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Author Topic: Mobile CW???  (Read 1434 times)
OUTBANDER
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Posts: 6




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« on: February 01, 2004, 12:08:14 AM »

Erm, forgive me if I'm a bit out of line here, but I've read several posts about some of you working CW while commuting, travelling, etc...

Are you all nuts???!!!  I'm not going into all the arguments about keeping your attention on the road, but geez!  Cell phones are one thing, tuning radios/changing bands, etc are another...but CW?

My God what the hell are you thinking?  You can't possibly honestly say that you're being anything close to safe!

I'm not normally one for ranting and/or trolling, but c'mon...a bit of common sense folks.
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OBSERVER11
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2004, 02:02:54 AM »

GET A LICENSE then make your comments
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OUTBANDER
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2004, 02:07:50 AM »

Nice assumption on your part.
However, as assumptions generally go......you have indeed made an ass of yourself.  I AM licensed, hoping to upgrade next week in fact.  Tell me exactly what me having a license or not has to do with my post.

Is it so odd that I don't want my personal information (my callsign) affiliated with such an inflamatory post?

The fact remains, license or not, I find operating something as thought intensive as CW while DRIVING A CAR to be ridiculously negligent.

How about next time you reply, you post a somewhat thought out, intelligent post, rather than an assumption that has nothing to do with the parent topic.
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K5CEY
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Posts: 217




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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2004, 03:04:07 AM »

May be some what foolish for me to comment on this, but if someone is truly proficient in morse, it's the same as talking and listening. Operating a keyer while driving is no different that picking up a mic and talking.

I will admit that an automatic transmission is a blessing to both modes.

             John  K5CEY
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OUTBANDER
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2004, 03:22:33 AM »

I just can't comprehend that, being so proficient it's like picking up a mic.  'Course I struggle to hit 10wpm too!

I was perhaps a bit too inflammatory in the parent post, but it just kind of struck a nerve.  I just had this mental pic of someone with a notepad stuck to their steering wheel, keying with one hand, writing with the other, driving with their knees.

I can't imagine myself being proficient enough to remember what my contact has sent long enough to string his code into a coherent phrase myself.  

I'm still curious as to what other folks think.  I'll admit, still seems a bit crazy to me.

BC
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N0XAS
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2004, 03:45:25 AM »

Two words:  HEAD COPY.  No note pad, no pencil.  I can't now, but at one time a few years ago I could carry on a CW conversation at about 18 WPM while simultaneously talking to someone in the room.  It was really cool, just sort of happened.  That was when I was operating CW often.  Now I'm rusty as heck, only working around 15 WPM and still having to take notes, but I'm getting there.  Of course I can copy U S T M W C P B A F ? and single digits at about 40 WPM just from spending so many hours debugging code for my keyer!

Anyway, I can't see myself operating CW while driving, but some guys can do it.  I've even seen one QST article about a guy who operated CW motorcycle mobile, with a pair of microswitches mounted on the handlebar.  Wild.

73,
Dale - n0xas
...-.-
. .
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W4YA
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2004, 08:25:46 AM »

You want crazy? The epitome of crazy was a well-known DXer who operated his KW CW mobile at 70 MPH on I-5 using a keyboard bolted to his steering wheel! Hard to top that one.
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2004, 09:57:29 AM »

There are indeed some people so proficient at CW that it is no more difficult than any other form of communication. While I am not one of them it is possible to picture it.

You spoke of how difficult 5wpm was and that affected your opinion.  Well I remember those days myself.  I remember wondering how I was ever going to get to the higher speeds required at that time for the General and Extra class licenses.  Yet now 5wpm is agonizingly slow.  If you keep working at and using CW (contests are a frustrating but fun way to get your speed up), someday you'll wonder why you ever thought 5wpm was hard.
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K5CEY
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Posts: 217




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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2004, 02:40:05 PM »

I'll have to admit that I'm not an avid mobile operator. And it's been a few years since I've had a rig in the car. My mobile CW consisted of a microswitch keying an AF oscillator into a Regency HR 2B for 2 meter F2. We did this just for the fun of it. I seldomly used repeaters and worked mostly direct. We found that F2 actually got through better than voice when the sigs were weak and fluttery.
  As I think back, the only times I can recall that caused panic was when I was using the mic and the cord wrapped itself around the steering wheel.
                   John  K5CEY
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OBSERVER11
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2004, 09:45:47 PM »

just as I thought, you are not licensed, or you are a no code techie...

