Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Another "Novice" here... Questions:  (Read 5581 times)
KJ4VPJ
Member

Posts: 7




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 06:52:36 PM »

Thanks all for your replies, except those that said life is too short to QSO those that send QLF.

Just kidding... To each their own.

I'll be using my pushbutton, but I'll probably be looking for a J37, K4 or the like soon. The plastic $10 one looks okay, but even the website slants it towards practice.

I listened intently around 20m (14050 - 14060) today, and heard plenty that I could tell were using straight keys. That makes me feel better, knowing I won't be alone making those mistakes.
Logged
W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2011, 09:54:29 AM »

I agree with VA7CPC. I have a key like the Ameco Am-K4. I bought it in 1975 and still use it. It still works great.
Logged
W5LZ
Member

Posts: 477




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 06:30:39 AM »

Your questions are the same as what most of us have at least wondered at some time or other, they aren't 'dumb', just uninformed, which is pretty 'normal' for 'novices' of any kind.
That 'warbly' side tone can be a 'tip-off' about possible problems.  Re-read the radios manual, see what it recommends for settings.  Then, see what people say about your CW tone, any 'warbling' on their end?
I'm not familiar with your radio so won't try to make any suggestions specific to it.
Good luck!
Paul
Logged
AF4O
Member

Posts: 23


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 04:59:43 PM »

Keys are very unique to the person but for straight keys the excellent advise of the J37, J38, Navy Flameproof (my favorite) is good. Many use the same key for many decades. Keys are designed to make it smoother and easier to send. Tons of selection out there for keys.

And welcome to CW. All good op's will slow down for you as you practice on air to get better. CW to me is ham radio at its best. Ive worked allot of modes even through WSJT and many digital modes but cw is simplicity at its best also. Minimum equipment, if you want, to do the job and to me its even an art form.

73, 72
Chuck
AF4O
Logged
KE7WAV
Member

Posts: 128




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2011, 07:03:33 PM »

The push button switch deal leads me to wonder how many QSO’s have been completed by striking two bare wires togather..
My key broke during a qso.  I yanked the wires out and finished off the QSO just fine.  The other op had no idea.
I've also made some real quick keys out of junk laying around the house---if you look at my picture on eham you will see a cootie made out of a mousetrap and an eyelet.  Cheap but effective.

PS welcome to the very cool world of code.  Hope to hear you soon.
73
Logged
K0CS
Member

Posts: 3


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 12:13:52 PM »

CW AESTHETICS - There are reasons for using a traditional straight key that transcend other logical considerations like cost or ease of use. What you chose now for a key will forever define who you are in the hobby. Do you want to be remembered as a low class person - then use two nails or other Rube Goldberg concept. If you want to make a statement, spend a few bucks and purchase something commercially manufactured, that has ties to the past. I bought a SPEEDEX straight key in 1969, and paid a fellow $20 to mount it on a 1/2 inch chunk of brass for me as a motivation for taking my Advance Class Exam at the FCC Office in Philadelphia. Some friends thought that this was excessive, but I still have the SPEEDEX and have never regretted the decision.
Logged
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2840




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 05:21:33 PM »

CW AESTHETICS - There are reasons for using a traditional straight key that transcend other logical considerations like cost or ease of use. What you chose now for a key will forever define who you are in the hobby. Do you want to be remembered as a low class person - then use two nails or other Rube Goldberg concept. If you want to make a statement, spend a few bucks and purchase something commercially manufactured, that has ties to the past. I bought a SPEEDEX straight key in 1969, and paid a fellow $20 to mount it on a 1/2 inch chunk of brass for me as a motivation for taking my Advance Class Exam at the FCC Office in Philadelphia. Some friends thought that this was excessive, but I still have the SPEEDEX and have never regretted the decision.

And on the other end, two nails (a la Rube Goldberg) will sound exactly the same as a $600 Italian SPST switch.
Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N4KZ
Member

Posts: 605




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 01:11:28 PM »

Yes, you want to buy a real CW key. It doesn't have to be fancy or cost tons of money but it will permit you to send much better CW than a push button or two bare wires.

