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Author Topic: Computer aided reception of CW  (Read 7428 times)
PA0WV
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Posts: 137




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« on: January 05, 2012, 09:02:58 AM »

What is your opinion about computer aided reception of CW with CWget, Skimmer or hardware devices?

1. When you learned CW with hard and persistent exercising, do you think you don't like to work hams that just purchased some equipment and are not able to decode the code themself?

2. You know those programs/devices are only good with strong signals and no QRM, do you dislike hams with those programs because they can't copy you when conditions go bad during a QSO but the signals are still perfect for human decoding, which your QSO partner is not able to do? So many QSO's are early ended when working those guys?

3. SWL's listener reports were probably always replied with your QSL card in the past. because you wanted to honor the fact that the SWL mastered Morse code. But nowadays they, with a big chance,  look at CWget, Skimmer or even at a reverse beacon website, where they can see who is calling CQ all over the world, and sent those stations SWL reports in order to try to collect their QSLs.

4. One of the many disadvantages of speech is that everybody who is interested can hear what you are saying on the air. That was not the case with CW. However nowadays  interested people and governments can copy every word you are transmitting, and watch and analyse your profile on the snippets of information you give away in CW QSO's, with their google like programs. Big Brother is watching your CW signals with Skimmer and huge databases.

Give a CQ, look at reverse beacon website and you can watch for each band, the amateurs that received with skimmer your cq and reported that with time stamp and signalstrength to a world wide watchable website.

Considering this all:
What do you think of adding distortion to your transmitted signal in order to disable that computer aided copy work, but in such a way that your signals are still receivable by amateurs with head copy?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 09:16:52 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
N3QE
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Posts: 2284




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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 09:49:16 AM »

In order:

1. If someone uses CW Skimmer to help improve their CW skills (which is what will end up happnening even if they got it as a crutch) all the better. If it draws non-CW users into the CW band, all the better. They will eventually get the hang of it and no longer need a crutch.

2. CW Skimmer is really pretty good at picking calls out of QRM. I'm not claiming perfect, but useful to anyone who actually understands HF CW operations. Other CW readers... they are actually pretty crappy in the presence of noise or QRM.

3. SWL reports are so far down in the noise in terms of QSL workload, I don't see any issue.

4. I'm all for more big brother watching on the ham and other bands. Some of us remember when the FCC actually cared about bad operating.

and overall I feel that CW Skimmer and reversebeacon are huge advantages to good CW ops. Way more useful than traditional spotting networks. If the not so good ops can leverage them too, hey, the more the merrier.

And I am dead set anything that decreases the quality of CW transmissions.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 01:29:23 PM »

Quote

"...You know those programs/devices are only good with strong signals and no QRM..."


I disagree with this statement in part. This is true if using the software defaults and little to no filtering in the RX chain but if one takes time and tweaks the configuration and the receive filtering, the abilities of CWGet are very good IMHO. Perfect? No but neither is my CW ear copy either these days due to hearing loss. I use both together and as such, find my CW reception much better than using each individually. I copy by ear as much as I can while all the time, CWGet is running and copying. Sure the software drops a letter here and there but if I miss a word or two in the copy I can usually get fills off the screen. If not, I simply ask for fills. Can I copy 40 wpm by ear? No, but I never have been able to. But CWGet can usually do just fine for me at those speeds if I need any fills or such. I can hold my own at 20wpm which is good enough for me most of the time. In contests, I can recognize my call at 35-45 wpm like most and the rest of the exchange is simply a task to listen closer for the exchange format fills.

Some may find running any CW decode software a crutch or a blasphem on the code itself, but I say do whatever you need to do to enjoy using CW. If you start off using just CWGet while listening at the same time, you'll soon find yourself listening while running the software at the same time Smiley I will add don't expect the software to do it all for you. Put forth the effort while using the software and in most cases, you will be farther ahead than not.

I also find the single click word grab feature of CWGet works really well with N1MM to place the call in the entry field.

