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Author Topic: Using a Code-Reader to Improve Sending  (Read 2034 times)
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« on: March 01, 2013, 07:10:46 PM »

There's a delightful video by IK0YGJ, that demonstrates how a code-reader (Begali CW Machine, in this case) can help improve one's sending.    He uses a sideswiper, but the same principle applies to straight key and bug sending.

Enjoy. . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPIcn2ZSfvk

.            Charles
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IK0YGJ
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Posts: 43


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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 02:37:05 PM »

Thanks Charles for your kind words.
I think that self decoding can be a valuable tool to improve sending, here are more videos:
- with a paddle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBPXQiLFB08
- with a straight key: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2cnTRu-PZs

73 Carlo IK0YGJ

*******
Download Zen and the Art Of Radiotelegraphy free in PDF format here:

http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/index.html

Now in 4 languages: Italian, English, German, French
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 03:03:21 AM »

Hi Carlo,

I have downloaded your book and very much enjoyed reading it.
The section where you describe the speed hit you took on callsigns compared to your maximum speed was interesting.
It reminded me of a book I read on artificial intelligence where a computer neural network/genetic algorithm was allowed to seek an optimum path.
The implementation found by the neural network/G.A. was very very efficient for the particular path provided.
However, when another path was chosen the "ants" which represented the algorithms of the neural network and genetic makeup got lost.

In one way, it is like animals which evolve to a very specific environment - something very unique.
When conditions change in that environment, those species which previously thrived are sometimes stressed to extinction.
Since the brain is very much a neural network, this makes sense in this context too.

It is also very true that Morse is now an art - through its very uselessness.

It is a perverse facet of human nature that we value things which are useless, because it is seen as elevating our status.
So, men like to keep a skeletal frail woman on their arm, since she is useless for working the farm.
The same is true of the old monarchies, who kept legions of frilly dressed men employed, just to open doors for them or put on their shoes.

Learning dead languages, formal table manners and such, are all essentially useless - but indicate the person has time and money to waste.
Wrongly or rightly, this is also seen as an increase of status in society as a whole.

I mention this mainly to give some insight into the allure of the "useless" morse.
This is not intended to be in any way disrespectful to morse or its users - I am a very avid user myself.
I simply mention it to deter anyone from attempting to justify morse to others who may question its validity these days.

So to current and future morse enthusiasts - I say celebrate it's uselessness, and bask in the light of the hard earned skills you have won.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 03:06:21 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
KE6EE
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Posts: 454




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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 11:13:47 AM »


1. The section where you describe the speed hit you took on callsigns compared to your maximum speed was interesting.

It reminded me of a book I read on artificial intelligence where a computer neural network/genetic algorithm was allowed to seek an optimum path.

Since the brain is very much a neural network, this makes sense in this context too.

2. It is also very true that Morse is now an art - through its very uselessness.

3. Learning dead languages, formal table manners and such, are all essentially useless - but indicate the person has time and money to waste.

So to current and future morse enthusiasts - I say celebrate it's uselessness, and bask in the light of the hard earned skills you have won.

73 - Rob


1. Occam's Razor. One doesn't need an elaborate explanation invoking artificial intelligence. Studies of how people read or listen (written language or sound) show that the basic unit of understanding is the word rather than the letter. Only when words are uncommon or unique and not instantly recognized (as call signs all are) that spelling of individual letters becomes critical. Thus one's reading speed slows down with call signs or on hearing a word which is not instantly recognized.

The term "neural network" is a fundamental descriptor of how the brain works; the application of this term to computers or artificial intelligence is a borrowing and secondary.

2. Nothing about art has to do with "uselessness." Art is quite the opposite--an endeavor with the richest possible variety of uses. If you doubt this, look into the economy of the market for artworks.

Morse is exceedingly useful for the purpose of fundamental radio communication which, I think, has something to do with being a ham. CW is highly efficient and easily distinguished from noise. It allows communication where otherwise it would be very difficult or impossible. It is heavily neural-network-dependent thus both pleasurable and sometimes painful.

3. Living languages are the children of "dead" languages. Much meaning comes from the study of languages whether they are "dead" or alive (most are in transition). One definition of what a human being is centers on our language-borne ability to create meanings. Mental illness or developmental difficulties can be defined as failures to accomplish this.

Formal table manners communicate many meanings. Travel in much of the non-Western world is quite revealing in this way. I suggest a visit to a restaurant in a rural part of mainland China.

I celebrate the usefulness of Morse code. And I don't feel the least guilty about it.

Mike
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 03:08:16 PM »

Hi Mike,

Well I am glad you don't feel guilty about using useless morse - because that is exactly what I was communicating.
In today's world, people's minds have been hijacked by the cult of usefulness - a very sad thing.

If something is not considered useful, it is considered a waste of time and effort.
Consequently, there is a constant stream of apologists who give reasons as to why morse should still live today.
The fact is that digital modes can far exceed morse, in both signal to noise readability and speed.
So morse in a strictly technical sense is indeed useless - and that is it's great strength.
We can now revel in the challenge of excelling in something which is an art, and usefulness be reviled.

As regards language, we have to be careful not to be too narrow in our focus.
In english, groups of symbols (letters) are used phonetically to produce words, which are our basic unit of communication.
But in other languages, symbols are much more complex, and may have both phonetic and ideographic meaning.
For example, in Japanese, one Kanji character can be both a phoneme or a symbol for an entire word.
They can also be mixed together in sequences - so we should avoid the bias of parochialism.
There are many more examples, both in "dead" and current languages.

As to art, I agree that it is both inspirational, and for some, lucrative.
But apart from the old masters and some modernists, most new art is a sad travesty of a once noble occupation.
Modern art, and the associated economy, is a farcical conglomeration of black dots on a white canvas and piles of garbage touted as art.
Architecture these days is another embodiment of this corruption of true art.
You can starkly see the differences when you visit the churches of Venice or Florence, or walk through even small french churches.
Then visit the modern day equivalents - the juxtaposition could not be more revealing.

As to manners, this is always a regional cultural matter.
What I pointed out was that to spend a great deal of time in acquiring skills, which were not of intimate use in survival, is status seeking behaviour.
It is also a way of high status individuals identifying each other - otherwise, why learn something which provides no benefit.
The answer of course, is the benefit is to covertly form a group identity.
The same things are used in various societies, both secret and public, to identify individuals as belonging to a certain group.

Of course manners are distinct from being polite.
Politeness is the understanding of others customs and worth - and adjusting ones speech and behaviour to make them feel comfortable.
This is not to say we forgo our own customs and beliefs, but that we give respect to others as fellow travellers on this planet.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 03:20:16 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
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