Forget about speed -- initially. That will come with time and experience. Work on sending accurate CW because good, clean, accurately sent CW will generate many on-air QSOs. And that how you build your skill level -- practice, practice, practice. I am utterly delighted that so many people want to learn CW now that it's no longer required. And that development, given human nature, doesn't surprise me.

But one does hear some bad CW being sent on the air. We always have. That's not new. What do I mean by bad CW? Characters run together with no space between them, the wrong letters (there's a guy who operates CW who always calls CX instead of CQ), and the famous mis-sent letter. For example, I called CQ at about 10 wpm recently on 40m and a fellow answered me who had the letter C as the second letter of his call. He sent C as if it were N N instead of it sounding like a K and E run together. I quickly figured out what he meant and he and I swapped some friendly emails in which I politely pointed out that what he was sending wasn't a C. It was two Ns with a space between. He profusely thanked me. Turns out I was his first CW QSO. He'd been a ham for years but only on VHF. It was his first venture down to HF.

And watch those dits. A few CW ops figure if a character has 3, 4 or 5 dits, then maybe 6, 7 and 8 of them is better. It's not.

Honestly, people tend not to want to converse with someone sending bad CW. Who can blame them? Reading poorly sent CW is like work and that's not fun. I've had a few guys respond to my CQ who sent such bad CW that I was instantly wishing I hadn't acknowledged them. They would make a transmission and I'd think to myself -- what the heck was that? Didn't get a single word.

CW is tons of fun as an operating mode. And it's on-air benefits are well known and documented. But accurate sending is s-s-s-s-s-s--o-o-o-o-o-o-o important.

73, N4KZ
Logged
N5EP
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2011, 10:40:56 AM »

John,

This may be slightly off the main topic, but it is related to aspects of your rig that you mentioned:

I have an IC-720A that I bought new in 1981.  I mostly use it now for portable operation because it's so easily transportable.  (How many rigs nowadays come with a carrying handle on the side?)

For CW operation, instead of using the Transmit button, you can push the VOX botton and leave the rig in VOX mode.  When set up this way, the rig remains in receive mode until you press your key.  I like this better because you don't have to press a button every time you want to transmit.

If you do this, you will need to adjust the "CW Delay Control" located under the top access cover to adjust how quickly the rig reverts to receive mode when you stop sending.  I adjust it so that the rig does not revert to receive mode unless I stop sending for a few seconds.  You can adjust it for a very short delay, but you may find that annoying.  ICOM describes this in the "CW Operation" section of the manual, in the paragraph called "Semi Break-in Operation".

Unfortunately the IC-720A does not have full break-in capability, and it lacks modern advancements like digital signal processing, but it is a great rig that was advanced for its day and is still very usable.

73,

Steve, N5EP
Logged
N5EP
Member

Posts: 6




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2011, 10:48:36 AM »

One other thing about the IC-720A.  If your rig doesn't have the ICOM FL-32 500 Hz filter installed and you plan to do a lot of CW operating with this rig, you may want to look at the after-market filters offered by Inrad (www.inrad.com).  They have a couple of narrow filters for CW that fit the IC-720 and IC-720A.  I haven't done this yet, but I am thinking about it now that I plan to be doing more CW with this older rig.

Steve, N5EP
Logged
KE4ILG
Member

Posts: 151




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2011, 01:00:00 PM »

To N5ep"s comment on a narrow filter for cw, I used my IC-706 for 16years mostly without a narrow filter as primarily a cw op.  I purchased a 250hz narrow cw filter for my rig and it was
                         LIKE A BRAND NEW RADIO. 
I can't tell you the pleasure of operating with a filter that can be turned on.  For years I avoided the crowded areas of the bands, now I jump right in.  My dx contacts have increased massively. Yes get the filter, the best investment outside of a better antenna.

                                                    73, Mike ke4ilg
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!