IF you held a higher class license, you would know that CW is copied in the HEAD. It is music to the brain, just like a spoken word...

I do not operate mobile CW anymore, but when I did, I found it as distracting as a good Bob Seger song, I can listen to both equally.

If mobile CW is beyond your comprehension, then don't do it.... every man needs to know his limitations.
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OUTBANDER
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2004, 11:15:11 PM »

You're right Observer11, I've no license, I just felt the need to lie in an anonymous forum over a topic that my being licensed has no bearing on.

 Congratulations.  Happy now?

Wanna know something?  People like you are the reason I waited as long as I did to get licensed.  People like you are the reason fewer and fewer newcomers are welcomed into OUR ranks every year.  People like you are the reason I let my membership in the local club lapse.  

Think about this, if I DIDN'T have my license, or if I WAS a no-code, how would your response to an honest question inspire me to further myself?  

I'll admit, I'm a young'un compared to most (28), but when someone asks me an honest question, be they licensed or not, I try to instruct and explain as best I can (remembering I'm by NO means an Elmer).  The more I think about your replies the madder I get!  

Yes Observer11, I started out in elementary school on a Cobra CB my cousin gave me with a mobile whip clamped to my parents TV antenna.  From there, I did indeed move to the freeband (and I just realized why you assumed I had no license, FYI, my forum nick has NOTHING to do with radio.  It's an homage to something else entirely, and I've been using it for quite some time now.  Gotta watch those assumptions.)  but my days of freebanding are FAR behind me.  I finally got myself legal while at my first duty station at Ft. Bliss Tx.  Now that you know a bit of my radio history, I have to ask you again:

WHAT DOES MY BEING LICENSED OR NOT HAVE TO DO WITH A SIMPLE QUESTION ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY???  I've already apologized for the inflammatory wording of my original post, what more do you want?

Again, the next time some of you wonder why there aren't more people joining us in our hobby, review the way some of you answer questions.

Now for everyone who matters.

I understand the theory of head copy, but I lose track after 7-10 chars or so.  

Maybe part of my problem with the idea of this is that I'm an avid motorcyclist, and I'm perhaps a bit more sensitive than some to the idea of driver distractions.  

When I sit down to do a bit of CW, I have to DEDICATE myself to it.  Granted, as I've said, I'm by no means an old hand at it...I've seen an improvement more and more, but still, it just feels like that level of proficiency will be forever beyond me.  

Now, none of the above means I don't keep my little KX1 tucked in my arcteryx pack, I do enjoy operating CW, especially on the trail (and yes Observer11, I had to pay someone else to install it for me, after considering my lack of electronics expertise and the cost of the kit and accessories, I was afraid of ruining it, does that mean I've no right to operate it?), but even now, it's a bit daunting.  

Along the same vein, I read the reports talking about folks operating it while tucked in their sleeping bags...huh???  I've gotta have pad, pen, light, quiet, etc to work CW.

*sigh* oh well, I enjoy it, maybe I'll keep getting (slowly) better.  
Again, I was just curious about the various safety aspects of operating mobile CW, not over whether my being licensed or not gave me the right to ask a simple question.  I really didn't mean for the discussion to degrade into this, I was equally curious about both the mechanics and mental method you guys used.  I truly didn't know if you were keying some kind of memory on the radio, if you were keeping up with the entire exchange in your head, etc.

Observer11, you need to SERIOUSLY examine your reasons for being involved in this hobby.  Is it to truly to 'further public service, technical training and experimentation, and communication', or is it to attempt to drag down and discourage everyone you can?  Know this, when I talk to the local CB guys (there are no local radio shops other than this) and try to recruit some of the younger folks, one of the primary reasons they cite for not being interested, are people like you.

Congratulations, your club's dying, and apparently you feel the 'Old Guard' should go down with the ship.  Have fun.
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W5HTW
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2004, 11:17:04 AM »

And of course, some of these 'mobile cw' hams are actually a passenger in the vehicle, not the driver.  

