhile back that first requirement for catching fish is to get your line in the water.

Yup - perfection is the enemy of good enough - wire is cheap and you can put up lots of antennas until you get the perfect one - then pull the others down Smiley
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