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Author Topic: Is CW really having a resurgence?  (Read 1780 times)
KE7TIV
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2008, 02:13:16 PM »

New Ham here.  Got my ticket in April of this year and passed the General a couple weeks ago.  My intention when I went after and got the Tech was stick with 2 meter primarily for family use.

Once I started getting on the air and started reading ham web sites and magazines the idea of CW and QRP bit me.  I'm now trying to learn CW and expect to be able to  manage it.  If the code requirements of 40+ years ago when I first go interested in Ham radio were still in place I still wouldn't have joined the Ham ranks.  So now here I am and will be on the air by next summer with low power and CW.  In the meantime I'll be on VHF and UHF.

Byron

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LB3KB
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2008, 02:22:43 PM »

Thanks, Tom

Yes, it's "Morse code" not "morse code".


73
LB3KB Sigurd
http://justlearnmorsecode.com
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N2EY
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Posts: 3860




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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2008, 03:46:32 PM »

AB9NZ writes: "the newspaper is "World Radio", I look forward to each edition, but I think that singing the dumbed down song, and all the lamentation about "amateur extras that can't solder a pl-259" are just dead flies in the ointment."

Me too! Perhaps that's why I don't subscribe...

I'm only 54, but with 41 years as a ham I can tell you this: For longer than I have been a ham, some folks have been singing various verses of that song. Every change was supposed to be the death of ham radio. I recall predictions in the late '60s that ham radio would be dead and gone by 1978. Yet here we are....

AB9NZ: "By "cream sucked off" I was referring to the easy money, cheap energy, and natural resources that were squandered. Regretfully, my kids won't be able to enjoy the same orgy of waste that we were."

I guess I missed that orgy of waste, too. (sigh).

AB9NZ: "Radio, especially when used with on off keying, is such a miracle that I'm sure you will always find people like us, with a morse monkey on their back, cruising the bands, looking for their next fix."

Yup. I recall being told 40-odd years ago that HF was a dead end, Morse Code even more so, and that we'd all be on satellites with channelized rigs in a few years. And that my generation, raised on coast-to-coast TV, transistor radios, rock-and-roll, man on the moon and the counterculture, would not be interested in something as square as ham radio. Didn't quite work out that way.

The really great thing is that the new stuff generally doesn't replace the old, it just adds more things to do. Something for everyone!

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2008, 08:47:05 PM »

>RE: Is CW really having a resurgence?       Reply
by N2EY on September 29, 2008    Mail this to a friend!

The really great thing is that the new stuff generally doesn't replace the old, it just adds more things to do. Something for everyone!

73 de Jim, N2EY<

::Likely for the same reasons that although we have cars, many still enjoy riding horses.  We have motorboats, but purists prefer sailing.  We have cameras but many prefer painting.  We have television but many prefer shortwave listening.  And we have CDs but many prefer vinyl LPs.

And we have the internet, but most of us prefer ham radio.  The internet is just an adjunct activity to help exchange ideas with fellow hams we can't always meet on the air.

WB2WIK/6
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KI4GSV
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2008, 10:40:11 AM »

-.-- . ...

I'm learning CW and need a few more hrs of listening to code because I take to long to fiqure out the letters. ie copy one charater and then miss two or three simple characters. I'm still trying though and hope to be up to speed by Xmas. I have a long way to go with the abbreviations.

73 de KI4GSV Bill

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N3OX
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2008, 04:48:34 PM »

"I'm learning CW"

Why?

OK, now you think I'm a troll ;-)

But I'm serious and genuinely curious... I'm interested to hear if you want to do it because of the long tradition, or because you think it will help your DXing, or you just think it's cool, or what?

For me, it was DX.  I got through 13WPM testing in '96 because I wanted to get on all of HF, and it took me a couple more years to discover that I was missing out on all that beepy DX down at the bottom of the band.  I started working DX and the fact that I wasn't allowed below .025 on the bands really pushed me toward Extra, and helped me pass 20WPM, but if I hadn't had another test to pass, I still would have steadily progressed on the CW front to work more DX.  

Until I realized the DX importance, I did SSB and some digital, didn't care much about Morse, and it was just a thing I had to do to pass the tests.

But some people want to learn it because it's a very ham-radioey thing to do, and some people want to learn it just because they like oddball things like knowing Morse in 2008.  My wife memorized it out of my ARRL operating manual a few years ago when we were dating.

At the time I really internalized it and got "okay" at using it, I mostly wanted to work DX... now that I know it I've got a little more of the "ha, I know Morse Code in 2008" going.  I've got lots of geeky friends who think it's cool.

I think that a core of a resurgence could be the emerging and growing electronics hobbyist/geek crowd for sure.  

So I'm curious where new CW interest comes from.  

73
Dan  






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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
M0JHA
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Posts: 647




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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2008, 03:11:57 AM »

Hi bill. Try this one . Once you know the letters and numbers you know them end of.

Get on the air at a speed you feel really comfortable with, call cq and ask whoever replies to qrs if its still too fast ask again.

