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Author Topic: Should I get the CW filter?  (Read 20189 times)
K3STX
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 12:18:16 PM »

FWIW I used my Kenwood TS-520S without a "cw filter" for 30 years. The only filter in the rig was the stock 2.7 kHz filter for SSB. However I DID buy a little MFJ CWF-2 audio filter, I used that all the time. I loved that little filter (now long gone, just like the rig). Even today for most QSOs I do not use any CW filter for most QSOs (just use the 2.7 kHz Kenwood filter on my TS-850S); it is only during contests that I use the 500 Hz filters.

The best CW filter is between your ears.

paul
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AE4RV
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2011, 01:33:28 PM »

Paul is right, but if you work more than a little CW, and can afford it, a narrow filter or two is great to have. Pretty much necessary if you work in crowded conditions more than twice a month...
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KC6ZBE
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2011, 01:55:29 PM »

Eric,
I have the same rig as you and bought the 500hz filter and was VERY happy I did....Sometimes, when it gets packed, all it takes is the switch to N and all the noise fades away....

I spent $85 for mine on Ebay....CWman is the guy I got mine from...He mostly deals with cable assemblies but give him a look...

73
Dave KC6ZBE
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2011, 08:46:18 AM »


You *can* do CW without a narrow filter, but it's not easy. Why not use the available tools?


Quite easy Jim, why should you calculate by head when calculators are available (tool) Why should you do daily jogging, when a car (tool) is available?

And finally: Why should you copy CW by head  when you can use the right tools?

Answer: Just to challenge your brains and to develop it, it will be the only way to survive with all your prefix companions as nation in the next century.

I  read in a previous post " The best CW filter is between your ears." Hurrah, not everything is lost.

The bandwidth of your brainfilter is about one octave so when the pitch is 500 Hz about 350 to 700 Hz.

Use it or lose it
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 08:51:52 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
N4IAG
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2011, 11:27:09 AM »

Using or not using a CW filter, to me, is like comparing the driving your car 70 mph and listening to your favorite song with the windows down (no filter) or with windows up (filter).  Smiley
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I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2011, 12:36:39 PM »

Using or not using a CW filter, to me, is like comparing the driving your car 70 mph and listening to your favorite song with the windows down (no filter) or with windows up (filter).  Smiley

Uncomparable

Due to the open window (acoustic filter) the bandwidth of incoming undesired noise is 3 kHz  (rough estimate) and your favorite song 25 kHz of which you can't hear 18 kHz, but you paid for it.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2011, 01:34:26 PM »

Using or not using a CW filter, to me, is like comparing the driving your car 70 mph and listening to your favorite song with the windows down (no filter) or with windows up (filter).  Smiley

A good analogy if not technically correct. I like it.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2011, 02:14:38 PM »


You *can* do CW without a narrow filter, but it's not easy. Why not use the available tools?


Quite easy Jim, why should you calculate by head when calculators are available (tool) Why should you do daily jogging, when a car (tool) is available?

And finally: Why should you copy CW by head  when you can use the right tools?

Answer: Just to challenge your brains and to develop it, it will be the only way to survive with all your prefix companions as nation in the next century.

I  read in a previous post " The best CW filter is between your ears." Hurrah, not everything is lost.

The bandwidth of your brainfilter is about one octave so when the pitch is 500 Hz about 350 to 700 Hz.

Use it or lose it


Poor analogies.

I've run two marathons and many more shorter races. But I wore running shoes even though the great Abebe Bikila set world records barefoot.

I do lots of simple routine calculations mentally, but beyond a certain point it's calculator time.

The Ancient Ones worked the Antipodes with QRP, wire antennas and simple regenerative receivers that heard both sides of zero beat equally well. Why do you or I need anything more?

---

Here are links to some pictures of a receiver (part of the Southgate Type 4) I
 built in the early 1970s for about $10.

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX1.jpg
http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX2.jpg
http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX3.jpg
http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX4.jpg
http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX6.jpg

Almost all the parts came from old TVs, radios, and surplus military gear.