73

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 02:21:15 PM »

I agree that anything which smooths the transition of hams into CW is worthwhile.
It is not necessary to do a forced death march into CW to be a good CW operator, although it certainly builds character.
If, as Gene said, a PC decoder helps with CW reception, why not use it.
That being said, I have tried many CW decoders in my time, trying to find the holy grail of decoders and I can say that in my class of work (weak signal HF dx mainly), none have been stellar.
The best ones I found were CWdecoder and CWskimmer(in decode mode).
I used to have them running concurrently on my PC while I worked head copy morse, but stopped doing that because in my case, it made my copy even worse!
It was like watching a foreign movie subtitles, which seems to stop one actually working out the spoken language.

So, in my opinion, use what works for you, since we can take the minimalist approach to extremes and say the only "real" way to send and receive morse is with a straight key, class C tube rig, and head copy with a pencil.

And don't worry about adding some bias to CW to confuse CW decoders, plenty of guys do that already without realising it!
If you really want to see how good your morse sending is, send it to a cw decoder, the result is usually enlightening.

73s
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K3TN
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 03:14:41 AM »

Electronic keyers made it easier to send CW long ago. CW technology made it easier to receive Morse Code signals compared to spark gap transmitters before that. Better filtering in modern receives, packet spotting, the Internet - technology marches on and in general provides lots of goodness but much potential for badness, too.

On the interception side, CW has *always* been easier to intercept automatically compared to speech. On the SWL side, agree with the other comment about low level of SWL QSL requests plus SWLs that want to cheat that way have been able to do so for years by simply looking at the online spotting clusters or online contest logs.

I've enjoyed hamming (with occasional "long QRTs") since I was 12 and a big part of the reason why after 42 years is that the hobby is big enough to accommodate all kinds of interests. The decoder technology has gotten a number of SSB/RTTY/PSK only hams I know to try CW and that's a good thing. The cheaters will always cheat, technology or not.

John K3TN
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John K3TN
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 06:41:38 PM »

Trying to obfuscate your transmissions to make them harder to receive is illegal. Also remember that there are also deaf or hard-of-hearing hams who might rely on using the waterfall display and digital reception.
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9V1VV
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 01:44:17 AM »

Got a K3 here, which has a built-in CW decoder. Nobody uses it. The K3 software guys included it as a joke. You know CW or you don't.
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PA0WV
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Posts: 137




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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 10:21:07 AM »

Thanks guys for your comments.

First of all: it is not prohibited to sent with a hand key. So distortions of a CW signal made by handkey just as handwriting with a pen are to be accepted.

Handwriting may then be  unreadable for optical character recognition: how pityfull.

I designed and homebuild the CWgettemepper. translated in English the CWcat_snatcher of the CWget_snatcher.

It makes the perfect code from my RedRacer to a by ear readable signal. CWget and Skimmer will have a hard time.

You can hear some samples on http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/cwget.html

One file without distortion, just as coming out of my RedRacer

One file with 25% distortion, that means every single element, dash or dot or spacing is nominal, or 25% too long or 25% too short.

One file with a hole in the middle of one out of 4 dashes with a size of 8% of the dash time

One file with both: holes and length distortion.

Please your comments.

When you are an appliance operator: Remember:

1.56     amateur service: A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

tks es 73
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 10:27:07 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
N3QE
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Posts: 2284




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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 11:20:42 AM »

One file with both: holes and length distortion.

Please your comments.

I hang out here because I enjoy CW. The distorted files you made... would make me hate CW if that was all I heard.

It's like saying "I'll improve the mona lisa" by defacing it with random colors of spray paint.

I don't lose anything if others can look at the Mona Lisa as well as me. I don't lose anything if someone who doesn't know morse code, can look at a signal and decode it using software.

Tim.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:22:16 AM by N3QE » Logged
PA0WV
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Posts: 137




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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 03:44:19 PM »

OK tks.

A fifth file is added with (only) 20% length distortion, no holes in dashes, 20 wpm.
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Using an appliance without CW is just CB
N3QE
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Posts: 2284




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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 03:41:32 AM »

OK tks.

A fifth file is added with (only) 20% length distortion, no holes in dashes, 20 wpm.

Thanks? Am I encouraging you to do more kinds of CW obfuscation? I really hope not. But I suspect I fell for troll-bait.

