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Author Topic: A few questions on CW  (Read 6296 times)
KK4CPH
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Posts: 154




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« on: September 23, 2011, 05:17:08 PM »

I've been listening to a few QSO's to see how much I can copy and I've got a few questions about CW.
1) Occasionally I'll hear a long "dah" (about 2-3 seconds) then CQ.  Why the long "dah"?  Is the Op "tuning up"?
2) I've heard a couple rag chews end with "dit dit" (EE? It's not "di-dit" as in the letter "I")  Is this another way to end a contact?
3) What's the proper way to send a test message?  Would I send "VVV VVV VVV DE KK4CPH"?  I ask because when I get my antenna, I can only do CW on 40m and I'd like to test and see what my SWR is.  (And if someone responds with an RST, that would be great)
Thanks in advance,

Eric
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KE4ILG
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Posts: 151




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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 05:28:07 PM »

1. Yes
2. Yes,  I think it originated from the "shave and a hair cut, two bits"  buy have nothing to substatiate it.
3. Yes

You have figured it out.  Keep listening and when you are ready send CQ at a speed you want the other station to respond.  So don't send faster than you can copy.  Also QRS means please slow down and the other op will attempt to match your speed.  73 Mike ke4ilg

p.s.  Welcome to cw you may find its the most fun in ham radio.  Mike
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NT0A
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 07:49:03 PM »

3) What's the proper way to send a test message?  Would I send "VVV VVV VVV DE KK4CPH"?  I ask because when I get my antenna, I can only do CW on 40m and I'd like to test and see what my SWR is.  (And if someone responds with an RST, that would be great)

For the situation you describe, I was taught that the message I should send is:  de KK4CPH TEST TEST TEST followed by whatever measurements you want to make with the key down and then end the test session with TEST COMPLETE de KK4CPH <SK> If you have more testing to do you might end the "test complete" with an <AS> rather than an <SK>. That tells any listener that the frequency is not clear yet.

You could also tag on a request for a signal report from any station with something like this: de KK4CPH TEST COMPLETE <BT> RST? RST? RST? K.

Any ham that happens by will know what you are doing and should be happy to give you a report. You can send at any speed you wish, but I'd recommend one that you are comfortable with and can read with comparative ease.

Before you begin your test but after you've done an initial tune it is also a good practice to send QRL? QRL? to ask if the frequency is in use.

73 es GUD DX de NT0A Bob
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KK4CPH
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Posts: 154




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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 08:03:19 PM »

Thank You Mike.  Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. 
I'm hoping CW will be fun because I got to say that 2m is not a great intro to amateur radio.  The people I meet at hamfests are terrific and will answer my questions but try and talk to anyone on a repeater and forget it.  I hardly even use my Yaesu anymore.  Maybe I'll just focus on becoming a "CW only" op.   Grin

Thank You Bob.  I forgot about QRL!!!  That would be rude of me, wouldn't it?  Wink   So I only need to send my call sign once on a test?

73
Eric

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K8AXW
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Posts: 3958




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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 10:46:57 PM »

Eric:  Welcome to ham radio and especially CW.  I think the reason you're not finding much fun on 2m is that many hams that hang out on that band rrreeaaalllyyy aren't into radio that much.  I've heard some refer to 2m as a "taxi band."  This is one of the main reasons why I quit the repeaters.

You only need to send you call once.  You're simply IDing for the FCC...and to a lesser degree as a courtesy for anyone listening to you.

Eric, as you use CW, you will find that you have entered into an area of ham radio that brings incredible rewards.  No need for me to elaborate.... you'll find out yourself.  Gud luck!
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KE7WAV
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Posts: 128




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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 10:58:46 PM »

Many times I will even send the "shave and a haircut---" and let the other op do the "two bits" or "six bits."  I don't mind just passing the dit dits back and forth but with an op you know well or has been a cw op for a long time I think its fun to do the whole deal.  (Just a personal thing--maybe cuz my Dad and I used to do that as we practiced code when I was five years old!)

As long as you ID and follow other proper etiquette you should be okay.  It is always wise to listen hard before you do anything to avoid waltzing all over someone else great QSO.  Once I have listened for a couple of minutes and haven't heard the freq in use I tend to send my call and a long dah as I tune up or test a new key etc and then "de" and my call.  Once everything lines up I am ready for a 3x2 CQ.

