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Author Topic: Morse Runner and WPX Competition mode  (Read 9843 times)
OK4FX
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Posts: 12




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« on: August 12, 2014, 02:31:16 PM »

I will start with short CV so you can skip it.

I was 50 on July and I wanted some nice and memorable gift. I am a diligent reader here so I decided to learn morse code in order to manage first cw qso on my birthday. My very first lesson was on May 27th with Just Learn Morse Code software and after four days I was able to copy and write down 40 characters set at 8/25 wpm. Some characters were difficult to me then I trained special character sets (?/.,389 and then yzq385hs,/). I trained several hours a day and it seemed the code isn't too difficult to learn, hi. On June 17th my single paddle arrived and after two days I was able to send articles in plain english (e.g. posts from here) at 20 wpm. With mistakes and wrong letter spacing, of course. Sending is much easier then copying for me (no surprise as it was written many times here). Sending and copying training continued and I waited for my birthday for my first cw qso which has been achieved.

During my lessons I installed Morse Runner and I found I learned nothing, hi. Farnsworth timing in Just Learn Morse Code was completely different from normal timing. But days after days of training I reached my current speed 30 wpm (I know that calling stations sends slower than chosen speed).

=============================================

And here is my problem:

If Morse Runner runs in Single Calls mode then my rate is 180 qso / hour now (it was less than 30 when I started). But if Morse Runner runs in WPX Competition mode then my rate is for a month without progress (about 90+ qso / hour). I know I need more and more practice, but no progress for a month is a little frustrating. I feel like I'm at a stalemate and do not know what to do to be better. Any advice?

Finally, I would like to thank everyone here who care about the newcomers. I learned  many useful things here.

73, Mirek OK4FX







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OK4FX
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 02:47:45 PM »

What I forgot:

If I set Activity to 3 or less then my rate is low because nobody calls me.
If I set Activity to 4 or more then my rate is low as my brain is clipping at 100% and I feel like I am playing first person shooter PC game (bandpass shifting and narrowing etc.), hi.

I saw many youtube videos with Morse Runner in WPX Competition mode and I don't get it how somebody can copy that many stations calling mess...

73, Mirek OK4FX
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ZL1BBW
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Posts: 412




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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 03:06:47 PM »

I presume that it was May this year that you started, if that is correct, sit back and take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on getting so far so quickly.

To move along from where you are now is a 4 letter word, TIME. followed by Practise.

To be able to work pileups in Morse runner or on the air takes a lot of the above.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
OK4FX
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 07:58:47 AM »

It seems no other will write here so I thank you Gavin for your answer. I will continue with my current method of training and I hope my skill will improve over time.
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PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 12:45:42 AM »

May be something in your brains, that you learn code fast, but you can't handle QRM.

What you can do is use G4FON software, that has an adjustable  built in QRM, QSB and noise option.

It took me 4 years with daily exercises to increase my one minute error free written copy speed from 20 to 40 wpm.
So mni congrats, look at www.morsecode.nl

Another thing I should try when confronted with your described problem  is to take 2 PC's put them both on JustLearnMorse code. a textfile, plain English text, both a different speed a different tone pitch and a differend volume and a different text.

Put the audio of PC number 1 in the left part of your headphone and the audio of PC2 in the right part.

Try to copy the left one, annoying the right one, and reverse.
Also possible with speakers on without headphone.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:58:39 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
N3QE
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Posts: 2422




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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 07:28:35 AM »

In Morse Runner, if you turn your transmit power down, or if you ID less often, does the pileup start to thin a little bit? Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.

Quote
A. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Examples of unsportsmanlike conduct include, but are not limited to:
...
6. Running stations making more than 3 contacts without sending their callsign.

At same time, not ID'ing well will result in more dupes.
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N3QE
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Posts: 2422




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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 07:38:57 AM »

What I forgot:

If I set Activity to 3 or less then my rate is low because nobody calls me.
If I set Activity to 4 or more then my rate is low as my brain is clipping at 100% and I feel like I am playing first person shooter PC game (bandpass shifting and narrowing etc.), hi.

I saw many youtube videos with Morse Runner in WPX Competition mode and I don't get it how somebody can copy that many stations calling mess...

Some folks narrow the radio bandwidth as the pileup gets bigger. Others widen the radio bandwidth as pileup gets bigger. With WPX trying to listen for the rare mults in the pile of the common mults has very little advantage - just work whatever is loudest or clearest, send partial calls rather than wait for perfect copy.

In terms of Morse Runner activity numbers... Lots of interesting contests in real life are long stretches at boring "Activity 3" and short stretches at "Activity 4" when manual spot entered.

When I started on CW, I had a rig with filters several kc wide and there were EU SW broadcasters all over the 40M CW Novice sub-band. Got real good at rejecting stuff with ears and brain :-).
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 08:32:08 AM by N3QE » Logged
PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 09:16:19 AM »

Got real good at rejecting stuff with ears and brain :-).

I remember an ARRL publication from their lab, can' find it back, that proves that the bandwith of ur brain is especially low at low audio pitch, and doubles at higher pitches. It means the bandwith of determining a signal from QRM is about proportional to the tone pitch of the disired signal.

My conclusion was at the time of publication: you don't need small bandwidth CW  filters because your brains will filter out the desired signal when you tune for a low pitch of the desired signal.

Anyone  with a ref to that QST article? I can't find it back. May be it was in some yearly handbook edition.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 09:22:26 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
OK4FX
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 09:20:06 AM »

Thank you Wim and Tim for your inputs.

May be something in your brains, that you learn code fast, but you can't handle QRM...

