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Author Topic: Use of "=" in CW QSO's  (Read 5992 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2520




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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2011, 09:44:00 AM »

Quote
Operating habits change.  I’m noticing that the current trend is to use nothing between sentences

Good point. I just use a little bigger space nowadays for a period. BT was popular years ago with novices who spent a lot of time thinking about what to say next. I remember we'd string together a bunch of them, proving that even 12 year old brains didn't work so well either.

As for "DE" it was mandated by FCC rules long ago as the proper way to ID. Contesters in the 60s/70s started the trend toward "DEleting" "DE".

Why is everyone discussing "=" [equal sign] instead of a long hyphen?
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N3QE
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2011, 05:40:58 PM »

Quote
Operating habits change.  I’m noticing that the current trend is to use nothing between sentences

Good point. I just use a little bigger space nowadays for a period. BT was popular years ago with novices who spent a lot of time thinking about what to say next. I remember we'd string together a bunch of them, proving that even 12 year old brains didn't work so well either.

As for "DE" it was mandated by FCC rules long ago as the proper way to ID. Contesters in the 60s/70s started the trend toward "DEleting" "DE".

Why is everyone discussing "=" [equal sign] instead of a long hyphen?

Certainly when I was a kid/novice, BT was what came between sentences in a QSO. And yeah, it unfortunately turned into the CW equivalent to saying "uhhhhh...." to keep the VOX relay from kicking out.

Today we're discussing "=" instead of long hyphen, because most computer systems for sending/receiving CW represent BT as the equals sign on the screen or keyboard. This dates back to some of the early 80's keyboard keyers (the ones I remember seeing in the 70's, had custom keycaps with "KN", "BT", "SK" overbar etc. But by the 80's they were using stock keyboards.)
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K9ZMD
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 09:54:14 PM »

Publications I read during the late '50s had pro sign lists that included BT with an over-bar (to indicate it was to be sent without a space between those letters).  Correctly sent, it was a distinctly separate character that those publications referred to as a "double dash".   Until the advent of computers, I don't recall ever seeing the "double dash" in print as = , so I can't say if that might have been the prescribed way to write it for record copy. Do we have any old military ops who can recall that from their training?  Did the old mills even have a key for the = sign?  

I suppose that BT pro sign could also have been listed as an over-barred DA or NV . . . but it wasn't.  In recent years, however, I have seen it informally referred to as NV by folks who were not familiar with its pro sign BT origin. Regrettably, I've even heard it sent on the air as NV, in two distinctly separate letters.

Gary, K9ZMD/7
Ridgefield, WA
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 09:58:26 PM by K9ZMD » Logged
LB3KB
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2011, 12:16:29 AM »

NV doesn't make any sense.  Some people use TV, though.

Double dash might be interpreted as -- or = or a long -
The ITU standard lists it as =

As far as I am concerned, it doesn't make one bit of difference whether you write it one way or the other as long as you understand what it means.  It's only notation and it's only a separator...

73
LB3KB Sigurd
justlearnmorsecode.com
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W8JI
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2011, 05:04:11 AM »

Reference Data for Radio Engineers, 1977, lists _..._  as =

The ARRL Handbook 1961 lists it as "double dash", but I find no definition for double dash

Electronic Communication 1959 lists it as "separation indicator also known as overscore BT"

 

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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2011, 06:17:00 AM »


BT was used a lot 30 years ago, but these days you hardly ever hear it on the air.
Most morse guys will still recognise it and it should be learned for a well rounded CW knowledge.
This was a very common structure and used both by hams and professional operators in times of yore.
And as some have said, it is good for use when you don't know what to say!

73s
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K0OD
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Posts: 2520




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« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2011, 10:40:45 AM »

Language evolves: The semicolon is nearly extinct; but I still use it.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution contain extinct punctuation.  Commas are used far less than 50 years ago. Sentences have been getting progressively shorter since Chaucer's time. (makes you wonder whether we're getting dumber).