Eric, you are a wise man to listen and get your code skills worked up.  Now comes the next step.  Get on the air and get that key tapping, or the paddles slapping.  Enjoy the hobby and welcome to the wonderful world of the code.

73 and I hope to hear in there,
KE7WAV

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NT0A
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2011, 11:23:09 PM »

I think the reason you're not finding much fun on 2m is that many hams that hang out on that band rrreeaaalllyyy aren't into radio that much.

Very true. Most hams that are into CW use the repeaters either on the road, to transact club business/comms, etc. The repeater crowd being not really into ham radio as such is probably a hangover from the days when the Technician Class License holders were pretty much restricted to 144MHz and up. Over time that may change since there is no longer a code proficiency requirement.

Quote
You only need to send you call once.  You're simply IDing for the FCC...and to a lesser degree as a courtesy for anyone listening to you.

Unless I am in a QSO with someone, I usually send my call several times primarily I guess because I expect that all hams will be like me. By that I mean that I do not concentrate on understanding everything I hear as I spin through the dial. I can't tell you the number of times that I have tuned up or down the band and breezed by something like " . . . de 7Q . . . " only to stop with a loud "HOLY COW!" followed by much more intent tuning and listening. If that ham had not resent his/her call, I might have missed that QSO. So sending once fulfills the regulatory requirement, and the second and/or third may get you the RST, multiplier, or new country that you want.

Quote
Eric, as you use CW, you will find that you have entered into an area of ham radio that brings incredible rewards.  No need for me to elaborate.... you'll find out yourself.

[SoapBoxMode = "ON"]
Boy do I agree with that! CW has always been my first love in ham radio, and no QSO was as satisfying as a good 20-30 minute rag chew in CW because it took concentration and a certain level of proficiency. I'm still trying to build up my CW proficiency after a 12-year absence from the bands so I can get the warm satisfaction doing something that only comes from personal effort and not a new gadget, antenna, or piece of digital mode software. Nothing wrong with the digital modes. I really enjoy them, but there's simply nothing as rewarding as CW
[SoapBoxMode = "OFF"]

73 es GUD DX de Bob NT0A
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KE4ILG
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Posts: 151




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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2011, 06:16:40 AM »

One more thing, I am very envious of you.  I remember starting out in cw having just passed  the 5 wpm exam getting me hf previleges.  Wow the memories of my first few cw qso's.  To say I was bad at sending would be generous.  The first time I copied "tnxcuagnsn" I thought I had lost my mind. hihi Well congrats and take good notes you will enjoy them years in the future.  73, Mike
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M0JHA
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Posts: 646




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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2011, 06:45:08 AM »

  Maybe I'll just focus on becoming a "CW only" op.   Grin


73
Eric



Why not  Grin  it's the best mode anyway ...  all us cw ops have a  common interest that goes far beyond simply turning a radio on and yakking in voice which makes for a pretty special radio op in my eyes....
I simply have no desire to use a mic anymore if truth be known..


billy
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2011, 08:22:54 AM »

First, read this, if you haven't already. Better yet, print it out:

http://users.ohiohills.com/gordon/novacnt.html

1) Occasionally I'll hear a long "dah" (about 2-3 seconds) then CQ.  Why the long "dah"?  Is the Op "tuning up"?

Some are. Others are just checking that the rig is working right - SWR, Ic, etc.

Unlike VHF/UHF gear with no tuneup adjustments, most HF rigs require some kind of adjustment, even if it's just power level.

2) I've heard a couple rag chews end with "dit dit" (EE? It's not "di-dit" as in the letter "I")  Is this another way to end a contact?

Yes. It's a sort of final "see-yah!" that means "we're done!"

3) What's the proper way to send a test message?  Would I send "VVV VVV VVV DE KK4CPH"? 

What is the purpose of the "test message"?

I ask because when I get my antenna, I can only do CW on 40m and I'd like to test and see what my SWR is.  (And if someone responds with an RST, that would be great)

Measuring SWR requires a steady carrier, not a message. Remember that CW as done by hams is on-off keying, not a continuous carrier like FM.

