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Author Topic: Wheres the Code?  (Read 915 times)
KC0PNH
Member

Posts: 30




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« on: August 19, 2003, 02:34:17 PM »

I just upgraded in late July to General class and Ive been excited about getting on and operating CW.  So today I rigged up a homebrew key and went at it.  When scanning around I think I heard only one qso at Extra class speeds on 40 Meters.  When I go down to the voice portion of the band, I find that its a different story, every few Khz you run into a qso.  Why is this?  I think I know.  In talking to the local hams, they all seem to have learned the code to pass the test, left it and now its gone.  Whats worse is some are the Grandfathered classes having had to pass 20 wpm for Extra and have lost it.  Why are we not using code?  I dont know.  All I really want to do is use it and get better at it.  I only work 40 right now so if anybody would like to set up a sched on 40 cw, let me know.  Thanks and 73 de KC0PNH
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CW559
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2003, 10:06:17 AM »

If you can't find any cw on 40 meters, or any other amateur band, there must be something terribly wrong with your antenna.
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KT8K
Member

Posts: 1490




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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2003, 11:46:57 AM »

I find plenty of CW action nearly any time if I get on the right band, but the bands have been not-too-good lately, it is true.  Even 20M has been dead quite a bit, but after 5PM and into the night I hear a lot of Europe, in particular.  40 has a little activity until sundown, when it opens up and gets more active.
Keep trying, and if you hear KT8K I'll probably hear you, since I only run 5w.
Best rx es 73 de kt8k - Tim
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20540




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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2003, 11:54:03 AM »

There's a great deal of CW activity on all the popular amateur bands (except 60m, where we are allocated only five frequencies and have only SSB privileges -- kind of an experiment).  40m generally has more CW activity than SSB, if you listen with a real 40m antenna.

I'm guessing you have an antenna problem, and the reason you will hear more SSB activity under those conditions is that 40m SSB stations *often* run high power (1kW or more), and thus will be stronger.  CW operators have always recognized that high power just isn't necessary because the mode is so efficient, and the vast majority of CW operators only run 100W or less.  Probably 50% of HF-CW operators, including those on 40m, run 5W, and that's all they need -- and in many cases, all they have!

If you haven't tried a 40m full-sized dipole antenna (66' long, center-fed) at 30' above ground, or something equivalent to this, you're missing most of the activity on 40m.

WB2WIK/6
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AD5X
Member

Posts: 1426




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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2003, 01:31:25 PM »

Not sure why you're not hearing cw on 40 meters.  I get on 40 cw almost every morning between about 6 and 7 AM (like to get the old brain going before work).  Anyway, there is lots of cw activity at that time.  If I hear you, I'll give you a shout.

Phil - AD5X
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KC0PNH
Member

Posts: 30




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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2003, 04:53:17 PM »

Now that you mention it, my antenna situation is rather, well modest and what you would call a major compromise.  I have a full length homebrew 40 meter dipole on my wooden privacy fence, about 6 foot high.  Im sure that effects things a bit.  At the same time though, I have made a few contacts over 1000 miles from my qth on 100 watt voice.  I should, theoretically get out better with cw, even with the antenna.  hmm... I sure hope I can work cw even with my antenna, I know its been done by tons of people.  THanks for your comments too, I appreciate it.  73 de KC0PNH  
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20540




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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2003, 06:48:17 PM »

From my experience, a 40m dipole 6' high is incredibly inefficient, and obviously the equivalent of having a 2 meter dipole only 3 inches off the ground.  Literally.

I wouldn't expect to make many contacts with a 3" high two meter dipole, nor many with the 6' high 40m dipole, so the fact that you've made contacts at all is pretty good.

With an antenna that's 30 dB down from a "real" 40m antenna, you obviously won't hear nearly as much as I do.  However, there are times of day and week when 40m CW activity is so good that you probably can't help but make contacts if you give it a whirl.

Some of those times/days are:

-Any day between about 7AM and 10AM local time
-Any day between 8PM and 11PM local time
-Any Saturday or Sunday, almost all day and all night

Between 10AM and 8PM, this time of year 40m falls into a bit of a Twilight Zone where the D-layer absorption is so high it's difficult to achieve strong signals, which will be required for your 6' high dipole.  But after dark, and also in the early morning, lots of *very* strong signals are on the CW band, and I'd be very surprised if you don't hear some.

During the cold/dark months (typically from November to April), 40m conditions are better, for more hours per day, than they are now.

WB2WIK/6
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KG4WTL
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2003, 10:20:06 AM »

Almost any time I tune up on 40 Meters CW with the old Boat Anchor I can hardly find a spot to call CQ!  Either it was a fluke where band conditions caused a lull or there is something wrong with your rx and/or antenna like someone else mentioned.
     CW is out there, BIG TIME, I would say most of the signals I hear on HF are CW (may be biased here as this is where I tend to hang out most of the time).
     Try in the evening around 7:00pm - midnight,, if you don't hear LOTS of CW, sum ting wong. Cool
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2003, 01:46:34 PM »

I agree there is lots of 40m CW activity, especially at night.  I hear CW on the band just about 24 hours a day, though.

I hate to say it, but a Hamstick on the car tuned for the CW portion of the band will do better than your dipole on the fence.  Either get the dipole off the ground and up in the air (at least 25' up) or go vertical if you must keep it low.  An inexpensive, ground mounted vertical will do the job for you.