Try and put all fear of missing letters to one side you will be suprised that you can still make enough out and fill gaps to get through. For example if you don't catch the rst it's not a big deal i used to just thank them for the report anyway as if i had got it.

its the best training you will get.

billy uk

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K7KBN
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Posts: 2766




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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2008, 04:08:21 PM »

Bill, KI4GSV:

"I'm learning CW and need a few more hrs of listening to code because I take to long to fiqure out the letters. ie copy one charater and then miss two or three simple characters. I'm still trying though and hope to be up to speed by Xmas. I have a long way to go with the abbreviations."

----------------------

Don't try to "figure out" the various sound patterns in Morse code.  In order to become "fluent", as with a spoken language, you have to recognize them without thinking about it.

For example, if you were taking a beginning Spanish class, one of the first things you'd learn would probably be the phrase "¿Como está usted?", which means "How are you?".

You don't break it down by thinking "como" = how; "está" = third person singular of "estar", which is "to be"...that must be "is" or "are"; and "usted = you.  So that's "how are you".   No, you hear it as a complete sentence and recognize it as such.  Same thing with code.  Think of it as learning a whole new language rather than counting dits and dahs.

73
Pat K7KBN

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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
VA7ICW
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2008, 04:35:51 PM »

Hello,

Well... I am new to cw.  I love it and have about 40 contacts to my name so far and have been at it about a year. Not all that many but 12 months ago I couldn't have picked out a "c" from a "q".  From a new guy on the block perspective here are my observations.
When you look at the list of folks joining Fists and other CW clubs like Skcc and such there certainly seems to be interest and good intentions!  Weather or not the majority are active and to what degree who knows.
I find it funny that 90 percent of my contacts are in California.  Why?  I live in B.C. Does my antenna and probagation favour south?  I have and do make contacts other States as well but California definately sticks out in my logbook.  I am starting to believe that maybe there are way more CW op's in Cali on the air than any other state. Smiley
I operate mobile often and try to get up high in our local mountains.  There is a zero noise level up there in amongst the cedars and unless I turn on the preamp I have to check and see if the radio is even on.  I like to think under those kinds situations using my antenna's I can tell if a band is active or not.  I do operate mostly during the week however and not much on weekends and in my opinion given the amount of "Online" interest in CW, the joining of clubs etc, etc, the amount of talking the talk. I'll go out on a limb here and say that alot of times I feel the cw portion of the bands are dead.

73,
Sean (VA7ICW)
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KJ4GOW
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2008, 12:04:56 AM »

I got my license the middle of last month. I've been interested in radios for a long time, but I didn't know that you didn't have to pass code on the tests anymore. That was one reason I didn't get my license sooner. Other reason was I didn't have anyone to stand behind me and support my interest like I do now. When I decided to get my license, I wanted to learn code after I got it, but not to learn it for the test. It would have been too much pressure on me to do and I know I wouldn't have been able to pass that part, just because I know myself. I've started trying to learn, but it's going slowly...lol I went to one of the sites posted on here today and it's easier right now than talking to someone. After I learn the characters, or at least most of them, I'll start trying qso's.

KJ4GOW
Kailey
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WB8NUT
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2008, 03:26:50 PM »

Sure it is, people can know send it from the computer keyboard and read it with a computer. Now anyone can easily send and receive CW. So sure it is making a comeback, just not the way the old die-hards wanted.
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KI6CDF
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2008, 07:07:32 AM »

I don't know about a resurgence or not. All I can relate is my own experience.

I am a re-tread Ham. I was first licensed in 1963 as a novice and later got my general class license. So, I had to have passed the code test.

I let my license lapse in my teens and got it back 40 years later. During that 40 years I did not forget code, quite surprisingly. Can I copy 25-30 wpm? Of course not. I'm a bit rusty.

I enjoy contesting though admittedly I'll never be a winning competitor without substantial changes to my station (CCR neighborhood). Nevertheless, I enjoy it. I've always wanted to try my hand at CW in a contest. Recently, I had the idea of using a CW translator on the computer to back me up. For the first time I made about a dozen or so CW contest QSOs. By using this technique I had the confidence to get on the air with CW in a contest and I'll do it again. Why CW? Instinctively, I know in a contest it is faster and more reliable.

Want a resurgence of CW? If your a contester interested in another tool in the toolbox try it. You'll see that it is an advantage to have.
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W5ESE
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« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2008, 08:04:13 AM »

I would say the usage is increasing a little, though it could be the effect of poor propagation impacting SSB more than CW or PSK31.

Field Day Contacts by Mode
http://www.geocities.com/scottamcmullen/FieldDayContactsByMode.html

73
Scott
W5ESE
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WN2RUJ
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2008, 05:26:21 PM »

When I was a kid in NYC in the 70s there were two big hobbies with many store supporting them, photography & ham radio. In jr.high schoolthe brains were swl guys. High schools had ham clubs. Today my 11yrsrold & friends want me to teach code to them.
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KB9BVN
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2008, 12:45:54 PM »

I've handed out close to 50 or 60 copies of the K7QO CW Training Courses in the last few years.  Out of that I know for a fact that at least 5 people have become regular CW operators.  

I think that's pretty good.  If we can all just get two ops to learn and use it, we're good for eternity.

Next month I will be one of the instructors in our local ARC's effort to bring more amateurs to the fold, we are holding our second licensing class of the year, and the class is already full.  There is hope, and I will try to get one of them to become a CW operator.

73
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