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Author Topic: Yet Another CW Question From A Neocoder...  (Read 649 times)
K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« on: May 16, 2007, 08:08:39 AM »

So, I was casually listening to the CW portion of some band this last weekend and heard a frequent CW and then NHT (I believe).  The code was going blazingly fast (35 wpm or above) and I am only comfortable at 20 wpm.  But, I remember hearing this before, this NHT thing.  I am pretty certain it was NHT and not NST but I could easily be wrong too.

Does anyone know what I am talking about?  Or, maybe this was spurious band noise masking itself as information.
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AC2C
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 08:55:52 AM »

Phil --

The call you heard was a CQ for a Contest.  They are sending CQ TEST.

Ron, AC2C
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N4KZ
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Posts: 599




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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 10:41:01 AM »

As AC2C said, it was probably someone sending TEST as in CQ Contest but not leaving adequate space between the T and E and running the letters together. That makes it N instead of TE.

This is the perfect example of why CW operators need to send accurate and precise CW. Otherwise, its meaning changes. Throw in a few extra dits here and there and cut back on a few spaces and suddenly what you intended to say turns into gibberish.

When contesting on CW, some people will just send TEST instead of CQ TEST. I suspect that's what you heard.

73, N4KZ

 
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 12:18:40 PM »

Thanks guys for the answer.  So, "CQ TEST" is just someone calling for "CQ Contest"?  I have heard some contests or QSO parties where they often send something else instead of "TEST" such as the state of the QSO party or something else.

I have noticed that there appear to be more than one CQ contest or QSO party going on at the same time so how do you tell these guys apart.  I suppose the QSO party is more obvious but if there are two contests going on at the same time in the same band would they both send "CQ TEST"?

CW contests still confuse me obviously as the exchanges are often very fast and very short and I have looked up contests on the various web sites but have learned too much.  Sure, I can see what the required exchanges are but I have discovered that the exchanges are highly abbreviated and I am not sure if I even understand the abbreviations clear enough to participate.
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007, 01:23:59 PM »

> Sure, I can see what the required exchanges are but
> I have discovered that the exchanges are highly
> abbreviated and I am not sure if I even understand
> the abbreviations clear enough to participate.

On CW, people use 'cut numbers' alot, particularly
in contests. Some contests involve sending a signal
report, and sometimes your power level.

Most common is sending 'N' for '9', such as '5NN'
instead of '599' for the signal report.

Other 'cut numerals':
T for 0
A for 1

So some common power level abbreviations you hear:
KW - 1000 watts
NN - 99 watts (faster than sending 100)
ATT - 100 watts (not as fast to send as NN though)
5TT - 500 watts
5TTMW - 500 milliwatts (sometimes heard in QRP tests)

Hope this helps
Scott
W5ESE
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W4YA
Member

Posts: 317




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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 04:19:48 AM »

A comprehensive list of contests can be found at http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/

Usually you can find the rules for each contest by Googling the name of the contest.

Some of the contests are excellent ways to increase your code speed, get awards, and so on.

Most times you can tell which contest the station is in by his call sign, and knowing which contest is going on at that weekend.

Don't by afraid to call a 30WPM station at 18WPM. They will be glad to get the QSO. Just do some listening to see what is expected in the exchange. Never say "I'm not in the contest, but...." Just send what everyone else is sending, and you will do fine.

Have fun!!
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KB9BVN
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2007, 04:58:50 AM »

I wonder how much of the CW you hear during CW contests, is actually computer generated.

My guess is, a lot.
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2007, 10:34:46 AM »

Computers are used a lot for sending but not for receiving.  Some contests, I believe, prohibit computer receiving/decoding of morse.  However in the practical sense, using a computer for decoding simply isn't going to work very well in contests, especially the major ones.  There is simply too much QRN, QRM, QSB, marginal band conditions, etc. for a computer to be able to cope.
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 06:34:59 PM »

Years ago there was a classic New Yorker Magazine cartoon.  It showed a college classroom arranged with a lot of desks.  On each desk was a recording machine.  In the front of the classroom on a table was a reel-to-reel tape machine obviously giving the lecture.  Not a person in the room.

This is the image I get whenever I hear talk about computerized CW on the sending or listening side.  I think that there are computers sending code and other computers listening and copying the code.  The ham of course has gone upstairs to grab another beer from the fridge.
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AE6RF
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Posts: 151


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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2007, 08:21:22 AM »

There is a lot of emotion about CW.

But even if it came down to computer sent CW being getting computer decoded at the other end, it would be just like RTTY or PSK-31.

So, without the emotion? No big deal.

73 de Donald

(However *I* REFUSE to run CW decoding software during contests, even though it *might* mean higher scores, because I contest to improve my CW, not "CW" to improve my "contest.")
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