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Author Topic: CW contest question  (Read 845 times)
VE3VID
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Posts: 145




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« on: May 25, 2009, 08:59:55 PM »

Hi everybody & thanks for reading my post......

Lets just establish one fact - I suck at CW.  I learned it best I could to get my licenses, and I didn't mind that, but I still suck at it  Smiley

Will real CW operators get upset if I use software CW in a contest, or just calling CQ?  I've heard you can tell the difference by ear - and I don't want to tick anyone off.

Cheers

David
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 09:23:58 PM »




At Contest University in Dayton this year they talked about this sort of thing.

As I understand it, if you are using software or a decoder to help you copy Morse code then you may be breaking the rules for "unassisted" operator class.

However, a lot of logging software will automatically send code for you. I'm not aware of anyone having a problem with that, but check the rules of the contest in which you want to participate.

CW contests are supposed to be fun. There is no reason for, and really no benefit to, cheating or violating the ethics of the contest rules.
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WO7R
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 10:46:02 PM »

Automated sending software is widespread.  No one cares about that, unless it is an SKCC contest or some such.  So, in almost all cases, the issue, if there is one, is for software decode.

Unless the conditions are very clear, software decoding isn't very effective.

But, try it and see.  If you're worried about rules and ethics, the answer is simple:  Don't turn in the log to the contest.

There's no law saying that just because you participate, you have to turn in a log.  And, if you aren't sending in a log, you don't have to follow _all_ the rules, either, as long as you do it in such a way as to not spoil anyone else's fun.  

That is, follow as many of the rules as you can, put in a valid exchange (usually, there is some way to properly indicate what you are doing, such as "assisted" or some such and if there isn't, well, then just do a "normal" exchange and get on with it).

In short, have fun, don't spoil anyone else's fun and see what happens.  Odds are, if we're only talking about sending, you can participate normally.  Read the rules.
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K0RS
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Posts: 706




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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 03:37:55 AM »

Nothin' like a couple of CW contests just running the ol' wetware to get the copying ability to a point where it *doesn't* suck.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 07:07:40 AM »



"running the ol' wetware"



Call me obtuse, but I had not heard that term.

I had to google it to download the definition to my own wetware system.

Wetware is our best asset.
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N4KZ
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 08:26:48 AM »

As others said, sending CW via computer/software or a keyboard keyer is an accepted practice during CW contests. No big deal. But code readers and CW copying software only do a decent job if decoding perfect machine-generated CW. Otherwise, the less-than-perfect spacing that usually results from manually sent CW  will send the software into a garbled-spewing frenzy.

Personally, I copy CW in my head. I began using a keyboard keyer for sending in about 1982 and have never looked back. Now, I have two keyboard keyers plus my computer logging program sends great CW which is the only way to go -- in my humble opinion -- during CW contests -- or any other time, for that matter. In fact, I found that when I first began sending with my keyboard keyer it really helped my CW  copying ability too. That's when I put the pen and paper down and just sat back in the chair, closed my eyes and copied Morse in my head and began to hear whole words instead of individual letters. That's when CW gets to be real fun and more like conversing and less like work.

73 and good luck,
Dave, N4KZ
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AA5TB
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 06:37:38 AM »

"If you're worried about rules and ethics, the answer is simple: Don't turn in the log to the contest."

I'd suggest turning in your log as a "check log" rather then not turning in a log at all.  At least this would benifit the stations that worked you.

73,
Steve - AA5TB
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 08:20:44 AM »

I thought the "single-op" problem in contests was only with "multi-signal decoders" like CW Skimmer.

I haven't heard any complaints about "single-signal decoders" like CWGet (which I use) or Ham Radio Deluxe.

Have I missed something?

         Charles
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 08:24:39 AM »

In a CW contest, most people _don't_ send "hand-generated" code.  And _no_ serious contesters do.

Any contest logging program will send "CQ TEST . . ." a gazillion times, and keep track of sequence numbers.  And you wrist won't get sore.

So don't worry about using machine-generated code; most of what you hear from other people will be machine-generated.

            Charles
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 09:26:26 AM »

Nobody cares if you use a computer to send or receive CW in a contest.

The main problem is that, under contest conditions, you may find that the decoders don't work very well.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2528




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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 05:14:52 PM »

Many times, I store messages in my computer, and simply click on a box to send perfect CW to the DX station or contest op.  Nothin like choking when one sends 5NN TU and one's call.

But, if I can't copy the station sending CW, I don't bother them.

73
Bob
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VE3VID
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Posts: 145




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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 04:22:57 PM »

Thanks for all the replies.

My intent was never to cheat in a contest. I just like contest for the DX potential, and I stink at CW - wetware included.  So recently when I got into digital modes on HF I thought I'd give software CW a try. What I dont want to do is tick-off real CW ops who could likely tell I was using a SignaLink and HRD by the mechanical style of computer CW.

I have respect for those who can do CW. My father could read 50wpm in the merchant marine. I passed my CW endorsements for my HF license, then totally lock up when I try to go live. No biggy, software to the rescue.
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2009, 10:20:12 AM »

>>>"If you're worried about rules and ethics, the answer is simple: Don't turn in the log to the contest."

I'd suggest turning in your log as a "check log" rather then not turning in a log at all. At least this would benifit the stations that worked you.

73,
Steve - AA5TB <<<

The other station doesn't get the points without a submission on my part?  Don't they get the points regardless of whether I submit a log or not?

I played a bit in this last weekend's WPX contest and had a great deal of fun.  Listening really knocked the rust off my code skills.  I thought I was handing out some points.  I hope I wasn't just being a nuisance.

I found that my reader (DM780) could only read strong signals very well if the squelch was set just above the noise level.  I read the code speed with the reader and matched it for my sending speed.

73 de Eric KG6MZS
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 10:58:38 AM »

.
"The other station doesn't get the points without a submission on my part? Don't they get the points regardless of whether I submit a log or not?"

I'm no expert on this by any means, but in any case it makes it easier for the judges and the software if you do submit your log too.

N0AX had a great article in QST about this recently--or within the past year. There are categories of incorrect and unverified contacts.

I think the absence of your log creates what they call "unique" contacts, meaning you, the counterpart did not claim the same exchange and left the other guy's log at his word.
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 11:19:26 AM »

Thanks for the reply.  I've never heard of a "check log" but I will happily turn one in if that helps the other station get the points.
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