Those who are also driving are probably no more distracted than in using a cell phone, but I am one who believes, as I get much older, that I need to devote ALL of my attention to driving.  I very rarely put a radio in the vehicles at all, unless I carry an HT in the jacket pocket.  But there was a time in my life when, had it interested me, I would have tried mobile CW.

I was a lot younger then!

Ed
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OBSERVER11
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2004, 11:59:17 AM »

no need for me to add anymore, you made my case.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2004, 12:59:41 PM »

All I can say in response to the topic is that I've worked mobile CW since 1977, and since that time I've driven just a tad over 1 million miles (about 1,047,000 actually), during which time I've never had an accident, nor a ticket, at all.

I think working CW/M is far less distracting than operating "voice" mobile, unless you're really well set up for voice operation.  For "phone" mobile work, I use the conventional handheld PTT mikes with coiled cords that can get tangled in the steering wheel or just about anywhere else, and the "noise" from the receiver's speaker is distracting to my passengers.  When operating CW/M, there are no wires to be seen anywhere (paddle sits in the console between the front seats, all wiring hidden), and I can keep the volume low and comfortably copy code while my passengers are carrying on their own conversations; no distraction to me, or to them.

I wouldn't recommend CW/M to someone just getting started with CW, but for anyone with several years' experience and a few thousand CW contacts under his belt, it's no big deal.  And I'll even admit two of my cars during this time period had stick shifts...which means an occasional break from sending to shift gears (same hand does both...)

WB2WIK/6
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OUTBANDER
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2004, 02:55:45 PM »

I know a couple of you guys have said that head copy just comes with practice, but is there any special way some of you are practicing?  Any more hints/tips?  

I dunno, I may just not be smart enough for it, I goofed around some last night, and I can't keep up with spelling a conversation out phonetically, much less in code.

Observer11, glad to help.  I'm happy to have helped make your 'point' for you.  Incidentally, I thought you might want to look up the word, 'Irony' in the dictionary, considering you've not shown any evidence of YOUR being licensed as well.  Yah yah, I know, 'Send me an email and IF I TRUST YOU I'll send you my callsign'...riiiiight.  Sure.  Thing is, I've been reading Slashdot and other inet forums for so long, you think I'd be used to trolls by now......just didn't expect to encounter one in here.

Y'see.  I did a bit of reasearch.  Looked at your previous posts.  While you DO seem to have some technical skill, it's sad that you have to continually act like you do.  

I read the 'Anonymous Post' thread, and that's why I'm not really bugged by you anymore, it's hard for a self-righteous hypocrite to get under your skin.  Honestly what bugs me is the image people like you put forth concerning HAM radio.  I'm sorry I can't CW as fast as you.  I'm sorry I didn't have to go through the 'Old Skool' licensing process.  Why are you bound and determined to hold that against me?

You seem to take great glee in pointing out that I have no license.  
A)  Seen no proof of yours.
B)  Doesn't really matter concerning the topic.
C)  As inflammatory as the CW topic is these days, why WOULDN'T I stay anonymous.
D)  It's the internet, it's a bit crazy to go advertising about yourself ANYWAY.

It hurts my feelings if you want to know the truth.  You're JUST like the guys at the first Hamfest (Mulga Alabama) I went to.  I couldn't CW fast enough, and I didn't know all the lingo and terms enough to satisfy everyone, so, 'You might wanna put your radios up and just walk around and watch, you're just in the way.'  There was NO contest on at this point either.

I wish there were more folks like the nice guys who answered my questions, I'd likely have a LOT more fun with this hobby, but more and more, I run into folks like you.  Bitter, grumpy old men whose families and old friends ignore them because they're too tiresome to be around, who have to make themselves feel better by putting anyone and everyone they can down.

Well it worked.  Happy?  I feel like crap because of you.  This is something I enjoy, and CONTINUALLY get discouraged from PEOPLE LIKE YOU.  

Made your point for you.  Riiiget.  Hurry up and die old man so the rest of us can have some fun.  Be sure you've got insurance so at least your family can get at least ONE positive thing from your life.  I reitirate.  People like you are holding this hobby back.  The 'old guard' attitude HAS TO GO.
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