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Author Topic: Do Not Use A CW Tone To Tune  (Read 1621 times)
KE5HJO
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Posts: 207




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« on: August 09, 2007, 08:00:06 PM »

Time and time again we hear it - someone tuning up their station for a certain frequency by sending a continuous tone on their keyer.  Twice tonight my CW QSO was interfered with by someone doing this.  As soon as one guy tuned up he started sending CQ CQ CQ without even taking the time to check to see if the band was clear.

I could not copy his call sign because he sent faster than I can copy. Wringing his neck would have been helpful.

Please, Please, Please do not tune up using this "tone and tune" method.  Those doing so are causing harmful interference and the boys from the Spectrum Enforcement Division can copy CW better than me.  They'll get that call sign and then - the black suits, black ties, and black sun glasses will come knocking on your door.

Mike
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 06:03:28 AM »

Actually using a CW tone or an AM carrier is the only way to tune an amp.

What you really want is for the ops to use a dummy load into which to tune the amp.

Welcome to the bands.  
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 06:49:11 AM »

Constant problem that has always been there, sometimes the other op either didn't listen first (bad!) or perhaps they couldn't hear you.  Happens.  

Maddening.  

What makes it worse are the lids who can't tune quickly at all, who don't first tune into the dummy load and then do a quick tuneup onair, you know, the clown who exposes us (and his finals!) to the "fifty five second continuous tuneup".  

Once found a local who was constantly making me cuss about this, told him off at the ARC meeting in no uncertain terms and then he told me that he WAS using his dummy load.  Trip to his shack, his dummy load was on an antenna switch as the 4th "antenna" -- but he was radiating off of the coax shields of the other three!  Doggone shields were acting as an NVIS antenna in the extreme, signal going straight up and raining right back down over the area, STRONG.  Took more than grounding to solve, ended up putting balun chokes all over the coax exiting the shack, but got rid of it.  

Posting on the internet won't solve this problem, it is unlikely that the op (and I use that term loosely) who commits this offense will be around to read it.  

What to do?

QSY the QSO a little bit up or down.  

There is a trick that can literally drag the other op with you when you QSY in CW mode:

First, tell the other op that you are going to QSY UP or QSY DWN -- and maybe tell the freq -- and then hold the dit side of the keyer down while slowly turning the Big Knob to the new freqency.  

The other op will hear your dits moving either up or down in frequency and it makes for an easy follow if the other op knows to also turn their Big Knob with you such that you remain in their passband.  Experienced hand and ear can even keep the sidetone at the same exact pitch when arriving a the new freq.  

Just don't try to pull this one for more than a few KCs, we don't need dits going up the band.  Besides, you would likely need to retune the antenna system if you go too far.  Most of the time you don't have to go too far to find a hole unless the band is crowded.  

That's the only way I know to handle it and keep your QSO when the other lid, er, "op" doesn't respond.  


Keep on poundin' the key, still the friendliest mode out there regardless.


KE3WD
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2007, 06:53:31 AM »

When sending that QSY, send, "QSY DWN 3" or QSY UP 2" before you go.  

The number is in kilohertz.  

If you find someone else there, or the tuner is still bothering or desensing one of you, do the 2 or 3 KC move one more time in the same direction.  

Quick use of your RIT or second receiver vfo can let you know which way is "in the clear" before you go.  


.
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W8ZNX
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2007, 11:28:21 AM »

Hello Mike KE5HJO

its the way life is
sometimes its a mistake
sometimes the op just does not care
sometimes the op does not hear you

know of one 9th district
40/80 meter cw op
that ALWAYS runs 1 kw
everybody hears him
but
he does not hear everybody

work at it
you will get better
at beeing able to copy thrugh qrm

most of the time
tune up cq
qrm ops
do not stay on freq very long
they move on after a few min

if you learn to copy thrugh the crud

it will make you a better op
when it comes time
to try contesting
and working the dx pile ups

re moving freq

always ask other station
if they can move

if other op is using

rock mite style qrp xceiver
HW-16
hb glow bug
or TRC-77 man pack xceiver

sending qsy up 4 and moving
means      
good by

mac
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2007, 12:00:28 PM »

You are right and wrong, my friend.  The offending station should have "QRL?" before tuning.  Then, you could have sent dit-dit or yes.  Many times you don't hear the other guy in the QSO, and I bet the fellow didn't hear anybody, so he just started tuning.  That was poor form and a valuable loss of style points.  