The proper way to test an HF antenna with CW is:

1) Listen on and around the frequency of interest to see if it is in use. If so, find another frequency. Listen for 30-60 seconds to be sure.

2) Send "QRL?" or a couple of quick dits, then listen again. The idea is to be SURE you're not tuning up on top of somebody.

3) Send a long dah and see what the SWR is, tune up, whatever. If there is any tuning involved (such as on a tube rig) practice into a dummy load first, so you have the hang of it.

4) Don't hold the key down any longer than you have to in order to get a reading or make an adjustment. Listen in between readings.

5) Once tuned up, send "DE KK4CPH" to identify.

If you want signal reports, call CQ and have QSOs.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2011, 11:46:58 AM »

First, read this, if you haven't already. Better yet, print it out:

http://users.ohiohills.com/gordon/novacnt.html

1) Occasionally I'll hear a long "dah" (about 2-3 seconds) then CQ.  Why the long "dah"?  Is the Op "tuning up"?

Some are. Others are just checking that the rig is working right - SWR, Ic, etc.

Unlike VHF/UHF gear with no tuneup adjustments, most HF rigs require some kind of adjustment, even if it's just power level.

2) I've heard a couple rag chews end with "dit dit" (EE? It's not "di-dit" as in the letter "I")  Is this another way to end a contact?

Yes. It's a sort of final "see-yah!" that means "we're done!"

3) What's the proper way to send a test message?  Would I send "VVV VVV VVV DE KK4CPH"? 

What is the purpose of the "test message"?

I ask because when I get my antenna, I can only do CW on 40m and I'd like to test and see what my SWR is.  (And if someone responds with an RST, that would be great)

Measuring SWR requires a steady carrier, not a message. Remember that CW as done by hams is on-off keying, not a continuous carrier like FM.

The proper way to test an HF antenna with CW is:

1) Listen on and around the frequency of interest to see if it is in use. If so, find another frequency. Listen for 30-60 seconds to be sure.

2) Send "QRL?" or a couple of quick dits, then listen again. The idea is to be SURE you're not tuning up on top of somebody.

3) Send a long dah and see what the SWR is, tune up, whatever. If there is any tuning involved (such as on a tube rig) practice into a dummy load first, so you have the hang of it.

4) Don't hold the key down any longer than you have to in order to get a reading or make an adjustment. Listen in between readings.

5) Once tuned up, send "DE KK4CPH" to identify.

If you want signal reports, call CQ and have QSOs.

73 de Jim, N2EY



Thank You.  I read that article and printed it out.  Good info and I'll keep it by my rig.
73

Eric
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3958




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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2011, 12:15:46 PM »

"Unless I am in a QSO with someone, I usually send my call several times primarily I guess because I expect that all hams will be like me. By that I mean that I do not concentrate on understanding everything I hear as I spin through the dial. I can't tell you the number of times that I have tuned up or down the band and breezed by something like " . . . de 7Q . . . " only to stop with a loud "HOLY COW!" followed by much more intent tuning and listening. If that ham had not resent his/her call, I might have missed that QSO. So sending once fulfills the regulatory requirement, and the second and/or third may get you the RST, multiplier, or new country that you want."


I've done this many times and after listening for a long pause and nobody responds (He could have been in a QSO) I simply give him a "?" DE K8AXW k  Many times the will come back to me.

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N4MJG
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Posts: 506


WWW

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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2011, 02:31:03 PM »

I need to get back into CW my self abit rusty right now plus HF is down for now may have to do 5 watts for  right now my trees are too close for 10 to 80 meters the wires is touching the trees make my swr goes nuts might have to go with vert.


Anyway, i'll be back soon so i'll be QRS ! But i'll be listen for awhile !! Grin
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 02:41:13 PM by N4MJG » Logged
NT0A
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2011, 04:01:29 PM »

. . . right now my trees are too close for 10 to 80 meters the wires is touching the trees make my swr goes nuts might have to go with vert.

Got room for a loop or inverted Vee?
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2011, 06:02:53 PM »

I need to get back into CW my self abit rusty right now plus HF is down for now may have to do 5 watts for  right now my trees are too close for 10 to 80 meters the wires is touching the trees make my swr goes nuts might have to go with vert.

How far apart are the trees?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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