I fear I'm gonna hear you on the brands soon, bragging "Can you hear my crappy CW? N3QE helped me do it."
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PA0WV
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Posts: 137




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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 05:30:26 AM »

OK tks.

A fifth file is added with (only) 20% length distortion, no holes in dashes, 20 wpm.

Thanks? Am I encouraging you to do more kinds of CW obfuscation?

No, not at all. I thank you for your comment and hence also for listening to the result.

I think 20% (the last added file on the lowest line) is not too bad, a hand sent signal with that fist is not really QSD ( or QLF )
It has the personallity of a ham that is used to be saturated with alcohol.

The distortion can be switched off with a toggle, and the INPUT signal is always decoded and displayed on a 2 times 16 char display , first line only. Second line always ( after reception of some characters) displays the running speed in wpm PARIS standard.  That learns that (because letterspace or wordspace decision is in 5 dits) usually characters are sent too wide spaced, because word spaces show up in the text when the sent letterspace is more than 5 dits, that is more than 2 dits 'overtime'.

So, it may enjoy you, that this encourages the user of the device to sent better spaced code.

= Every disadvantage has its advantage =
 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 05:52:00 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 03:39:49 PM »

First of all: it is not prohibited to sent with a hand key. So distortions of a CW signal made by handkey just as handwriting with a pen are to be accepted.
That's quite like saying spelling errors are not prohibited, so you have the right to use encryption. You've admitted that you're taking a conscious effort to obfuscate your transmissions - and that's illegal on the amateur bands. It's also rather un-gentle(wo)manly towards the disabled, the beginners, the old, and everyone else really. You've really taken "no code" hate to the next level. I hope you'll see the errors of your ways.
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AK7V
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Posts: 251




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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 08:19:53 AM »

I use my computer for logging and my ears for reception.  Personally, I can see no benefit having a computer do the reception for me.
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PA0WV
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Posts: 137




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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 09:51:35 AM »

First of all: it is not prohibited to sent with a hand key. So distortions of a CW signal made by handkey just as handwriting with a pen are to be accepted.
That's quite like saying spelling errors are not prohibited, so you have the right to use encryption. You've admitted that you're taking a conscious effort to obfuscate your transmissions - and that's illegal on the amateur bands. It's also rather un-gentle(wo)manly towards the disabled, the beginners, the old, and everyone else really. You've really taken "no code" hate to the next level. I hope you'll see the errors of your ways.

No, I explain one time more, my experience is that that helps the slower boys in class to getch up, so I am willingfull to do that.

So here we go:

Speech is an allowed way of transmission as a method of coding your thoughts in a signal that represents them and that is recognisable on the receiving side.

No one can be forced to use the exact same speech , would be nice for google, for sure. Would be nice for handicapped that only able to decode half speed and 2 octave higher pitched female voices.

So there may be no objection that guy_1 transforms his speech equivalent to that of guy_2, because it is just decodable the same way with a product detector and a loudspeaker or headphones as the speech of guy_2. When the speech of guy_2 is allowed then the speech of guy_1 transformed to the speech of guy_2 has to be allowed under the common denominator of "unencrypted."

When I send with Hell mode plain text printed characters, that are understandable by a reader, they are not encrypted.
Hell as coding scheme is published and hence not encrypted. With the right devices and the published encoding scheme you can decode the messages as third party. Just as SWL's are used to do.

When I construct a plain readable hand writing alphabet and sent that fonts via Hell it is still perfectly readable by everyone that is able to read handwriting at the receiving side.

Machines may have a problem (hopefully) but my Hell transmission has destination a human reader not a machine.

So everything I sent and that is readable by a human reader, also a human eavesdriopper. is NOT encrypted.

With Morse code, I am perfectly eligable to copy human readable handwriting from the bands, and use these obtained "fonts"
to sent Morse code. They were readable  by humans and they keep being readable by humans and nobody requires me to transmit perfect machine code. EVEN NOT when that code is generated by a machine. Grin

Enough said about it.  I quit explaining. When you are not willing to see my point, then candle and glasses wan't help.

Tks fer explaining ur view.

Wim PA0WV

« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 09:59:30 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
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