72/73,
Caity
K7VO
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K9DI
Member

Posts: 17


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2003, 12:06:50 AM »

    Well, sounds like you are set up very well for NVIS work....Near Vertical Incidence Skywave...it's good out to about 300 miles on 40 and 80...., but sadly, NVIS will not net you the DX....
73
de
Wayne K9DI
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2003, 02:36:24 PM »

Sometimes it just takes patience and persistence.  I was tuning around 40cw early this afternoon, and only heard one weak signal.  I decided to send CQ, and by darn in about two minutes a 599 signal in Dallas called and we had a nice QSO.  I live in NW Arkansas, and as I signed with the first guy, another fellowed called me from Oklahoma.  I don't care where anyone lives, I want to work them.  Try wrinkling the airwaves a bit with some RF and see what happens.
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WB9GKZ
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2003, 01:07:08 PM »

Your observation is the same as mine.  The use of phone vastly outnumbers the amount of CW QSO's most of the time.  

It's too bad that so many hams and the ARRL are in a state of denile about this....otherwise, the CW subbands would be adjusted to allow more Phone space.

Since you are hearing the multitude of Phone QSO's and not hearing the CW activity proves my point.  Those with their head in the sand are blaming your antenna.

The most glaring case is 75 Meters at mid-evening.  I can count a dozen or less CW QSO's while the Phone guys are wall-to-wall.  

Our subband allocations don't make sense these days with the waning popularity of Continous Wave.

Pat WB9GKZ
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VE1HE
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2003, 01:27:03 AM »

Dear OM/Friend Tom

Thanks for your message.
I must admit I was saddened to read your message because in doing so, it confirmed what I had feared; People really have moved out of CW !!!

I thought I was not hearing much CW here simply because I didn't have a good antenna. Nonsense!

I started realizing people moving out of the CW mode as a matter of fact when the International Telecommunications Union no longer required federal governments of member countries to make sure that people working bands under 30MHz had working knowledge of CW a few months back.

Sadly, it dropped all of a sudden right down to almost nothing on the bands.

Another fact I noticed is that from that date on phone operators started using frequencies lower and lower on 40 metres.
I was shocked to hear them on 7020 kHz; now they're as low as 7007 kHz...

This is so not the ham radio of when I started way back in the late 80's...!
I had such nice QSO's in CW and must have worked all the states; made friends all over! Where did these people go ?

I remember at the time, the CW band was from 7 MHz to 7.06 or 7.075 MHz if I remember correctly... Can anyone confirm this fact?

It was so nice to just hear CW, not phone on top of the signal!

I find it very hard to concentrate in decoding CW when I hear a SSB signal on top being modulated.
However, the reverse is not true: It's ok to listen to a phone conversation when adjacent CW stations are on the air...

The Canadian government is probably one of the first ones to blame in all of this as it started to allow an all-mode all-band type-of-service in the mid 90's... From there it started deteriorating.

It makes me wonder why bad quality and chaos seems to always have a stronger effect and influence than order and structure!

I've always loved CW and always will. Unfortunately CW operators don't seem to want to claim their rights as much as phone operators do.
Those that never wanted/could or even tried to learn the code certainly lobbied to have the code requirement removed; why is it then we never claimed our rights as CW operators??? Aren't we entitled to a CW portion of the bands free of interference?

Let's defend and protect what we love. CW is like a national park or a historical monument. Once it's gone, it's gone for good.

GL TOM ES GOD BLESS AR


DE VE1HE/K6 VA
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VE1HE
Member

Posts: 8




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2003, 01:27:27 AM »

Dear OM/Friend Tom

Thanks for your message.
I must admit I was saddened to read your message because in doing so, it confirmed what I had feared; People really have moved out of CW !!!

I thought I was not hearing much CW here simply because I didn't have a good antenna. Nonsense!

I started realizing people moving out of the CW mode as a matter of fact when the International Telecommunications Union no longer required federal governments of member countries to make sure that people working bands under 30MHz had working knowledge of CW a few months back.

Sadly, it dropped all of a sudden right down to almost nothing on the bands.

Another fact I noticed is that from that date on phone operators started using frequencies lower and lower on 40 metres.
I was shocked to hear them on 7020 kHz; now they're as low as 7007 kHz...

This is so not the ham radio of when I started way back in the late 80's...!
I had such nice QSO's in CW and must have worked all the states; made friends all over! Where did these people go ?

I remember at the time, the CW band was from 7 MHz to 7.06 or 7.075 MHz if I remember correctly... Can anyone confirm this fact?

It was so nice to just hear CW, not phone on top of the signal!

I find it very hard to concentrate in decoding CW when I hear a SSB signal on top being modulated.
However, the reverse is not true: It's ok to listen to a phone conversation when adjacent CW stations are on the air...

The Canadian government is probably one of the first ones to blame in all of this as it started to allow an all-mode all-band type-of-service in the mid 90's... From there it started deteriorating.

It makes me wonder why bad quality and chaos seems to always have a stronger effect and influence than order and structure!

I've always loved CW and always will. Unfortunately CW operators don't seem to want to claim their rights as much as phone operators do.
Those that never wanted/could or even tried to learn the code certainly lobbied to have the code requirement removed; why is it then we never claimed our rights as CW operators??? Aren't we entitled to a CW portion of the bands free of interference?

Let's defend and protect what we love. CW is like a national park or a historical monument. Once it's gone, it's gone for good.

GL TOM ES GOD BLESS AR


DE VE1HE/K6 VA
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KD5IVP
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2003, 11:23:20 AM »

Just like anything else on HF, it's all about the time of day.  I do mostly cw and find that cw qso's outnumber ssb on the right bands.  40 meters is packed with cw qso's from 20:00 local on until mid morning.  20 meters is very active throughout the day.  Do a casual count sometime of cw vs. ssb qso's and you'll likely be as surprised as I was.  CW won. Part of the reason is that cw contacts sometimes overlap each  other in a much smaller chunk of bandwidth. Anyone saying cw (morse...digital is down there too) is dead simply ain't listening or can't hear. Its plenty alive and well.
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