All any of us can do is be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  I tune with a CW tone every day and night when I change bands.  I never have any problems and I always ask if the frequency is in use.  
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N2EY
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Posts: 3860




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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2007, 12:39:41 PM »

"Please, Please, Please do not tune up using this "tone and tune" method."

OK, fine.

Then how am I supposed to tune up my rig?
Sure, I can preset the adjustments to the approximate settings, which I know by experience. And I can use a dummy load for most of the adjustments too.

But how do I tune up into the actual antenna without holding the key down for a cople of seconds?

I always listen first, too. But there are times when you can only hear one side of a QSO, so listening first isn't an ironclad guarantee you won't inadvertently step on someone.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 01:44:19 PM »

KE5HJO wrote, "I could not copy his call sign because he sent faster than I can copy."
 
It seems like you are complaining about two things in your post.  You may not understand or even like the way some people tune up their rigs, the issue of not being able to copy the call sign is strictly yours. Should everyone be forced to slow down their Morse to 5 WPM (or less) just so YOU can copy it?

Scott N0IU
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12696




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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 03:33:39 PM »

Odds are he wasn't using a "tone" to tune. He was just putting out an unmodulated carrier. Your receiver turned in into a "tone". The only other way to tune is to use a pulsing carrier and that's much more annoying than a steady carrier in my opinion.

Tuning an amp into a dummy load is great IF you happen to have an antenna that is exactly 50 ohms resistive like the dummy load. Otherwise you'll at least have to do a final "touch up" on the real antenna.
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KC2MJT
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2007, 03:37:04 PM »

Yes, welcome to ham radio.  Chances are no one is intentionally interfering with your QSO.  As mentioned, chances are the offending op never heard the party currently keying in the QSO. As far as the tuning, well, that's pretty much the usual and customary method. Perhaps a QRL? would have given both of you a chance to hear and be heard, but it isn't always a two way street in radio.  You might be surprised to learn just because you can hear him, he may not hear you, despite the best antenna and receiver in the world.  

This is what makes HF ham radio fun.  It's a bit of a tough lesson, we all go through it.  Don't think for a minute no one in this forum hasn't had the same reaction as you early in their ham 'career'.  Remember, it's 'amateur' radio, and the continuum of operating practices is long.  Fortunately it has been my short experience that most ops are consciences and courteous.  Most 'interference' is unintentional and unknowing.  If it isn't QRN and poor propagation, it's the challenge of QRM.

73 and have fun.

KC2MJT
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2007, 03:55:12 PM »

The other mac makes a good point that this mac left out:

Yes, find out if the other chap can QSY before going ahead with the move.  (grin)

Send, "QSY?"

That should do it for all but the very new at CW.  


--Mac  (Mac2, that is!)
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KE5HJO
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Posts: 207




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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2007, 04:44:19 PM »

Thanks for the responses.  Now I'll answer some questions:

(1)  N2EY asked "Then how am I supposed to tune up my rig?"  

Answer:  

I can only suggest that you do what I do.  I listen for a clear spot in the band then start calling CQ  or in morse code - sending CQ.  Once I find a tuning point I enter my settings into an excel spread sheet for reference.  I now have enough set points recorded where I do not need to tune while sending CQ.  I already know what my points are.  I do this to prevent unintentional interference.  It is very easy to do.

(2) N0IU askes, "Should everyone be forced to slow down their Morse to 5 WPM (or less) just so YOU can copy it?
"  

Answer:

Hmmm, I never stated what my code speed was nor is it an issue that I raised in my first posting.  I suggest you read more slowly next time.  FYI - this guy was sending nearly 30 WPM with terrible spacing.  The first three letters sounded like "N O I"...nah, couldn't be.


 
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KE3WD
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2007, 08:32:53 PM »

>>>I can only suggest that you do what I do. I listen for a clear spot in the band then start calling CQ or in morse code - sending CQ.<<<

Please send a QRL? first and listen.  repeat.  

>>>The first three letters sounded like "N O I"...nah, couldn't be.<<<

I'd be thinking, "dah-dah-dah-didit" or N8 with bad spacing...

A cheap microrecoder is a handy thing in the shack.  


.
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N0IU
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2007, 01:40:47 AM »

KE5HJO wrote, "I never stated what my code speed was nor is it an issue that I raised in my first posting. I suggest you read more slowly next time."

I can read very well, thank you very much! Just because this post is on Page 2, that doesn't make what you said on Page 1 go away. In your first posting you said, "I could not copy his call sign because he sent faster than I can copy."

So what am I missing here??

Scott N0IU
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2007, 08:27:59 AM »

>>So what am I missing here?? <<

Um, a bit of tolerance, perhaps?


.
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