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Author Topic: Can I use the MFJ-452 to practice CW with my paddle?  (Read 3432 times)
WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« on: July 05, 2012, 10:40:13 AM »

I know this may not be the best solution, but If I'm reading the features correctly, I can plug in my paddle and practice CW? Correct?

thanks

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-452
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2766




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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 12:08:02 PM »

Check the last paragraph on Page 1 of the operating instructions (on the link you posted).
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 02:06:38 PM »

Check the last paragraph on Page 1 of the operating instructions (on the link you posted).

thanks, that is phrased strangely. 

Practice operation using key-output disable and Farnsworth mode for random code generator.

I assume they mean you can use it via Paddle/Key? The "disable" part I assume means you can disable the output if you wish?

thanks
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 02:53:53 PM »

It is not so clear.

Disabling means that you can use the keyboard and the connected Iambic paddle for exercising, without activating your connected transmitter. That is also the case when entering commands.

The random words and Farnsworth are obviously transmitted by the keyboard as an exercising signal, without activating the transmitter.
There is a two line 16 char per line display, I suppose that displays the typed in characters and the random words OR THE PADDLE INPUT, that is not or not yet transmitted.

So exercising with your paddle should show the text on that display, you can check for letter and wordspace, en checking transmitting b or 6. h or 5.
Remember that the decisionlevels of such decoders is: 2 dits in order to decide between 1 and 3 dits marks and spaces and 5 dits in order to decide between character and word spaces. So very strange by human undetectable code can yield solid copy and sloppy transmitting in word and letter spaces often yields  still correct text.

Display is to small in my opinion.

When you should activate one of the stored messages, it should be on the display so far not transmitted. That is impossible with 32 characters and the specified msg length of the buffers
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 02:55:41 PM by PA0BLAH » Logged
K7KBN
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Posts: 2766




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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 06:13:15 PM »

The last paragraph on page 1 of the link in the original post reads:

Connect the paddle to the 3.5mm stereo phone jack with a shielded cable through the back of the unit.
Connect the dot wire of the paddle to the ring on the plug and the dash wire to the tip. The shield on the
plug should be attached to paddle ground. An external speaker can be connected to the speaker output on the rear of the unit using the 3.5mm mono plug.
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Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
PA0BLAH
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 12:06:37 AM »

OK Pat, it is possible to transmit with a Iambic paddle to be connected to the device, but if I read correct the question was, can you exercise with the paddle and I suppose with my random generated thoughts that he wants to see his transmitted rubbish decoded on the LCD.

Otherwise it is a non problem because with a commercial transmitter you always (?) can use a key without really activating the transmitter, only the side tone.

Bob 
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WALTERB
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 06:47:05 AM »

OK Pat, it is possible to transmit with a Iambic paddle to be connected to the device, but if I read correct the question was, can you exercise with the paddle and I suppose with my random generated thoughts that he wants to see his transmitted rubbish decoded on the LCD.

Otherwise it is a non problem because with a commercial transmitter you always (?) can use a key without really activating the transmitter, only the side tone.

Bob 

Yes, exactly.  I want to see my trasmitted rubbish on the LCD, and hopefully begin to see non rubbish at some point.  Grin
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 09:02:25 AM »

I THINK the text will be visible. but even when it is, remember that the decision levels dit or dash letterdpace wordspace are fixed, so the results doen't mean very much.

What you can do is load down Audacity (google it) freeware, record the sound of your key and thats all for free, measure your dits and dahs.

Second thing you can do is buy a code analyser, a local ham in this small stinking over populated country with nasty people, (be lucky only one of them is annoying you) something like pa0vw is his call, shows  a design on his website. The Bugmaster. You have to sent with a bug or a straight key the quick brown fox. When you make an error it reports your error, when you don''t make an error it presents you with the average word letter dot en dash times.

WARNING: at a hamfest in 2011 I read somewhere, only two certificates "Bugmaster" were handed out.

So I thought rubbish is the correct discription when the decision levels are on 2 and 5 dits. .


Bob
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2766




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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 09:25:39 AM »

Ah!  Okay...I thought you just wanted a practice oscillator.

For seeing how your sending compares with how you envision it, I'd recommend using a voice recorder or an old tape recorder.  Take a random book off your shelf and open it to a random page and send a couple of paragraphs, recording it as you do.  Then a day or two later, play it back and write it down as you hear it.  THEN open the book back up and compare what you wrote down with what you (thought you) sent.

Probably the best accolade I ever received was just a few weeks after I joined the Naval Reserve in 1960.  I was still in High School and attending drills one evening a week.  My Division Officer knew that I wanted to be a Radioman so I was assigned to work with Petty Officer Longo.  He was sitting in the little "shack", getting his fist warmed up with a little Ameco code practice oscillator and what looked like a well-preserved J-38.  He told me to sit down and he'd be back in just a minute.

So I, naturally, started messing with the key and pretty soon I was sending out of the same book Longo had been using.  When he walked back in, he said "Wow, that is some EXCELLENT code!  I thought I was hearing a machine!  Bailey, you can be in my radio shack any time!"

Point is, we didn't use computers - we didn't know what "computers" were.  We just listened to the ARRL transmissions and in between them we listened to bits and pieces of code in the Novice subbands.  We tried to make our code sound like that, and most of us managed.  Don't overthink the code-learning process -- hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of radio operators learned it without the "benefit" of a computer.
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Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 01:38:35 PM »



For seeing how your sending compares with how you envision it, I'd recommend using a voice recorder or an old tape recorder.  Take a random book off your shelf and open it to a random page and send a couple of paragraphs, recording it as you do.  Then a day or two later, play it back and write it down as you hear it.  THEN open the book back up and compare what you wrote down with what you (thought you) sent.
First of all mni congrats with your fist. Must be a joy to listen to ur sigs. It is always a joy when you try to perform  some job the best way you can, whatever, and it is recognised, especially by such a guy that knew where he was talking about and unsolicited.

Quote
Point is, we didn't use computers - we didn't know what "computers" were.  We just listened to the ARRL transmissions and in between them we listened to bits and pieces of code in the Novice subbands.  We tried to make our code sound like that, and most of us managed.  Don't overthink the code-learning process -- hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of radio operators learned it without the "benefit" of a computer.

Right, the advantage of this epoch is that you have training material and methods at hand at any time of the day, so the QRQ speeds are a lot higher then they were around 1960.

However your point: take a tape recorder. I shouldn't, your computer is fascilitated with a mike and loudspeakers and recording facilities.
Recording is fine to measure your character and word spaces but it is harder to find your coding errors. In that case you need a decoder, preferably a printing one, because 16 characters on an LCD is not sufficient.
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WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 08:30:53 PM »

ok,  I got my eyer, and I can hook up an old computer keyboard to it and it prints on the LCD screen why I type in and makes the audio dits and dashes.

However I can't seem to get the paddle to work.  the audio is there, but no the letters on the LCD screen.
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