It seems you hit the nail on the head. My brain wants to decode everything simultaneously and I must expend a lot of work to persuade my brain to focus to one signal only. I have the same problem when several people start talking at the same time. This problem has probably everyone, but the years have proven me that I am much worse with it than others. Hopefully I learn better over time with everyday training. I hope I'm not too old for it, hi.

...take 2 PC's put them both on JustLearnMorse code. a textfile, plain English text, both a different speed a different tone pitch and a differend volume and a different text.

This seems like good advice, thank you Wim. I will try it, but I'm afraid that this will not help me much as my problem to focus to one signal lies at start of QRM. If my brain locks to one signal then I am able to eliminate QRM almost 100%. If every station in pile up sent a row of dits before their callsign then it would be much easier to lock this particular signal. Unfortunately, the callsigns alone are usually too short for it.

In Morse Runner, if you turn your transmit power down, or if you ID less often, does the pileup start to thin a little bit?

I see only one slider in Morse Runner which is dedicated to mon. level. Is it for how other stations hear me too?

Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.
I'm sorry, but it seems my english isn't on this level. Even I translated it I don't know what you mean.

====================

I thank you again for your inputs and I take to heart all your opinions.

BTW, after starting this topic I am at rate 100+ QSO / hour in WPX mode now. It seems that little progress is finally here.

73, Mirek OK4FX
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 09:22:34 AM by OK4FX » Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 2422




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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 09:25:03 AM »

Got real good at rejecting stuff with ears and brain :-).

I remember an ARRL publication from their lab, can' find it back, that proves that the bandwith of ur brain is especially low at low audio pitch, and doubles at higher pitches. I means the bandwith of determining a signal from QRM is about proportional to the tone pitch of the disired signal.

My conclusion was at the time of publication: you don't need small bandwidth CW  filters because your brains will filter out the desired signal when you tune for a low pitch of the desired signal.

Anyone  with a ref to that QST article? I can't find it back. May be it was in some yearly handbook edition.

I think it's just basic music theory. The "mental distance" between A and A sharp is the same no matter what octave. But in terms of a frequency counter, the distances depend very much on octave.

A4 = 440 Hz. A#4 = 466.2Hz. Delta-F = 26.2Hz.

A6 = 1760Hz, A#6 = 1864.6Hz. Delta-F = 104.6Hz.

Same applies to all human senses. e.g. by just picking rocks up one at a time, you can tell the difference between a 1 pound rock and a 2 pound rock real easy. But the same one pound difference is much harder to determine between a 51 pound rock and a 52 pound rock. (Replace "pound" with "kg" if outside the USA!)

Tim.
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PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 09:45:33 AM »

Right Tim, put all on a logarithmic scale and it is proportional.

However the amount of work to do for an employer in order to buy one extra S point (6dB) output for of your rig  is NOT proportional with the amount of work, because time we experience as  such is not on a logarithmic scale.

However when you grow older and older, you  get your FICA faster and faster (in a higher frequency) in in your personal experience.

In the publication I meant , was the human experienced frequency difference  necessary to distinguish two pitches CW stations with same speed and signal strength.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 10:01:41 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 02:16:37 PM »

Quote
OK4FX:

Quote from: N3QE on Today at 07:28:35 AM
Quote
Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.
I'm sorry, but it seems my English isn't on this level. Even I translated it I don't know what you mean.

I suppose (I am not a contester)  that the new version of Morserunner has more facilities. ID rules will be Identification rules.
(call sign = identification) There will be some help file that explains that, I suppose so.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 02:21:32 PM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
OK4FX
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 06:25:07 PM »

I have no illusions about my knowledge of english language, but this is the first time I don't understand what someone try to tell me, despite that it is a second attempt.

If I quote Tim's text...

In Morse Runner, if you turn your transmit power down, or if you ID less often, does the pileup start to thin a little bit? Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.

...then I understand to it this way: If I send my call less often then pile up should decrease. And vice versa. In other words: frequency of my ID determines pile up size = ID rules (ID rulezzz in teenager's speak - e.g. "iphone rulezzz at comments below article about new android phone). But "new WPX" leaves me in doubt that I'm completely wrong.

Edit: I finally understood it. Just imagine colon instead of period at the end of
...Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.

Sorry for off-topic.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 07:17:42 PM by OK4FX » Logged
N3QE
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Posts: 2422




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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2014, 05:49:37 AM »

In Morse Runner, if you turn your transmit power down, or if you ID less often, does the pileup start to thin a little bit?

I see only one slider in Morse Runner which is dedicated to mon. level. Is it for how other stations hear me too?

Keep in mind the new WPX ID rules.
I'm sorry, but it seems my english isn't on this level. Even I translated it I don't know what you mean.

In a real contest there are a couple ways to thin the pileup. Turn your power down... higher WPM... ID less often.

In the most extreme cases, going split may be appropriate - although very unusual for a contest to really "announce a split" for anything but the rarest DX, you can start listening to the edges instead of center of pileup.

In a real contest... activity often feels like it is alternating between how describe Morse Runner Activity Level 3 (calling CQ but often no replies) and Morse Runner Activity Level 4 (too many replies!). The worst is when there's a whole horde of callers zero-beat with each other! Often these surges is zero-beat activity are related to manual spotting of your station.

Don't know if any of these techniques are applicable to Morse Runner. I hear it's pretty realistic, maybe some will help.
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OK4FX
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2014, 07:05:29 AM »

... The worst is when there's a whole horde of callers zero-beat with each other! ...

This is exactly my feelings from Morse Runner @ WPX mode. Callers often call on the same frequency even if it is 100 Hz up or down from my freq. This is probably most frustrating thing for me. But painful preparation and training makes for easy ultimate performance. Fortunately, in real on air pile up I'll be allways on the other side.
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