In the 1830s Bulwer-Lytton's famous opening sentence was good writing, not the joke it became recently:
Quote
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Notice his double dash? The hyphenated Bulwer-Lytton was surely an expert on the hyphen and double dash.

 
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K7KBN
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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2011, 04:49:58 PM »

The "NV" sent as one character (-....-) is, or was, used by the military to represent a "hyphen", as opposed to a "dash".

One punctuation mark the US Navy (and probably the rest of the services as well) used in canned, unchangeable message formats, was the semicolon.  We CW circuit operators had to learn that one ourselves; it's a period sent backwards (-.-.-.).
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K9ZMD
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Posts: 169




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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2011, 01:20:10 AM »

NV doesn't make any sense.  Some people use TV, though. . . .
Hi Sigurd - that same thought about "NV" occurred to me about 12 hours after I posted  -  it has too many dits to be doubledash.  I was wrong to mention it in the context of doubledash, but I'm dead certain I've occasionally heard it on the air, complete with all those dits. 
The "NV" sent as one character (-....-) is, or was, used by the military to represent a "hyphen", as opposed to a "dash". . . .
Thanks Pat, for helping me out there.  Guess I'm not going nuts after all.  I first heard that NV from a very fine bug fist, so I doubted that it was just due to a runaway bug.  Other times, not so sure.  Smiley  73

Gary, K9ZMD/7

P.S. I admire all your years of service.  Myself, I bailed at 25 years when "enjoying" morphed into "enduring".
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K0OD
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2011, 04:50:27 AM »

I hear NV, (and N-S-T) all the time... a poorly sent T-E-S-T

BTW, what's with people who send CQ as C-E-K?
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DG3YCC
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2011, 06:32:38 AM »

I hear NV, (and N-S-T) all the time... a poorly sent T-E-S-T

BTW, what's with people who send CQ as C-E-K?

And some guys always send E-N instead of R

Chris
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PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2011, 07:00:38 AM »

I hear NV, (and N-S-T) all the time... a poorly sent T-E-S-T

BTW, what's with people who send CQ as C-E-K?

And some guys always send E-N instead of R

Chris

Guys, Because YOU understand that it was R and TEST and CQ, we all get rid of the guys that had not the willpower and persistence to learn CW copy in their head. So be very lucky that those guys sent the way YOU obviously understand, and the decoders of the Dumbo's  (12 in a dozen "hams") make what you actually said was sent.

Time to write here with CQ WW CW in progress. Wonderfull. Contest haters.
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AF5AO
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2011, 04:42:25 AM »

Just had to comment.  When I was a Navy CW operator (in P2V Neptunes) on the aviation nets, BT was a "long break"  and was used to separate the text of a message from the preamble and any post-text authenticators.

Charley af5ao
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G4AON
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Posts: 511




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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2011, 06:44:29 AM »

The break sign was used in merchant marine radio telegrams. In the "Handbook for Radio Operators" (published by Her Majesty's Stationary Office) dated 1975 includes -...- between the address, text and signature, etc.

You will find the break or "=" sign is in common use by ex merchant operators.

73 Dave
(ex ships sparks)
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WA8JXM
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2011, 07:03:15 AM »

Just had to comment.  When I was a Navy CW operator (in P2V Neptunes) on the aviation nets, BT was a "long break"  and was used to separate the text of a message from the preamble and any post-text authenticators.

Charley af5ao

I believe it is (or at least was) a standard separator in amateur traffic handling, between heading and body of message and between the body and the signature.   

It shows up in my 1964 Handbook, listed as "double dash" but has always been considered the BT prosign AFAIK.   It used to be used as a separator in CW contacts, sometimes used for an idle character but mostly just a separator.   A period .-.-.-  was only used in formal message traffic.   

STOP was used in commercial news circuits and Western Union telegrams in place of a period.   

Ken
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