73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 02:29:17 PM by N2EY » Logged
NU1O
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Posts: 2594




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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2011, 12:09:36 PM »

I would chose the narrower filter but whatever choice you make, you need a narrow filter to work CW. This is not an extravagance it is a requirement! Once it is installed you'll wonder how you ever worked CW without it.  I have a K3 and have a 250 Hz filter and I usually close it to 100 Hz.

73 and good luck,

Chris/NU1O
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KL7CW
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2011, 05:09:58 PM »

Eric,
    As you have seen, there is no one best answer to the optimum BW for a CW filter.  In the old days (1954) most of us did not have any or much receiver selectivity, thus (out of necessity...not choice) we developed our brain filters, and even today we can (AND SOMETIMES PREFER) to use wider filters.  Many newer hams prefer filters so they (in theory) only hear one signal at a time in their earphones.  Even in contests, I often like to use 500 to 700 HZ filtering (instead of 250 HZ) so I know what is happening near the frequency and also will not miss a station as I scan around the band.  My most used filter for decades was a 1KHZ filter, although for heavy QRM contest operation the 500 HZ filter became the usual norm.  I chose (and designed) a 700 Hz cw filter for a recent home brew QRP rig which I use mostly for non contest operation.  Chris and some others like 250 Hz or even a more narrow filter.  If I had to choose only one (off the shelf cw filter) for both casual and contest operation it would probably be a GOOD (something like 8 poles) 400 or 500 HZ filter.  If I want top performance in contests then, if the budget allows, I would add a second filter at about 250 Hz.  I am glad I have a 250 HZ filter, however it is only in use perhaps 5% of the time. (not very cost effective !).  Welcome to the CW fraternity, and remember you are not any less of a ham if you use a narrow filter, hand key, bug, iambic keying, or whatever.  Enjoy your journey. 
                 Rick  KL7CW   Palmer,  Alaska

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AK7V
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Posts: 249




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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2011, 05:52:46 PM »

I usually tune around with a 1.2kHz filer (or wider) in CW mode and operate with that same filter unless I hear multiple stations.  In that case I go down to a 500Hz.  I have variable bandwidth filters and can go really narrow but have never needed less than 500Hz.

When I first started using CW, I had no filter and got used to copying one station when a few were in the bandpass.  You just focus on the pitch of the station you're interested in.

That said, a 400 or 500Hz filter is nice to have, especially when a close-in station is louder than the one you are trying to copy.  But I never got the hang of tuning around with a narrow filter in line.  I just switch it in once the QSO is established, if needed.
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K3STX
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Posts: 959




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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2011, 10:14:58 PM »

FYI, guys. K3ZO (longtime winner of the Dayton Pile-Up Contest and member of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame) does NOT use a narrow CW filter, he uses the 2.4 kc filter on his Orion!! A narrow filter certainly is not necessary (as Eric stated). Do what you want, but I think in the long run you will be a better op if you work on using your brain filter and not an Inrad filter.

My first RX was a Hallicrafters S-20R; I bet that "filter" was 20 kc wide.

Paul
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VK3GDM
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2011, 06:33:34 AM »

Get the filter.  Try it for your self.  Then you'll know for sure.
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K7KBN
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« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2011, 07:14:54 AM »

Get the filter.  Try it for your self.  Then you'll know for sure.
Exactly.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2011, 08:20:55 AM »

FYI, guys. K3ZO (longtime winner of the Dayton Pile-Up Contest and member of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame) does NOT use a narrow CW filter, he uses the 2.4 kc filter on his Orion!! A narrow filter certainly is not necessary (as Eric stated). Do what you want, but I think in the long run you will be a better op if you work on using your brain filter and not an Inrad filter.

My first RX was a Hallicrafters S-20R; I bet that "filter" was 20 kc wide.

Paul

2 postings replying you Paul. It doesn't help.

When somebody says: don't jump from the Golden Gate bridge, there are always guys that know it better. And give advice "Try it "(at your OWN cost and OWN risk)

When K3ZO prefers without and relies on his brainfilter, THEY know it better.

May be they lost their brain selectivity  ability, as I wrote some postings earlier in this thread "Use it or lose it"
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